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Power Surge – Day 4

10 Dec

Now that 32 days have lapsed since beginning a 30 days challenge, I guess I should get onto day 4…

Today’s passage drew on the scenario of a power surge – and what follows. How the lights gets brighter and flicker resulting in a darkness. Our immediate thoughts dashing to the duration of the darkness anticipated, typically sending us searching for our candles and flashlights. Throughout the next passing minutes, hours and days (with support of our generators) we realize our dependencies to the crashed power lines dangling around us. This really hit home to me in more ways than one..

In times like this, we typically struggle to get through our days – we miss our DVRs almost instantaneously, and tether our iPhones, iPads and laptops to our generators and cars for what feels like constant charges to remain connected to the “outside” world. Our smartphones replacing our home networks, providing us with temporary HotSpots to provide us with continual VPN access. Hours later, we realize we are hungry and realize the microwave is worthless, then it gets real when our showers are chilled. This scenario is actually real – it happened to me a few weeks ago during Hurricane Sandy. I thought the world was over when I couldn’t work due to my iPhone not being HotSpot enabled while my mobile WiFi was crashing. Life was hell – or so I thought..

Little did I know that there was another power surge going on in my life – and one that would send me truly spiraling and grasping for anything to hold onto. During Hurricane Sandy, I was on the top of my mountain, and the real darkness came in illness form (see previous post for details). In said post, I mentioned that I was going to make some tweaks to my life, I just didn’t yet know what they looked like yet. Well, I still don’t have a solid plan, but now I have a better framing structure to build that plan off of.

Bouncing back to the book now… the authors really struck a chord with me on this one. To make change in our life, we move from will power to real power. But where the heck to we get our real power from and what is the difference? The book talks about will power being our power and real power being God’s power — we as humans don’t have the real power to make change in our own lives. It all happens by him… I am quiet undecided and almost put off by this in reality. This could be my inner control freak lashing out, but at the end of the day, I just cannot accept the fact that I am not driving my life at all. Must spend more time on this topic – I am at a loss on this one today; HOWEVER, I do really like the idea of will versus real power in concept. I will definitely be spending a lot of time here, both practically and spirituality.

In reality – I am realizing that there is a lot missing from my life, not just a relationship with my Creator. So it is time that I start to re-engage and bring some of the long-lost and never-found facets (back) into my life. A few of the areas that I have identified thus far are:

1. Creator Connection – I have finally said it, and more importantly written it down. If I have an issue with the Big Man in the Sky, then its about time that I address it. I don’t yet know what this will look like – or what my first conversation with him will sound like (if I had to guess, it’ll be a mess), but I finally have a real motivation to set this straight, or at least try. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t completely written him off over the last 10 years, and I have tried time and time again to work on this relationship. However, something hasn’t clicked for me here yet. I’m not going to push it – but I’m going amp up the energy a little. And I have this bible quote to thank for it. After searching for a passage for essentially 3 years, I finally found it! And I will be purchasing a copy of The Message Bible tomorrow – It may just be in the right language for me.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)

2. Spiritual Energy & Health – As most things in your life hinge on this, this is a priority. I don’t take spiritual health/energy as the text book “God/human relationship” as the book does. I am expanding this to include spiritual self-grounding in general with Yoga and Eastern medicine. Possible avenues here include acupuncture, herbal remedies etc. Immediate need is to get healthy, not to grow. Healthy things grow – must get healthy first. (This is in addition to medical health.)

3. Perennial Pruning – I am self-admittedly not good at cutting the decaying portions out of my life to make room for new and positive adventures. This is going to change, but not over night. The book brought up that in most vineyards today, the head gardeners train the pruners for 2-3 years before letting them cut the branches, because pruners can ruin the entire crop if they don’t know what they are doing. This aspect scares me, and I know this will be painful – but ultimately, it will be beneficial and productive.

5. Constant Connection – To myself and per the above. I plan on doing this two fold with constant communication and constant confession. Why not start an open dialogue in the morning with the Big Man (once we have worked out our issues) – sharing concerns and expectations for the day and keeping it going through the day. Immediate honesty when realizing I should have said or done something, or shouldn’t have – then moving on. Owning it, learning from it, and leaving it – acting on it if necessary to rectify mistakes as required. Consider it an ongoing catalog of life events and how I feel about them. I’m not sure how much will be written in journals versus simple cognizant thought. Likely journaling the large issues/blessings to learn more about them.

My goal is not to change who I am in any way, but to better myself and heal what is broken in my life. This is an evolution and something that will likely change and morph more than I can imagine today. Cheers to the New Litz.

SuperWoman – Apparently a bad thing.

