Sunday, October 21, 2012

Catching up...

Well, obviously I have yet to develop a consistent blog routine.  I think it is a two-fold problem.  First, I have several writing outlets that I do continue on a daily basis (morning pages and devotional journal), so I do not feel a compulsion to write on the blog (although I must confess that I do miss writing for an audience, however small that audience might be)... and second, I fear that once I start writing my own blog - and visiting other blogs, I will lose track of time and not keep focused on other interests (writing, reading, scrapbooking, photography, etc).  I am certain that there is a balance to be found, and I will continue to search for one that works for me.

In the meantime, let me catch you up on my life to date.

I find it interesting that my last entry was entitled, Wake Up Call --- because on September 30th I had yet another wake up call, this time on a more urgent note.  I woke up Sunday morning around 2:15AM with a discomfort between my shoulder blades.  No matter how I repositioned myself in bed, the pain persisted.  I got up and took two Aleve (the commercial insists it is better than any other pain reliever on the market).  Well, an hour later the pain was still there but had migrated to my midsection.  The long and the short of it was.....after 17 hours of pain I finally relented and went to the ER where I was told I had an inflamed gall bladder that needed to be removed the next day.  Surgery was scheduled for noon on Monday, October 1 --- I was released at 3:00PM on October 2 --- I taught my first teleconference class on Thursday, Oct 4 -- and I returned to work full time on Monday, Oct 8.

Talk about a wake up call.  I have never experienced any problems relating to my gall bladder in the past - and while this scenario is most unusual (so claims the surgeon), it does happen.  I am SO grateful that we have health insurance!!  If this had happened this time last year, when we were not covered, the $16,800 hospital bill would have totally devastated us.   There is definitely a need for a revamped health care system!

I also realized that it is time to stop "putting off until tomorrow"  Because my pain was in the center of my abdomen - and not to the right as is apparently normal for such conditions, they were required to run an EKG.  Praise God the results were normal -- but what if?  What if the pain was not just an indispensable gall bladder but rather a major organ?  What if this condition were not easily solved by a simple surgery but rather required a major life change?  Yes, this was most definitely a major wake up call.

And so I find myself half way through the first semester of this year wondering what my next step should be?  Should I cut back my schedule?  Should I retire all together?  Should I (fill in the blank)?  No definitive answers have surfaced, but I am determined to make the most of each passing day.

To that end I have decided to invest more time and passion in my photography.  I participated in Scott Kelby's International Photo Walk last weekend - and while the weather did not cooperate and I did not meet too many local photography enthusiasts, I did have fun being a part of a large-scale event.  I even posted a few shots on a Flickr website, something that I would have never been brave enough to do prior to October 1st (pictures on this blog post are from that photo shoot).

I have also decided to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year.  I will finally try to write the novel that has been rolling around in my brain for the past three years.  I still do not have a major conflict, but I do have a protagonist, antagonist, love interest, and setting.  I still have ten days to work on the conflict.

I have also taken my "greeting card" ministry more seriously.  I am finally starting to feel the cobwebs dissipate from the right side of my brain and the creative ideas seem to come a bit more easily now.  I am thrilled to finally use some of the craft supplies I have stored for years and to add names to my ever growing list of card recipients.  It is a wonderful outlet for me, and I am grateful that the Lord showed me how to use a hobby as a ministry.

And finally....I am starting to read again.  It has been nearly two years since I have had an interest in fiction.  I have read numerous books on photography and several self-help books over the past year and a half, but fiction has not appealed to me at all.  Over the weekend, however, I have decided that I want to write a cozy mystery for NaNoWriMo 2013 and I am SO excited!  I have gathered all the cozies that have been sitting on my shelf and have put them in a research basket.  I plan to start reading them soon - and hope to read several more over the course of the next twelve months.  I may even write a book review .....

So the wake up call has been heard --- and my desire to live a full and productive life has been taken to a new level.  I am not sure what the next few months will hold, but I do promise that I will remain true to myself - to follow the Lord's leading in my life - and to continue to have fun.  For life is to short not to do so.
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