It is difficult to be caught up in a tangle of survival. Its very essence can stir you around like a bottle in the ocean.
I imagine myself hanging on to that bottle for dear life. It is dear. Life. So dear.
It isn’t until I look up out of the lurching rolling waves that I see a hand reach out for mine. I see a boat, and I reach out, grabbing, swinging a leg over the side and up into the timber nest I slide, gasping for air and feeling relief.
I get really scared every now and again. My biggest concern is that I don’t do enough. I worry about wasting time. Wasting dear life. I don’t like mundane activities very much, but mundane also has a place in life and without it, the profound could lose its meaning. There’s the whol inoperable brain situation and there’s life really. Life. What a word.
You see, there are a whole lot of “I’s in that paragraph, and it seems to me when the focus is all on the “I,” it can become intense and all consuming. The heart and soul can feel fuller, lighter and more profound in other ways.
Perhaps one of the aspects worth lots of introspection is spiritual health and attention. I think this starts with the bigger questions or the deeper ones that don’t echo with the emptiness of a needy and fearful “I” but instead make the ground shift and mountains move with the resounding “I AM, followed by “We Are.”
When I speak the word, spirituality-I do not speak about religion. I have nothing against religion personally. I am talking about the Human Spirit and its interaction with the mystery and marvel, the magnificent dance with the greater good. The relationship between resilience, the human condition, faith, wellness of heart, wellness of mind and a satellite view of “US”. Such is the riddle of anthropology and faith. But I will warn you: I am a Christian, and I am not afraid to say it. My best friends are atheists, Jewish folk, Buddhist and my secret favorites; Hindus. There are even some Catholics in the mix, more than a few Muslims and a collective of Agnostics. But we are all humans, and we all ponder. There are many of us here in the mix. Good humans that believe in something more.
Dr. Scott Peck of The Road Less Travelled says “We need not be afraid. But we still are. Faith does not come easily. I still run scared. There is this that I can say, however. As a result of my minuscule faith, I run a little less scared than I used to. Thank God.”
Wisdom is forged from the mindful contemplation of “the US” and all that is around us. When the deeper stirrings are attended to and when the quickening of the brain has calmed to a docile lion instead of a mischievous monkey we are all the better for it.
When we shake off the manipulations of those in power that seek to bind us.
When we realise that our body is indeed a temple and should be nourished naturally with the good food and substance the earth has for us when we care for it. When we can look out at the world around us from within and smile because it is good regardless of the all hurt, we have won.
You can improve that which disgruntles you. You can coax it into the light and infuse it with love and illumination, or you can continue to critique it’s existence and quibble at its failures and fissures, or you can deny it’s existence entirely marching on into the mundane, safe trap of habit. There is a choice to be made.
In my travels this year, I interviewed some of the most astounding Ponderers. Humans who made the choices for a greater good, a small act of kindness, a passion for overcoming that which ails us in. From children to grown ups and the grown ups that refuse to conform. They have welcomed my questions and have allowed my pen and keyboard to bounce at a rhythm faster than lightning, melded with that special “something” that gives you goosebumps and reminds you that there is something bigger than us. They might have cornflake dandruff, wear their clothes on inside out or perhaps they ability to burp the alphabet whilst they wrangle with saving the planet, who knows?
My journey has allowed me to grow a digital media business so big I have had to scale it back and evolve it to something different, a sharing of knowledge to those seeking to step into that space of awesome without having to worry about mistrust or integrity of those providing a service hindered by messy technology. In this journey, I have learned how to present information, how to produce content, podcasts, and platforms in new and enjoyable ways.
So I find myself turning a page to a new chapter. It came to me one night, and the entire picture was written down in the space of 20 minutes. I would love to say my epiphanies fall gently on my shoulder like a downy white angel feather.
They do not. They hit me in the forehead like a semi trailer packed with dynamite. So the “I” is going to become “Us”, Ponderings of Kirsten is going to lose the name Kirsten in its title and become Ponderings. A free online place where you will witness stories of the human spirit, laced with gutsy, real life, with the sprinkle of dark humor and laughter, with maybe a few tears. But a whole lot of Ponderings, in the form of interviews, Ponderings Radio and guest writers. There will be featured artists, musicians, painters, poets, and activists.
While the hundreds of emails that hit the Ponderings inbox with gratitude and thanks for sharing warts and all accounts of a possibly dying but mostly living girl, my world has filled to the brim with those with even more than this. So much more to fill your cup with and drink. It is my legacy now to pull you into the boat with the new guests of Ponderings and me while we ride out this boat ride together. We will play music, tell tales, inspire you and unlace the knots with you, but most of all we will smile, and we will laugh. By God, we will laugh. We will have heartsmiles by the dozen and disrupt this good earth into oblivion!
