two more sleeps…

before I begin writing something brand new.  fiction.

in other words:  two days to NaNoWriMo.  wow.  can’t believe it’s almost here.

today, the nerves started to settle in:  how am I going to write an average of 1,667 words/day?  :-O

especially with work being as crazy as it has been the last three weeks.

the life coach in me says to just focus on the feeling state when I write…it feels so good…remember how much you love it.  so do it!

but, what if I miss a day?

then I’ll have to write 2x that figure.  or 1,667 divided by number of remaining days.  that feels a bit better.  😉

sure.

no problem.

uh huh.

I have my story outline.  theme.  characters. (three central characters.)  goals.  motivations…internal and external.  (mainly internal, as that’s how I roll.)  conflicts.  and two pinch points.  one better than the other.

I don’t have to be the next Sarah Gruen, but I will finish.  I will.  I will.  see you on the other side!  last year I did 50 blogs in November…roughly 30K words.  this year, I’m doing 50K words.  yikes!

rock on people, and don’t forget that voice in you that urges you to do more, be more, give more…it’s sooo worth it.

xo

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disconnect.

just returned from four nights in Yosemite and Sequoia.

can I say, awesome-balls?

even with no cell service.  and no internet access.  zero WiFi.  and a smattering of TV channels from what felt like they were delivered straight out of the 80s.

though the second killer hike on Friday, fried my calves.  they are still sore.  and I’m limping around like I’ve got MS or something.  cray cray like that.

oh wait.  I do.  but so glad not limping from a flare.  phew!  🙂

4/5 of us were limping on Saturday. Sunday.  and still today.

so how cool was it to disconnect from...everything?  extreme.

the hub and I ventured on our own path Friday. and took the road less traveled by.  from the other three.  our cohort.

we wandered into a magical forest to begin our Friday hike.  I kept exclaiming to the hub, ‘look at that! look at that!’ snapping photos as I we descended.

until we emerged from our enchanted forest to switch back after switch back of tight, slippery turns.  no guard rails.

making our way slowly down the steepest trail in Yosemite.

we would run into other travelers ascending.  pleading with us to tell them how much farther.  sweating.  eager for us to say, ‘oh only a half hour!’ but we could not lie when we knew it was at least 1.5 hours for them.

and then hearing ‘rock on you guys will be finished in 45 minutes.  no wait, 30 minutes!’ from a few others, beginning their ascent.

umm.  not!

but so cool, how filled with one-ness everyone on the trail was.  I even slipped (wait, we both slipped over and over again).  and I cut my pinkie finger slamming it into the granite rocks to save my legs.  someone ascending immediately wanted to provide assistance.  I could get used to this.  so kind.

I am used to this.

wow.

what an awesome, disconnected weekend.  one I won’t forget.

from squirrels tormenting one of our friends to watching a coyote on the side of the road watch us to not seeing any bears when warned otherwise.  to mosquitoes glimmering in the sun like tiny golden angels.  to strongly feeling my cousin, D.  to feeling like we all matter.  and then, that we don’t.  all in a matter of milliseconds.

we are all in this party together.  at this exact moment in time.  and how grand is that?

it was perfect.  perfect.

love, loved every second of perfection.  just as it is.

or was.

xo

37/50. black Saturday fiction. everything hurts. (spoiler alert, this is a dark Jillie piece.)

Jillie awoke that morning, stretching off the night before, feeling somewhat euphoric when she realized she had the day off from work.  She stretched her arms over her head, pleased to find that she had the sense to throw on sweats and a t-shirt in the middle of the night.   Though it was soon brought to her attention, that her entire body hurt.  It really hurt.  Every cell in her body was throbbing, no, screaming in pain.

Not again, she sighed.  She imagined her cells having angry, snarled faces.  She bit her lower lip as her left foot spasmed uncontrollably.   She began breathing in deeply like Jayzen showed her.  Away, away, away, she breathed out until the iron rod slowly removed itself from her foot.  She always said to Annie that she needed to be crucified to show her the way.  She chuckled at her pain.  God, that was just a joke.  I wasn’t serious, she implored as she stared at the neon plastic stars on her ceiling.  Please, please give me a pass today, that’s all I’m asking for, a pass.  

