Simplicity for Dummies

I am in search of my simple answer.  This is what I know: It’s not in pamphlets, books, websites, case studies or articles about Lupus by people who don’t have it.  It’s important knowledge, yes, but that’s only part of the answer.  I’m done asking why I have this disease.  I get it.  I’m supposed to have it. It’s part of my story.  I’m done with thinking about all the things I can’t do because I have Lupus.  My understanding of that is deeper than it has ever been.  Last Winter, I gave up the full-time working life I had always known.  The identity I had created for myself suddenly didn’t hold up anymore. Everything was stripped away.  As I said in my last post:

I was a clean slate.

So, I’m going to draw on it.  I’m going to paint on it.  I’m going to write on it.  I’m going to dance on it.  I’m going to cook on it.  No big expectations, no high stakes.  I’m just going to do it because Lupus has gifted me the time to do it. It’s time to focus on the things I CAN do because of this disease.  Simple.  Some degree of wellness must come out of that, right?

Drawing/Painting – I am in the midst of a drawing/watercolour class.  My goal with this project is do a small series of drawings or paintings on expressions of my emotions/experiences with Lupus and post them here.

Dance – I am taking a 10-month introductory jazz class.  My body is the most pain-free it has ever been, so I’m going see this class though to it’s mortifying conclusion – a performance at the dance studio’s end-of-year recital.  I will also make it worse for myself by inviting some of my keepers to see it.

Writing – I want to continue to blog more regularly about my Lupus Life, but to also balance that out by focusing on writing something that isn’t “my story.”  Details to follow…

Cooking – The first phase of this project is to approach my keepers to teach me their favourite recipe.  We would grocery shop together, cook together and eat together.  The second phase is to invite my keepers over for meals that I cooked myself.

I know many people would say I would do better by becoming a vegetarian or focusing on more logical tasks like not staying up so late or taking my pills on time, which I am terrible at.  I am, by the way, trying to do better at the latter and perhaps one day I will try a vegetarian diet (I’ve always wanted to), but I figure my right brain deserves a stab at this whole “finding life in lupus” thing.  I don’t know what the heck I’m doing, but my gut is telling me to do it.  It’s as simple as that.

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Letters from the Universe

It is true that the Universe intended you to be exactly where you
are.  But, it is absolutely vital to grasp that the intent is not for
you to settle in and live your life in comfort and superficial peace.

This is a modified version of a quote I came across this past weekend, which I will take even further into a very personal translation: “Elena, this is the Universe talking.  Working half-time doesn’t mean you’re not working the other half of the time.  And yes, I will be that vague.  Deal with it.”

…Or something along those lines.

So, I should do stuff.  “Meaningful stuff,” the stuff that I’m supposed to do now that I’ve actually made the decision to modify my lifestyle to make room for health. Since the Universe insists on being vague, I’ll have to wing it, I’ll have to “right-brain it,” because, well, it’s the part I know how to use the most.  I’m hoping that tapping into creative power is the way to lupie warrior power and hopefully, in the middle of all the artsy fartsy, other things might start making sense, too.  Maybe. I’m willing to give it a try.

The problem is, my right brain is rusty.  Very rusty.  In fact, I’ve come to discover that I haven’t used very much of it at all.  My right brain “cred” has disintegrated with time and neglect, with overwork and sickness.  My brain’s trauma last summer has given me the opportunity to feel like a clean slate, to have a clean slate.  I’m right at the starting line of rediscovering the “creative me.”  This is also about keeping my brain agile in order to battle the cognitive shenanigans of “lupus brain” and the possibility of having another episode of psychosis.

Dance.  Draw/Paint.  Write. Cook.

I can’t dance.  My last art class was in junior high.  I’m a lazy blogger & I haven’t written anything substantial since I was 17 years old.  Other people cook for me, mostly my parents (and I live on my own).  ‘Nuff said.

So, that’s alot of stuff, right?  And usually, when someone is stupidly ambitious, it all goes to shit, especially people who have an auto-immune disease and tend to skip their “chill pill.”  Yes, yes, I know, which is why I will take my aforementioned list of artistic tomfoolery (and yes, cooking is artistic) and turn those verbs into what I hope to be convincing, attainable goals in my next post.  And hopefully, I will do it with more grace than I did during last night’s dance choreography. I have sworn to practice this week for my poor little ego’s sake… and for Madonna.  That 30 seconds of her song will never be the same again.