My motto that came to me in a moment when I pondered my intention-
Be of the eye that seeks to improve with love and be the lantern that brings light to the dark corner.
Watch this space beautiful humans. x Kirsten
I have not written here in a while. The reason for this is transparency.
As a friend reminded me the other day; this blog is about truth. I could not write the way I write and be truthful, light-hearted or anything really. I needed to come to a place where I was comfortable to tell you my truth. I stepped away from the meadow for a bit to think. I had writer’s constipation and a dreadful case of no-funny-itis. Now I am here.
So a month ago I went back to the hospital to find out how Fred was doing and the aneurysm. Turned out that Fred wasn’t doing so good and the aneurysm was still filling with blood, not a good sign. So all of my scans and goodies were sent off overseas to many other leading world experts to find out what could be done. It was now an even more special case. We waited 2 weeks. More brain surgery was the most likely outcome, the thought of which made my blood run cold. Disappointed but with very hopeful hearts we waited. We returned to be told that the conclusive opinion was that there is nothing more we can do, (with a whole lotta other stuff I wont bore you with) We are sorry. I said; what do I need to do? Response; you need to grow some cells.
I will not tell you what transpired over those hours. Some stuff just stays between a woman and her man, and a woman and her God.
We came home.
I walked around the house silent and devoid of any feeling. I was numb and shut down like a vault.
Not long after this something annoyed me and I spat sparks like Mount Vesuvius. It was at that moment I knew there was molten lava building up and it wasn’t going to be pretty. I was within 2 moments of giving up- my chest felt like a dust bowl. No feeling means Uh Oh. Because underneath the Uh Oh was a big Oh Shit. I knew I had to go somewhere To Be. I couldn’t be like this around my children and my husband, I was hurting and I didn’t want them to see it. I was sooooo tired. Tired of it all.
Putting on your big girl pants constantly is so tiring, the elastic was stretched, the cotton was torn and I had RSI from the upward pull, my wriggle was gone and the pants were saggy. My cup of concrete had run dry, 4 years will do that to you.
My children are so perceptive and Lothario needed to process gently without worrying about me. Well at least this is what I thought at the time. The other part I knew intrinsically after these years of mindful action was that there was no way that all of this anger was going to help me. It was bad for my stress response; it was not an ideal environment to heal. And I needed to grow new cells better than David Austen does roses; so the soil had to be right.
So I did what any middle class mother from the suburbs does when she gets given disruptive news; I went to an Ashram. It seems my at home retreat idea I mentioned in my last blog wasn’t going to cut it. I needed the real deal.
I know right? It’s so eat pray freaking love. I am a complete cliché. The Ashram had been mentioned to me by my Kinesiology and meditation teacher a few months before. I couldn’t believe that a full working Ashram was less than 2 hours from my house. It had personal retreats and Mouna (periods of silence). Who needed India? I had Wombat State Forrest!
So I threw my little family into disarray and Mamma Bear took off for a while.
This was harder for me than I have words for and there was snotty crying all the way but instinctively I knew it had to be done. My heart screamed STAY and yet I needed a place of quiet reflection.
I am a bit of a chatterbox, I like to have a yarn at times. (No really?) My father says I can talk under water with a mouth full of marbles. So when I told my family I was going to an Ashram for personal retreat where there were long periods of silence (NO TALKING AT ALL) there were a few grins. Self combustion was discussed and the very real possibility of a quick return home.
The periods of long silence and lack of human interpersonal contact via communication or eye contact was completely unsettling at first.
I had never experienced it before- it was so new to me. Being by myself and in silence is one thing, I do enjoy being on my own at times; but to be around others and be in silence is another. No mobile phones, No television, No outside interaction. So you are left with the wind, the sounds of the trees and birds and most importantly you are left with YOU.
I did get really desperate one afternoon and had a mind conversation with an old Kangaroo who was shading himself under a bush, he looked at me at one stage with one eyebrow raised as if to say “Bitch Please. You are talking to a Large Marsupial telepathically. Its time to call the dudes in the whites with a van, get an injection of happy time and chill, someone has been putting somthin freaky in the pear juice. “
My room consisted of a bed, a table and a lamp. No decorative features. Any ornate factors belonged to nature or the beautiful temples there. There was an awful lot of space. Just me and Papa G. Whoa.