She rolled over in bed to her left as gracefully as she could manage amidst the agony to find a shaved head and mole-marred white back staring at her that belonged to a man, a boy, from the looks of him, that she didn’t know.  She traced his back with her eyes, down his hair-less legs, to his cracked heels, counting his moles as her eyes moved, stopping at 33.

What in the hell did I do last night? What am I doing to myself?  She asked herself and then quickly attempted to shrug off her self-hating thoughts and move on.

Today was the day she was supposed to get her lab and MRI results.

“Come on, get up, would you,” she said as she put a hand on the guy’s clammy, oily back.  She shoved him gently, “Move it, man.”  Nothing.  Fabulous, she muttered.  She grabbed the loan sheet crumpled at the bottom of her bed and pulled it up to cover his pale, flaccid body, so she didn’t have to touch him directly again.  The thought turned her stomach upside down and she tried not to vomit as she rose to her knees, breathing quickly.  She collapsed to her hands as the room started to spin around her.

“Get up, and get out of here,” she screamed at him, pounding on his back with her right hand, feeling like a feral cat as her nails dug in to his flesh through the thin sheet.

“Jesus, woman, chill out,” he mumbled rolling out from her claws, slowly to a sitting position, swinging his weathered feet around to the floor and grabbing his jeans at the same time.

“Just get the f*ck out, would you, please.” Jillie started crying.

“Psycho-b*tch, you got it.  You weren’t any good any way.  No loss here,” he replied as he stood up buttoning his jeans, his back still turned to her.  He grabbed his torn red t-shirt from the night table with the word ANARCHEY emblazoned across the back pulling it over his head and made his way for the door grabbing his flip-flops on the way out.

