I always thought of blogs as being narcissistic, business related, or as my sister's, a way of keeping in touch or memorializing.

But, by necessity, I am learning a lot about myself. I find I need to get my thoughts out, and it helps me to know that someone else will read them. So I have created this little space for myself, to express the things I have trouble saying (be it emotional or physical trouble), to share what I'm going through, and what I'm learning through it.

I absolutely welcome comments. It's nice to know how people relate to what I'm saying.
To send me a private message, please e-mail me: flylittlewordsfly@gmail.com
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Saturday, 31 December 2011

Obligatory New Year's Post

Yes, it's true. 2011 is over. And naturally, as human beings, we look back at the year, with nostalgia, with joy, with pain... and we make plans for the next year. I am no different. Reflection is a natural state for me, especially now. So I am looking back, and amazingly, am doing so and feeling joy at all that has transpired.

Let us review. January was the month I received my diagnosis, and I started to really learn about what was happening to my body. It was when I made the decision to stop working, and utterly and completely changed my life. I spent most of January in bed - actually on the couch, because I don't particularly like lying in bed during the day. I figured out how to watch TV online effectively. And yet the world wasn't really spinning... it was actually slowing down... looking back, it was hard but not as hard as before I knew. Getting the diagnosis made everything start to settle, and the world stopped spinning, even though the changes were intense. I was very well supported through these changes though, as my family and I struggled together to understand what the hell was happening, and why, and what to do about it.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Aunthood vs Parenthood - I miss my boy!

So I'm on day 12 of this cold, and I'm really done with it now. I wish it would just get up and leave now, thank-you very much. Unfortunately, such viruses are rarely so polite and accomodating. Ah well. But it is getting better, and I am feeling much more myself today.

The holiday weekend came and went with my hardly noticing, since my family does not celebrate Christmas and I did not leave the house. The only real difference was that yesterday, my mom came over, and her energy was somehow less agitated - probably because she is headed into two weeks of holidays from school and my sister is out of town. Today my two besties came over, brought and set out and cleaned up lunch, and hung out with me for a while. It was so very very nice.

It is also 4 days since I heard from my son, which feels un-right. It doesn't feel wrong, exactly - I mean, he's been away before, and I know he's in very capable, trustworthy and protective hands. I'm certainly not worried, or anxious about it. But, he is my son, and as any parent (and really only parents - possibly mothers? I don't know... haven't talked to any dads about this) can understand, he is always in my thoughts, even when he's as far as could be. He is a part of me, and always will be. And independent as we both are, it feels odd not to have heard anything from him for so long.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Still Under the Weather

It has now been a full week with the cold. And I am still feeling rather miserable. However, I am happy to report that my Osteopath said that the pattern of healing going on underneath this cold is still strong and steady.

She explained more about her methods to my mother in our session today, and I wish I could explain it, but I can't. All I can say is that the more I see her, the more I am convinced that this is the way I am going to heal, and I deepen my impression of the parallels between what she does and Montessori.

One of the things she mentioned again, which is one of the things I love about going to see her, is that whereas everyone else I see health-wise is focused on what's wrong with me, she is focused on what's right - what's going on that is allowing me to heal, and what my innate natural patterns are.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Another Cold

I was planning two posts this week, one about my observation at my son's school, and one about my latest Osteopathy and Gestalt sessions, but I got sidetracked in a major way by a cold that hit me... when was it?... Thursday, I think... No really sure.
(Warning: little bits of potentially offensive language below - I'm feeling particularly expressive this morning, perhaps because I haven't been able to speak my mind fully in a few days)

I feel like I'm in a daze, and it's not brain fog - it feels different - but it's similar. I am more distracted and my memory is shorter than usual. I'm forgetting lots of things - I know I am - that I need to do or deal with... more than usual, if it's not sitting right in front of me with flashing lights, it doesn't exist. Until someone asks, and then I want to slap my own forehead and moan "oh shit, not again. But since that someone is usually my son, or within hearing range of him, I do actually hold my tongue.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


It didn't beat me. Not really. Ok, maybe a little.

Yesterday I went and did the first real physical activity I have done in a year. I finally made it to the Gentle Yoga class I've been thinking about joining for so long. And it was gooooood.

The teacher was wonderfully understanding, checked in on me every once in a while, and was super compassionate. I checked her bio out on their website, and like me, she worked "normal" jobs until something more fulfilling called to her when her child was born. The postures and sequences themselves were simple, and not what I would have considered challenging. In fact, we did many of my favourites for relaxing - pigeon, up the wall butterfly, boat twist - so there was little actual stress, as we focused more on stretching and opening.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

State of my Health

I got really great news last time I went to the Naturopath. I just haven't really shared it with anyone, because as you know, last week was nuts, and this week was spent compensating and living. But now I will share.

