A Recommitment to Health

Since 2014 was full of leave-taking and therefore wasn’t exactly the road to recovery that I’d hoped it would be, I am attempting to start fresh this year and take control of those parts of my life that are still scattered or generally in dire need of attention. Organization is a big one, and rebuilding my health is another.

Between Thanksgiving and, well, just a couple of weeks ago, I was zapped with cold after cold after cold. Those of you with kids may remember, or be in the midst of, the constant sickness these little vectors bring home from school. “Vectors” was Adam’s word. Every time our kids entered a new environment all four of us were felled by whatever unfamiliar germs they brought home. My current experience is that this continues to be true even for college students who are supposed to have relatively mature and robust immune systems, not to mention ingrained knowledge of the value of hand-washing. Despite that, each of my kids has had some virus or other every time they’ve come home for a break, and I have managed to catch it. When your kids are little the surfaces they touch are relatively limited, and you, their parent, control things like nose-wiping and -blowing and can wash your hands at appropriate times. But sneaky college hands contaminate almost every surface without your knowledge, from the coffee maker to the dishwasher handle. And before you know it, you’re sick. Alas.

Finally I am rid of the colds and trying to pursue a healthful regimen. I have little energy and am overweight. I seem to use up what energy I do have by exercising, and then I’m depleted for the rest of the day. I’ve been eating a lazy-woman diet because I am now alone in my house again. This means that I will eat virtually the same thing every single day. I have eaten vegetable soup for a week now. Healthy but not really providing a spectrum of nutrients.

I’ve revisited literature I read while Adam was sick (like I’m going to remember now what I read then) to re-educate myself about adrenal fatigue. I bet you all are familiar with that concept, despite it not being recognized as a “real” condition. Burnout. According to the websites I’ve revisited, I’ve a classic case.

Since it’s not a “real” condition, most of the advice I’ve found about helping the adrenals return to full function is from those with a product to sell. It may be a diet book, or supplements, or just a blog they’re promoting. Few of these people are MDs, and although I don’t believe that a medical degree is necessary for giving good advice, I’ve found so much conflicting and extreme information that I’m about to give up.

I don’t want to follow a “diet” or eliminate entire categories of carbs, dairy, gluten, whatever. I don’t want to have to buy new furniture and wrap my house in a natural-fiber barrier in order to eliminate “toxins.” I’d like to stop worrying about everything, eat a spectrum of real foods, not beat myself up while I eat junk food during the Super Bowl, be able to have a refined carb here and there. I genuinely like a healthy, plant-based diet with some meat and junk food thrown in for balance. So where does someone like me turn? I have yet to find the source.

Yes this is supposed to be a grief blog, but I’m writing about health today because I bet many of you are on your own quests for renewed health after having become depleted during your struggle through illness and widowhood. So my purpose is twofold: To discover if any of you have advice for me, and to let those of you struggling with this issue, brought about by our common condition, know that you’re not fighting alone and perhaps together we can conquer this stressor too.


Happyish New Year

Hi people, and happyish new year.

This fall and advent have been pretty challenging for me. In fact, I wrote a post the night after Christmas and upset my family so I had to take it down. That’s how off-course I’ve been. I seem to be much better at irritating those around me than I have been in the past. What is up with that? Have I just lost all my tact, and why? And why am I bold enough just to say what I think, regardless? I don’t really know what’s going on.

To gloss over things in the shiniest way possible, I’d just like to say that I am thankful that my family-at-large is intact, and I miss my dear friend who passed away just before Christmas. My children did exceptionally well during their first college semester, and they are becoming wonderful human beings, which was my goal in life. Better to give the world productive adults than to have a career, which I didn’t want anyway.

I was supposed to use the fall to assess myself. Many of my nearest and dearest feel that a job is the panacea, and you all know this because I’ve complained about this pressure before. The best analogy I can give is that I have been summarily laid off from my 25-year-old career which I loved and which I’d planned to retire from, yet I now find myself well, you know. I could go back to my former freelance job and charge everyone a whole lot more, or I could do something else. But the thought is paralyzing. Many things interest me, yet I am unable to take even the smallest step forward. Among the new things I’m considering is signing up for some Habitat projects in order to learn to use power tools so I can maintain my house mostly by myself. But that’s just one more thing I haven’t moved forward on.

The reason for this is because I don’t want to.

Also, I’ve had either a persistent cold or a series of them since Thanksgiving. Sapped my enthusiasm and energy. Barely got Christmas done.

Every new year since Adam passed away I have gone out to celebrate, thinking my positive approach would ensure good things for the approaching year. Wrong. So this year I am staying home. I have built myself a fire, opened a bottle of wine, and am watching inane tv.

For the new year I wish all of you a time of renewal, progress, comfort, peace, and self-realization. I wish it for myself as well but I have to admit to not being very optimistic.