I am aware that I am less than some people prefer me to be,
but most people are unaware that I am so much more than what they see.
— Douglas Pagels

Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Big Fat New Years Eve Blog - Goodbye 2009!

Every year on NYE, I analyze myself and the annual goals that I set at the beginning of the year. I'm almost afraid to look, but here we go...

Goals for 2009

1. Continue my education, either in college or with Bob Ross, Inc. DONE! 3.87 GPA in college, and hope to continue next year!

2. Find stable employment and reduce debt as much as possible. OH LORD...NOT EVEN CLOSE! My relapse of Periodic Paralysis has prevented me from working.

3. Go to church regularly and/or schedule a weekly Bible study. FAILED MISERABLY AT THIS!

4. Utilize my time more wisely by developing routines and following a schedule. I did pretty well, but need improvement.

5. Have a piece of art in a show or fair. Done!

6. Try at least a dozen new recipes. I tried quite a few, but forgot to keep a tally!

As suggested by my friend Marilyn last year (thanks M), here are a few things that I accomplished this year:

1. Taught double the Bob Ross workshops this year than I did last year!

2. Joined and was appointed Secretary of Art With Heart.

3. Prepared and publicly displayed several works of art!

4. Completed a semester of college and somehow (read: merciful teachers) made all A's!

5. On that same note, I started learning how to draw...something that has been on my bucket list for a while. Very emotional thing for me and I don't take it for granted.

And now...my goals for 2010!!!

The Mainstays (aka the stuff that's ongoing and on my list every year):

Maintain a healthy weight and keep blood panel numbers at an acceptable level by living a healthy lifestyle.

Stay involved in one or more charities/ministries.

Read more, write more, and learn more.

Be a good friend and relative.

The New Goals:
1. Continue college education

2. Return to Florida for Bob Ross training (either Florals cert or Landscape/Seascape audit)

3. Become more organized in every aspect of my life

4. Find a way to pay off some medical bills

5. Put a significant dent in one or more manuscripts

6. Knock out at least one item on my Bucket List

Wish me luck, I'm gonna need it!


Friday, December 25, 2009

A very Merry Christmas to my readers!

Despite flooded road and yard...

With high tide and an insane thunderstorm making it worse...

And a scaredy-dog who HATES thunderstorms...(yes of course we let her inside) :)

Some of the family was able to make the trip via SUV through the rough, wet terrain to the Sandy Bay in Bayou La Batre, Alabama for Christmas Eve festivities.

Now somebody get over here and help me eat these things!!! :)

Hope your Christmas is happy and blessed!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

School's out...I survived...what's next?

Well, I made it through my first full semester of college at MGCCC. It wasn't easy...in fact it was very hard. God, it was so hard. But I did my best, and with the patience and understanding of my merciful teachers, I finished with all A's and a 3.87 GPA.

Music Appreciation and Art For Elementary School had a few issues, but thankfully they were worked out by the end of the term. Sometimes, I thought Drawing and Design were going to kill me. Physically speaking, I had a terrible time and I can't help but think about how much better I could have been in those classes if I hadn't been so sick and miserable. Maybe no better at all, but I wonder. It has been a very emotional experience for me, and I knew it would be. Learning to draw (and paint) has been on my bucket list for years...a childhood dream. I've been saying since Kindergarten that I wanted to be an artist, but I never thought in a million years that it would happen because I've always been so, so bad at it. Since becoming a Bob Ross instructor, then joining Art With Heart, I have felt crippled in a sense because I couldn't draw and didn't even have the knowledge to know how to learn. I'm still a newborn where this is concerned, but I am amazed by how much I've learned already. It brings me to tears...I can't help it. This experience has been very difficult for me health-wise but I don't regret it. It has meant a great deal to me. More than I can say.

I feel very disheartened, however, because I don't believe for a second that I'll be able to do this again. I am supposed to have the same schedule next semester, but right now that seems impossible. I was already sick every single day in class, in some way or another, and by the end of the semester I was having to lie down in my car at times because I was so weak and exhausted. It was (and is) a constant fight to sit up and act like nothing's wrong, and it's getting harder as time goes on. I've gone into "crash" mode again, and this time, I can't seem to find a way out. I can't stand the thought of being sick at school every day for four more months, and then four more months after that, and after that, and so on. But I also can't stand the thought of dropping my studio classes when that is the primary reason I'm there.

Anyway, I don't want to drop the classes. It would tear my heart out. Right now I've registered for the spring semester with 16 hours (yikes)...10 of those being online, the other 6 being Drawing and Design 2. Seems impossible, but I guess I'm gonna give it a shot. One of my classmates blessed me so much on the last day of school. He gave me a hug and said that he was praying for me, and that he hoped to see me in class next semester. He said he could see that I was very tired, but to not give up because it would be worth it in the end. He has no idea how much I needed to hear that. I cried all the way home, and most of the day as well. Amazing how kind words can give us enough strength to keep going.

Enough of my rambling. My point is that I'm grateful. Even though I'm struggling horribly and I don't know what my college future holds, I don't take a minute for granted. This rivals my time in Florida almost two years ago, and is definitely on my list of experiences that I will hold dear for the rest of my life. I'm just scared that I won't be able to continue, that's all. I have so many emotions right now, it's overwhelming. Blah. I'm such a sap. :)

So now, a short hiatus. Christmas is here (already...crazy), 2010 is around the corner, surgery the first week of January, then the insanity begins again. Full time college and part time teaching.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

You know you're gettin' old when... (TMI warning)

...your surgeon is younger than you!

This is finally happening. I will have three procedures total.

1. Remove all polyps (small tumors) from my endometrium; 2. D&C (remove the lining, send to Pathology for biopsy); 3. Endometrial ablation (destroys the inside of the uterus...hopefully for good).

It's not guaranteed to work, but they claim to have a great deal of success and all three docs I've discussed it with said that this is a much better and safer route than a hysterectomy, especially since I am high risk. They all said with no hesitation that this is the best choice for me at this point and time.

So it's a done deal. Three procedures in one, but considered minor. The risks are still there of course but I was so happy to hear that I would not have a laparoscopy, which means no staples! They expect me to recover quickly and be back in full swing within a week or so.

This is something that they can usually schedule quickly, but they are so backed up with surgeries right now that they can't get me in until January. Thankfully, they were able to schedule it so that I'll only miss the first week of school (assuming there are no complications). So despite the terrible pain, I'm relieved that I'm not gonna miss finals this semester.

Family/Local Friends: I will need someone to drive me there and home (of course), and someone to sit with me for about a day. They think I'll be up and around on my own in 24 to 48 hours. Would greatly appreciate a volunteer to put up with me during this time. :) Also, please note that my mother does not know and is not to be told. She will hear about it when I see fit. Thank you for your cooperation.

And I am so thankful for everyone's thoughts and prayers!