Creepy (possibly) past-life stories

Today I read an article about creepy (possibly) past-life stories parents recently shared on an AskReddit feed. Go over and check it out for yourself!

Now lemme add my own creepy kid story. When Britt, my daughter, was three years old, she nonchalantly told me she was a nun in her previous life and she had died in a fire. She’s always seemed like an old soul to me. I often go to her for advice and guidance because the way she reasons is way beyond her 24 1/2 years.

Now, at the time Britt told me about her memory, my kids had NEVER been to church, had never been exposed to nuns or knew what they were and what role they played in religion or any of that. Their father was Baptist, but I was firm on having the kids research and explore which path of belief (or non-belief) made sense to them. I wouldn’t allow them to be baptized into a religion that they had no idea about simply because one parent wanted it that way. Each person, when he or she is mature and ready enough, should be allowed to decide his or her own structure of belief (or lack thereof).

To this day, I still remember thinking, “Hmmm…that’s interesting.” She doesn’t remember telling me, but I sure as heck remember!

Here’s the funny part: when I was a young girl of seven or eight, I wanted to be a nun. I was raised Presbyterian but had always been drawn to the Catholic church. In fact, I had a huge crucifix that hung in my room. It was made out of plaster but painted dark brown so it looked like it was wood. I also believed that nothing should ever sit on top of the bible. And, mind you, after my dad Leo died, our family stopped going to church. My dad was Mormon but then became Presbyterian. I still have his bible from the 1920s.

Many of you know I haven’t been Christian since the age of 18 when I became pagan. Yet, to this day, I am drawn to Catholic churches, used to watch the Catholic network on cable, and love to listen to Latin or mass. In addition, I also collect rosaries. None of this makes sense given my belief system that I’ve followed for nearly 35 years.

I’ve noticed that lapsed Catholics seem to be drawn to paganism and particularly Wicca. The rituals and such probably appeal to them because of their Catholic background.

I’ve often wondered if I was Catholic or a nun in a previous life, too. Who knows? Perhaps Britt and I were in the same convent. Life is a huge mystery; so many things are possible.

Bring on the night!

While you’re sleeping soundly at 3 a.m., I’m usually up slinging words, editing documents, absorbing university course lectures, researching, wrestling with websites, scouring freelance listings, or tackling the next creative project.

As your night is ending, mine is just beginning.

It’s quieter.
People don’t interrupt you.
Your focus is sharper.
Your concentration is better.

If you pay attention, you can hear the subtle whispers of creative, inventive, unconventional souls that have gone before you – if you listen deeply enough. There is, in fact, precious illumination that is found in the darkness.

Oh yes, I do love the night and the energy it brings! As a naturally nocturnal soul, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Bring on the night!

Find a way

The older I get, the more I feel this way:

I don’t want to hear WHY something can’t be done or WHY an idea won’t work, etc. Find a solution…somehow. If you can’t get through an obstacle, go around it, over it, beneath it, or forge a different path that might take you on a detour but will ultimately lead you to your goals.

Throughout my life, I’ve had people tell me why this, that, or the other won’t work. I was told I wouldn’t make it as a freelancer for more than a year or two, mainly because few freelancers last past that time. I just celebrated 19 years of being a full-time freelancer. It’s not been an easy road, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s FREEDOM for me. I DO NOT miss working in a cubicle, surrounded by office politics and corporate bullshit. Nope…that scene isn’t for me.

Second, I was told SUN SIGNS FOR WRITERS probably wouldn’t sell to a publisher because it was a hybrid book, and one combining subjects that hadn’t been done before. Glad I didn’t listen, because I sold it to the FIRST publisher I pitched it to—Writer’s Digest Books, an imprint of F + W Media, Inc. I got a nice advance (for a first-time author) and snagged the agent I wanted, too.

I could give numerous other examples, but you get the gist of what I’m saying. It may take me a long time — years or even decades — to reach goals that I have set for myself; however, I’m tenacious and determined to soldier on despite naysayers or critics. I simply DO NOT CARE what they think.

So I leave you with this: when you make a decision or set a goal, you’ll usually have a bunch of naysayers or critics who will tell you WHY you shouldn’t do it, HOW it cannot be done, or WHY it would be easier for you to give up and go back to being an obedient lemming. Don’t listen to that bullshit. Smile, nod, and do whatever you wanted to do in the first place (like Robert Downey, Jr. claims he does).

It’s your life. You hold the cards. Play them any way you damn well please! After all, (eventual) success is the best revenge, isn’t it?

A couple things of note

Just a heads-up that Paul and I are both going back to school. This means we will have reading, assignments, and homework on top of our jobs. As a result, our time will become even more limited for social activities. I know that’s a bummer, but we are committed to our current goals and dedicated to achieving them.

