Out of Focus

November 10, 2007

The book, Simple Abundance, has certainly been thought-provoking. Some days, it’s downright eerie how personally I relate to the essays. On Monday, for example, the author wrote about Vesta, the most beloved goddess of Roman women. “She, like her Greek counterpart, Hesta, was the goddess of the hearth. Vesta is the one who urges women to be quiet, to sit, to gaze, to listen… to bring beauty into our daily round, to live through our senses, to create a sacred haven of security and serenity set apart from the world in order to protect all we cherish.”

Breathnach writes, “Focusing is the sacred art of Vesta. Focusing is also a crucial need for women who spend much of their time rushing to fulfill the inexhaustible demands of family and work. The faster we run, the more conflicted we become. As we get nowhere fast, we lose focus and clarity, existing in a perpetual state of confusion.”

Existing in a perpetual state of confusion… Yeah, that sounds about right. And forget about focusing. The whirlwind that is my life has me leaping from one thing to another, with little time or energy to fully devote to any of them.

This entry is a good example. I started it on Tuesday, and have made many attempts since then to whip it into shape, but I have been unable to focus on it enough to get it ready for posting. So, I’m just going to put it up as is, and beg for your understanding.

As my longtime readers well know, I have been faced with one bad (and sometimes catastrophic) situation after another for quite a few years. Somehow, time after time, I have found the strength to cope. However, I’m having trouble finding anything to celebrate in that. I’d much rather live a less challenging life.

I’m still grieving for my brother. It’s hitting me hard all over again, as I relive the days before his body was found. I’ve been torturing myself by re-reading the entries I posted over at D-Land during that time. On the other hand, I’ve also been re-reading the wonderfully supportive and compassionate comments my readers left. Those comments really made a difference, and I am still deeply appreciative.

Besides the emotional upheaval, I’m also in a lot of physical pain. The Fibromyalgia is in full flare. My neck is stiff, and my shoulders are extremely tender. The soreness in my right shoulder blade area is driving me to distraction. To add insult to injury, my back is killing me. Actually, the pain is mostly in my buttocks and legs, but that is related to the problems with my lumbar spine. By late afternoon, I have difficulty walking.

The pain makes it hard for me to fall asleep at night, and it wakes me up early in the morning. Sleep deprivation leads to fibro flare-ups. It’s a vicious cycle.

Another thing that leads to an increase in pain is overexertion. Lately, I haven’t been able to avoid overdoing it. The flurry of activity began last week when I had to go for a heart ultrasound. The results are not yet in, or, if they are, I haven’t heard about them. I’m not worried, though. I figure they’ll call me if anything is wrong.

On Monday, we had a faculty meeting after work, so I didn’t get home until 4:30 (instead of the usual 2:15). Leigh showed up at 5:30, begging me to go grocery shopping with her. By the time we left, went shopping, and got back, it was 7:30. That was twelve hours on the go.

On Tuesday, we had a Superintendent’s Conference day. It was even more brutal than usual. The afternoon workshop was unbelievably boring. All the facilitator did was read the Powerpoint presentation. The same material was given to us in a packet. We could have read it ourselves.

In my eighteen years with the district, that was the most excruciating workshop I’ve ever had to endure. It was so bad that people were text messaging each other with remarks like, “This is torture!”

I actually fell asleep a few times. At one point, I had my elbows on the desk with my head propped up in my hands. Suddenly, I was awakened when my elbow slid off the side of the desk. A friend of mine later announced to everybody, “She was OUT COLD!”

When I was walking home after the conference, another friend was behind me. He yelled, “Wait! They want us to go back for more!” Of course, he was kidding, but his words caused me to quicken my step as I headed for the sanctuary of my home.

I did allow him to catch up to me, and we walked the rest of the way to my house together. Bill and I go way back. He was friends with my brother, Frank, when they were little boys. I took the two of them to New York City to see Beatlemania.

After I got home, Rebecca and I went out. Again, I didn’t get home until 7:30.

