Following a Folded Dream

My dad was of the mind that a job’s only purpose is that it pays your bills, whether you like the work or not. Well, he was an architect and one does not pursue that career unless he enjoys the creativity of the work. I believe he followed a dream and the end result was, “BAMMM! Architect!”

I have always enjoyed hard work…physically hard work. It kept me in shape and by it’s nature (no ledgers or contracts or personnel issues) my mind was free to wander and daydream. My favourite job was working on a truck terminal…a 400′ terminal…loading and unloading 41′ semi-truck trailers, mostly by myself. 8-10 hours a day. 6-7 days a week.

I’m here to tell you that I was in marvelous shape, both physically and mentally. I ate like a horse and slept like a baby! Working a truck terminal wasn’t my dream job, but I¬†loved it…for twelve years.

We don’t all have the luxury of finding a job that allows us to follow our dreams – where we can go to work every day and return home with a calm mind. I’d say most of us must unwind from working a job that is so stressful that it affects our health.

Thank God for meditation, yoga and Tai Chi. And fireplaces. And windchimes. And paths that meander through the woods.

Hmmm… ūüėĆ

Mine have always been artistic dreams:

  • Painting, pencil sketching and portraiture
  • Fabric painting and crafts
  • Wood and stone carving
  • Clay and wire sculpture
  • Singing, and…
  • Writing

I have followed each of those dreams, either in the course of (or in spite of) any employment…and accomplished enough to satisfy my ideas of success.

Though I’ve always been a writer, it is only now, in my retirement, that I have begun to follow my dream of becoming an author – writing more than articles and blog posts for a company.¬†I started by writing…and publishing…a book.

Folded Dreams – the Beginning was published last December (2015). The follow up novel, “Folded Dreams – to the End?” (working title) will be published before this Christmas, hopefully.

This¬†two book series is good. I’m not an award winning author – yet – but I am my own worst critic and even I think it’s good for its genre (metaphysical/visionary fiction). In fact, the first book has received 4 star reviews from people who don’t normally even like this genre.

What has this to do with balancing your life? Everything!

At my age, the biggest worries are fixed income and health, with mental accuity rating top of the list.

Working on these books (and the next four or five) has excercised my mental faculties in crucial ways. After several mini-strokes affected my short term memory, I had a difficult time finding my words – they just got lost. I need words in order to write…so I have to work at it – even now. Hard.

Also, 62 years is just not long enough to share the memories of a life that has been so full of adventure, crazy experiences and drama, with all my fifty-plus grandchildren.

The fact that I continued to follow my dreams into old age is my legacy to my family. These books, starting with Folded Dreams – the Beginning, are my legacy to them.

My mind is clear, my health is fair – my spirit and body are balanced. I’m good.


If you would like to read a bit of Folded Dreams – the Beginning, you can find it on Amazon; try the “Look Inside” feature for the Kindle version.

A rough draft (3rd edit) of the first 4 or 5 chapters of the upcoming “Folded Dreams” novel (and the ¬†first chapter of my newest novel, “Waking Up Dead!”), are here on Goodreads. I’m sure you’ll find both of them…interesting!

You can also enter the Goodreads Giveaway (below) to win 1 of 10 copies of Folded Dreams – the Beginning.

(by the way Рyou can follow my author blog, The Old Fossil Writes, catch me on Twitter @PLKirkby and Instagram @pearlkirkby_author.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Folded Dreams by Pearl Kirkby

Folded Dreams

by Pearl Kirkby

Giveaway ends October 20, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/widget/200767

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Glass Half Full?

I’m really tired of moving.

I mean, where’s the “glass half full” part of life when you have a combined 120 years worth of stuff to deal with?

Well, the moving part itself¬†isn’t so horrible as a general rule…except when it comes to packing that¬†120 years of stuff and considering that as¬†a broken-jointed, ruptured disk, cartilage-less knee’d, 60 year old, old fossil I¬†had to climb up and down steep stairs twenty times each day for¬†six days, carrying boxes that weighed 30-40 pounds, on average. Of course, my disabled husband helped, as well as¬†my two youngest sons and youngest daughter,¬†all of whom work nights, who¬†spent¬†two days¬†(when they should have been sleeping)¬†doing the really heavy lifting and carrying.