If we aren’t available to socialize, either online or offline, this will be why. We are excited to get back into an academic routine and our jobs and studies will take priority over anything else. Thanks for your understanding and encouragement. 😉

In other news, my Smashwords author interview just went live. Pop over and give it a look:
https://www.smashwords.com/interview/beverlywaltonporter

The meaning of life (for me) is…

I wrote this back in December 2005 (except for a few words I added just now), and it still holds true for me. The meaning of life could be something entirely different for you, but for me, I think it is this:

Do the best you can with your circumstances, try to love others, and care for them as best you can (even when they’re being assholes) and choose to live as authentically as you can in the process. Nobody gets an instruction manual and no one gets a guarantee when you’re born into this life. How you play the game is up to the individual and many factors/variables go into the playing of the game. You must straddle doing what’s best for you versus what’s fair and right for others. It’s not easy and you won’t always make the right decision. When you screw up, apologize if it’s warranted. And sometimes—just sometimes—you have to love people even when they don’t deserve your love. And sometimes you might have to forgive them even when you’d rather stick your foot up their ass.

Life can be hard, cruel, and unexpected. It can also be joyful, surprising, and amazing. You can’t control life; you can only control your actions/reactions in the framework of this short period of time we call a lifetime. Our charge is to be present and aware—a tall order indeed. And a mission I’ve yet to master since I tend to live in the future ALL the time and, more often than not, skip over the present. The truth is, we only have NOW. Make the best of it.

Hi, everyone. I talked to Nate today, who was Lyn’s fiance. If any of you would like to send sympathy cards in the wake of Lyn’s sudden passing, here is the mailing address (*please note that the name of the town in the graphic is incorrect. The town is spelled ‘La Veta.’):

Nathan Juhala
PO Box 943
La Veta, CO 81055

Thank you for all your kind thoughts and wishes for Lyn’s family during this time of grief. There is no info on a service at this time, but when and if that is made public, I will post here.

On the passing of my friend, Lyn Goodnight

Our good friend Lyn Goodnight passed away unexpectedly this past weekend. She had gone to the doctor on Friday because she had severe stomach pains. Her blood pressure got really high and they admitted her to the hospital. Turns out she had a stomach blockage, which caused a rupture. She had internal bleeding and died.

Lyn and Nate were the ones who had us come out to Falcon, CO, and stay for a while in our RV earlier this year. I’ve known Lyn 15 years…I’m in shock.

Paul and I are still trying to process this news and I am devastated — especially concerned about her fiance, Nate, and her kids, who are in their 20s, and her granddaughter, who is only 4 years old. 😞

Lyn was more than a garden-variety friend to me. She was also my mentor and a lifesaver for me and the kids when my first husband, Gary, passed away unexpectedly in May 2001. Lyn was also my first High Priestess (HPS) and we were both in the same coven many years ago. I’d known her for 15 years.

This just doesn’t seem real…I’m so sad. What a loss.

Here is what I posted on her Facebook wall:
“Words cannot properly convey how your passing has affected me and Paul. We are still in shock and disbelief. You have returned to the stars, my friend, and you left many behind who love you and whose lives were enriched by your presence. Thank you for everything you did for me, Paul, and the kids in the time we knew you. Thanks for everything you taught me, both mundane and otherwise, since I met you 15 years ago. Your mentorship and wise council had a large impact on my life. Rest in peace, Lyn/Butterflye.”

Oh, great! Achilles tendinitis

So, turns out I likely have Achilles tendinitis.

Over the past month or so, I’ve increased my walking to almost every day (and twice a day, most times) for four or five days a week. As a result of the sudden increase and duration in physical activity, my body—and in particular, my Achilles tendon—went, “Whut?! I’m not ready for this!” So now I have a very painful, stiff, and sore Achilles tendon on my left leg.

The last thing I need to happen is for it to rupture, so I gotta focus on making sure I don’t blow it out completely. I’m not going to stop walking, that’s for sure. It’s doing great things for my body. Who knew it would be a problem?! Didn’t count on this happening!
On the upside, I’ve lost weight (my son and his GF actually commented on my face being thinner when we Skyped the other day) and I was able to fit into another pair of jeans I hadn’t been able to wear for quite a while.

Guess you could say there’s a good side and a bad side to all of this. Then again, that’s life in a nutshell, isn’t it?

Needless to say, I’ll be doing stretches and exercises while I’m working at my desk so I can avoid a rupture. :-/

Life Changes: A Double Diagnosis of Lipedema & Lymphedema

About a month ago, I learned that I may have lymphedema, which means your lymphatic system is compromised or blocked in some way. Earlier this week, after visiting a local outpatient rehab lymphedema clinic, I learned that I have both lipedema *and* lymphedema.

Both manifested later in life; I’ll be 50 in December and so I didn’t notice any problems/symptoms until I was middle-aged. Up till then, nothing seemed amiss and everything looked and felt normal. In effect, I received unexpected news and it was a double whammy; not just one issue with my lymphatic and vascular system, but two. Neither can be cured, only managed.

I am just now learning about these diseases and they will be a part of my daily routine for the rest of my life. Since most people haven’t heard of them and don’t understand them, I wanted to share the experience with friends, family, and whoever else may find themselves in the situation I am now.

A friend of mine wanted to know more so she could understand, so I wrote the below-posted information to help explain it as best I could. Then I realized I might as well post this info on my blog to let people know about this new development in my life and to also inform those who may want to know or may need to know more about lipedema and lymphedema.

