The Common Cold

I’m getting over a cold this weekend. The illness itself only lasted about four days, but the lead up to getting cold symptoms was a week and a half. I blame MS and maybe hormones.

I realized several years ago that I would inevitably have low energy periods each month. I experienced flu-like symptoms (fatigue and muscle aches) without the upper respiratory distress. Every time I made plans to start a regular fitness regime, I would feel not well enough to get started.  Now that I know I have MS, it all makes sense.

You see, the period when I’m coming down with a cold is slightly worse for me than for people who don’t have an autoimmune disease. I’m just guessing. I haven’t done a study. I missed a few days of work last week because it seemed prudent not to overtax myself. I didn’t get a lot of exercise either. I feared that overdoing it could lead to a flare-up.

The only way I can get in better shape when I’m faced with these monthly energy fluctuations is to not skip workouts when I’m feeling good, and do what I can during my less than 100% periods. I’m considering getting in a little strength training every day with some cardio built in. I keep talking about it, but not making a plan. The trick is not to use the lack of a plan as an excuse to doing nothing.

Today, I’m recovering. Tomorrow should be better. I might do some hooping.

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Aesthetic

The prompt is aesthetic.

Although I thought I knew what the word aesthetic meant, I Googled it to be sure. I found that the official definitions jibed with my concept of the term, so I was ready to start writing. I considered talking about a declaration I made years ago to improve the world by adding beauty to it. The statement was a response to my inability to fix the world’s problems. I figure the least I can do is make a few people’s lives a little better by showing them beautiful works of art.

My search brought up more than standard definitions. Urban Dictionary defines it as “Something that tumblr weirdo’s say way too often and use it for every damn thing under the sun. A generally annoying word.” 

A site called Know Your Meme says, Aesthetic, often stylized as a e s t h e t i c, refers to retro-inspired visual art and music associated with the vaporwave subculture, which typically include Japanese lettering and nostalgic themes from 1980s and 1990s computer operating systems and video game consoles.”

What is Vaporwave?

Vaporwave sounded interesting, so I did a search. I skimmed an Esquire article about it and found myself not caring. There’s a YouTube playlist you might visit to see what the genre is like. I’d say that it’s not my thing.

Back to the word aesthetic.

Vlogger, Ben J. Pierce did a fun little song about the word aesthetic.

It looks like aesthetic is a word tossed about by hipsters hanging out in independent coffee shops and talking ironically about hipster topics.  Here’s a guide to being a hipster if you’re looking to get involved in the movement.

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Hipster?

 

The Opposite Direction

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Jake sat in the grass at the foot of the great statue. He didn’t know what the statue signified, but he was drawn to it for some reason. Every day at lunchtime he would leave his office on the 15th floor of the shiny blue building, walk across the courtyard, and take a seat beneath the stone giant. Jake would lay out a hand towel on the grass and then place his sandwich, chips, and soda on top of it. Some days, today included, Julia, from the 12th floor, would sit with him and eat her bagel and cream cheese. They would discuss the doings on the 15th and 12th floors. Jake managed the A-L accounts, and Julia handled M-Z. The conversations were not at all interesting.

They sat and ate until Julia abruptly stood up and pulled Jake to his feet. His sandwich dropped to the ground, and he looked at it forlornly. Julia swiftly kicked the sandwich away and looked pleadingly into Jake’s eyes. He understood her request and answered with a nod. The pair then ducked under the statue’s parted legs and strode away in the opposite direction of the office building. They did not look back.

A response to Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner, Week 3. 199 words~

 

Must be in a dream

Photo of winding mountain highway.

The woman found she was on her feet and walking along a winding highway. She could see mountains in the hazy distance. She looked down at her feet to see shoes that she didn’t recognize. The shirt and jeans she wore did not seem familiar either. She thought she must be dreaming, because when a person finds oneself in an unfamiliar place wearing strange shoes and clothes, that person must be in a dream.

The dream was boring, so she decided to make something happen.

She moved to the shoulder as a light blue sedan rolled to a stop beside her. The front passenger-side door opened. She looked and saw that there was no driver. She considered getting in and going for a ride. That didn’t seem safe, so she decided to do the driving herself. She walked around to the driver’s side and opened the door. To her surprise, she saw herself sitting behind the wheel. With a feeling of relief, she went back to the passenger side and got in the car. The car began moving forward. The driver and passenger glanced at each other and smiled knowingly. They would soon reach their destination.


Response to challenge from Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner (196 words)

Interior

The prompt is interior.

When I was a kid, my mom had the Better Homes and Gardens Decorating Book. I loved this book! I would look at the rooms (all in 70s style) and dream of having my own house to decorate. As a teen, I read decorating magazines like House and Garden and House Beautiful. I continued to dream of one day living in immaculately decorated spaces.

Now I have a house, a husband, two inside dogs, a cat, and a lot of clutter. I will never live in one of those magazines. I have not made peace with that fact. It makes me anxious and upset when I see all of the disorganization and clutter in my house. If I’m feeling depressed, thinking about dealing with the clutter worsens the depression. I know there’s a way to overcome the problem, but I have other priorities just now. Yes, I’ve considered reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The idea scares me for some reason. Sometimes I watch Hoarders and thank the gods that I’m not one of them.

I ordered a used copy of that Better Homes and Gardens book. When it arrives I will gaze at the photos and fondly recall my childhood dreams. The book itself will contribute to the clutter problem. I am sometimes not so smart.

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Better Homes and Gardens Decorating Book on Amazon

Gone

The prompt is gone.

Is it a good idea to sit down and list the things that are gone from your life? Let’s see how it goes.

1) My childhood (but, not really)

2) My modern dance technique (mostly)

3) My mother (but she’s always with me)

4) My Cincinnati Reds toboggan – some call it a knit cap  (lost a few days ago)

5) My strong desire to perform (mostly)

6) My beer can collection (from childhood)

Some, but not all of my fears have disappeared. I’ve lost some bad habits and gained new ones. Counting losses doesn’t feel productive, but it may be a legitimate way to evaluate one’s life. Self-evaluation is something we should add do from time to time. Right?

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Mom and me.

 

Back to work

Today is the official New Year’s holiday. Tomorrow, I go back to work. I don’t wanna! The work week won’t even be semi-normal. I take my car for an alignment tomorrow and then take my dad to an appointment on Wednesday. I also have to go to Comcast and swap Dad’s malfunctioning router for a new one. The good thing is that I’ve got some fish and vegetables pre-cooked, and I’m well stocked on veggies for a while.

Last month, Riley destroyed my Wii Fit disc, so I ordered another one.

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An innocent sleeping Riley.

I also bought Zumba Fitness World Party. I haven’t tried it yet. Maybe I’ll write a review after I’ve given it a spin. It’s important that I get two days of strength training into each week. I have everything I need to accomplish this goal, but for some reason, I’m not good at seeing it through. I should make sure to do it on Mondays. That way, I’ll be half-way to accomplishing the goal. I may have to set a weekly schedule. Ideally, I would have my workouts set up for a whole month. The Evernote Moleskine notebook I ordered might help me to get moving on a workout schedule. We’ll soon see.

I forgot to post this picture of a tree ornament at my neurologist’s office. Is that Gandalf the White?

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Must be Gandalf!