Either way you look at it, though, by the seventh day I was completely worn down to the bone, physically. But, man, oh man! I’m so happy to finally be able to give up living in a second floor apartment¬†and going¬†into a single story house!

I think the worst part of moving this time is the unpacking. Who would have thought that finding places to put your stuff in a larger house would be more difficult than when going from a larger home into a smaller one?

Which is to say…I’m really tired of moving.

It’s easy enough to get discouraged when you’re exhausted. You want to simply kick your feet off…er, up…and put a cold cloth on your head, lay down in a cool, quiet dungeon somewhere, step off the world for a week or so and ignore that there’s anything you have to do. But you can’t, because some things just have to be done whether you’re¬†tired or not.

Like unearthing your kitchen boxes that wound up in the bathroom, or your bathroom tissue that somehow, at the most inopportune time, wound up in the shed. Almost makes you want to break down into tears.

Really.

But even with all the aggravation, frustration and physical discomfort one suffers during a move, you want the experience to leave you with the positive feeling. This is a new beginning after all and how often does someone advancing in years find themselves in the possession of such a treasure?

So, I see my life as half over but the other half is ahead of me. Therefore, still, is the glass half full.

american-gothic

Flibbertibibbet

THE FLIBBERTIGIBBET’S, “POST PITY PARTY LIST” FOR THE NEW RETIREE

So here I am. It’s Monday, September 23, 2013. Got laid off earlier this month. Loved my job, but really missing the social life I’ve had for two years at a great company with awesome co-workers.

To quote an oldie but goodie song, “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to!”

Poor, pitiful me.

Now although I must admit I’ve enjoyed the “Time to Relax” part¬†(even though I got bored by about day 11), my allotted two weeks¬†for¬†a¬†“Semi-Pity-Party” is¬†finally over and my new life as a retiree has¬†now commenced. Sort of.

Today is relegated to making a list, or schedule if you will, of how to proceed.¬† Oh yes…and cleaning the guinea pig cage and changing the cat litter, but that’s neither here nor there!

Yes, I know¬†it sounds kind of stupid, but only to those who don’t know me for the quintessential list maker that I am (is that a dangling participle??). Some would say, “What list? You know what needs doing, so just do it!”, right?

Wrong.

My brain doesn’t work like that. Unless there is a deadline, my mind will skip merrily around like a curious puppy…sniff a flower here, chase a rabbit there, watch a swarm of bees, spot a favourite chew toy (puppies have teeth, you see )…in other words, I’m the epitome of what Mother Superior refers to Maria in The Sound of Music: “A Flibbertigibbet“.

You see, in my world there is always such a wondrous choice of things to do that, when I start on one task, I’m very easily distracted into pursuing another one.

With me, it’s all, “Ok, I need to do this…no wait! Let me do that first…but no! I have to¬†take care of this other first, THEN finish that and¬†THEN I’ll do this….aww, shoot fire and save matches…wait, dang it! I need to finish this thing before I get to that thing and THEN I can do those other¬†things!”

BUT FIRST I need a cup of coffee…

Yeah.

Today is list making day…

You all have a great day doing whatever YOU do!

“Sticks and stones…”

Whoever coined the phrase “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me,” must never have loved anyone…or had anyone love them.

When it comes to criticism by our peers, just acquaintances or people we interact with as ‘ships that pass in the night’ carry only fleeting influence on us. Oh, we may question ourselves, our actions or our motives if we hear some stranger “hating on us”, but unless it’s a glaring observation of a shortcoming, their words really don’t hit us where it hurts.

If, on the other hand, someone whom we love dearly even hesitantly brings up an issue, past or present, that they have with us…well, now…that’s an entirely different story.

Parents get this a lot, once their children are grown. I will hold myself up as a prime example.

I have always tried to watch my words and would never hurt someone’s feelings on purpose (it has happened, but only a few times in 60 years…I’m not saying that makes it acceptable), but apparently I have failed more times than I thought, and not with just one or two of my kids, but with all of them. And not just intermittently, but often enough to warrant them bringing it to my attention.

It hurt for them to bring this to bear, but my¬†pain was nothing but¬†just a faucet drip compared to the downpour of horror…the awful feeling I had¬†that I’d¬†hurt my own childrens’ feelings, whether it was when they were young or now that they are grown.¬†I mean, I’ve never tried to convince my kids I was perfect…that would have been foolish…and I’m well aware that I’ve made some pretty bad mistakes. I had just hoped the ones I made were not bad enough to turn them into awful people.