30 Nov

Well – It finally happened… My luck ran out and the true power of my illness was spotlighted this Thanksgiving Holiday as I was admitted to the hospital on Friday, November 23rd.  After battling an attack for three weeks, I finally gave in and called my (amazing) doctor’s cell phone who sent me packing for the ER and a hospital admittance… I had no idea what was about to hit me, and I am not sure I will be as willing to go the next time if I have a repeat adventure because of it…

The illness bit abridged for anyone wondering: My Crohns has spread to a completely new area.  By the time I sought medical help, the inflammation was too sever for pill-form medications.  After ten days of pills, it became event that I was not absorbing them, so IV medications were necessary to get the attack in check.  I had an IV for from Friday night until Tuesday evening to pump in everything from steroids and two antibiotics to muscle relaxers and pain relievers.  I also went through 5 or 6 large IVs – I lost count.  There were CT scans, EKGs and portable X-rays (everything in my own private room except for the CT).  It was also my first CT scan in years without throwing up – thank you to the anti-nausea meds right before!  I lost roughly 10 lbs, when I should have gained 8-10 lbs in that time on pill steroids – you do the math.  Let’s just chalk this up to hard time.  Also thrown in there, some good old-fashioned, character-building family drama – but I’m not about to touch on that one yet.

Turns out that my SuperWoman Cape can hurt me.  Damn do I hate it when I’m wrong, and I sure found this one out the hard way.  Turns out, my attack wasn’t just stress as I had originally thought.  Unbeknownst to me, my body was actually trying to tell me to slow the heck down – that it was in some serious state of shock.  Nah, I just kept on pushing from one thing to the next.  Truth be told, I don’t really regret it either.  Blame it on my age, my immaturity, my lack of concern for myself – I don’t care.  I was living my life like a “normal” 28 year old.  I was rocking it out at my job, I was making a home for myself, I surrounded myself with amazing friends, and I was finally meeting new people again!  I was loving to dress up again, putting on make up, high heals, and accessorizing myself like the woman I was again, the woman I have always been.  I actually was ENJOYING MY LIFE, shame on me!

Now, I am on doctors orders to relax only and get my stress in check – and I’m about to figure out how to do that – or at least start trying.  Since I’ve been released from the hospital, it has been a serious challenge (I didn’t realize how many panic attacks can occur in one afternoon for fear I am missing something).  This is almost torture now, but I am starting to slow down a bit and think about myself first.  This is something I don’t think I’ve ever learned how to do, kinda funny when you think about it actually.  How can I be “well-rounded” if I never come down from high stress levels?

I am currently listening to soothing music, after a bubble bath, sitting at my kitchen counter (I think I’ve only sat here twice since closing in April, and certainly never alone!)  It is kinda nice to be completely unplugged from work, have the TV off and a candle lit – though my thoughts are a little suffocating at the moment.  I’m sure that will calm down soon.

Step one: Stop living in the corner office of my home.  Yes, working from home is amazing – but no more negating the living aspect at home too!

Hear me when I say this – I do NOT regret that I was living my life.  However, through this humbling experience, I did learn that I need to make some adjustments to HOW I was living my life.  Ok – so, that’s admittedly as far as I’ve come.  But progress is progress right? I will take baby-steps today, especially after the week I’ve just had.

And no, the experience wasn’t all bad.  Even though I am admittedly very angry with the big man in the sky, I do recognize the blessings He has bestowed on me.  I am humbled by the support team I have and I would be doing a great disservice if I didn’t list off my THANK YOU LIST:

NOTE: YOU MAY NOT READ INTO THE ORDER OF THIS LIST, YOU MAY NOT GET OFFENDED IF YOU ARE NOT LISTED BY NAME, THERE IS A PLACE FOR EVERYONE ON THIS LIST. IF I SERIOUSLY MISSED YOU – JUST YELL AT ME & GET IT OVER WITH 🙂

Angela – For being my rock – plain and simple. Oh yea, and… The ride to the ER, sitting in the ER instead of bedtime with your baby, for driving to my house countless times to pick things up for me and bring to the hospital  walking the dog/feeding the cats/getting the mail.  For never letting me completely fall.  For marrying the most amazing man who supports me too and keeps me laughing.  Oh yea, and putting up my Christmas Tree, building my craft desk, SmashBooks and Ikea trips!  Ok, I’ll stop before I make you cry, too.

Sethiya and Slawek – For taking my dog in for a week like he was your own, and loving on him as I would.  The pictures and video have been amazing.  I can’t wait to get my hands on him again, but you have saved me – there is no way I could have walked him yet.

Matt, Mark, Kellie, Andrea, Maddie and Hannah – For your countless support over the phone calls, text messages, gmail chats, facebook posts, flowers and books (since I can’t send Amazon shipments to my own address like a total blonde).  I could never get through a day without any of you.

