Ch ch change

Change is made when small actions are repeated until it becomes a habit.

Change doesn’t happen over night. Change doesn’t happen when you do a new thing once. Actions must be repeated again and again consistently in order for change to occur.

I am writing this for myself as a reminder that change just doesn’t happen by itself. As obvious as it sounds I keep forgetting this and stumble when change doesn’t materialise immediately.

Change requires patience, consistency and repeated behaviour.

I decided while having a cast on my broken ankle that now would be a good time to lose weight. Not so. To heal a broken bone it requires nutrition and possibly more food than normal. I ignored this fact and installed my “new found knowledge” and had just fruit for breakfast, toast for lunch and you can guess what happened…

Low blood sugar reared its head again. Bananas are food from the Gods. Bananas are my go to food if I need instant energy. So I recovered from my moment slowly.

Throbbing headache, feeling nauseous, shaky, sweaty, chills, thirsty, elevated temperature. Why do I do this to myself? Far from clever.

Sweet tea, banana, water, sleep. Followed by dinner a couple of hours later. Followed by more sleep.

Moral of the story is heal the bone first and then deal with the weight.

It may seem obvious to observers but when you are in the thick of it and with time on your hands stupid ideas can appear sensible and efficient. Well stupid ideas are stupid, before conception, during execution and when they have failed.

Lesson learnt this time.

At no time have I felt like having a drink. Except when I heard good new music and thought that this would go well with a glass of red wine. I then rebuked myself and squashed that thought.

Sober and I know it, clap your hands.

Broken

I lie in bed with my leg elevated. Six weeks of rest, elevation, no weight allowed on my right foot. I am halfway through my stint. A broken tibia.

Forced inertia allows time for one time to think. And I have had plenty of time to think. It hasn’t driven me round the twist. I haven’t felt weak and reached for alcohol. Have you tried crutches lately? You cannot hold anything while walking with crutches. A backpack would help but a cup of tea you cannot carry. A thermos of tea, yes but not a cup of tea. The effort to sit up in bed relying on one foot only, the effort to get to the toilet, to go down steps. I cannot go up steps. That’s where my bottom comes in handy. I creep up steps, one by one on the seat of my bum, with a flat cushion and make it to the top.

Could my fitness have been better before the break? Yes. Would it have made getting about easier. Yes. That doesn’t help me now though. I am not great on crutches.

Let me interrupt and say this: New Zealand has excellent public medical service when it comes to broken bones. I paid NZ$40 for subsidised X-rays and NZ$35 for a subsidised GP appointment and the rest was paid for by the government. Which really means by the people and our taxes. I received a moon boot. There was a long wait in Accident & Emergency. New Zealand hospitals are understaffed and underpaid. Capacity of patients in winter is at 145%. They are busy. That doesn’t stop them from being both professional and caring. I was impressed. Yes I waited a long time but others who waited also waited patiently. I received a cast after more X-rays. And follow up appointments for out-patients.

For getting about home I have been loaned a toilet seat with handles and stability. A shower chair. And later a knee scooter. I had my own crutches. The shower chair actually sits beside the bed so it makes it easier to get up and standing. Who knew how hard it is to do everything on just one leg. I am humbled by my situation. I have time to recover. I do not have children to look after. DH has been an angel with fetching and carrying things for me to keep me fed, watered, amused and functioning.

All this time to think and I have not gone bat shit crazy. I appreciate this moment in time that I have been given. It is a glitch or a correction in my life. A time to reflect and look to the future and see how I can do better, plan better. I can write, draw, use my computer. I can hobble about the house. I cannot clean. I hate cleaning anyway. But that got me thinking. I deserve to live in a clean house. I can look at cleaning as self care. Take more pride in my surroundings and care more. Don’t listen to what I say here, watch what I actually do later. Hold me to what I said here later.

The doctor asked me if I wanted a knee scooter. I said no. Why? I didn’t know what it was and it didn’t sound stable. I was an idiot. When I rang support at ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation), a government department, they suggested a knee scooter when I said how poorly I was managing on crutches. I said yes please. Not realising how helpful it would be. It was delivered to the house the next day. What a game changer. Mobility and stability with getting about. It has a basket on the front so I can carry things at the same time, The catch is, if the basket is on the front then it’s harder to turn. I ended up taking the basket off. Since having the knee scooter I can now do the laundry. I balance on my ‘bad’ leg which is supported by the knee, the breaks are on, with my ‘good’ leg firmly on the ground. I can lean down with the help of the handle bars. It allows me to function more normally. Rather than feeling useless and immobile I feel more independent and capable.