I always felt so blessed with the children I had that the few times they gave me grief¬†are hidden behind the cobwebs of time. As a matter of fact, between the ages of 5 and about 13-14 years old (each)¬†I really don’t recall any issues. And each child only¬†gave a year,¬†if that,¬†of rebellion!

It often bewilders me how my many children grew up to be such great men and women. I always credit God for giving them better sense than me…or even their daddy. I just¬†hope that the few really good things I did will one day be remembered more so than the bad.

My children know that I love them and I know that they love me and that’s important. But more important is for the younger generation to always be aware that once a word is spoken, especially to those who love you, it can never be retrieved. Trust me, sticks and stones may break your bones but words can certainly harm you.

My family and I can vouch for that.

www.richardcrossenphotography.co.uk/

Life and Health Can Be Easy Like Sunday Mornin’!

Many thanks to Richard Crossen,¬†Pembrokeshire, West Wales, UK…photographer extraordinaire, for his kind permission to use his photos on this site. To see his wonderful collection of nature photographs, you can visit his gallery or his blog site

I’m a ‘glass half full’ kind of person. I¬†rarely worry about what I don’t have¬†because I’m¬†too busy being¬†thankful for the things I do have. Well, except when¬†my gas tank¬†has only one gallon in it¬†the day before payday.¬† If I had to define my thoughts on the subject, I’d say my outlook on life is “…easy like Sunday mornin’ ” (that’s a song from the ’60s for those who wouldn’t remember that era!).

A lot of times, when some great, blue funk or another tries to overtake¬†me,¬†my Granny¬†comes to mind. I remember¬†her always trying to¬†teach us that God takes care of His own, regardless of how hard we try to screw things up. She was good at backing up her beliefs with scripture, like “…behold the fowl of the air” or “…consider the lilies of the field” as a way of showing the difference between what we need and what we want.¬† Yes, I learned from an early age¬†to¬†see the best in every situation and to¬†find the¬†most positive¬†things¬†inside of¬†the worst possible scenarios.

This is what¬†true balance is all about. It’s taking life as it comes and striving to make each moment count for something positive. You know the old saying, “When life hands you lemons, learn to make lemonade!”

It’s easy enough¬†to fool yourself into feeling miserable simply by¬†wallowing in misery,¬†but by the same token it’s equally simple to fool yourself into being content, regardless of¬†how your life has transitioned. Finding something good either in¬†a situation, about¬†a situation or what good thing can¬†eventually happen because of¬†a situation¬†is the key to distracting you from¬†whatever¬†hardship you might be facing.

Your health is as much emotionally as physically based. You must learn to¬† b r e a t h e¬† when you feel stress creeping up on you. Find something relaxing to do whether it’s meditating, reading a good book, writing a letter to someone you love…or even just stopping your day and thinking deep thoughts!

Biofeedback, which became a ‘craze’ back in the ’60s,¬†has been¬†used to teach people to regulate their body rhythm and has¬†proven that they¬†can learn to¬†control many “automatic” physiological functions, including slowing the heart rate and lowering¬†blood pressure and¬†respiration (then again, so does yoga!). Considering that even these three functions alone can cause health problems, being able to control them can help you to avoid stress related¬†health conditions.

There are also simpler routes to controlling the “mind over matter” part of your health. You can schedule an at-home regime of relaxation, including meditation, aromatherapy and exercise using techniques designed to produce and¬†release natural endorphins, an opium-like hormone.

Also, if you don’t already belong to one, a¬†lot of spas and health clubs¬†offer¬†incentives for new members and specials for current ones, that may include anything from¬†deep tissue massage to¬†yoga classes¬†or¬†whirlpool spas to herbal wraps.¬†These great benefits¬†¬†can come by means of contests, filling out surveys, trial memberships or redeemable coupons.

Coupons for such things can be found in the newspaper or even online. The internet is a wonderful resource for finding the best deals in your area. You may even find purchasing clubs, such as Good Deals 24/7or Groupon that can help you save money on anything you need for health and beauty aids or even travel deals for a relaxing vacation.

Don’t wait until stress overtakes your life and creates illness and dis-ease (as in ‘un-easy health’) in your body. Even if life can be difficult it needn’t be hard to adapt to or accommodate its uncertainties. Learn to roll along this bumpy road with grace and acceptance. After a bit of practice, it almost becomes easy. Easy like Sunday morning.

