Sunday, January 18, 2015

In Praise of Sabbath

Instead of taking on huge resolutions as I did with last year's mania, I boiled things down to their essence this year and resolved to "be kind to myself." (You can read about what that means in this post.) It turns out that this isn't quite as simple as it first appears, but hope springs eternal. My approach to this umbrella goal, which I hope will eventually include changes in my diet, exercise, work, and home habits, is to start slow and go slow, but keep progressing.  With that in mind, since I've last checked in here, I've done three things:

  1. Worked to incorporate waterwaterwater into each day. I hadn't swapped water out for soft drinks; I just wasn't hydrating much at all. Drinking plain ol', life-sustaining water isn't actually that hard once you commit to carrying a water bottle with you everywhere you go. I use a 24 oz. one I picked up at Connemara, which was the home of the magnificent poet Carl Sandburg. It's not that far from where I live and it's well worth the drive (and hey - they have the descendants of his wife's prize-winning dairy goat herd!), but you can, of course, use anything you want. 
  2. Tried to expand my diet by including new foods. I've never been much of one for eggs, so I started with that. They're not expensive, can be fixed in a hundred ways, and are chock-full of nutrition, so it seemed like a sensible starting place. I found a frittata recipe and discovered that adding salsa - YUM! I can make a batch and eat off of it all week, thus guaranteeing to start the day with protein.
  3. I've gotten serious about keeping a "Sabbath day." Traditionally, Sabbath is a rest day, generally used for worship. Denominations get (to go Southern on you) "all tore up" about what day Sabbath should properly be and there can be all sorts of rules and regs about just what's okay to do on that day. I cut through all of that, although I respect the conclusions others come to in that regard. FryDaddy and I talked this one over and what we're striving for is a day during which we do not work, beyond simple household chores. "Simple" being the key here - a load of laundry and making the bed is fine; raking the yard is not. Puttering around with flowers would be fine for me, since I enjoy that, but digging a new flower bed is BSS ("beyond the scope of Sabbath"). If we manage to pull this off consistently, I'll rank it among the highest achievements of my adult life - thanks to electricity and computers, it's far too easy to blur work and home. I have to actually make an effort to NOT check work messages from home and with a new book project, I constantly feel like I should be getting more done. But I've seen the results of regular breaks and I'm determined to do this. In fact, the reason I didn't post yesterday was because it was Sabbath for us this week and blog posts are BSS.

In Very Fetching Hat news, I've been cleared by the oncologist to begin radiation treatments, which will be followed by a five-year course of tamoxifen (that treatment may, of course, be altered once we see how I tolerate the drug). Later this week, I'll go for my "simulation" - I won't actually receive radiation therapy on this visit, but will get measured and prepped and even tattooed so the radiation can be very narrowly targeted. It's actually a fascinating thing - my medical team will now include a physicist! So at the moment, I'm post-surgery, pre-radiation, but this will shift in the next two weeks. It's not as scary as I thought it would be, no doubt due to the marvelous care I've been received and the outpouring of love, concern, and well wishes I continue to receive. I'm interested in making some dietary changes to increase my energy level and keep my mood stable as I go through this next stage and I've gotten some excellent advice on how to do that without totally breaking the bank. (Oddly enough, molasses is strongly suggested.) So it's "Onward Sloth!" at this point!