She was thrilled to report that I am all cleared out of the gut bacteria that was causing the brain fog. So now when my cognition slows down, it's for other reasons (which I already figured, because it feels sooooo wonderfully different). Apparently it is not so common to go from the very large amount I had before to nothing at all in so little time - so YAY garlic pills! I can now move to a lesser aggressive stance on those, 10 days off, 5 days on, but am to continue, should the little buggers decide to come back.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Life getting in the way again

Is it possible to be doing better and worse at the same time? It must be, because I am.

Last week was one heck of a week. After the lice infestation was cleared out, and I buzzed my boy's hair down to almost nothing, he was hit with the stomach flu that's been making rounds at the school.

11:30pm, the poor thing stumbles out of bed, and throws up all over the bathroom floor. Man, I hate it when they don't make it to the toilet! So there I am, already in a state of compensation, trying to calm and settle him back down, and clean up the bathroom before things get really smelly. I managed. Somehow. 2am and here we go again. Except this time he did make it to the toilet, which made me quite a happy mom. What didn't make me so happy (although it did in a way) is that he felt the need to crawl into my bed after that - while it is lovely and comforting and all that, it makes for a much less deep and restful sleep for me.

Monday, 28 November 2011

One Year.

One year ago, my remission ended. I knew my immune system was trying to deal with a cold, and instead of lying down and letting it pass as I had during the rest of my remission, I pushed forward, because my trainer was in town, and she was speaking at a parent evening along with one of my students about the continuum of Montessori education. That was an event I could not miss. And I'm still glad I didn't miss it, for all it cost me.

I was so proud that night. My student, let's call him Gord, had written a speech about what he gained during each level of schooling. He wrote beautifully about his memories and thoughtfully about what he'd gained as a student at our school. I barely helped him polish the speech, more listened and helped him to do it himself, just like any good Montessori teacher would do. It was so good, that even his mother couldn't believe he wrote it himself.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Creepy Crawlies

The lice infestation that has several schools in the area sending kids home for a couple of months has finally hit my house. I'd been hoping against hope that we'd be spared. But alas. A part of me is laughing - I think it's funny. I really do. Part of me says no big deal. But most of me wants to go crawl under the covers with a good book and just stay there.

We managed to avoid the first two rounds of kids being sent home, and I've been checking my son's head every night as we watch TV. My sister's children have all had it, and she keeps fighting them off, but each time we think they're clear...

Tonight, as he was itching at the dinner table, I decided to do a more thorough check and did indeed found two nits. No problem, I thought, having experienced this before. Two nits is not so bad. I thought I'd just comb him out tonight, and do a treatment tomorrow with my niece and nephews.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Volunteering - second day, better results

Last time I wrote about being in the process of changing my all-or-nothing, perfectionist approach to life. It is a slow, baby-steps process, and that's why I think it's actually working. Previously, I had written about my anxieties regarding going back to the school on a volunteer basis. Putting the two together today was fan-frikkin-tastic, and I am super proud of me.

This time, instead of realizing I was being a perfectionist an hour into my time, I walked into the school with two intents: one, to let my work be good enough and not aim for perfection; two, to see how that would affect me. The result: the work is almost as good, and the differences are such that nobody but me will ever know. I feel great about doing what I did, and how I protected myself from myself.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Transitions, transitions

When I wrote the title to this post, I had the song "Traditions" running through my head. I think it's a lovely irony :)

I have realized recently that I am in a state of transition unlike I've had in a long time. It's nice, because it's not a chaotic transition, but a gentle one. And I like where I'm going, so I'm happy to take it slow.

First off, I'm starting to really see this extreme healing state as a gift that my body gave me.

I realize that while what I have did not start in my mind, my mind made things worse. My body was trying to send me messages for a long time, and each time I didn't listen, it sent stronger signals, until it just sent me home. It's like a parent with a child - the first time you do it, you get a scolding, but by the eighth time you may just get grounded.

I feel no guilt about this, no shame, no blame for not hearing the signals. I want to be clear on that. What I am dealing with is still an unknown, but all signs point to it being viral, immunological or neurological in origin - not psychological, not somatic, not mental or emotional. It is a physical reality.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Ramble and Knit

I feel like I want to write. But I can't think what to write about. My head seems strangely empty, and yet so very very full. I wonder if this is the state of contemplation I am aiming for. If so, it's good. I think. Need some time to get used to it. I am however, rather loopy at the moment, which could be the cold my son so generously shared with me getting up into the head area. Wicked headaches the last few days.