There was one particular night when I realised that I was excellent at filling space. I filled space like a pro with children, relationships, business meetings, study, Netflix, hobbies, workouts and reading books, meditation, cooking, helping others. You name it, I filled the gaps. A busy happy mind is conducive to making things happen you see, being a go- getter and getting things DONE is the best way to be. Positivity breeds Positivity, so lets fill my world with endless positivity add a few naps and a bit of me time is all you need… yeah right…
Now I had infinite space with nothing to fill it with but me.
So what did me have to say? Me asked a shit load of weird things that went a little something like this;
If disease is caused by negative thoughts then isn’t death the ultimate failure for a positive thinker?
What trauma do I have I am still hanging on to?
How do I tell my kids this news? You don’t have anything to tell them. Nothings really happened.
I’m so sick of having to report back to people about everything.
I’m so exhausted from spreading bad news like a virus
I put hope in other people’s hands. People I thought knew to fix me. It didn’t work. Yes it did. You are still here.
They are the experts and they cant do any more to help.
Why do I still think I am not good enough?
Good enough for what?
You’re hurting everyone you know.
This is painful, I am causing pain.
This is not right.
This is not fair.
Why am I so scared?
I’m really broken now.
Why was I talking to a kangaroo?
I really need chocolate now.
Actually chocolate and a big arse glass of wine.
You’ve done it again, you have told everyone you are fine and you are NOT FINE
How on earth is he going with the children?
I hope they haven’t burnt the house down
They can’t survive without me
My genetics suck
Being old is so overrated…hmmm I should have brought chocolate
You know you need to smile, you need to forget about you and concentrate on those around you who need you
Pull up your big girl pants and get on with it, you can’t get angry
You mustn’t get angry or be sad
The medical profession has all the answers
Thought you were so clever being healthy, meditating, praying, being so good, it didn’t get you very far did it? Clever girls come last don’t they?
Trav didn’t sign up for this
I’ve ruined my kids lives
My toenails need painting
Man what is that hair growing outta my knee?
I wonder if I bought the tweezers
I’ve lost the plot and I am a terrible human
None of these were true. They were all expressions and echoes of pain learned and attached to me like stitches in a blanket that I had wrapped around myself over 39 years without even realising it. We do funny things to survive, people tell us funny things and then they get reinforced by outside events along the way. We learn the stitches but they are not a part of the beginning fabric. I spent time gently unpicking the stitches and taking a look, then putting it back together again without the bits I didn’t need anymore.
The acknowledgement and release of all these facets made way for new discoveries and ideas. Unearthing both frantically frightening and joyful elements like a miner with a trowel was more beneficial, complex and free-ing than anything I’ve experienced to this date. It’s a big call right?
I bushwalked, I cried, I wrote, I drew, I prayed, I chanted, I learned a whole different breed of Yoga, I read books, I had in-depth chats about life and death with a Swami, I drank and ate with monks, I laughed. I meditated within an inch of my life; learning Meditation that made me feel like there really are Jedi. I had a frog jump on my hand and apparently I am now no longer allergic to coconut; I acknowledge that this is completely random and a story for another time.
I did all of this in an environment that was pure and special. I felt it the moment I walked around the property.
The food would put Jamie Oliver to shame; Permaculture based on hundreds of years of knowledge and it was like walking into the garden of Eden, if you love growing fruit and veg, this was pretty spesh. This feeds the entire Ashram; we ate Vegetarian Organic, beautifully prepared dishes that had been specifically chosen for the body’s absolute purity. I was a bit impressed can you tell?
This place was filled with classes and possibilities for you to choose in this space of quiet and gentle contemplation, nothing is forced. Interesting people with elegant and gentle space is what I felt. These amazing people have opened up their Ashram for the modern world human to enter and experience being human again. Some people just go there to paint write and sleep.
And as I felt myself come gently back together, I started smiling.
A sense of peace started to enter the space, my sense of connection to all that was around me heightened. The volcano embers had been expelled and replaced with deep breaths.
There is a very strong theory that past trauma can sit within the layers of different consciousness and create either disease or a body environment that is out of balance which can create illness. I knew this, and have spent many years letting go, practising forgiveness and turning over what I thought was nearly every rock. There’s been tapping, CBT, NLP, ABC, 123, you name it, I’ve tried it. They are all great stepping stones to wellness and mindfulness, but they are not the answer to everything. I had missed a key point, my body knew exactly what it needed all along. It knew. I knew. I had to be in a moment of complete option-run out, come to Jesus-holy shit moment to be left with nothing. When you have nothing to go to You go within and then that’s when God happens. This is when we are truly listening to what it is we need to have a present, calm and balanced life. None of us knows when our time here has come for us to have the next Grand Adventure, part of being human is the feeling of being a human, the broken that is human. You are a human Be-Ing. Some of us are so busy fixing and filling our lives, we forget about the being part.