“Have a nice life,” he laughed as he slammed the door to her tear-streaked face.

~~~

oooph…this was dark, wasn’t it??!!  Not sure where this surfaced from – and why I’m referring to Jillie in the third person…but it surfaced.  I just see Jillie, as a tortured soul…she and Anya are both tortured, but in different ways…and lots to reconcile.  huh.  must lighten the mood at the doctor’s office!

xox

little did I know…

I wish I had known when I posted my last resistant ‘goodbye’ post, that a real goodbye would manifest shortly after.  (I don’t know why I think this way – I guess I figure things are easier when you know they are coming?)

maybe not.  I don’t know anything anymore.

***caution–should any of my family members come across this post, please stop reading now.  quite frankly, this is how I am coping with the tragic loss we have all experienced:  I write.***

oooffff.  this goodbye really hurts.

and has shaken my concept of  faith and what the point of this life is.  this one rocked me to my core.  I have concluded that no matter how ‘good’ or how ‘bad’ one is – death cannot be avoided.

maybe we are all on a pre-determined pathway, and no matter what we do to postpone death – it finds us.

backing up a couple of days…

I woke up on Monday happy and excited for the day ahead, coupled with nerves and anxiety for the upcoming MBTI assessment session I had scheduled for Tuesday night.  excited for the good things up ahead.  and in the present.  Monday was a great day, full of gratitude for all the blessings in my life.

but then something shifted after that Tuesday night assessment session was over.

I felt something come over me.

something did not feel right in the world.  beyond all the chaos that currently is out there.  closer to home this time.

could it be fear for the upcoming flight to Seoul?  I sat with that concept for a few moments.

and it checked out fine.

it was something else.

something bad was going to happen.  I just knew it.  but it was undetermined.  nor could I pinpoint when it might happen. or for whom.

so I shrugged it off as much as possible Tuesday night.  redirecting my focus to jotting down my notes for the MBTI Interpretation Summary.

Wednesday morning after having early morning dreams of my cousins’ boys, I eye-balled a sliver of my new, unworn, and untagged Target dress while getting ready for work.  super cute.  black with tiny green and blue strokes.  flowy.  conservative enough to wear to work.  so I carefully extracted it from my stuffed closet, and held it in front of me.  huh.  weirdness number two strikes as the thought washed in, I can wear this to the next funeral we have to go to…and then I felt the same strangeness I had felt the night before come over me…I shook it off.  didn’t know what to do with that thought.  so I boxed it up and put it away.

but the strange, wary feeling did not leave completely.

on the way into work that morning, as I pulled into my parking spot at 7:30, a voice said to me, you are not going to Korea this weekend.

that one stuck and rippled goosebumps all up and down my body.

what is it?  is something going to happen with my hub? I mentally pleaded for answers.

silence.

so I berated myself all morning for all my regular fearful thoughts that may now be manifesting.  and tried to ignore them.  but you know how when you try to ignore something, it grows?  it started to grow.  but I managed to keep it in the background.

after an interesting afternoon meeting, I returned to my desk, and noticed that I had a missed called from a blocked number and my voicemail light was illuminated.  hmmm.  I’ll grab it later.  and I checked my iPhone and I had two missed calls from a blocked number. so  I opted to pick up my vm on my office line.

it’s my mother.  I am to call her immediately, were her instructions.  I instantly thought of my Grandma – something had happened to her.  but that just didn’t fit, so I shrugged it off while one of my staff members appeared in my office asking questions.

my phone rings.  and I look over.

‘excuse me, I have to grab this call,’ I say as the employee quietly retreats.

I pick up the phone, and without saying hello, ask my husband, ‘have you talked to her?’

‘yes,’ comes the reply, ‘have you?’

‘no, I just got back to my desk.  what’s happened?’

I hear an exhale of breath on the other end from my hub.

‘I don’t know how to tell you this, but your cousin…’ he pauses.  seeking composure where there is none to be found.

I can tell he is crying at this time.

‘what happened?’ I pleaded again.

‘he was…he was riding his bike this morning.  and was hit by a truck.’

‘is he okay?’ I choke out the question as I see visions of my cousin being hooked up to every machine possible while lying in a hospital bed.

‘no, no, he’s not.  I just don’t know how to say this, Erin….he died this morning.’

all the air is evacuates out of my body, and I can’t breathe.  the world slants all around me.  I gasp hard and cover my mouth with my hand, as I try not to scream.  silence on both ends of the phone line.  I’m choking at this point without any oxygen feeling my stomach lurch, trying hard not to throw up.

I gulp in some air and find my trembly voice, ‘oh my God. oh my God. why??  how could this happen to him??  this should have been me, not him.  he doesn’t deserve this.  what is [his wife] going to do, what is she going to do?’  I manage to get out in a crazy stream.

I feel tears on my chin that I didn’t know where there.  after I hang up the phone.

the waves of tears don’t stop for 24 hours.  on and off, on and off.  slowly, as I lean into my grief the gaps between the waves of tears lengthen.

still in shock today.  four days later.  we bury him on Wednesday.  in the cemetery where my grandfather is laid to rest.

did not see this one coming.  period.

why?

how?

how can any of us make sense of this?

he was a constant.  a staple.  for many.

I don’t know how any of us are going to get through this.

life will never be the same.

thank God, my hub will be by my side.  there is a reason that my hub and I never had kids; there are soo many kids around us that need our love and support.

God bless, you, cuz.  may you find peace wherever you are now.  your presence, mad skills, brilliance, and humor will be missed by many.