As I told my friend Mari on Facebook, “Lipedema is rare and it’s not caused by what you eat or how much you weigh. Overeating or improper nutrition do not cause it; therefore, losing weight or restricting calories will not affect the diseased tissue/fluid. In fact, I can attest to this, since I’ve lost well over 50 lbs over the past few years. It does not matter at all. Anorexics can get lipedema, in fact. So when you say ‘care for your body,’ that care means keeping the skin moisturized and protected so bacteria can’t get in dry or cracked skin or feet. Otherwise you can get cellulitis, and that can be deadly. About 27,000 people a year die from that.
Second, the lymphatic system only moves one way—up. That means blockages or a compromised system can’t move the lymphatic fluid properly, and that’s a big problem! So, care also includes getting the fluid moving through special massage techniques, as well as compression to keep the lymph from settling in the lower limbs where infection can develop.

Manual lymph drainage is necessary (for a person like me who has lipedema and lymphedema as well.) The vascular system and lymphatics are compromised or damaged. Penrose rehab wants me to come in for manual drainage twice a week, but they aren’t sure if our health insurance will cover it. They recommend twice a week for that, and compression garments and bandaging daily, from the time I get up to the time I go to bed (at least 12 hours a day). If insurance doesn’t cover the therapy, then it’s likely I’ll have to try and learn how to do it myself (and I’d prefer an expert with years of training do it instead, if possible.)

Neither conditions can be cured or treated with diuretics or medicine. It will only become more severe. There’s no way to completely stop it. So, no, I will not be completely healthy in this regard, regardless of what I do. I can only hope to delay it from advancing to a more severe stage. It already affects my mobility right now, so I just do the best I can and go from there.

Bruising is common, and these conditions can worsen with activity and warm weather. Vigorous exercise—especially without compression stockings—will exacerbate the problem and make things worse. So, as you can see, these are tricky conditions that become progressively worse. The best hope is to try and manage them as best as possible. I know this is a lot of info, but there’s a lack of knowledge about these conditions, and it’s important (at least for me and others suffering from these conditions) that people are educated and don’t make assumptions or think it’s simply, “Well, lose weight and exercise more.” Nope! If it were only that simple! I can get down to a size 1 and I’d still have it. That’s why one physician I read called it a “rare and devastating disease,” with the psycho-social aspects particularly hard for patients. I was recently diagnosed, but I’m already having issues with it. Having understanding and supportive friends—such as yourself—makes a huge difference for patients dealing with lipedema/lymphedema.

As I said, doctors and researchers don’t know what causes it, but they believe it’s genetic (hereditary) and also hormonal. It cannot be cured, and it’s the same for lymphedema. Both affect your mobility and can result, in severe cases, in being wheelchair-bound or, in the extreme case, amputation of the legs. Because I’ve been pro-active in getting a diagnosis and treatment, I don’t expect the latter two to happen. The person affected must follow meticulous treatment. It’s not something that can be ignored, because you cannot reverse it; it can only get worse. About 11% of women have lipedema, and rarely do men get it (only 2, I believe, from the articles I read from Dr Karen Herbst, who is a doctor in Arizona and an expert in this field). It’s classified as a rare disease, as I mentioned before. For men, almost unheard of!

Paul, sorry I hijacked the thread, but I needed to write this up for my page and my blogs anyway. Might as well explain quite a bit of it now! Thanks for asking, Mari. I went way beyond what you asked, but now you know the gist of it all.”

Therapy update

Meant to post this before now, but lotsa stuff going on. Visit with my physical therapist for Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) went well. Overall, my lower limbs are down in size and she’s pleased with how compliant I am with following her recommendations. She hasn’t measured me yet for my permanent compression stockings, though. I thought it would be this week, but she wants to wait another week or two.

I want to recognize my beloved husband for going with me, faithfully, to every appointment and being there in the room when everything takes place. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive husband! I’m still bummed that what I have is not curable, but my therapist and my husband keep me positive. He reminds me that I’m beautiful and that my condition hasn’t diminished his love for me one bit.

So, I have two visits per week, on average, and my therapist has 24 years of experience treating patients with lipedema & lymphedema. I’m in good hands — literally! A couple of things I have to watch out for the rest of my life: one, I can’t do hot tubs anymore (not that I did them a lot, but still); two, I have to be careful when I travel by plane due to the effect it can have on my calves, ankles, and feet. It’s also recommended that I use electric shaver instead of razors to shave, since cuts, punctures, scratches all spell bad news in a limb with lipedema/lyphedema. In the scheme of things, it’s a day-by-day situation.

A friend of mine asked if there isn’t a medication I can take to help. The answer is no. There is no medication that can help, and diuretics, diet, or exercise cannot cure my conditions. The cause is unknown, and lipedema is classified as a rare disease.

Anyway, just an update because Thursday’s visit was a good one. I think she said my lower legs were down an inch in some areas, which is fabulous. Too bad they won’t stay there permanently, but as long as they’re not going up and heading to the next stage, I consider it a victory. I do NOT want to end up in Stages 3 or 4.