It isn’t mystical, philosophical or religious. You appreciate living in a world of 5 elements with a mind that reacts and is able to perceive and appreciate on whatever level.
My body is made of these elements and minerals. This is what feeds them. I can be sustained. The most natural thing in the world is for an organism to build cells. It does it every day.
I’m pretty sure I can grow these cells if I haven’t already. If my body mind and spirit are primed for good healthy cell growth, then my body will do the rest with a bit of Gods Grace. If it is to be then it will be. I think it might be just that simple. As a monk said to be last week; You are already doing it.
I just got used to these digs and there is housekeeping to be done. I got myself weddings to attend, grand babies to hold and countries to soiree in as well as a book under my belt to get published. Plus I want to see what Lothario looks like as an old bugger, I reckon he is going to rock a paunchy belly and grey hairs. Plus I learned some amazing new Yoga positions, I can balance on one leg properly and I have a sneaking suspicion I can do Jedi Mind Control now. Just sayin.
When I came home we decided that we have had enough of fear hanging over our heads and monthly check ups- MRIs and Angiograms, Brain Surgeries. We are going to get on with our lives now. I am going to get on with my life. Because this is my life. Right now.
If you decide to hang about you are going to hear some ponderings about life, hopefully they will be interesting (I’ve written enough fodder when I was away to write 60 blogs…so there’s plenty to go around if you are up for it).
In the meantime – Kiss someone you love, forgive someone you need to and hopefully we will walk in the meadow again soon. Xxx Kirsten
PS- Rocklyn Ashram details are HERE for those who are interested – xx
Schmelentines Day – Valentines day tomorrow, big whoopsy doo. I’m not bitter, nope not me. Did you know I NEVER got one Valentines day card in Highschool? Not even a note. I had one particular friend who’s Dad nearly had to bring a bloody trailer after school to pick up the goodies left by admirers at her locker. (She shall remain nameless- last name started with a H…?) Huge stuffed teddy bears, roses, admissions of forever love… you name it. Me? Zilcho, diddley squat, nadda, naught, Tengo cero amigo y chupé- (Spanish for it sucked). –google translate that one!
So when I finally found my blue eyed Lothario and let him marry me I presumed this would be the start of a gloriously romantic chapter of my forever love. NOPE. Tengo cero amigo y chupé, yep its worth repeating. Not a romantic bone in the man’s body. I shouldn’t say that, he did take me to KFC that time, slipping that little heart chocolate under my sweet and sour sauce…
So anyway, I AM a romantic, an epic one. And as much as I hear people whine and whinge about the commercialism of it, I think its ONE-day of the year where you get to declare your love. It’s nice to get a Valentine. So I have gone out and bought lots of cool presents for Blue eyes. I wanted to snag him into going to see the movie Fifty Shades, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. He wants to handcuff me sure, but that’s probably to the kitchen sink to stop me eating his Rocky Road, not because he desires my ridiculously sweet ride, again…. Tengo cero amigo y chupé!!!!!!!!! (I didn’t really like the book anyway, cos I am a bit of a closet feminist and it riled me) and I think I should milk this getting sick thing and get a big teddy bear or something? LOL.
A few people have touched base the last week to ask how I am. I am ok. Other than the whole Valentines day thing that is. I have resorted today to cutting out love hearts with a sharp knife while wearing lipstick smeared across my cheeks like William Wallace singing Alanis Morresette (I’m kidding)
Am I ok now? Well if this all had happened 18 months ago I wouldn’t be here. The fact that I am here writing this blog is a miracle, so I dare not complain. People see me and think I look normal so I must be ok. But its not all ok, some days I wonder if it will ever be “ok”, the aneurysm is still there, still bulging, if its pops I am dead in under 10 mins I have been told. So I walk around every day with this little fragile balloon in my head, side effects that make you queasy and dizzy, but its reinforced now with Megatron H-man steel Titanium thingy’s that will not let me down. And if you sat around thinking about the balloon thing, well you would lock yourself away and bury all pins and needles. Make the most of what you got and get on with it I say!