Greg – For the multiple hospital visits, trashy magazines, movies on loan and soduko book.  I can’t wait to be back at the bar! And messages delivered by Greg from  Tyler and Los.

Maytanee – For visiting me in the hospital with bag in hand – magazines, novel and Christmas tree decorations and that amazing smile of yours.

My management staff, co-workers, and business unit – For the more than generous gift for food delivery over the next few weeks so I can stay out of the kitchen if needed, flowers and balloon! To Felix, Phil and Sean for visits to the hospital and at home.  For encouraging me not to work and focus on my health (seriously, how did I get so lucky?).  To Sean for driving me home from the hospital and all over Northern Virginia to find a pharmacy that stocked my Rx.  To Kippy and Stephen for the flowers.

Diane – For being there for me, after all these years, with words of encouragement that resonate through me like a stone in a still pond. I need not say a word more.

“Sykes Sisters” (even though you aren’t both Sykes anymore) – For the ongoing Crohn’s advice and support.  For the beautiful plant that will live in my home office every day.

Sean and Sara – For visiting me in the hospital, making me feel normal, the treat for crafting and the Christmas movie on loan!

Wilson – for visiting at the hospital – loved our random catch up sess!

Melissa, Arek and Ella – For the amazing Polish soup – it was the first thing I was able to eat!

HollyBerry, Megan, Stacie, Colby, Jenny T, Jenny C, Los, Alex – For your constant text messages that kept me going

Mike – For the Crohn’s advice.

Joel and John – For being my “Dad’s” and keeping me focused on whats important nearly daily (outside of this).

Cieran – For being a rock across the pond – no really.  For staying with me on Facebook in Scotland nearly 24/7.  Who knew a IT support call at Axios could lead to such a dear friendship.  This friendship is going no where!

Valko – For your heartfelt call and countless “bless their hearts” that make me grin.  I love you like a sister!

To everyone who stayed with me on Facebook, G-Chat and random text messages – I have been so blessed by each and every one of you – and I don’t want to name you all for fear I will miss someone and hurt your feelings.  You kept me going and I count each of you in my blessings.

And to one more – thank you for walking through my hospital door Monday morning, the calls, the messages, for making me smile and taking care of me when you could.  Please be safe.

Your Most Valuable Resource: Time

18 Nov

Wow – I sure made it far into my 30-day challenge before dropping off the face of the Earth.  I supposed I just might not be cut out for organized blogging… but the (way too) early break did come due a life challenge.  So, I guess it is fitting to blog while I get myself back on track?

Day 3 is titled “Time Squared, Spending Your Most Valuable Resource”.  Quite ironic that I’ve now had essentially a week to mull this one over, as all I have had is time on my hands.  Attempting to hide my bitterness by not blogging has failed miserably, so why not just talk this one out.

The book talked about a simple equation – one I’m sure we have all heard ad nauseam: Increased Energy + Increased Engagement = Sense of More Time.  (Quality over Quantity).  It went on to speak about how 6 months could pass by in our lives quickly or painfully slowly – and encourages us to ponder what would make the difference in each of our lives.  What would it take for each of us to become fully engaged in our own lives, so that time is well spent, instead of us being paralyzed in fear of the future.  It is all in the way we invest our time – in ourselves, and in those around us…

Over the course of the last week, my disease has taken control of my life.  Its headstrong, controlling personality jumped right into the happy little life I was starting to create and began to splatter mud all over my almost perfectly clean canvas of a new start.  It has in essence stripped me on my independence (temporarily) and replaced my lightheartedness with a cabinet full of medication.  There is not much quality time going on, unless you call curling up with the dog in bed with a constant stream of Netflix movies and TV shows engaging.  Dammit!  Though, I do have to give a huge shout out to my best friend who has done an amazing job of keeping my spirits up – which included basically taken on a renovation project in my house for me.

With this down time, I have to admit that I have pondered what the truly sick people do when they only have 30-days left to live?  They spend their time in hospitals slipping away – they don’t spend their time making amends, and thinking about their most valuable resources, figuring out how to re-create themselves into the image they always had imagined.  They ride our their last wave trying to stay comfortable, not standing up to their biggest fears.  There it is – the huge flaw with this book – and I hate it, the title of the book.  Terrible.

But, in the spirit of having more than 30-days left to live, I suppose I will attempt to stay the course of the challenge… As much as I don’t want to continue based on the sole fact that the premise of this book is a simple marketing gimmick…   But I am thankful that I do have (God willing He doesn’t have alternative plans for me soon) more than 30-days left in me.   I have the time, or I will as soon as this attack is over, to stand firm on my own two feet and live the life I had always imagined.  Here is to getting back on track.

The book did make a great point… “Time once spent can never be reclaimed.”  Amen to that.

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