So... am I finding that wonderful restful state of compensation, or am I feeling the effects of a cold... ? Don't know. Not sure if it really matters. Guess I will find out soon enough. Still, I have nothing to write about, but I feel like I want to post something today.

Oh - I know! I can post photos of the hats and scarves I made for my sister's children.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

First Set of Volunteer Hours - Interesting experience

Since September, I have had two periods of more intense and necessary healing. Both times have been in the last two weeks, and I'm pretty sure the one I'm in now has to do with not getting enough rest last time. But both are clearly attributable to another cold, and to exertion beyond my normal abilities.

I am trying to look at this as a good thing. It really is, in so many ways. My therapist last night helped me see that I deserve forgiveness from myself for making the mistakes I made that led me here. Once I forgive myself, I can easily embrace my mistakes as stepping stones. But getting there is not always easy.

Last time I wrote, I was nervous about starting volunteer hours at the school. Right. So, I went in, and I was surprised by my initial emotional response, which was to hide in the office without seeing anyone. I was surprised by that, because previous time I was in the building, for the meeting with my rehab coordinator, I was excited to see my friends, and the mood overall (theirs and mine) was celebratory. But on Tuesday, I felt more like just getting in there, getting my stuff done and getting out. In part I think it's because I know that I need to balance out my energy use, and energy spent being excited and chatting is energy I can't spend working... but I'm also trying not to over-analyze it :)

Monday, 7 November 2011

Tomorrow - Andy the Volunteer

The sun will come out. My alarm will wake me. I will wake my child, and happy or not, he will get ready, eat breakfast and go to school. I will meet with my online support group (via skype - I am still doing that one, because unlike the boards from which I have taken a break, there is no drama here; there is no perceived need to be constantly checking in on people, threads and discussions 24/7, and there is no misdirected and spiraling anger fueled by misinformation and gossip). I will rest. I will eat lunch. I will get dressed. I will rest again. Then I will go to school.

Yes, you read that right. I am going to school.

A few weeks ago I was given the go-ahead by my naturopath to begin volunteering no more than 4 hours of flex time a week. I made the mistake of telling my OT about it thinking to get her professional advice, and next thing I know she has reported this to the insurance company (but she recommends a fixed schedule all on-site, which is contrary to flex hours... and she did not report the misgivings I shared with her about getting my personal life in order first), and I'm having meetings, and discussing projects and getting all swept up in the excitement, and now I even have forms to fill out from the insurance company to track my hours.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Another Missed Event

I am getting used to missing events I would like to attend. It's easier every time. I rarely give it a second thought nowadays. But today is a teensy bit different.

There is an association for Montessori teachers, and today is their (our!) annual conference. It is a big deal. 200 or so people who are dedicated (on some level or another) to making this a better world for our children come together to get inspired, refresh themselves, and deepen their understanding of what our profession is and does. My mother was once the president of this organization, and at another time delivered the keynote address. I am technically on the board of the association, although as you can imagine, my contributions have been minimal. I've been published in the organization's newsletter more than a couple of times. I obviously feel connected to this organization, and to the conference.

Since the year I took the Montessori training, I have attended the conference, and enjoyed the networking, the catching up, the gossip and the inspiration. But it's hard to describe what it feels like to sit next to my mother at each and every keynote address (usually in the front row, because those seats are always free, and cuz we like it up close and personal) and through every AGM. We share a mutual pride and purpose. We point things out to each other, take notes, nudge each other, giggle together, roll our eyes when it is warranted, and then we talk about it the whole way home - what we learned, what we thought was silly, who we saw, and who we didn't see. That's what we've done for the past - what is it - 7 years or so.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Compensating again - but what a great Hallow'en!

Hallowe'en is one of my favourite holidays. I get a real kick out of it every single year. This year was no exception.

Somehow, the past few years, my health was good over Hallowe'en. My first bout of extreme healing was in November, and remission came in the spring. Then, the second hit again in November of last year. But this time, one year later, I continue to be in a state of healing and cocooning. I will reflect more on having been recouping for a full year later this month. Today, though, it's all about the Eve of Hallows.

It is the first time I experience Hallowe'en from this point of view. I always knew what went into it, but this year, I guess I really realized how much I value the whole experience.

