What No Pictures?

I’ve been lamenting how stuck I’ve felt for the past few years. Last week I mentioned that I was working even harder to get unstuck, because I hadn’t realized that when I couldn’t figure out how to pry myself out of this rut, that I had actually given up. Someone had the guts to tell me that, and I really appreciated it. I came to the conclusion that a series of really serious losses had left me feeling bereft of any solutions. Some of those losses have been to my physical status and truly restrict what I can and can’t do but, I need to get unstuck if I am to enjoy the remainder of any time I have on this earth. I may have to modify how I do it, but I don’t have to be bored , or overwhelmed and frustrated. 

Many people have asked what the plan is. I’ve decided to play the “unstuck project” close to the vest because through no one’s fault, I get frustrated when people (although well meaning) don’t understand that just because you’ve been given a limited time frame,  you can’t just do anything you want. At times, I have a short fuse so I try my best to avoid setting myself up for agitation. Last week people gave me great answers to my question.  I’ve found that if I reframe the now cliche question, I can get answers I need. You know the question? “If you were told you only had so much time left what would you spend it doing?” So many people say things like stop work or world tours… just cuz you don’t have time, doesn’t mean you all of a sudden have money. It’s not like blindness where all your other senses become stronger. Unfortunately, I get frustrated with the things people say and I have to curb my attitude… so I stay quiet instead. I often get a lot of heat for that because I’m lucky enough to have good friends who care about me, and want to help, or share in what I’m going through. It’s a real balancing act. BUT if that’s a problem … it’s a pretty good one to have. 

While I have spoken to a few people about my plans I haven’t told anyone everything because not only am I not ready to, but I don’t know that I even know what has to change. I have identified six areas of intervention. Like I said, I’m really not ready to share too much, but will share area number one. Work: When I found out how ill I was, I changed careers to something that would take less physical energy than physical therapy. I’m now a psychotherapist. I can and  want to remain working. But, I am pretty frustrated at work because while I love my work, for a mess of reasons I am not currently all that crazy about my job. BUT I could be if I could be there less. SO I made a decision to go back to part-time private practice. For those in the know it is a labor intensive project. There are many steps regarding insurance both client and liability, there is office space, there is rent, there is billing, there is …. anyhow just in order to panel with insurance companies so that I can take insurance individually there are about twenty things you have to put together and then fill out applications…its about a three-month process once you apply. I hired someone to help me with this and billing because the whole unstuck thing is about reducing stress. Yup, spending money I don’t have is stressful, but it’s the lesser of the evils. I shared this idea with a friend in the biz and he offered me some office space. I called in some referrals and things should be okay in this department.

I’m sure you’ve picked up on it, but just in case … there’s a ton of gratitudes in there… meanwhile,  even though I was hellbent on reducing stress…


My phone completely died and I have been without one for over a week. We can’t get a landline where I live. So I finally replaced the phone yesterday. Until then I was making calls from my office at work or through my computer. Thank God for technology because….

Doug woke up on Monday quite incapacitated from having had a stroke in the night. I was really afraid for him (and myself). I was willing to do what needed to be done if it meant he was in pain, but the vet thought we could give him 24 hours and see what he could recuperate. Monday, he couldn’t stand or walk. He slept nonstop. He couldn’t bark and was wheezing pretty badly when he breathed. Tuesday he woke up  and stood up. We went outdoors and he needed to be carried up and down stairs, but he walked quite a bit and even managed to take a swipe at the neighbors cat. Wednesday, he was able to walk, do stairs, bark at the neighbors cat and go out to the chicken coop with me. Many thanks go out to my other non-cat-owning neighbors who helped by taking him to the salon so I could go to work and he would have supervision all day. This was Wednesday afternoon when he was able to jump up on furniture again. unnamed (41)By Thursday afternoon he was doing the poodle dance when I came home. He is a bit more confused, but it is minimal, and he is happy and feeling good and eating like a horse. And thank goodness he is, because by Thursday morning life was at it again.

The first person I called with my new phone was my elderly mother. We spent Thursday in the hospital because of CHF and having broken her back in two places. She was in agony. She is also improving. Not unlike me she isn’t big on sharing a ton, so nuff said. But rest assured that may be the brief rendition, but life was not done yet… later that evening while heading out to the chicken coop I stepped on a ground nest of bees. (at least they didnt sting me in the head forcing me to make a public spectacle of myself! Poor Christine!) I had stepped on one years ago in bare feet . I got over 40 stings then… this time not so bad… maybe between 5-10 stings. I am not allergic which is the blessing as well.

So y’know, it’s been a hectic week. BUT everyone is on the mend. Christine didn’t sustain any head trauma,my leg, while itchy is no longer painful. And I have already started and am ready to move on to another phase of the “unstuck project.” Life will go on…

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30 thoughts on “What No Pictures?

