Fibronaut At Home

Soundtrack to Healing

One of my most favorite songs to listen to right now is This Time I Won’t Forget by Kongos.

This Time I Won’t Forget

Written by Johnny Kongos 

Oh, I will try
But I tell you it ain’t easy using only words 
And so I’ll begin
But I’ll start at the end, the day I said so long my friend

I still remember well
His smile that would not die
And the tears begin to swell
Tears I dare not fight
 

Cause now I’m alive
I’m taking my first breath
Oh I’m alive
And this time I won’t forget
 

Now as I look back
Wish I’d known that someday soon he’d long be gone
So, I will try
To remember the end, the day I said so long my friend

They go by many names
Mother, father, brother, son
And the tears begin to swell
Tears I dare not fight
 

Cause now I’m alive
I’m taking my first breath
Oh I’m alive
And this time I won’t forget

Oh I’m alive
And this time I won’t forget

 

I love the chorus.  For me, I focus on the “I’m taking my first breath.  Oh, I’m alive.”  It’s a great reminder to stay in the moment and appreciate and live the life you have.  Moving on, changing, always adapting, living.  I’m alive!

I think it’s important to have go to songs that lift you up, remind you of what is important and put you in the mood to live life.  From the time I wake up in the morning to the time I go to sleep I utilize music to get me going, get me motivated, keep me moving, and when it is time for bed, to go to sleep.  I meditate and stretch anytime the pain is getting to me.  When stretching is too intense, gentle movements of my entire body, not just the aching parts helps as well.  Listening to music while I clean helps the time fly by.  I basically listen to music all day.  Sometimes, just dancing around my house or dancing as I drive helps me stay loose.  I’ve also found that if I’m singing along to a song, I’m less likely to be grinding my teeth and tensing my shoulders.  Both of those habits are the main cause of my tension headaches.  I have a go-to CD for sleep that I’ve mentioned before:  Bedtime Beats: The Secret to Sleep.  After I take my medicine, I listen to this every night.  If I’m not at home, I don’t, obviously, but as soon as I get home.

I would love to hear what songs help you.

 

 

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Music is My Favorite Medicine

No matter how I’m feeling, either physically or emotionally, music helps me get where I need to be more than anything else.  I’m sure I’d be in a lot more pain if I didn’t take my Naproxen and Baclofen.  I can’t sleep without a Baclofen and an Amitriptyline.  But the medicines I take aren’t always prescribed by the doctor.

Every night, I listen to Bedtime Beats: The Secret to Sleep after I take my nighttime meds at 9 pm.  They help me to chill out and focus on relaxation.  If I watch TV with my hubby, I usually have more trouble falling asleep, so I also limit that at night.

Every morning, I start my day sitting at my kitchen table (no bed laying or couch sitting when I’m trying to wake up), listening to American Authors, Young the Giant, The Ting Tings, New Politics, Paramore and OneRebuplic, just to name a few.  These bands all have songs that are very positive and encouraging.  They make me want to get up and get things done.  One of my favorites, that has really inspired me and become a mantra for me is Young the Giant’s, My Body.  The entire chorus is often sung at the top of my lungs:

My body tells me no 
But I won’t quit 
Cause I want more 
Cause I want more
My body tells me no 
But I won’t quit 
Cause I want more 
Cause I want more

I also love a song by Bleachers, I Wanna Get Better.  In my car or at my house, I sing the chorus and I believe it.  I do want to get better.  Every day I work on it and every day I make progress.

The entire American Authors album is awesome.  On Believer:

I’m just a believer
That things will get better
Some can take it or leave it
But I don’t wanna let it go

You guessed it.  I sing this at the top of my lungs too.  Don’t get me started on my family’s favorite, Best Day Of My Life.

I could go on and on about the music that puts me in the mood to kick some ass and take some names.  I also listen to Hip Hop, R&B, Rock, Folk and anything else that has a good beat and gets me out of my head.  Yesterday, there was some drama in my life and the song that snapped me out of it was Lily Allen’s, F*** You.  It’s a little bit naughty and if your offended by the f-bomb (the four letter word, not fibro, though, aren’t we all offended by fibro?), it may not be for you.  But when I’m angry, it helps to sing this at the top of my lungs and imagine that person standing in front of me.  I also really like Florence and the Machines’, Shake It Off.

