Afternoon power naps kept Beth going into the night, though she still looked exhausted. As her senior thesis deadline approached, long to-do lists on her laptop overwhelmed, but she met deadlines. Barely.
Working at a frantic pace, Beth stayed up too late while I learned how to relax for the first time.
I meditated most days, trying different methods and a variety of prompts. Visualizing the headache as an evaporating dark cloud didn’t help. The traditional body scan became my go-to meditation, even though the 30 minutes highlighted the specific ache in each body part. The rest of the day, the aches usually combined into a general malaise.
Never bored, I left the TV off during the day and always had plenty to do. I often played music in the background, from musicals to classic rock. When I finished routine tasks, I tinkered at writing or picked up my sewing bag. I walked down and up Bear Hill and focused on eating better.
I appreciated the year off from paid work.
Beth officially presented her senior thesis, titled Framing Disability: A content analysis on media agenda-setting of disability issues in a political context. Her work earned high honors and analyzed how often specific disability issues appeared in newspaper articles in a presidential election year.
Next: Which Law School?
Today, I’m taking a blog break to share a splash of serendipity with you!
I was visiting Beth in DC last weekend, and my best friend Deb went to the Wine Room in Marblehead (Ohio) with another friend, Alley. All of us had lived in Tiffin, a small NW Ohio town. Deb was the kindergarten teacher for my son Ben and Alley’s daughter Regina. Ben and Regina were the stars of the kindergarten play that year. Deb recognized Regina’s singing talent and today, Regina has a booming career as a professional singer (www.reginasayles.com).
Regina's mom, Alley, is good friends with Lisa, who owns Mutach’s Market and Wine Room in Marblehead. After talking at the Wine Room, Lisa’s fiancé, Tim, mentioned growing up in Lorain. John and I grew up in Lorain, so Deb asked him if he knew the Kolbe’s.
Tim and John were best friends in 6th grade at St. Stanislaus School when they were growing up in Lorain.
Tim’s awesome bakery, Kiedrowski’s, made the cupcakes for my daughter Maria’s wedding, and we enjoyed more of his cupcakes at Beth’s wedding shower last summer.
Small world. Sweet story, right?
But wait, there’s more! Deb mentions my new book coming out, and my April book events in Ohio. Tim says that he’d like to have a book event at the Wine Room during that time. I talk to Tim on the phone the next day about possible dates, and he’s excited about helping with publicity for it. I connect with Lisa the next day, and she is just as lovely as Tim. So, in two weeks, on Thursday, April 18 at 7 pm, I will be at Mutach’s Wine Room in Marblehead with John to talk about my new book—but the real entertainment will be Tim and John sharing their childhood antics!
Yay for serendipity!
As 2018 draws to a close, I'd like to thank each one of you, my loyal blog followers, for your lovely support! The amazing story I share in this blog includes even bigger adventures ahead. My memoir, Struggling with Serendipity, will launch on April 9 in bookstores and on Amazon, with pre-orders starting March 9. I would LOVE to talk with you on my spring tour, which will include book events on the East Coast in addition to the Cleveland area, Columbus (Ohio), and Chicago. Last but not least, I'm sending you all of my best wishes for the happiest of holidays and a wonderful new year, from my family to yours!
Next Week #OnTheBlog: Treasures!
❤ twitter.com/cindy_kolbe (almost 20,000 followers!)
My blogs about my family’s surprising story will continue next week!
Today, it’s time to accept the Sunshine Blogger Award!
The Sunshine Blogger Award is given BY bloggers TO bloggers who inspire positivity and creativity in the blogging community. Thank you Amber, for nominating me! Amber’s blog is The World Sees Normal.
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog
2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you
3. Nominate 11 bloggers to receive this award, and write 11 new questions
4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your blog
Amber’s Questions for Me:
1. If you could pick one person in your life to switch places with so they could feel how you feel for the day, who would it be and why!?
That person would be the neurosurgeon who walked into an exam room, met me for the first time, and said, “Your pain needs to be much worse before I recommend surgery.” And I wasn’t asking for surgery! I wondered how he could assess someone’s pain level just by looking at them.
2. When you have people in your life that just can’t seem to understand you and your illness, what have you found to be the best way to explain it to them, so they understand?
I rarely try to explain. It’s easier not to talk about chronic pain.
3. When you have some time just for you, do you enjoy the quiet of being alone or would you rather be with a close friend or family member?
I love spending time with my best friend, John. We’ve been married for 40 years!
4. What is your all time favorite TV show?
My new favorite TV show is Rise.
5. What is your guilty pleasure?
Watching the Princess Bride movie, which reminds me of popcorn parties with classic movies when my children were growing up.
6. What is the most UNBELIEVABLE thing that someone in the medical profession has said to you?
See my answer to #1!
7. What is the most annoying thing to you about living with a chronic illness?
The fact that neuropathy, neuralgia, fibromyalgia, and advanced arthritis are forever. (My constant headache seems permanent, too.) Even so, I'm grateful for every day.
8. If you were able to have three wishes what would they be and why?
Peace, health, and happiness—for all.
9. What is one activity in life that you loved doing, and have had to now give up due to your chronic illness?
I refuse to give up anything, but some things like exercise and embroidery are more difficult.
10. What blog have you enjoyed writing the most and why?
My blog about possibility and perspective, with or without a disability. It sums up what I learned over the decade after my daughter’s injury.
11. What is the most ridiculous comment that you have ever received on social media or as a comment on your blog?
The only negative/ridiculous comment I received accused me of exploiting disability, yet the rest of that same comment showed he hadn’t read the post. I’m proud to be a lifelong disability advocate!
My Nominations for the Sunshine Blogger Award:
Kelly at Art & Words
Amy at Amy Henry Books
Maryanne at Pink Gazelle
Kristen at New Dawn for Us
Robin at Mentoring Matters
Tsara at Autism Answers
Andrea at Saving Joyfully
Nancy at Exquisitely Me
Enna at Cabin Twenty-Four
Patricia at Free Oversea
Joy at Sunkissed Scribbles
My 11 Questions:
What corner of the world are you from?
How long have you been blogging?
Why are you blogging?
What do you like best about blogging?
Where would you like to travel?
What would you do if there was no chance of failing?
AND . . . NEXT WEEK ON MY BLOG: Surprises in Cambridge after NYC!
I'm a mom on a mission to share the power of hope and connection! For signed copies of my new memoir, click BOOK. It may be found everywhere books are sold. Thanks!
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