Sowing and Reaping Good Health

“You reap what you sow…”

It’s an old saying, one that is usually meant in a strictly philosophical way. You know, the Golden Rule and all of that. We have probably all heard it at some time or another,¬†most likely¬†from our grandparents. This quote has grown from being a simple,¬†spiritual¬†lesson¬†on how to¬†treat people,¬†to one that encompasses everything about life…including your physical health.

“Your Are What You Eat”

We’re constantly¬†cautioned against eating¬†high¬†sugar¬†snacks, whether it’s the middle of the day or just before bedtime. Without going¬†all science-y¬†(which you can get by talking to a doctor or¬†by¬†looking it up on¬†the internet), let me just¬†repeat how it was explained to me decades ago when I was¬†a sugar loving fool!

Consuming simple carbohydrates, such as¬†sugar or fructose,¬†raises¬†serotonin¬†and blood sugar levels. This¬†falsely signals your¬†pancreas that there are extra¬†reserves of insulin available¬†for converting sugar into energy. Thus¬†triggered (usually by biting into that candy bar),¬†the pancreas then¬†releases large amounts of insulin into your blood stream,¬†does the conversion thingy and¬†voila’!¬†you get instant (very short term) energy¬†which is¬†called a ‘sugar rush’. The rush generally lasts for only¬†about an hour before your energy abruptly vanishes, just like turning off a faucet…aka “The Crash”.

This is not a good way to prepare for sleep, by the way.

19531Our blood sugar must be maintained at a particular level in order for the pancreas to do its job. The best way to insure this is to make sure you consume an appropriate amount of complex carbohydrates (found in whole grains, nuts and legumes) which actually do build the reserves you need for sustained energy.

By the way, craving sugar can be an indication that you aren’t giving your body other things it needs to stay healthy or that you have underlying health issues. If you find that you crave sugar more than just every now and then you should probably¬†talk to a physician about it, just to be on the safe side.

What you take into your body will ultimately show in your health, energy levels and frame of mind.

“Burnout”

Keeping up with daily work, updating ‘works in progress’, research for future projects already lined up, being available as a consultant, keeping track of¬†correspondence which will “pile up” if it’s¬†not checked often and trying to keep a record of the work done¬†from home; it¬†requires¬†a lot of organizational skills in order to get it all done.¬†All that plus volunteer work and a home life. Pretty demanding stuff and¬†a lot more¬†time consuming than¬†it sounds.

Multi-tasking is all fine and dandy, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

10142500-overworked-and-frustrated-woman-with-files-on-the-deskMental exhaustion carries with it pretty much the same result as physical exhaustion. You become stressed and therefore suffer functionally.¬†Unlike your body does when it’s dead tired, though, you¬†can’t really just “push through” and expect your thought processes to magically adapt.

When you overtax your body¬†¬†it takes a bit¬†more time to recuperate than it¬†takes to¬†recover¬†from simple mental exhaustion; taking around¬†5-10 minutes¬†to clear your mind¬†or a 15-20 minute “power nap” usually suffices to boost your mental energy for another hour or two.

A very important note here: If you notice that either you or a co-worker seems to also be suffering from confusion or is having difficulties talking, it may be time to call 911 or at least talk to a doctor, as signs of mental exhaustion and confusion can also be signs of a stroke.

A study by Louisiana State University led to the conclusion that employees whose jobs primarily involved computer work had a higher performance level and greater productivity when their schedule included even just a 30 second break every 15 minutes or so, followed by a 10-14 minute break every two hours.

Writers know about that.

“Birds of a feather”

Surrounding yourself with like minded individuals who are supportive and encouraging is more important than you might think. Obviously you can’t completely avoid negative people if you live in this world, but you can pick and choose¬†who you deliberately spend time with.

untitledNegative people can not only ruin your mood and make you feel depressed, they can also trigger a stress response that will affect your entire body, like high blood pressure which can basically burn out your adrenals and leave you with no energy. Not only do you expose yourself to health threatening issues but, aside from that, spending time around negative people might affect your own personality as well.

If you aren’t sure that¬†someone else’s negativity is causing your energy drain, you have a couple of options:

  1. if you feel drained all the time, get in touch with a doctor and find out if a health condition or illness is taking its toll on you, or
  2. take a minute to analyze how you feel when you’re in the same vicinity as that person.