It all starts with the decorations. Since this home is still fairly new to us, we had not built up an arsenal of decorations. So we started with the shopping. And for that, there is no place better than the dollar store. Being aware of how much that trip, and then the decorating itself would impact me, I actually for once thought ahead, and got it together early.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Stengths and Happiness Quotient

A couple of weeks ago, my therapist sent me to this site, http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu, to take a questionnaire that would help me identify my key strengths as a person. Why? Because I'm redefining myself, and want to do so in a positive and realistic light. I am writing about this because I need to own these results. I am making a declaration that I acknowledge my strengths, and that they are part of what empowers me.

I have now done most of the tests on this site - just because I love those things - and I do think the results are quite accurate, at least in my case. Is there a way to measure happiness? I wouldn't have necessarily thought so, but Dr. Seligman and his team have qualified and quantified the components of what they believe to be authentic happiness (ie, not just of the moment, but the attitude which you carry in life) based on their very extensive research, and according to them, I am very happy indeed.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

More Disjointed Thoughts on Another Passing

24 years ago, my father bought this little company. I remember playing on the stairs, and being in awe of all the fabrics, and the big huge desks. I also remember the warehouse, and the factory room. The huge machines that turned the ties right side out, and the rows of sewing machines accompanied by mounds of half-worked fabrics, the cutting stations, with the patterns worked into the table itself. I also have fond memories of all the people who worked there. I spent a few summers folding handkerchiefs in that space, and then, as I got older, doing data entry, answering the phones, and eventually, in my mid-20's, after the factory was shut down, as coordinator of sales and marketing.

So this company is more than a company to me. It has really formed a part of my professional life and self. It was where I learned many of the skills I use in every job I take on. And the people who worked there when I was a child, and who continued to work there when I did - those people are part of my growing up. It is not one of those relationships that is easy to define, but that place, and the people who were there for so long, are a part of me. My father says that his company is more like a family, and that's not only because there have been so many family members, albeit from several families, involved.

Last week, one of the members of that family, Anna, passed away, after a short battle with cancer. She was around 60. A recent grandmother. And a veteran at the warehouse, and the factory before that. She was a kind woman, stubborn, but sweet. Always busy, always cooking, sewing, lunching with her friends. Her husband continues to work with my father. Her sister in law was the head honcho in the factory, and then the warehouse for many many years until she retired. So again, more family, more ties, more connections.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

One week, no schedule, feeling great

It has been one week since I made the conscious decision to abandon all routines and schedules as far as reality permits, and I am feeling incredibly fantastic. I have actually had symptom free periods of up to several hours. I have been more active, and with less repercussions.

So is this because the Osteopathy is working? Because the methylation is working? Because I've freed myself from certain constraints and therefore been able to put the energy I was spending worrying about scheduling into healing? Because I've been so successful at shifting my perspective? I have no idea. I have a very strong feeling it is a combination of all of these factors, and probably some others I am not taking into account as well.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Reframing Vocabulary

So my aunt wisely challenged me to remove words like "illness" and "sick" from my thoughts and my speech. That leaves me with a blank empty space to describe what my body is going through in a more positive way.

For example, last week, when I got that cold, I would have said I crashed. So instead, my mother suggested I think of it as my body in a state of compensation. My body was using all my energy to keep the cold from taking root, and then to maintain the best state of health it could. That is where my energy went.

The experience is the same, but not, because it does give me a different experience of it - it's all in the semiotics. Think about it. Using the word "crash", there is a connotation of a strong impact, suddenness, unexpectedness, and a lack of control. However, if I say that I am allowing my body to compensate for external factors, then it really is all in my control. My body has the same amount of energy it did before the cold, but is using it in a more concentrated form to maintain status quo. The connotation here is a more gentle one, and one of meeting priorities and doing so consciously.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Letting go of Time

Today, my osteopath told me to stay away from strict routines. I love her for that. And I welcome her support in changing that aspect of my perspective on life.

I've written before (and more than once, I think) about how I struggle with clock time - how I'm often late, how I lose time, how I go into flow so easily and all that. I have a hard time with logging, scheduling and such things. I rebel against them. And yet, the self-help course, the doctors, the OT, the naturopath... they are all focused on me doing certain things every day, preferably at the same time, on a routine basis. So to be told that I need to break from that and honour my own being and its needs at any given moment is just liberating and feels awesome!

And of course, it comes at a perfect time in my journey.

I am actually reading The Power of Now, and it's been a few weeks since I did any logging, or lists. I have freed up a good deal of clock-time and energy by taking a break from online forums, and I even dropped out of the self-help course, because I wasn't finding I could keep up with it. So no goals, no tracking, no nothing for a few weeks, and I've been feeling great, even while using all my energy to fight a  cold last week (hence the lack of posts).