I am on immunosuppressant’s and blood thinning meds. So I have to avoid snotty noses, coughs and bench corners. The bruising factor is so bad! It looks like I’ve gone 10 rounds with Ali or Tyson from a mild bang to the body. Gorgeous shades, there’s fifty shades of Duck egg blue, faint hues of Atomic Tangerine, Deep Saffron, Cadmium Gree, Deep Koamaru and Calf shite yellow with just a touché of Taupe and Eton (if you don’t mind)- colours people, know your colours! Seriously, someone hand me the Pantone swatches…(Tanya B? J) I’m so bruised I look like I need to go into witness protection, seriously…
I’ve had a few spills this week thanks to a couple of episodes of dizziness and crazy-not-watching- where- I- am going stuff. Minor. One involved a catastrophic spill on the ground outside. I was running, (no Ma, I am not sposed to but I needed to ok?) too fast in the pitch black night outside to the studio. What should be ready to betray my speeding ostrich legs? A Shipping Crate, big, flat, black and ominous lying on the ground and in my path. I was airborne in .2567 of a second, that fast I nearly defied Quantum physics, face planted with a possible broken foot swelling up quicker than you can say Viagra prescription.
No-one inside could hear my pleas for assistance (I couldn’t move) so I encouraged our Schnoodle dog Charlie to make like Lassie and “Go Get Dad”. To his credit he ran to the door, little trooper, but couldn’t quite muster the furry paw sign language required to indeed capture the man of the house’s attention. I was eventually heard, by which stage I had a severe case of the giggles as I could only imagine what I would have looked like flying through the air, arms and legs going everywhere. And I had gravel stuck in my cheeks which made me laugh even more for some bizarre reason. It took Little Bro and Lothario to both lift me and get me inside, (I may or may not have put on a few Kg’s since surgery just sayin…) and got the foot on ice.
Needless to say, it was badly bruised not broken, I gave Lothario a heart attack, Little Bro and my children had the giggles, because for some whack reason we share the same sick sense of humour. All is well.
I am a shocker for laughing at people when they hurt themselves. Its not the hurt bit, I don’t find that amusing, its awkward stuff. When people fall awkwardly or slip over. Have you seen the youtube clips with the super models that wobble and fall on platform heels? Well I have, left me slappin my leg and guffawing till I couldn’t breathe or see straight. If you’ve ever heard a spontaneous laugh from me it truly resembles a cross between a Hyena and a trumpet. I would love to titter and tutt like a lady, but nope, its so momentous that if I didn’t let it come out of my mouth it would wiggle down through lower intestines and come out the other end with explosive gusto. Trust me, don’t want see that. Not ever. Nasty.
If anyone has a Faux Pas, I find it hysterical. It can be really socially unacceptable too, not good for maintaining relationships or invitations. Like one time I was at this packed out party and the host went to run inside, and ran smack bang into the glass door in front of everyone. She hit it that hard there were fog marks left on the glass in the shape of her nostrils. The whole house reverberated with the sound of her face and body smacking into it, and she fell on the ground in shock. I let out my explosive laugh, I nearly split something only to realize seconds later the room was silent. Silence in that moment was in Nooo way golden. I went bright red, looking at shocked disgusted faces around me which left me running to the aforementioned fallen victim trying to help her up without hyena/trumpeting. Ok, so the lady might have been my mother-in-law, but she was ok, she wasn’t badly hurt and I know for a fact that my sister in law is a trumpeter too, and she got away with crouching down behind the sink and biting her fist (yeah I was so onto you Kim…).
So its Valentines Day tomorrow, hope you all get a heart, someone tells you they love you and all that mushy stuff. Thats another week of my nutbag ponderings done. Thank you to everyone who read the few chapters last week of my little novella Short Naked Latte, I got so many encouraging emails, it was just beautiful and uplifting and made me feel like a real growed-up-writer! For those that have asked below is another two chapters. If you missed the last ones peeps, they are at the bottom of last weeks blog. Short Naked Latte is a collection of short stories where all the characters are linked. These ones a bit less gentle that the last just giving you the heads up.
Much love xx Kirst
In the Beginning
‘A Faithful friend is the medicine of life’
-Bible. Ecclesiasticas 6:16
A melic of cicadas shrills in the warm night. Clumps of fescue and mounds of dry cow dung populate the paddock. Barbed wire; rusting and twisted over fallen fence posts stand like ancient soldiers in the summer night. Small shadows move within the green glow of the paddock’s centre.
Sometimes it feels like a zillion people try to call at once, need you at once or require something, it may be a little person or a grown one.
Sometimes its the growing list of things that have to be done, a list that grows like Pinocchio’s nose, leaving you feeling stretched and pulled and eventually as flat as a damp squib, depleted and run down. Surrendering a busy schedule and lists for a wiser plan is rarely easy and trying to find the time to even work out what can be given up to make room for one’s self becomes a battle of wills and often self sacrifice. Folk all over the world put their needs after other’s or place list objectives above their intrinsic needs, not to do this often attracts a feeling of selfishness or indulgence.
Quite often the fact that it is INTRINSIC and NECESSARY is completely missed.