Wednesday afternoon, I had an appointment with the Physician’s Assistant at the spine specialist’s office. This appointment was scheduled months ago, and the timing turned out to be perfect because of the increased pain I am experiencing. The PA was at a loss as to how to advise me, so she called the doctor in for a consultation. He, too, was at a loss. The only thing he could come up with is to send me for another MRI. Now I have to wait for authorization from Worker’s Comp.

Dr. Spine Specialist also referred me to a physiatrist. It just happens to be the guy I went to for dry-needling. I like and trust this doctor, so I’m pretty happy about the referral. Unfortunately, this, too, requires authorization. I hate waiting, especially when I’m in pain, which is all the damn time.

Thursday, I had a hair appointment after work. It was for color and cut, so I was there for quite a while. As a result of all this hustle and bustle, I didn’t have much time to myself this past week. Being overextended leaves me feeling befuddled. I lack focus and clarity.

To make things worse, it appears that I have caught the cold that has been making its rounds. Just in time for the holiday weekend. I’ve been so looking forward to this three day weekend. Spending it sick in bed is most definitely NOT what I had in mind.

Calling Vesta. Come in, Vesta.

Come, Vesta, to live in this Beautiful Home.
Come with warm feelings of friendship.
Bring your intelligence,
Your Energy and your Passsion
To join with your Good Work.
Burn always in my Soul.
You are welcome here.
I remember you.

-Homeric hymn

Song of the Day: Out of Focus by Mick Jagger

14 Responses to “Out of Focus”

  1. mercystreet said

    Gosh what a hectic week. I hope you have a restful and peaceful weekend. May Vesta bless you.

  2. Maybe if we combine our voices Vesta will hear us! Hugs to you.

  3. hil said

    LOVE that homeric hymn to Vesta. I might just needlepoint me a pillow!

  4. LA said

    Maybe being knocked on your butt is exactly what you need. Guilt-free rest! “Sorry, Mom/Child/Friend/Sister, I cannot go, I’m in bed with a yucky cold. Please do not disturb the booger queen and I will talk to you later this week.”

    Your bod is sending a message, honey. Pleeeeeeze heed it! ~LA

  5. goatbarnwitch said

    Take the break and relax this weekend. There must be quite things you have not had time to do and you could spend the weekend quietly reading, knitting, watching movies. Not so bad,eh?

  6. Jim said

    Three day weekend — relax, recover, rest — hang a “Do not disturb until Tuesday” sign in front of your house. I hope the Worker’s Comp bureaucrats get off their butts and authorize treatment quickly.

  7. Joan said

    I agree with everyone. Rest is so important – you obviously need it. I have learned to say no to people – it is a lifesaver!

  8. You remind me of my youngest sister, a divorced mom of 2, school teacher and exhausted. She had blood clots in her lungs last Dec, hospitalized for the dianosis, then fell, badly spraining her right forearm and then fell again, breaking her right ankle requiring surgery. I keep telling her to listen to her body and rest…learn to say NO!
    Maybe you will be able to rest…and stay home..and rest…and just do quiet things…and rest.

  9. Sasha said

    Mygod, Stephanie. I am so sorry. You’re so busy you don’t even have time to do things that should be enjoyable like getting your hair done! I hope your cold won’t be too awful but your body needs is breaking down and forcing you to rest, I guess. 😦

  10. I sure hope you get to rest this weekend. That ‘listen to your body’ stuff is what my Physical Therapist is trying to drill into my head these days. It’s just not easy sometimes, is it? I do know, as well, how the emotional trauma you are feeling with the anniversary of your brothers loss can be the most draining of all. {{hugs}}

  11. Michael said

    A schedule like yours would knock a perfectly healthy person for a loop. Some of the people who require your constant attention should find a way to get along without you some of the time. (Not your readers, though. We really, really need you to keep writing here…)


  12. Your life sounds very hectic to say the least. Hope you have time to take a breather just for yourself. Stay healthy and upbeat . Best of luck!

  13. Pam L said

    LOVE the thrift store finds! Such a deal and you can find some really well made stuff, as did you, there. My 14 year old just found a “concert worthy” black leather jacket for $6 at one. He is now a believer.

  14. Kim said

    I see I’m not the only one carrying Vesta in my heart these days. Your schedule is madness! But the thrifting is good stuff.

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