Friday, 7 October 2011

Stellakitty - disjointed reflections on the passing of an aqcuaintance and Yom Kippur

My heart is conflicted. Peace, sorrow, awe and love. Mostly love.

Today, I've been feeling sorry for myself, and not. I've caught a cold. My energy is waning. I can't concentrate. I can barely talk on the phone or think straight. My dishwasher is broken (for real this time), so my kitchen is again a hazard zone. But I'm still feeling better than I was a month ago. And I take a great deal of comfort in knowing that I am taking care of myself as best as I can. So feeling sorry for myself, but also feeling good about myself.

And then the news came. News I never thought would really affect me, had I even considered the possibility. A young woman from the forum I'm taking a break from has passed away. She had EDS. She was brave, and funny, and feisty, and so very very spirited. She was 22.

I never met her. Interacted a few times. Her posts revealed a wisdom that went beyond her years, and sense of humour that buoyed her and everyone around her. She always focused on what was good in her life, not complaining about the pain, or the illness, or the hospital.

The news was shocking to me, and my reaction to it is surprising me. I'm sad, of course. But I've felt so many emotions in the last little while, that I felt I needed to write, and just see what came out. No matter how disjointed.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Physical Perspective Change

My son does not transition easily. He is the typical slow-to-warm-up personality, if you know about those things, you will know exactly what I mean. Wherever he is he wants to stay, and unless he has a hand in making changes, they upset him greatly. He has always been like that. I will never forget the crying fit he had when my parents changed their dishwasher "but I miss the old dishwasher! I want the old dishwasher back!" Same thing happened when they changed the tap on the bathroom sink. The worst, however, was when we juiced some carrots, and he was incredibly distraught - inconsolable, really, because we couldn't make the carrots whole again. Knowing this about him, and validating his experience, makes my life waaaaay easier.

So when I decided to change the living room around, to change my physical perspective on the world and reinforce the mental shifts I'm making, I knew things would work best if I got him involved before I moved a stick of furniture. We had a lot of fun playing around with pieces of paper, and really negotiated what we each wanted from the room. So we have ended up with a very unconventional arrangement, which we've decided to leave in place for a few days to see if we like it.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Shitfting Perspectives

This last few weeks, between starting Osteopathy treatments, attending the conference in Ottawa and having my aunt visit have given me a great deal to process. The biggest thing I have taken away from all three is that I need to shift my perspective. Both internally and externally. I need to see, think and put things out there differently.

First and foremost, I need to focus on what I can do, rather than what I can't. This may be a subtle shift, but it is a very impactful one. Next, I have been challenged (and you know how I love a challenge!) to remove the terms "illness" and "sickness" and all other related vocabulary from my mind. Following that, I am literally shifting my physical perspective, by rearranging the furniture which surrounds me most often in order to better my view. Finally, I am taking a break from online forums, and have dropped out of my self-help course, knowing that I will return to both once this part of my work is complete.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Shana Tova

Tonight is New Year's Eve in the Jewish calendar. Tomorrow is the first day of the new year.

And in my reflection of the year past, and looking forward to the year coming, there are things I would leave behind, and things I would welcome. This has not been an easy year. I have learned many difficult lessons, and grown in unexpected ways. I am blessed in many ways, and challenged in so many others, and in my awareness that challenges are blessings in their own rights, I do my best to greet them as such.

This year I have seen a dream come to fruition in the opening of my (yes, my) Middle School program,  I dealt with tremendous grief when I had to leave it, and I have now surrendered it willingly and happily to my successor. This year, I have made surprising new friends, and created strong bonds of mutual support with people with whom I have never even shared a cup of coffee (but we've shared far more important things), while my social life in person dwindled and my circles shrunk. This year, I have leaned more heavily on my friends and family than I ever imagined I could, and in doing so, I have found that asking for help is a powerful thing to do indeed.

It has been a year of paradoxes. Of growth and healing and triumph and pain and frustration and yearning and acceptance and connection and distance and all the things that life is all about. Of knowing that while my body is need of major healing, my mind is too strong for its own good, and my spirit is soaring, while my emotional self evolves.

I have a feeling this coming year will be different. I think that while this will all continue, I will find my way through it, and reach a place of wholeness and clarity that will envelop the paradoxes and cradle them, much like the yin-yang.

I wish for myself, and all those around me, and everyone in the world, a year of peace, balance, and love.