But sometimes its not having a massage or a day spa, yoga retreat and 2 hours meditation a day lol that you need (so not knocking these, id give my two front teeth and left knuckle for something like that at the moment ) Its just creating a moment of total abandon and escape from the rat race infused monkey brain.
A few days ago I got up before everyone else, it was the early hours of the morning when the blue is just lighting up.
I had a late night before and a crazy week that left me feeling hurried, harried and stretched. My mind wouldn’t stop, chattering away, listing all the stuff I had to do, conversations I needed to have, school shoes I needed to buy, booklist items still needing picking up, the kitchen sink I need to polish with a cloth and spit (kidding). I stretched out on my Yoga mat, berating myself for thinking too much and I saw a tiny piece of fluff in the sky above me, like a dandelion or “Santa Claus” as we grew up calling them. I watched it. I admired it, and decided to not move anything until I saw it float away and I couldn’t see it anymore.
Such a simple act induced a feeling of small wonder, almost childlike which I’ve not felt for a very long time.
All my grown up thoughts drifted to the back like a naughty child. I took a really deep breath and kept watching. I think it took maybe 10 minutes for it to fade into the blue sky completely. It did not feel like a complete waste of my time. It felt good. Soul food. I took a big deep breath and felt calm, peace, still and it felt like chocolate. Real good.
I then started pondering (no…really?) about all this overthinking business (the sweet irony) and the “crazy”, if you don’t control it, it can really sneakily grow like a foul yeast. A little bit is good, its fodder for motivation, fuel for action. But too much without escape or peace throws the balance out and the yeast grows so silently and quickly and you got yourself a candida infection bad enough to make bits drop off spontaneously. Ew.
Last year I experienced a business boom. After 9 years of really hard work and love; my business started to take off in new directions and ways I only dreamed of. Because of my previous 2 years of brain surgery recovery, re-learning, rehab etc I thought I had the balance-lesson thing pretty much down pat. Lessons learned, acing all games. I got this. But I had a couple of people around me that were growing concerned.
Beloveds who were observing the steady increase that was being masqueraded with all the joy and happy of this growth and I was going to hard.
I didn’t think I was. When I was approached and we spoke about working too hard, I nodded and smiled and fully felt that I was okay. I was fine, make hay while the sun shines, I am not tired, I feel happy, therefore I am good. Point is I was too busy to really listen and notice what was actually going on.
It has taken me 6 weeks of complete annoying forced bed rest and then getting “back into it” the last few weeks to physically feel and hear my body and mind responding, like an alarm clock warning. A beautifully designed alarm clock, we all have one. It knows how to warn me, it does a great job. I just forget to keep the clock oiled and I forgot its sound. I forgot to listen.
I have again been humbled, made to stop. Lesson learned. I love it how we can get ahead of ourselves and think we’ve learned what we need to know, then shabang we get smacked in the forehead with another one and we feel like infants again.
My alarm clock’s sound is remembered again. Firmly. I liken it to a computer. If your computer’s email is down, incoming messages aren’t happening what do you do? Do you rip the power supply out of the wall and walk away, forgetting you have a computer? No, you try and work out what’s wrong with it, you stop and ask yourself “I wonder what is going on with my computer?” mixed in with some choice profanities perhaps.
Likewise you get a headache, pop some panadol and get on with it, like the advertisements tell us every day, we don’t have time to stop! Pop a pill and get going! Which is like pulling the chord out of the computer without thinking about it. I am not saying don’t take Panadol lol, its been my personal best friend for the last few months, I probably own shares in the company by now. But what I am saying if you listen to your body, it has an alarm. Just an example; if you have a headache, STOP. Ask-
Have I had enough water to drink?
Is it time to switch off the computer?
Am I feeling stressed? Is my body showing me signs in aches and pains that it is distressed?
How can I reduce this?
What can I do to feel better? Do I need more sleep? How can I achieve this?
The need for people in the Western world to push on is rewarded all the time. Quick! Stop the symptoms! What do you mean there’s a fire in the cupboard? Well quickly shut the door so we can’t see the smoke, it will go away. Are you sick? GET WELL Quickly, because if you aren’t better then my world feels uncomfortable and I don’t like that feeling- uncomfortable, its makes everything icky and awkward. I pose the question- if we treat the symptoms and not the cause in all aspects of our life, are we robbing ourselves of growth and process? Do we do the “quickly” thing in our lives so other people feel more comfortable?
Stop just for a minute, take some nice deep slow breaths, sip some water and listen to your body.
