Lost & Found

My husband was doing some cleaning in his office this morning. This amazes me, because I don’t think he has ever actually made an effort to do this in all the years he has had an office downstairs. I am not complaining though, and I am glad that he is the one doing the office cleaning. I did have to laugh when he discovered 6, yes SIX, pairs of reading glasses lost among the notebooks and junk on his bookshelves. My husband tends to “lose” things quite easily, so reading glasses are a frequent purchase.

Yesterday I took an hour or two to completely empty the Tupperware cupboard, ruthlessly purge the contents, and then re-organize. The cupboard went from haphazard and overflowing to clean, lean and organized. As much as I am constantly finding ways to purge and get rid of clutter, there are some things which are more difficult to remove from the house. Tupperware is such a thing. What if I need it someday? Tupperware isn’t cheap. But yesterday I was ruthless. I completely removed anything damaged, even the containers with lids that no longer sealed tightly, and I set aside those random containers missing lids or lids missing containers. I think my daughter leaving for school next weekend is inspiring me to “downsize” and purge even more deeply than usual.

As I was watching my husband clean his office for a few minutes this morning, I noticed a Tupperware container on his desk…a container that matched one of the solitary lids I had set aside yesterday! This is why I set those items aside, because the missing pieces might yet turn up.

When I mentioned the missing lids to my husband, he mentioned the possibility of them being in his work van. I scoffed. Why would anyone have a Tupperware lid in a vehicle without the accompanying container? My husband said that he would. I was doubtful and later mentioned the conservation to my son who works with his dad. My son agreed with his dad, saying that it would not be weird if the lids were in the work van! What kind of people are in my family?! Who does that?

Despite what my son and husband say, I sincerely doubt that the missing Tupperware lids are in the van. Missing containers maybe but not random lids. But I have no idea where those lids have disappeared to. It’s like missing socks from the dryer. Who knows where they go!



“Time isn’t a straight line. It’s all…bumpy-wumpy. There’s loads of boring stuff. Like Sundays and Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons. But now and then there are Saturdays.” ~The Doctor, The Impossible Astronaut

Most of my days are heavily laden with boring stuff especially of late. I miss going to work with my amazing co-workers and interacting with our wonderful customers. Being on a medical leave is boring. Almost every day my husband asks me what my day is going to look like. I haven’t had anything overly interesting to say in response, although I suppose I could make something up. My days look almost identical. Drag myself out of bed. In varying order: eat, drink coffee, get dressed. Go to the gym three times a week. Do my rehab exercises at home every day. Eat lunch. Drink water and more coffee. Apply heat to my back. Walk around aimlessly in search of something to do. Perform a few light cleaning tasks or tackle a cluttered spot. Read the news online. Make dinner. More heat to the back. Go to bed and lie awake for 2 hours. Sleep. Wake up once or twice and lie awake some more. Repeat.

The good news is that as the back continues to heal so does my ability to move and engage in somewhat normal tasks for short periods of time. I might not be doing much in the grand scheme of things, but I am making progress. I can do more, but I still need to listen to my body. Yesterday I was finishing up sorting the stuff stored under my bed. All I was really doing was putting a few bins back under the bed after sweeping up all the dust bunnies. It didn’t take long for my back to ache from the forward bending, even though I was on my knees. I’m healing but not finished yet.

This week I have been doing a little bit of light weight bench pressing with my feet up on the bench to keep my back flat. It has been so good to touch a barbell again, something I haven’t done since November 4, 2017 when I herniated my disc. As exciting as it is to be able to do some almost normal bench pressing, I also realize that I still need to be mindful and slow with my progress. As I was benching today, there was one rep where my lower back arched ever so slightly. Seriously, it was barely perceptible, but I immediately felt mild discomfort in my back. I made sure I flattened my back before the next rep and all was okay again.

A couple of weeks ago I tried some goblet squats with maybe 10 pounds and felt discomfort in my back. The goblet was abandoned, but I was able to use that same weight to squat with the weight held with arms straight down. Today I tried the goblet squats again using 15 pounds, and it was all good. A forward step of progress! But I still know that putting a barbell on my back is not going to happen anytime soon.

The left leg continues to be a nuisance. You know, I think that the numbness in my left foot is slowly diminishing, although watch it flare up again now that I’ve made such a bold statement! 😉 A lessening in numbness is progress, no matter how slight the difference. In general, the left leg pain has been slightly less since last Friday, but it was slightly more again last night, waking me up a couple of times. I skipped doing leg curls today, because of the surge of leg pain last night and the way the leg was feeling today. It’s a process and a reminder that healing takes time and that timeline is not straight at all! It’s all bumpy-wumpy.

But tomorrow actually is Saturday and I feel kind of excited about it. No particular reason why and no particular plans for the day yet. There is just something lovely about have a wide-open Saturday.

