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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“Smart” Medicine for Every Day

So…you have always¬†made provisions in your daily schedule to accomodate your exercise routines. They’ve pretty much stayed the same for the past¬†10 years but, lately, you’ve noticed you’re not getting that much out of the morning run, afternoon swim and evening bike ride as you used. You wind up feeling a little bored and tired rather than getting that¬†“rush”¬†which physical exercise always provided. You want to change the routine but you also¬†want to be smart about it; you’re getting older and you’d feel better if you talked to a doctor first.

You’ve called your¬†physician to tell him your¬†intentions to revise your exercise plan and you have arrived at his office,¬†with notebook and pen in hand to take notes. What greets you when you walk into his office pretty much floors you for¬†it looks¬†as if¬†a little alien spaceship has¬†‘urped’ all over the top of his very large conference table.¬† As you look at him quizically he says, “Smart Medicine is for every day.”

Yours is one of the doctors who has decided to embrace modern Smart Medicine technology rather than running away, screaming, into the night in fear.

¬†He asks you for your SmartPhone and proceeds to give you a demonstration about how by¬†using this kind of Smart¬†medicine technology¬†you will be able to keep detailed records of how your body is reacting to your physical exertions, without having to carry an old doctor’s satchel full of stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs and thermometers whilest jogging through your neighbourhood. By using any of these devices to monitor yourself, by the end of the week you will be able to re-invent your work-out to better suit your changing body.

Many of these¬†devices –¬†such as¬†a miniaturized heart/bp monitor and other devices that can be worn on or close to your body – can connect to your SmartPhone or iPad using a USB port or other connection .¬† He even showed her an amazing shirt that had sensors built right in that would negate the need of add-ons.¬† “Wearable” monitoring devices can measure movement, body values, blood glucose and oxygen, ECG, pulse – just basically provide continuous physiological data that can be sent directly to a doctor.

There are also apps that can be downloaded to a SmartPhone or iPad that have really increased the reliability of using remote health care and consultation services such as DrSmartPhoneMD via phone or internet.

Most awesome by far, though, was the alien looking headpiece that took front and center of the display which, besides the shirt, was the very definition of this modern medical and health care technology called “Smart Medicine”.¬† Any of those Smart Medicine devices could be used to make sure her new exercise regime¬†could be designed specifically for her¬†updated needs, safely and thoroughly.

Having a regular time set aside for exercise is important, whether it’s going to the gym, spending time in front of a workout DVD, taking advantage of your community’s recreation center exercise classes or even setting aside your 10 minute breaks throughout your work day.

Just remember:  before you make any drastic changes in your exercise regime, talk to a doctor and get some sound medical advice.

After all, any medicine is Smart Medicine!

Invisible Illnesses…Who Will See?

Invisible Illness 1: Fibromyalgia

When she was in her 30’s it was laziness. When she entered her 40’s¬†she was told she¬†was suffering from “depression”,¬†with a bit of bi-polar thrown in, because she was going¬†through a mid-life crisis. In her mid-fifties it was “hypochondria” and now, in her sixties, it’s a combination of “brain fart” and “old age complaints”. No one ever believed that she didn’t want to sit around all day, that she really did¬†hurt all over, all the time…real, bone deep pain.¬†As time wore on, no one was really interested anymore anyway, because she was “just getting up in years” and the best they had to offer her was “why don’t you just put your feet up and take a nap?”

Some illnesses and diseases are nearly impossible to recognize

Research into conditions that used to be considered merely female trouble, mental dysfunction and dis-ease amongst the elderly¬†have unearthed a great deal of knowledge about the why’s and the wherefore’s¬† of them. But for all the medical discoveries that have occurred even¬†in the past half century, there are still¬†questions about¬†some “enemies”¬†of¬†human physiology that remain¬†unanswered.

“Invisisible illnesses” fall into this category¬† because,¬†though they are physiologically real,¬† their symptoms are not immediately discernable.

Fibromyalgia is one of them.

The simplest definition of fibromyalgia (FM) is that it is a common, chronic, generalized pain syndrome of unknow cause. Pain, tenderness at particular points of the body, fatigue, uneven sleep or disturbance of the sleep cycle, inability to concentrate and even chest pains are common symptoms of fibromyalgia. And although there is no evidence to suggest that having fibromyalgia will definitely result in psychiatric problems, a good estimate of those with the illness suffering from depression and/or anxiety runs around 35%, more or less. These symptoms are sometimes so severe as to be disabling.

Why can’t anyone else see the signs?

Along with symptoms which are impossible to measure, comes cessation of physical activity, withdrawing from social functions and even deep emotional distress when those closest to them cannot understand what is wrong.

Fibo2

There is an intense feeling of victimization and loss of control when a fibromyalgia patient comes to only expect what, to them, is ineffective treatment. They know first hand that their condition may be misdiagnosed many times before the condition is properly identified. Even then treatment cannot be directed to the root, as there are no absolute answers as to its origin. And so, one possible solution after another is attempted. In the meantime, everyday tasks take longer to accomplish and quality of life lessens more and more.

DON’T GIVE UP!

Studies show that, just as for arthritis,¬†gentle exercise¬†can help with pain management. Yoga, stretching, swimming…all have been shown to help with the discomfiture of fibromyalgia. Meditation and relaxation techniques, a sort of biorythmia practice, can also help to¬†understand¬†your pain threshold.

Studying your dietary habits will also help. Learn about what’s in the¬†stuff¬†that you put into your body, as some foods contain substances that may¬†exacerbate your condition. Simply by following a more natural diet, though, has been known to help regulate your body’s chemical balance.

Pain is an indicator that something is wrong in your body and¬†it is important to seek medical advice when you become aware¬†that it’s become chronic. Because there are so many illnesses and diseases which share symptoms, testing for all the “usual suspects” will help to narrow down the illness with which you are suffering.

Educate yourself about your health. Seek medical advice if you think you may be suffering from fibromyalgia. Talk to a doctor about your concerns and don’t be afraid to go to your physician for testing.

Invisible Ilnesses can only be seen if you open your eyes and look.

Adapted from “Invisible Illnesses…Who Will See?” by PL Kirkby

Information is not advice!! If you suffer any of the symptoms mentioned above, don’t self-diagnose and always, ALWAYS, talk to a doctor before self medicating.