I plan on writing something a little later today, (yes, working on my schedule too, because I need one), but for now I wanted to post this week’s clickies.

And those are this week’s clickies. I hope everyone finds something to enjoy.

I normally try to keep things positive and apolitical around here, because I want everyone, no matter where they fit on the political spectrum, to feel welcome. But I just came across an article from Yahoo! News (thanks Twitter) about two men who decided to have their doctor euthanize them after they found out that along with being deaf, they were also going blind and would never see each other again. I heard something about this story earlier this week, but didn’t go looking for it. After reading this article, I’m shocked. I would never dream of having myself euthanized if I found myself in a position where I was going to lose my hearing, although I depend heavily on it. Yes, it would be devastating, but I’d learn to adapt. But I also recognize that, in Belgium, where this took place, euthanasia is legal, and individuals who are over eighteen, and mentally competent, have the option of doctor-assisted suicide if they’re suffering. But what really shocked me was the last line in the article:

Belgian lawmakers are considering a law that would extend euthanasia to dementia patients and children, whose families and doctors consented.

That’s taking this entirely too far, in my oppinion. I can see where this is going. A couple has a baby, learns that the child will be disabled, and then decides to have the child euthanized. The child has no say because he or she is too young. That’s crossing the line and would be murder. Same thing with the elderly. Family decides they don’t want to take care of Grandpa anymore, so let’s just put him out of his misery. And I can see all kinds of “quality-of-life” arguments being bandied around.

Personally, I think the two gentlemen who committed suicide rather than become blind and then learn to adapt made a tragic decision. But I can also understand that they had the choice, and maybe they weren’t aware of any resources that could help them, and they figured they were in for a lot of unbearable suffering. And so they exercised their right of free choice, and took the option they did. I don’t agree with it, but I can understand it. But according to the last line of that article, consent by the victim goes out the window, and it becomes another person’s choice. And that’s completely evil.

So what do you all think? Am I just foaming at the mouth, or does my position have merit? Leave a comment and let me know.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

–J. R. R. Tolkien

I’ve been thinking for a long time about adding a sustained series of posts on my health journey:

  • What I’m doing generally to become healthier
  • What I’m doing specifically to become healthier
  • The health goals I would like to reach
  • My thoughts and feelings as I travel through my health journey

This is the official beginning of the series, although I’ve been seriously working at this since August of 2013. I started Weight Watchers in August, and that’s been the main thrust of my journey. But because I want to talk about other things that are tangentially related to this, I’m going to make these posts broader in scope.

Yesterday, we had a Starfleet get-together in Colombia, (South Carolina, not the country), so we dropped by Weight Watchers early to jump on the scale and check our progress for the previous week. Technically, Saturday is the beginning of my Weight Watchers week, but I still think of it as ending the week, since Saturday is the end of the week calendrically on both the Jewish and Gregorian calendars, (at least in the United States). Last week, I lost 2.6 pounds. This week, I stayed the same, neither gaining nor losing. I’m happy with these results for a couple of reasons:

  1. I tracked last week, but not every meal, mainly because I find the iPhone app such a pain to use with Voiceover, and the Weight Watchers site is pretty much unuseable with a screenreader, any screenreader.
  2. I was active this week according to my ActiveLink, and I was active more than the week before, but I still didn’t reach one hundred percent of my activity goals for any says this week.

My activity percentages were higher than the previous week though, and this is a good thing. I’m planning to be more consistently active during this week, to get the percentages higher.

I also had two non-scale victories this week.

  1. I have some dennim skirts that I couldn’t fit into before I started Weight Watchers back in August. As of last week, they were still a little tight, but not tight enough that they couldn’t be worn in public.
  2. I also had a T-shirt that I couldn’t get into back in August, and I can wear that now too.

This week, I’m getting up earlier so I can be up early enough to pray and get started on tasks I need to complete at a reasonable hour. I’m also going to make it a point to put my ActiveLink on earlier so that I can maximize the amount of activity I do in a day. I will also start a section in my journal to keep track of my thoughts, feelings and achievements over the week so that I can compile them into a post next week so I can keep this series going. I haven’t written in my journal in a long time and I think that’s something missing in my life.

I think if I stick to my goals, the week ahead will be a very productive one.

More next week.

It’s a new week, and that means more writing. I missed Thursday and Friday, (with the exception of little bits), and I’m hoping this doesn’t disqualify me for this month’s National Blog Post Month. I’ll catch up on the prompts I missed for last week, because I think they were good ones and I would like to write about those subjects.

Today we deal with the subject of music, and which songs are good for helping with the get-up-and-go that is so important for getting stuff done and making sure I don’t spend the entire day in front of the TV engrossedin the ID channel. (For those who aren’t familiar with it, that’s Investigation Discovery, and it’s all crime, all the time, and they never run infomercials. If your cable provider doesn’t carry it, call them and threaten to get a bunch of your friends and other interested parties together and start rioting outside their offices until they do. 😛 ).

Anyway, back to the music.