  1. I’m so glad for you that Doug came out of his stroke. They are such an important part of our lives, it’s hard to not be selfish at times. You were prepared to do what was necessary for Doug – which makes you a hero in my eyes – but I’m glad you waited and he is feeling better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Vanessa. I would want someone to do something for me in that case as well. But I have the advantage of an advanced directive… so hopefully Doug will keep on for a bit longer happily! He is very content right now sitting on my foot and licking himself! lol!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ivy, i had the same feelings this week. It’s hard to wrestle with a lack of empathy for a situation, be it physical or emotional. That especially when we have to deal with the effects of medical conditions. That said, you have handled it beautifully, my friend, and are strong. Hey to Doug!


  3. Always an effort to see that which we cannot see. Those “solutions” we know are there but elude us perhaps for wanting to find them so badly.
    As to going it alone, business wise, good for you! Having been in your shoes (establishing a business) there is much to deal with simply getting the business in business! All the various city, state, county licenses, insurance, etc. Here’s to self employment!!
    Doug. He is certainly not the least today as I write about him last. I don’t even know what words to use to describe the horror realizing what happened and then watching almost helplessly while he struggles to recoup. I’m so happy to hear he is more his usual self, albeit a tad more “confused”. As long as he can do the Poodle Dance, all is good 🙂


    1. Ive been in private practice in both careers but wanted to not be the boss for a while… I still dont but I do want to work by myself for a bit again. I really hope all this stuff makes a difference. DOUG! Mr. 9 Lives…. hopefully.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You have had the suckiest week I’ve heard in a long time, but the work change sounds hopeful. Doug, my heart. I’m so glad he dodged another bullet. (Are you sure he’s not a cat with nine lives?) What a sucky week. But the ending is upbeat, and I suppose that is the purpose of the Ten Things of Thankful post.


    1. THIS WEEK BIT! It was not a good week. Its been hard to stay the course this week but hoping it makes a difference helped … Yup Doug is a bullet dodger for sure…must be from his previous experience of hanging out with thugs!


  5. I like your re-frame. I like your perspective and I like your intentions. I’m really happy that you’re making work changes and getting help with it.

    Glad Doug’s better, and I hope your mom and your itchy leg soon follow suit *hugs*


  6. Your life definitely sounds stressful right now, Ivy, but I’m glad that you have people to support you, and I am incredibly happy that little Doug has recovered from his stoke. I cannot imagine how worried you must have been. Sending more healing vibes to your mom!! Hugs and much, much strength to you, my dear!


    1. Yeah, things are pretty stressed out but they will improve…everything changes. Im glad Doug has recovered too…. I wouldnt want him to be unable to function… that wont do… I will miss him terribly but I hope he has the good sense to just go when its time! doubt it.


  7. You and Doug are both made of pretty tough material. I wish you knew how much I admire you.
    I will always be here for you, if you ever need me. Or even if you don’t.
    I stepped on a bee when I was about 5 and have never forgotten it.
    Best wishes to your mom, with hopes that she is pain free (or pain less than she’s had) soon.


    1. Thanks Dyanne! Youre the best! I always know I can turn to you… 🙂 Hey could you please send a text ? lost all my contacts on new phone… the other was SOOOO dead! Thanks again, I really do appreciate it! We CA girls gotta stick together!


  8. What a week. Starting business on your own sounds like a lot of hard work. I would like to do that, but there is just so much to consider.
    I don’t know if my other sights are really and truly stronger, but I still am glad I have my hearing. I am thankful for that for sure.
    Hope all your family, human and animal will have a better week ahead.


  9. Argh! My comment just got eaten. Basically I said that yes, sometimes people assume unlimited resources when answering that question. The things that are the most meaningful, though, are small acts of service given out of love. Even if someone does something “big,” it seems like people still wonder, “But what are they like as a person?” Things like looking at someone when they are talking, opening a door, or noticing someone in need–those are the things that mean so much. I know I’m preaching to the choir.

    I hope that this coming week will be downright boring compared to the week you just had. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow…and I thought my week was a bit stressful. I can’t even. Kind of wish I hadn’t sent you that text in the midst of it all. Sigh. I spend so little time on the Internet this summer that I’m out of touch a bit (a lot) more than I’d like to be.
    I have to copy Dyanne’s sentiment and tell you how very much I admire you – your pluck, your planning, your ability to see the best in what’s handed to you and even when you don’t, to shovel the shit off the top and dig further to find something perhaps better-smelling.
    I was holding my breath reading about Doug and practically stood up and cheered to know he’s much better.
    I am, as always, honored to know you, even through distance, and to benefit from your wisdom, grace, and perspective.


    1. OH PLEASE! DONT make wishes like that! I love hearing from you no matter! REALLY! and like Dyanne, thank you and I too you… Doug is really quite a bit more confused post stroke… you can see it a bit more every day. Physically he is quite well and happy. His anxiety seems to have decreased as his confusion has mounted… but like I said … he seems happy and pretty content so I can wait until he is ready. WHich will hopefully be a long way off!


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