Nationals Deadline

Registration for Nationals closes in just a few hours. My name will not be on the list of competitors, but that isn’t exactly surprising. I’ve known that I wouldn’t be competing for almost as long as I have been suffering from this herniated disc. Way back to my second physiotherapy appointment, I had asked about the likelihood of competing at Nationals in February, and the physiotherapist hadn’t completely ruled it out but had said it was unlikely. That had been disappointing news to swallow, but I had to accept it as the right decision. As I’ve seen the Facebook posts about the event and impending deadline, I have felt both resignation and frustration. This was not how I had planned things, but it is my reality.

Nationals begins in 6 weeks. Instead of competing, I hope to be back at work. My current medical leave ends the week prior. I feel hopeful about that date, because I am incredibly bored and restless. However, on a day like today, I wonder and doubt. I slept horribly last night, despite this additional drug which is supposed to help allow me to sleep. My back hurt. My legs hurt. I’ve been in a good deal of pain all day long. As I was out on errands with my husband, I couldn’t even bend forward in my seat to reach my coffee in the cup holder low between the seats.

I feel stuck in a season of frustration and limitation, and I don’t particularly enjoy it. I’m trying to embrace the suck, to make lemonade with all of these lemons, but it isn’t always easy to do. The medications make me feel tired and fill my brain with haze, yet make no noticeable difference to the level of pain I feel every day. Some days are better than others, but some days are not so good at all. Today was one of those not so good days. Still, I managed to go through my drawers of clothing and pull out a garbage bag’s worth of rarely worn clothing to donate. I also picked through a bookshelf and purged dusty, long since read books. This is what I am doing with some of my time these days…purging. It needs to be done in short bursts of motivation, and I need to remind myself not to overdo things. As much as I know that I should be able to pick up that heavy box of books, I also know that I shouldn’t and so I won’t. But I will make a dozen trips from the living room to my bedroom, bringing a few books at a time from the bookshelf to the box in my room. I putter and purge in small bursts of energy, and then I find I need to lay down, give my back a break and hope the reclined position will alleviate some of the numbness in my foot. Purging, cleaning, and organizing are things that I am tackling in bits and pieces. At least it allows me to feel like I am doing something with my time.

I’m skipping one of my drugs tonight. I take three different medications now. I take Naproxen when I wake up and again after dinner. I take Gabapentin three times a day, and my doctor just recently instructed me to double up my dosage. My doctor also recently added Dilaudid which I am to take before bed. The theory is that the Dilaudid will allow me to sleep, but my experience with it thus far has proven that theory to be false. While I slept very well the first night I took the opiate, the next few nights have not been so restful. Since alcohol doesn’t mix well with at least two of these drugs, I haven’t had any wine for a while. I have had some wine while on the Gabapentin before, but I am not willing to indulge while taking Dilaudid as well. So, I have opted to not take my Dilaudid tonight, so that I can have a glass or two of wine. The wine will be about as effective at reducing my pain as my prescriptions, but at least I can enjoy it more.

Clutter & Margins

After finishing work early this afternoon, I spent a couple of hours attacking the clutter that had been accumulating in and on a cabinet that I use to house most of my scrapbooking supplies. I am always on a mission to eliminate clutter, but it isn’t always easy to stay on top of things. A week or so ago I started a list of rooms and areas in need of decluttering or reorganizing around the house, because I live off of lists and my tolerance of clutter is growing thin. The problem with trying to address clutter is that the clutter has a tendency to overwhelm and terrorize one into submission. You see the entirety of the project and wonder how it can ever be conquered. That’s when procrastination begins to seep in. That’s when you start with gusto only to find your gumption has got up and gone before you’ve barely made a dent in the mountain. I fall into that trap on a regular basis, but too much clutter weighs me down in a multitude of ways.

Today’s decluttering session wasn’t overly taxing physically. I was able to sit on a chair while sorting through papers, stickers, scissors, and embellishments. I was ruthless with my sorting of things to keep, recycle, toss in the trash, or pass along to Value Village. As I reorganized things back in the cabinet, my goal was to keep the space looking clean and neat. The last thing I want is to remove some clutter only to have the space continue to look sloppy! It feels so good to have accomplished this one task this afternoon. Not only did I conquer my little craft corner, but I also tackled some of the clutter on the china cabinet beside it and tackled a bit more clutter on the desk. Small steps of progress have the potential to lead to more steps forward, and actually I have been taking small steps for the past few days, a drawer here or a cupboard there.

My ‘to-do’ list of decluttering is quite lengthy; however, part of the length comes from making each job as small and manageable as possible. It might take only a few minutes to purge through the winter mittens and toques or a closet or cupboard, while some jobs will require more time and determination, such as the storage space under the stairs or one of my kids’ bedrooms. Experience has taught me that a smaller task will frequently blossom into more progress than expected, while a bigger task will often end up unfinished.

One of my children has been “cleaning” his room the past couple of days. Today I discovered that he had tossed a throw blanket and two Snuggies behind the loveseat in the living room. Obviously he doesn’t want them in his bedroom anymore, but why does he think that the living room is the best place to dispose of them?! This is part of my struggle…other people causing clutter more quickly than I can remove it. But it is time for me to get ruthless with clutter. I don’t mind my home looking lived in, but I really enjoy having margins in my life. Margins take many forms and not feeling cluttered by objects and mess is one such form.