Simplicity and Full Plates

Pattye Snyder Health Guide
  • Gee, it snowed AGAIN last week.

     

    This winter has seemed longer and harsher than ever in central Illinois. We've had so much snow I've noticed that even the kids have quit rushing out to play in it. I haven't even seen a snowman for a couple of months.

     

     

    In my most recent blog, I mentioned that some day soon, the crocus would bloom and we would hear the birds singing. The next morning, as I brushed a few more inches of snow off my truck and vainly chipped at the ice-covered windshield, I heard a cardinal merrily singing from a nearby branch. My first reaction was that of concern for the bird who simply didn't seem to understand that, with the wind chill well below zero, it was toooooo cold to be outside singing! But then I realized, this bird was the epitome of optimism.

     

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    "My arthritis has been extra painful."

    With the weather, and a barometer that's been acting like a yo-yo, my arthritis has been extra painful. Many of my friends have noted the same challenge. My doctor just put me on a new medication to try to help monitor my condition. The primary side effect is extreme nausea. Is the advantage that I'll have less pain as I go into the bathroom to throw up? The side effects are supposed to decrease after a few days, but I'm definitely NOT impressed.

     

    One of our writers was talking recently about the advantages of warm water therapy for those with rheumatoid arthritis. I've found it is also wonderful for osteoarthritis patients because it relieves the stress in the joints. The Arthritis Foundation is an awesome resource if you need some information about warm water classes in your area. I've also found them invaluable to help provide a support system of information as well as new friends.

     

    So life continues to be more crazy than usual. The "normal" activities of getting paperwork ready for taxes, arranging to have some simple repairs done in my house before I leave the country, working out, running a couple of small businesses, learning a new language and so forth go on. I wonder why I'm so tired. It is helpful to try to remember the quote "Trials keep you strong." If that is really the case, I must be in line for an award for Mrs. Atlas (remember the body building ads in the back of your comic

    books?)

     

    It's Ok to Ask For Help

    I FINALLY am learning to reach out to my friends and ask for much-needed help. I DO accept for the first time in my life, that I really can't do it all by myself! One wonderful friend is organizing my photography prints (a few hundred at a time). Another friend

    wrote a great news release for me. An incredible friend spent hours designing and implementing a beautiful website for my photography! I also admitted (to myself), that I really do need to be working with a trainer. This lady is well-acquainted with my osteoarthritis challenges, my artificial and painful joints, and is very knowledgeable. By working with her once a week, it makes me accountable to me. If I haven't worked out between sessions (too busy, you see), it's VERY obvious, and I won't make much progress. I guess you could say that Liz has become my halo effect!

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    My family has also become involved in "Mom's project." My oldest son has been researching some of the unique things I will need (like a solar battery charger for my cameras). My youngest son has sold several of my framed pictures and is a walking ad for my new website. My daughter has also invested in "THE PROJECT."

     

    Through all of this craziness, I was fortunate enough to discover a congregation in my town that is about 85% Tanzanian (the place I'll be working). After attending and becoming involved for several weeks, I missed two Sundays in a row (too busy you see) and was promptly called by the lead pastor (another halo effect?) Yes, I'll be back there this Sunday!

     

    There are a few people that don't seem to understand my passion, my volunteer work in Tanzania. One person in fact said recently that it would be a neat place for a vacation. That is very true, but I will be working there, and NOT on vacation. My company, Cross Cultural Solutions, is sending me there to work in the community with whatever they need. We hope to more fully establish a small business in making batik fabric for export, but I may also be working with pig farming, as well as teaching

    English (I LOVE challenges and new experiences)!!!

     

    Another person asked me if the company pays for my flights, or just for my living expenses while I'm there. The reality is that I'm NOT getting paid any money, but I have the unique opportunity to make a difference in peoples' lives. The adventures and experiences I will have are incredible: a quiet smile from a child; the shy giggles from my new friends as I try, again, to learn the Masaii Butterfly dance; the special feelings as a tiny community becomes more self-sustaining; the majesty of a snow-capped

    Mt. Kilimanjaro as I put a foot on her to celebrate my 65th birthday. All unforgettable!!!

     

    My "hero," Jane Goodall" once wrote the following: "What you do can make a difference. You have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make."

     

    I WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE

     

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Published On: March 07, 2008