If you can feel a definite difference between being around that person vs being in the company of a someone you know to be a good friend…in other words if just standing close to them makes you jittery,¬†feel like¬†pulling away or makes you feel like you want to¬†go to sleep…then avoid that person as much as possible.

Good health is so much more than exercise and diet. Your stress levels and emotions will always indicate whether or not you have sown the best seeds for reaping the best health.

Ain’t No Cure for the Summertime Blues?

SAD: Seasonal Affective Disorder Isn’t Only¬†for Winter

For the past two years I’ve been able to control that “cabin fever” that usually comes with mid-winter, even in Florida. I know all about SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and so tried to spend as much time outdoors in the sun as possible. But for some reason, even though I escaped SAD in the winter, I have been miserable come spring and on into summer.

Every year on the first morning that you can actually taste springtime, I will wake up, get dressed in gardening clothes and take a cup of coffee outside to sit and anticipate the relaxing activities of re-potting and planting for my¬†annual “herb garden”. This ritual is one that I use to transition from the low activity levels of winter to increasingly higher levels, beginning in spring and reaching the¬†“busy bee” peak¬†for summer.

But this year…this year…

One morning on my way to work,¬†there was just¬†the least, residual¬†hint of chill in the early air, the sun was beautifully hot and a chance breeze blew across my face and whispered, “Spring…” softly in my ear.¬†¬†I smiled, planning in my mind how I would be spending the first day of the coming weekend.

Saturday rolled around. I had been having a hard time getting to sleep and an equally as difficult time trying to wake up.¬† Trying to get organized was next to impossible and I’d wind up with this excess of energy, running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. It looked like today would be no different.

Regardless of waking up on the wrong side of the bed so to speak, I was determined to keep my date with the first “real” spring morning and took my coffee out to the patio table. My husband joined me a few minutes later with a cheery, “Good morning, sweetheart!”, for which he received a disgruntled frown and growl.

“Why are you so depressed?¬†SPRING HAS SPRUNG!”

angry_old_woman

“Don’t make me come out there!”

I probably shouldn’t post my response on a “No Adult Content” blog.

You get the picture.

It was time to study the phenomenon called “Seasonal Affective Disorder”…in depth.

Nearly everyone knows what Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is. Common SAD occurs during late-autumn and winter and generally lets up come spring. Studies indicate that the primary culprit is lower levels of natural light that cause sufferers to become depressed, lethargic and generally out of sorts. The usual treatment includes light therapy and the use of Vitamin D supplements (because Vitamin D is absorbed through sunlight). The most common symptoms of SAD include:

  • depression
  • hopelessness
  • anxiety
  • weight gain
  • oversleeping
  • trouble concentrating

But not that everyone knows that there is an opposite to SAD.

Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder occurs when the sun is brighter, most times beginning in early spring and lasting all the way through summer. the symptoms of Reverse SAD are similar to common SAD but there are definite exceptions. Depression and anxiety are common to both; the exceptions include:

  • insomnia
  • agitation (jitters)
  • weight loss
  • irritability
  • loss of appetite
  • increased libido (sex drive)

3204_398_583-scn-pineal-melatoninAs a little FYI for Dummies, light, or sunlight, follows a path from your retina to a group of cells in the hypothalamus. These cells send signals to the pineal gland, telling it how much or little melatonin it should produce (if you click on the image at right you can view a full sized illustration of how this process works). The maximum amount produced aids sleep while the least amount results in a depressed desire to sleep.

Along with other chemical signals, the¬†schedule of production of melatonin falls into a type of¬†pattern that can be¬†altered or interrupted by outside stimuli, such as the change in¬†the direction from which the sun shines, or its intensity, depending on the season.¬†This pattern is what is referred to as¬†Circadian Rhythm, or one’s Circadian Clock. When the stimuli are imposing enough to knock your Circadian rhythm off, your brain’s chemical balance is thrown off; too much melatonin at the wrong rate of production: Winter Seasonal Affective Disorder. Too little at the wrong rate/wrong time: Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder.¬†¬† Not strictly scientific, but close enough to get the idea, right?

Well, that’s about enough of the scientific explanation anyway. Suffice it to say that there is¬†an explanation at all, and if I can understand the logic of it, then it must¬†make¬†sense!