Music has always been a huge part of my ife. I normally listen to jazz or soul, especially when I’m working. Jazz and other instrumental music helps me to concentrate on what I’m doing and avoid distractions. But when the need for energy arises, that’s an entirely different story. This is the point at whitch I will either listen to some of the stuff I grew up, or listen to certain alternative tracks. And speaking of the music I grew up with …

When I was a teenager, my all-time favorite group was Color Me Badd. I bought all their albums, saved newspaper clippings, had videos, and even annoyed my local radio station with requests just so I could make sure their music got played. I bought their second album after spending two days singing at an Exceptional Children’s Conference. I stopped at a record store (remember those?) in Greensborough, North Carolina, on the way back home to the Fayetteville area to pick it up, and had the chance to listen to it (or at least part of it) before my mom and brother and sisters got home, which meant I could play it as loud as I wanted. The eighth track on that album, (Time And Chance), is a song called “In The Sunshine”. I thought it was cool and catchy then, and I still find it catchy now. It has an upbeat, happy sound. Unfortunately, I don’t know of an official video that I can link to, but if I find one, I’ll update this post. Of course, since I was thirteen, the content of the lyrics went right over my head. When I listened to the song again as an adult, and knew what was going on, I found that the lyrics weren’t exactly a work of art. But the beat and melody were still catchy. So if I’m doing housework, I’ll through that one in the playlist.

Some of the other songs I like to through in my energetic playlist are:

  • Bad Habbit, by the Offspring
  • Off The Wall by Michael Jackson
  • Several songs by Alanis Morisette
  • I Love Your Smile, by Shanice

There are several others, and if anyone’s really interested, I can add the whole playlist to this post. For now though, I think that’s a pretty good sample. And as I come across other music that’s upbeat, catchy and just generally sounds good, I’ll add tha ttoo, regardless of the format.

This ;post is part of a series I’m writing for National Blog Post Month. For more information, or to see others’ posts, go here.

Until tomorrow.

There are days when I get up feeling like I could conquer the world. And then, there are those other days. The days when I don’t think I’ll be able to get out of bed, let alone do anything else. And the hardest part about those days is knowing that I have a ton of daily tasks to get done, and not enough energy to do them. These are the days when it’s very important to remind myself to take things one day, or one hour, or one minute, or even one second at a time; when I have to remind myself that I’m not Superman, and that my personal worth doesn’t depend on whether I did an allotted amount of work; when I have to remind myself that tomorrow’s another day, and that sometimes it’s OK to just slow down and take things as they come. Fatigue, both physical and mental, is a big part of Lupus, and a lot of the time, that’s the biggest battle for me, far and above the pain caused by any of the other attendant symptoms. Often, I berate myself for being lazy, even though I know this is completely irrational, because there is a good reason for not moving, or not getting as much work done as I would like. I know, on a rational level, that I’m not lazy, but sometimes the self-hatred can become overpowering. But I know in these cases that my emotions are getting the better of me, and I have to stop and tell myself to look at my situation logically and rationally. In this year of 2013, I plan to pay more attention so that when my emotions start to run wild and I start to berate myself, I can stop and reorient to a more rational perspective. I know that this will take a lot of effort and prayer on my part, but I believe I can be successful. And on the days I stumble, I will remember to tell myself that tomorrow’s another day.

This post is part of a series for National Blog Post Month, (NaBloPoMo). If you would like to participate, or read other posts, go to the NaBloMoPo site, and be sure to add your post to the list.

When it comes to replenishing the energy supply, I’m not too sophisticated. Right now, my biggest energy source is caffeine in its various forms: coffee, tea, and my absolute favorite, Coke. Personally, I believe Coke is the elyxir of life. This is problematic though, because Coke is extremely unhealthy, (twelve ounces of the stuff equals about 140 calories, all of which are empty), and it has the potential to sabotage all of my goals relating to becoming more healthy. But it tastes so good. There’s nothing like that first swallow. The shock to your taste buds is the best. I’ve tried other versions, (diet Coke, Coke Zero), but while I can stand these and will drink them, they don’t quite do the trick. I’m sure almost all of my love for Coke is purely psychological. But it’s a tough monkey, and I don’t think I’ll ever completely give it up. Good thing Weight Watchers doesn’t demand I give it up completely, because I’d be out the door real fast.

In the past, I used to draw energy from spiritual persuits: contemplation, prayer, Torah study. I’ve been very lax when it comes to the area of spirituality in my life, and one of my goals for 2013 is to increase the amount of spirituality in my life. I know that prayer goes hand in hand with my goal of becoming healthier, and that I will never become healthier if I don’t make it a point to look inside and discover what keeps me from doing the right things as far as my body and mind are concerned.

I’m also planning to add more exercise. I know that I will have to take this slowly because of the Lupus, and that’s a hard thing to deal with for me. I find it discouraging when there’s something I want to do, and I can’t because I’m either sick or physically fatigued. Lupus sucks. But it’s something I have to deal with, and I will have to give myself constant reminders that I can’t overdo it, not without serious consequences.

I think if I incorporate the steps I’ve mentioned above into my life this year, I will see progress. Maybe not the outward progress I’d like to see, (at least at first), but definitely progress. And progress is always good.

This post is part of a serious for National Blog Writing Month (NaBloPoMo). If you would like to participate, or read other posts by other participants, go to NaBloPoMo.