I can eat in the kitchen now for meals. I can turn the jug on. I can gather the placemats. I can do simple things. I can collect the yoghurt from the fridge, the muesli from the bench and the kiwifruit from the bowl. I can carry the knife, the bowl and the spoon in the basket and I can get my own breakfast. I still cannot carry a cup of tea.

I am not writing this for you to feel sorry for me. I am writing to voice how lucky I am. I didn’t need an operation with plates and screws. I can recover at home. I only have myself to look after and get well. DH looks after me. The cats have looked after me too. The public hospital system in New Zealand is excellent. I may have waited many hours for service but I was dealt with empathy, care and professionalism. I wish that others countries have the same level of care that we have here. My next cast will be renewed. My leg is getting skinnier. The cast feels roomier. That is life.

Everything takes longer at the moment but I have an appreciation for each thing or each action. I am lucky that this is temporary. I am grateful.

Newton’s 3rd Law

Motivation will not appear before me and urge me forward. Passion will not miraculously appear and wave its wand over me, transforming me into passionate. These are things I must act upon myself. Newton Third Law says that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When we perform no action, nothing will happen. Nothing will come to me, I must seek it out. Ready for action.

Idleness is unbecoming in large doses. I idled last week. I didn’t go anywhere, do anything. I can’t say I coasted, that implies moving forward; there was no action, so I did not. Rest, idleness is necessary but I over indulged. It no longer stayed as rest it morphed into something else. Uncomfortable, uneasy.

The week began well last week.
Gym: Twice
The gym helps my soul, it is not just a physical exercise.
Keep at it. Go more often.
Morning Pages: Thrice
MP Writing. Not consistent. Show up everyday.
Whole Foods: Seven
Whole Foods: Regular breakfast of homemade toasted muesli, yoghurt, pomegranate arils and ground linseed is a well formed consistent habit. A new batch is cooling as I write.

Status: SOBER 66 DAYS
Well done. Keep it up.

Laziness and Freedom

Laziness is idleness.

Freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants.

I choose idleness. I have the freedom to choose to be lazy. Laziness is a type of freedom. To be freely idle is a skill. To be idle without guilt, shame, regret or perfectionism is rare, is it not?

Rest is a form of idleness. Stay with me. So rest is laziness? Rest is as important as exercise. Why is there a negative stigma surrounding laziness. Why must one appear to be busy or active or expressive at all times. That is exhausting. Rest, idleness or laziness is as important as not being those things. Social media would have us think otherwise. It’s okay to rest, to be idle, to be lazy. Resting bitchy face is okay.

Meanwhile the dust and cat hairs mount on the carpet. They have banded together into piles and are visible now to the naked eye. I observe. I do not remove the dust nor the cat hairs. I remain idle.

For one to remain idle. I prefer the word idle over laziness. For one to remain idle one must either ignore the chaos surrounding oneself or do something about it. One can create habits to clear the chaos or set up systems where others deal with the chaos. The world is one system. Your country is another system. Your city, another. Your neighbourhood, another. Your home, another. Your family, another. You are another. How do you deal with your systems? Do you have freedom in all your systems? How do you navigate the chaos? How do you not let the chaos of the systems invade your freedom? How do you choose freedom in your world/systems? If you don’t have freedom within a system how do you navigate the chaos?

Take for example cat hairs? Technically they are fur strands.
Solution:
Acquire a hairless cat. Too late.
Remove the cat. They are family. No
Remove the fur? No absolutely not. I don’t even shave my armpits.
Remove the shed fur/hairs? Okay? How?
Vacuum regularly so there is no build up. Possible.
Hire someone to vacuum regularly so there is no build up. Possible.

Problems and solutions. There are as many solutions as problems, more really. We can choose to act on something or not. We can look for a solution. Whether we act on it is up to the individual. Sometimes we stumble upon a solution by chance, other times we analyse and spend countless hours mulling over the problem. Sometimes we don’t notice there is a problem. We are blind to the problem. If we are blind to the problem then how can we find a solution? We cannot. We must first acknowledge the problem before we can do something about it. Sometimes there is no solution. Or one that we can think of for now. It is beyond us for now.

Today I choose sober. Today I choose idleness. Today I choose avoidance.

Ah. That last one. Avoidance. Do I really choose avoidance? By choice? By not choosing does that automatically mean avoidance? I’m afraid so. It is my system’s way of protecting myself. Self care.