Please share if you have any music that helps you get going.  I’m always looking for new songs to add to my “get off my butt” playlist.  I should also add that, while I like country music, it gets me all emotional, so I don’t generally listen to it.  Some Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Sugarland (their Incredible Machine album got me through some tough times), and The Band Perry is about all I can take.

Music is healing.  I cannot tell you the times a song has talked me down or lifted me up.  One of the most depressing things for me, at the beginning of my fibro, was not being able to shake my booty to the beat.  It devastated me.  Well, I’m very happy to say that I’m to the point where I can shake my booty again and often do.  It keeps me loose and makes me smile.  May you shake your booty like no one’s watching and sing like no one can hear you (even if your neighbors stare and all the dogs in the vicinity howl).

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New Philosophy

I have been doing everything differently the last couple months.  It has worked so well, that I can’t help but share.

I’ve been really working on staying positive in every moment of my day.  I’m so sensitive, everything in my environment affects my emotions.  People, places, music, atmosphere, things I’m reading or watching; You name it and it probably has an affect on how I’m feeling.  I start out my day with music that makes me happy, makes we want to dance or makes me want to sing.  If I feel a little blue, I don’t examine those feelings.  I’ve noticed, that if I get all up in my feelings early in the morning, it becomes more difficult to get out of them.  Setting the tone for the day as one for positivity and accomplishing goals has been the most important change I’ve made in my life.

I recently read an article (http://www.weather.com/health/why-its-better-be-morning-person-20140407) on The Weather Channel about how morning sunlight can affect your body.  As soon as I wake up in the morning, I open the shades, curtains, and if it’s warm enough, the front door.  I’m less likely to stay sitting on the couch when the sunlight is shining in.  I’ve been keeping to a schedule of waking up at the same time, even on the weekend.  No sleeping in for me.  I take less naps and have less fatigue during the day.  If I do get fatigued, I need less rest before I can get going again.

I have been spending less time on the couch and lost in the internet.  Accomplishing this is easier than it seems.  I started with the goals that I wanted to be off the couch by 10 am and showered by noon.  In one month, I am off the couch by 9 am and I feel guilty if I haven’t showered by 11 am.  I think I am most proud of this achievement.  Yesterday, I wasn’t on the couch, but I was on the internet for 3 hours in the morning.  I had such a hard time getting going after that, and while I made my goals for the day, I did little else.  Today, I decided to start things off positive and to limit my internet this morning.  It is almost 11 am and I’ve already done dishes (what little there was, I’ll go into that later), started laundry and showered.  I’m resting on the couch now, but blogging, which is okay, because I know I’ll be up after I finish this post.

The next change I’ve made has to do with time management.  This is so important for me, because I have a deep need to feel like I’m contributing to my household.  The more time I spend accomplishing tasks, the less time I spend on the couch.  I used to get fulfillment in this area from work.  Since I can no longer work, I have to find other ways to contribute.  I do this through housework, being there for my kids and my hubby and sewing.  If I try to examine in my head what I’ve accomplished during the day, I get stuck in my head.  Other thoughts pop in that are unnecessary, hurtful to myself and I forget a lot of what I’ve done.  To combat my bad memory and my negative thoughts, I’ve started to keep an accounting of what I’m doing during the day and how long these tasks take me.  My system is very simple.  I write down the time I’m starting an activity and what it is.  When I start a new task, I write down that start time.  Sometimes I combine activities or make notations in the sidelines if I forget to write down a time.  That’s it.  I don’t examine this later.  There are no judgments later, no in depth study of what I’ve done.  I just keep track and that helps me to recognize that I’m accomplishing more than I think.

I’ve been able to get more accomplished in my day and have added more goals.  My daily goals in the previous year have been to shower, journal or meditate, hug/kiss my kids and hubby and tell them I love them, and work on dishes or laundry.  I have since realized that there is more to most of my days than just that.  I feed my cats and clean their litter every day.  I straighten my bed and straighten the bathroom every day.  Just having those little things done, gives me something to be happy about.  I sew or look for inspiration for my sewing every day.  When I do get on the internet, I spend more time on Pinterest and less time on Facebook.