Your body is the boss and employee, if you ignore it, don’t repair it or care for it it can and will either give you the sack or go on strike eventually. I have found balance, but its been by force not by choice. Sometimes it takes surrender, courage and step in faith and trust in ourselves to find a place of stillness and peace. Our body is designed with sensory messages communicating to us when something is up, physically and intuitively, instincts are gold.
Plus unhurried hands and minds make the best meals from scratch, tell the best bedtime stories, give longer kisses and and probably make better candles. Skills are sharpened and harnessed differently. Its true. Cross my heart, Hope to live.
Again I hear Nellie Florence’s advice to me as a child echoing back;
“There is a time to eat, a time to play, a time to work, a time to sleep and a time to pray”
I hope you have a wonderful week, I hope you find a piece of fluff to watch or a moment to yourself.
I tried again to do this yesterday, waiting for a piece of fluff to appear. This came crashing down pretty quick when a Banshee wail from the bathroom screamed we were out of shampoo. But once in the week is a good start don’t you reckon?
I look around me, but it still doesn’t make any sense. I am ok. Am I ok?
So far so good, don’t count your chickens we’ve done what we can. This man, this amazing educated man stood with a tiny wire and guided it through my arterial system like a galaxy discoverer for 6 hours and saved my life. The word Thank You is redundant and not significant enough for this amazing human being. The nursing staff adore him, he is polite, a gentleman and very nice. I do not detect a single trace of arrogance or elitism. This calm, serious man conjures a confidence in those around him. I am told by several female nurses and a doc they want to marry him. It appears he holds hero status amongst his peers and he is just SO NICE.
Everything still feels dream like, as though i haven’t quite woken from the General Anaesthesia, and am floating and watching everyone. All my faculties are firing so I don’t believe there is any damage, but something definitely feels different, some how. But how? How so?
Its 5.00 am and I have woken up with shocking back pain, the third night in a row.
Waves of muscle spasm keep waking me and whilst I’m waiting for the pain meds to kick in I shall type for a bit. My brain hurts. My skin feels hospital greasy, why is that? Why does ones skin feel so revolting in hospital? I look like a punch drunk boxer, all swollen and puffy, yellowy skin and bad hair. I was laughing with my girlfriends yesterday about this hair of mine, I am going for the Bohemian loosely pinned looked however i have managed to be a conduit for the spirit of Kramer after sticking his finger in an electricity socket.
My husband keeps pinching me. Yesterday he pinched the tip of my nose (mean feat, have you seen the size of my snozz?- when God was giving out —-dorsum nasi——– I was being a greedy one. Then he pinched my arm gently,
“Why are you pinching me? Cut it out!”
“To see if you are real” was his reply.
The night before the surgery was wonderful. Surrounded by my amazing football team family, aunts, uncles, brothers, sister, parents , besties…a crazy dinner and silly goings-on that had me tired and smiling.
The morning of the surgery was calm and quiet. After saying goodbye to ‘Blue eyes’, the surgery prepping work was done I had about 25 minutes by myself lying on a gurney waiting. I can truthfully tell you it was the longest 25 minutes of my life. The Big Bang Boys would have my ear, the quantum dynamics of time space and momentum variable theory were playing havoc with my sensory input, in other words according to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle I was 2 steps off shitting my pants. It was fight or flight in its most beautiful abundance.
I wondered as I lay there if this is what cavemen felt like with a Tyrannosaurus Rex breathing down their back. This is not something you feel everyday.
Mortality. I am either going to wake up or I am not going to wake up. If I do wake up there are all of these things they have told me could very well be wrong and damaged. In 20 minutes I might just be going to sleep forever or waking up not knowing who I am or being able to walk again or feed myself. So my friends you could understand my reluctance to a) close my eyes b) relax c) allow anyone to do anything to me other than let me the hell off that gurney and give me a set of car keys.
Facing your own mortality, knowing nothing after that injection goes in your arm as you count backwards what the (*(^)(*&&%## is going to happen is totally life stuttering, mind blowing, frightening stuff. So what did i do?
I did the only thing I could do, I prayed. I thought of all the beautiful humans out there praying for me, I thought of it being like a big net lifting me up. I begged God to fill my heart with calm and peace. And it happened. I still fought the anaesthetic but I drifted off calmly. Theres a little more to that bit, but I am not yet brave enough to discuss that here, maybe next week?
I woke up in recovery with nurses in their blue surg gear singing songs from Ferris Bueller (best movie ever) to which i started laughing, that was my first baby step in consciousness that hinted to me that I was ok. I looked at this gorgeous nurse (they seriously all look angelic ) and asked her what time it was.