remember when you and your brother met me @ Claim Jumper for some beers and grub while I was going through my divorce?  and when you opened your arms wide to my Tim? and before that…when we used to chat while you were @ UCLA and I was at UCI?  and all the crazy family holiday get-togethers when we were kids?  the time we watched Twilight Zone for HOURS on Thanksgiving?  and the time when I was 8 when I made you and your brother dance to my Barbie Party vinyl record with me?  and then when Granddad died.  you started wearing his wedding ring.  and then Xmas last year when you wanted to know everything about my MS, and it felt like I had just seen you the day before??

I remember all of that.  like it was yesterday.

you were the one who always saw me, and never judged or criticized me.  you were so interested in what was going on.  with me.  as I was with you.

I love and miss you.

every day matters.  doesn’t it?

xoxo

too much?

so here it goes.

turns out. my personality type sees what is unseen.

really the only one out of the bunch.

ok. I take that last sentence back; there are a couple others. 🙂

and my type is also on a the eternal quest for self-discovery.

really?

go figure. who knew?

I was at dinner the other night with one of my best friends and my hub (both of the type that is considered my type’s cousin)…and my BF asked how the MBTI training is going…I replied…it turns out my personality type is just not a good match for Corporate America!

in complete shock, still, as I revealed this discovery!

they both responded immediately and simultaneously, d’uh!

huh. right. yes.

revelation #1.

though I think I have amplified my tertiary function – Thinking. probably overkill on that one.

to be honest.

but at least enough to persevere in the corporate world! yeah!

which is cool.

so.

my type is why I started my blog.

to deconstruct my MS thoughts. and life thoughts.

much to my mother’s chagrin. (this is why she no longer follows me.)

{by the way, this is so not my type to be so candid about others!}

but, this is how I communicate. and how everyone with the same set of preferences prefers to communicate what’s going on, on the inside.

so….everything is making sense to me these days.

way cool, while loving and hating it at the same time.

learning why I am the way I am.

after a life time of so many people telling me who and what I am.

why am I not more _____? or more like _____?

not new for any one of us, huh!?

many have classified me as…

a weirdo.

too sensitive. (oh boy, have I gotten my share of that one!)

too selfish.

too quiet.

too serious.

and too aloof. (sidebar>;>;>;I loved it when someone told me they thought I was a total snob until they talked to me! me…in shock! me: you don’t really know me do you?)

too much wanting to have fun. always in the wrong locations. British sense of humour. 😉

and just way too diplomatic.

(oh, if only I had unbridled my candor on that one!)

too caring.

too positive.

wanting to make a difference too much. for things that don’t count to other peeps.

(eeeegads!)

and too interested in helping success meet up with others.

and scan too much on different things. many different things. to see what fits. (really. I have been back in school trying different things since 2002!)

until I find the perfect fit.

after all my recent studies of different personality types…oh my goodness, do I wish I was more of E and more of S and more of T and more of P…(mostly more S and P!)…

but I’m not.

I am who I am.

and that’s okay too.

xo

brilliance…

I took a nap this afternoon.

and it was the most peaceful sleep that I can remember. I placed an eye pillow over my eyes, and drifted easily and freely into my dreams…(this never happens to me!)

I awoke when the flax-seed pillow fell…and opened my eyes to a room filled with white brilliance.

it felt like I was in Heaven. the world was so light and bright.

I looked around, and was filled with love.

~

the excerpt below is from Kayce Stevens Hughlett’s book, As I Lay Pondering, Daily Invitations to Live a Transformed Life…another glimpse into brilliance. and I know her. how cool is that? 😉

enjoy…

May 25.

Stop. Breathe. Listen.

what has happened?

where did my spaciousness go?

waxing. waning.

full moon gone behind a cloud of busyness.

life feels too fast. like a poorly trained runner, I’m out of breath. only moments ago, living felt spacious, inviting, and oh-so-wonderful. now choices compete. early morning yoga or necessary sleep? work on the to-do list or spend time journaling? create artwork or complete a beckoning project? magazine clippings sit at the corner of my desk whispering, “create me into something.”

create me into something. is that my prayer today? I don’t want these days to pass so quickly; only filled with busyness. my longing is to be intentional. to stop and listen to the Universe. to see where my path is leading. to follow the rhythms of my soul. it is a fabulous paradox. when I take time for myself, I seem to have abundant time in other places. when I give to others, I receive blessings in return that I cannot count.

the words are difficult forming, yet time has graciously slowed. the spaciousness is returning as I stop, breathe, and listen.

what are the paradoxes in your life?

where do you need to slow down? breathe? listen?

take a moment now to experience spaciousness now as you follow the rise and fall of breath.

~

if you loved the above, you can find Kayce’s book on Amazon – highly, highly, recommend. the preceding is only a glimpse into her magic…

xo

http://www.amazon.com/As-Lay-Pondering-invitations-transformed/dp/0615590071/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1338079416&sr=1-1

from page to post…re-blog from October 2011: solo second shot…

…husband stuck at work late tonight…so I was on my own.

nothing happened.  other than I gave myself a shot.

the red welt appeared…man, it still stings.  but, I survived.  again.

huh.

that’s the latest.  pretty anti-climactic, wouldn’t you agree?

sometimes anti-climactic can be good.

found out yesterday that if a neurologist identifies twisted blood vessels in your neck and you have MS – an angioplasty might be the solution:  they have been found to alleviate MS symptoms.  and Parkinson’s symptoms.

(article from the BBC on the topic:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8510437.stm)

Canada is working on a study.  go figure, the FDA is not very supportive of liberation therapy.

misc:  I ran into a neighbor tonight while out walking the dog.  she saw us walk by her window the other day at  5AM.  we were being followed by a coyote.  nothing happened.  anti-climactic, again.  yeah!

off to our fave irish pub tonight.

so grateful for your support.

one of my girlfriends asked what she could do for me.  my reply, enjoy every day…and play as much as possible.

xox