Saturday, May 28, 2016

Today's gift

Interesting days indeed. Getting things done... not so much. Go somewhere to do things... nope. Doing computer things, but it turns out, doing them wrong, then taking pretty serious emotional effect from screwing up things that I used to do effortlessly and, more importantly, correctly.

So where are these glorious gifts of MS?

Yesterday I was sitting in my wheelchair on the veranda, and I found myself completely going into simply listening. A bird. The sound of a car going by. The sound of humans going by and just chatting with each other. The sound of the wind going through the trees. And, as it does constantly in the back yard, the wind changed. And changed. And changed again.

This is definitely a very amazing gift... I am pretty much stuck in a wheelchair, I have no way to drive myself places so without caregivers hauling me, I'm stuck here. I often don't even have the energy to do things beyond listening to my favorite cartoons (like Steven Universe)

... or listening to Virgil Fox going nuts on the organ

...and maybe going to sleep. And yet, simply sitting on the veranda and simply listening.

That... that was a truly wonderful gift. As Ram Dass says often... just

Be here now.

Therefore, I say to you, MS or not... it's simple.

Be here now.

And just listen.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

"Good" and side effects

A great chat with a caregiver.

She shared that she was wigging out about "math" stuff. Most probably, basic algebra stuff, explained poorly as only basic algebra can be malexplained.

And what I told her was this: Change the frame.

For example, you drive all over the place here in the greater LA area, you are always greeted with needing to be somewhere at a given time, on an empty freeway it takes a certain time, the freeway adds to that travel time depending on when and where you're traveling. All that tells you that to get to the desired location, you need to allow so much time and that means that you need to leave at particular time.

But this is algebra. Change the frame to stuff you're already familiar with, and suddenly the problem disappears. It's not an "algebra" problem, it's a "just do it" problem that you deal with daily. But if you frame it with scary letters like X and Y and such, you're setting it outside your comfort zone.

So, change the frame. We MSers, we can certainly say a lot, and which of us can't say a very large amount, about our problems, our disabilities. And yet, "tell the truth" includes telling the truth about what you can do.

So indulge yourself. Take a moment to enjoy what works... Because there are things that still work and work well. I can still enjoy the air. I can still laugh. I can still reassure caregivers who need care.

And those all matter. Adding good to the world comes in many colors and flavors... so, why not make the world better? Even in a small way. Because big good starts from small good.

So, that's your prescription for today. Do good.

Good only has side effects of... well, good.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Why not try...

An interesting pursuit that I have been following for a while now... Giving things away.

For example, cooking devices. I don't really cook any more, my kitchen, wheelchair, and manual dexterity do not really lead to fiddling with cooking gadgets, like a Cuisinart. So, I hand it off to someone who would both appreciate and use it.

The chef (kinda guy who cooks for thousands at once as well as a few hundred, depending on the gig) was blown away... My Cuisinart apparently is old school and much more serious than the newfangled ones they put out nowadays, he was blown away simply by its existence and by being offered such a goody.

My thinking is, right now, it's gathering dust and helping nobody. It's not making the world a better place or increasing anyone's happiness.  Or, I can let it gather dust in his cupboard rather than mine, and in the meantime making him happy and making all the people he cooks for happy. Which, by me, is a net gain.

My truck, I sold (months ago), rather than just giving it away. But seeking ways to be both generous and lightening the load of cruft, those stories generally end very well.

The site Tiny Buddha had a similar post, recently. Although posting a "getting rid of stuff" and "a giveaway, which if you win the contest will get you more stuff" seems rather... confused.

But MS or not, is your life being improved by stuff?  And MSers like me have lost so very very much, and yet here I go trying to get rid of more of it.

But again, MS or not, stuff gathering dust does not make the world a better place, generally speaking, so... why not deal with it and deal with letting go of it and make someone happy? Converting "losing" to "sharing" and even "gladdening" the person who needs, needs, it?

As the rector of All Saints church said frequently, it is only in giving that we can truly receive. And that is one thing that MS will never destroy, withering disease that it can definitely be: Generosity. Kindness. And a better life. For both the giver and the recipient.

So that's your prescription for today, whether you're an MSer or not. Why not try...


No side effects.

Go for it!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Today's prescription

I get acupunctured today... In a few days, I may get another "off-campus adventure" hitting up the local Vons, maybe a wild and wooly trip to CVS.

I did do some wild self-indulgence the other day... one of the local-enough-to-deliver pizza places has completely redone its menu to include both vegan pizza and NON-pizza, so I got fish and chips. I may further indulge myself to get some pork ribs.

It's a wild wild life, as the song goes.

But I guess that's the sermon for today. Doesn't matter how much you got... Enjoy it. When it gets warm enough, I enjoy being outside, I enjoy being taken outside. And once my caregiver gets her car, I'll have her take me to somewhere really wild... Like Whole Foods. Or Ten Ren. Both places that I have really, really enjoyed.

So that's also the prescription... Enjoy more. And what that "more" is doesn't matter. It's not about"get more" or "do more," it's "enjoy more."

Even if it's as simple as making a transfer to/from the wheelchair or the bed, or as simple as a really good sandwich for lunch. Just enjoy it more, whatever it is.

You'll be surprised how easy or fun it can be. I (we?) may be totally wracked by The Disease or our once-comfortable/convenient life totally shredded, and yet, we can find things to enjoy.

So... as Garnet the Crystal Gem once said, Go...have... FUN!"

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Fine prescription

Adventures abound, here in Southern Cal. Acupuncturist has been encouraging (telling) me to get out of the house, and my caregiver has been pushing me outside and down to the Vons a block away. A much more enjoyable trip when it's not cold and raining.

Simple but good treatment: Get outside and enjoy. I get conflicting orders from different doctors... GP says get more sun, skin doctor says get less sun. Well, that's easy, ain't it?

Matcha, oolong, cannabis, and honesty. A very good way to spend a day. So, find your truth, and follow it.

A fine prescription indeed.