I had gone in at 7.00am. “Its 4.00pm” she replied. My response? “OH! SHIT!” which got her laughing. “What’s wrong?” she asked. “I’ve done it again, has anyone rung my family to let them know I am ok?” You see the last surgery was meant to be 3 hours and I made my family wait a yucky 7 hours under the knife whilst none of them knew what was going on. It was very torturous for them. This op was only meant to be an hour and a half. I had indeed done it again…
She grabbed a phone, “Would you like to call him?” and winked at me.
Well, I cant tell you how much that made me smile. Would i like to call him? And she pulled out her mobile phone and entered his number, putting it to my ear. This was attractive to every cheeky part of my being, that would take the cake and he would know for sure I was ok.
This doctor had to gently thread a microscopic wire up via my femoral arteries through up into my inner central brain, the aneurysm had distorted the carotid artery so much so he didn’t have a nice round “pipe” to get through, it was like bumpy pea soup. One slight bump either way, a puncture or scrape and I would be most likely dead or wishing I was dead (their words not mine). The Flow Diverter wouldn’t stay in place, attempted coiling went haywire (misbehaving) so that didn’t work, and I lost a lot of blood.
So my family are waiting for what they believe to be tops 2 hours in surgery.
6 hours later….I had worn this poor man out and everything went haywire and wrong. But the absolute genius and skill of this Dr had me alive, well and he has saved my life. Now Fred the flow diverter has to do his job.
Even though I was still fuzzy from the Anaesthetic, as I was laying on my back (I had to lay flat on my back for 24 hours) with the phone to my ear I could hear the joy in ‘Blue eye’s voice and disbelief that it was me on the other end of the line. His laughter and the joy in my ear that moment was magic. I had caused so much non intentional pain for my loved ones, and in that minute I was relieving the torture with a cheeky gesture.
I am told afterward that as I spoke to him over the phone; he was surrounded with all our peeps, and when my brother and sister saw the grinning expression on his face they said “Its Kirst on the phone” and everyone looked at them like they were silly. “Its the doctor, it cant be her?” Their response was that he had his “Kirst -face and voice on.” “He only talks like that and looks like that with HER.” When I was told this afterwards it shocked me, I didn’t know my husband had a “voice” just for me and it delighted me with no end in sight. I do believe I will hold this story to my chest for the rest of my days. Very soppy and heart filling.
They can do miracles but have not yet discovered how to change a concave polygon. Hmph.
I got a bit sick afterwards and ended up in hospital again, I’ve got horrendous vertigo, migraine and I cant see properly out of my good eye for some weird reason. Ive got two thighs full of magic gel and clips in my legs. The physical pain is almost as bad as last time which surprised me. When it comes to physical pain, what are you like? Me, I am VERBAL. So when I am in a copious amount of pain it sounds like a constipated cat or a koala on heat. If you have ever heard those noises before you will know they are unusual and unforgettable. Then I do this really weird thing where I feel guilty because I am alive, i have all my bits in place and my hair, my vision so “Don’t whinge Kirsten Elizabeth, have a cup of concrete and harden up” which results in me swallowing up the verbal pain emissions, a sound reminiscent of a constipated cat being ejected at high speed into the atmosphere, cranky.
And I have been a bit cranky over the weekend, much to the bemusement of my loved ones.
Apparently my flavour of cranky is cute and unimpressive. hmmm. This makes me doubly cranky. They actually laugh at me apologising for the laughter. I am not good at cross. A mild snarl and I am apologising profusely to the lamppost I just bumped into. Has anyone ever told you that you’re cute when you are angry? Its not Joan of Arc stuff I can tell you.
Today is a good day. The pain has lessened a little.
I’ve got 6 weeks of rest ahead of me, which is where the cranky comes from, I am not good at rest. I am a do-er not a rester, so this will be interesting…Now I wait for the marvel of this little metal jigger to do its job and redirect the flow of blood without blocking anything or doing any damage. I will have the all clear in about a year, I am banking on 6 months. In the mean time I cant do anything crazy I am told. There goes the reverse backward dive en-bungee in my birthday suit idea… (sorry you knew that line was coming and I couldn’t resist the cliche).
I am alive, I am alive and I am alive. I am not blind, I can walk, I remember where I live, how old I am (26 thank you) and I still love chocolate. All is well.
PS- to Uncle Kel, I remembered the word- compelling
PPS- To Matt who told me I looked like a supermodel when I didn’t- love u bro from another mo
PPPS- To the two girlfriends who stalked the ward all hours of the night for 3 days sneaking in and defying my father, my husband and medical staff- I LOVE YOU, this is why we have girlfriends people!!!!
PPPPS_ Papa G- thank you I knew you had me covered x