Before you decide whether or not you are suffering from either Seasonal Affective Disorder or Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder, keep track of the symptoms you are exhibiting.¬† Sometimes these symptoms can indicate¬†something more serious, such a Bipolar Disorder. If you notice that you (or someone you know) have symptoms like extended periods of mood¬†“highs” and “lows”, extreme enthusiasm which is out of context with a given situation or show signs of rapid thoughts or speech, you should consult a doctor immediately to consider making an appointment for testing.

“She Didn’t Get It From MY Side of the Family!”

When I was just a little girl I used to ask my mother about our family history; actually I¬†was¬†curious¬†to know only about her father and his people, who were Native American, and Granny’s people who were originally from the Emerald Isle of Ireland. Although my paternal history was never taboo, Mama never seemed to¬†want to talk about the¬†native side of our family. “We are Caucasian! We are not indian!” she would say.¬†In short, until she became much, much older, it appeared that she¬†was ashamed of her father.

But I don’t think she was. She loved her daddy. I just think that she ran into that sort of bias when she was young and merely didn’t want to ever deal with it again. I¬†eventually learned that,¬†back in the day, prejudice ran as rampantly toward the red man as the black.

I was able to finagle stories from Granny about my grandfather but, funnily enough, not too many about her family history. Oh, I got stories from most of my aunts and uncles (there were six) but nothing that could create a timeline, you know?

Family means a lot to me. If you ponder all the people in your family, you can recognize certain familial traits that are passed from one to another, but if you are like most people you will always notice one or two cousins, aunts or uncles…or even yourself…who just don’t seem to “fit the mold”.

So just where did, say, great aunt Aunt Susie get her daydreaming qualities from a family who were so serious that none of them would know a fantasy if it sucked them into a painting. And how did Uncle Stuart wind up as a person who was as mean as a striped snake when nearly all of his family were the greatest of philanthropists?

For that matter, in my case,¬†how did I wind up wanting nothing more than to paint, draw, sing and write my entire life when everyone else in my family went on to go to college (straight out of school) and make careers in business? I mean, I did go to college, even got a degree in accounting, of all things…but only so I would be able to understand my own finances when I make truckloads money writing my first book!

The more you can trace your family, not only the names and where they lived, but information on their characters, careers and day to day activities, then the better able you are to understand the “Who” of you.

Past, present and future? That’s history.

Body, mind, spirit? That’s pretty much all¬†genetic.

Health & Well Be-ing

My first semi-professional, freelance project was writing articles for the company for which I work, MD247. The company is all about telemedicine, which is proving itself to be very relevent to our future health care. There are so many aspects to the technology of Telemedicine, from simple consultations with a doctor on the phone or online, to using roving robotic assistants (I’m sure most of you have seen the commercial where a robot enables a sick, homebound child to participate in the classroom) and “smart phone” technology, new applications for which are being developed every day.

There are so many medical conditions out there¬†that can be mistaken for simpler (or more serious) illnesses. It really ¬†behooves us all to be willing to educate ourselves about our bodies, genetic propensities, the varying ways that certain medications may affect us and, most especially which of Nature’s “medicines” are valid and which are just being touted as a cure-all. When we really ponder the route that health care is going, it’s critical to be able to take care of ourselves to be as healthy as humanly possible. By the same token, we need to recognize when going to or consulting with an MD is preferable.

I find I enjoy doing the research it takes to write an interesting, informative article, though I must warn you, the only dry part of these works are the necessary technical or statistical facts that are important to the subject at hand. Of course, when I say “research”, I’m not referring to the in-depth,¬†technical¬†facts that a medical student must have in order to complete a thesis; rather, I’m just an average human being who happens to have a real curiosity about the causes and effects of illness on the body, and who has enough of a way with words to maybe shed a little understanding on the subject to others.

There is also the issue of the different¬†disciplines or styles of medicine: Western, Eastern, Wholistic, Natureopathic and Natural. I’ve spent a great number of years studying the active principles contained in certain plant life. I would say that, sadly, much of what I learned was lost in the space of time that it takes to suffer a mini-stroke, but I much too much of an optimist for that pity party!¬† No, I will simply declare that, of all the years I would want to live over, the only ones I could honestly enjoy would be the ones I spent in the woods, the fields and the library…and learn it all again!