I’ve completely changed my philosophy on housework.  With housework, the more frequently you do something, the easier it is.  In the past, I let laundry pile up, dishes pile up, dust pile up.  I didn’t sweep or mop until the floor was so dirty and sticky, that I couldn’t stand it anymore.  I wrote before of trying to do laundry every day, but that was just too much.  I had the right idea, but the wrong plan.  Now, I try to do laundry as soon as the hamper in the bathroom is full.  This is the hamper that fills up the fastest and the one I see all the time.  Since the other hampers aren’t full yet, I end up with smaller loads.  Smaller loads are easier to haul, take less time to fold and take less energy all together, thereby making it much easier to pace myself while doing them.  It was kind of a “DUH!” moment for me when I realized how much easier it was to get laundry done when my loads were smaller.

I’ve been loading the dishwasher after meals and soaking pans right away (most of the time).  It takes about 5 minutes to scrape and rinse the dishes and throw them in the dishwasher.  Then, when the dishwasher is getting near full, I make a note on my daily accounting to remind myself to start the dishwasher after the next meal.  I also put the dishes away the same day they finish washing.  Then, I’m not tempted to let dishes pile up in the sink.  Soaking the pans make washing them so much easier.  That sounds like a no-brainer, but I had a hard time with pots before because I would try to scrub them like I was my pre-fibro self.  My cast iron skillets get scrubbed with hot water right away or they get boiled first.  I also wipe off my counters every day.  Seeing a clean counter, like having my bed straightened and my bathroom counters clean, give me a little boost of positive energy.

I’ve also been keeping up with my kitchen floors.  If I sweep a couple times a week and mop at least once a week, it takes me half the time that it used to.  I wipe off the toilet if it’s getting nasty and do the same thing with the bathroom counters and sink.  Spending 5 minutes of straightening each little part of my house, even resting in between, I can keep my house looking almost decent.  I’m still working on the vacuuming.  Our vacuum went kaput from all the long hair getting tangled in the roller and my hubby couldn’t fix it, which turned out to be a good thing.  We started using our old vacuum instead.  It is lighter and easier to push across the floor, so I can vacuum small areas.  Last week, I dusted for the first time in months.  I’ve always hated dusting, so I’m hoping I can keep up on this.  I’ve accepted that ceiling fans will never be something I can clean.  The hubby will have to do these and I will have to be persistent but patient in getting him to do these.

I hope you stuck with me through this post.  I know it’s long, but I hope it helps someone.  You can do this.  I know you can.  Keep positive, smile and be awesome.  I love you all.

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Do Something You Love Today

Yes, we hurt.  Yes, we are tired.  We want awareness for all invisible illnesses now.  We want to be able to earn a living, spend time with our loved ones and do everything we used to enjoy before pain and fatigue took over our lives.   Today, just for a little while, let’s pretend.  Let’s pretend we don’t hurt.  Let’s pretend we aren’t tired.  Instead of bemoaning our current existence, let’s imagine that everything is fan-freaking-tastic.  Ignore the housework, ignore the bills, ignore the screaming/whining/fighting kids*, ignore anything that would normally have you pulling your hair out.  *Check in with the kids from time to time, just to be sure they are all still alive and accounted for.  Today, we are all going to take a little me-time.

I am listening to classical music, reading a book and still in my pajamas.  I’m contemplating getting up and getting in the shower, but after that, I have no plans to do any housework.  The dishwasher needs to be loaded and there are three loads of laundry to fold.  The toilet is disgusting and the bath tub has a very unattractive ring.  Today is the first day in over a week that I can see the garden and it is supposed to be over 50°F.  All of the things I “need” to do will be here tomorrow.

What I really need is a day to me.  I need a day without any guilt over what I have or haven’t done, said, thought or felt.  I am clearing my mind of all that, focusing on the music playing and the story I’m reading (Thrown By A Curve by Jaci Burton) and letting everything else go.  After I get the kids home from school, I’m going to work on an apron I’m sewing and that is it.  When my hubby gets home from work, I will NOT immediately assume that he sees the house exactly as he left it this morning and thinks I’m a lazy ass and wonders what I did all day.  I’m going to greet him with a kiss and a smile.  We’ve been married 13 years.  He knows me and he still loves me.  If he didn’t, he wouldn’t still be here.  And who knows?  With all the resting and ignoring of life’s problems I’m doing today, the bedroom door might end up locked while we’re taking a “nap” (wink, wink).  I might as well add doing-the-one-I-love to the doing-something-I-love list.

Shower, listen to music, read, sew, love.  How will you take your me-time?

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