Tuesday, 5 January 2016

danced in their heads

After weeks of boozy, sugar-coated overindulgence, the holidays are swiftly coming to a close…

...unlike the zipper on my jeans.

Irish cream in morning coffee, social drinks nearly every day, snacky foods we don't eat year round - I'm all for Christmas cheer, but my clothes are starting to request danger pay. Back to better consumption habits, immediatement! If anyone craves tiny cupcake-shaped chocolates, please help yourself to our cupboards. Leftmost, top shelf.

Fortunately, we have isolation to help loosen our waistbands over the next few months. [Covering my assets, I say "we" as my wife insists she is in need of a renewed eating plan as well. I'm not, in any way, suggesting she needs it.] When you live in an area without neighbourhood corner stores or restaurants, meal planning becomes more important and somehow easier to stick to. 

Not that we won't see anyone through the winter but we have a very small handful of friends within 300km of us. We'll surely get together with the friends we have here, but they have committed to better eating through the winter too. So, we are set up for success. Prepare for my utterly foul mood during sugar detox. I'm already finding myself scrambling to find something sweet in the morning and cursing Christmas cheer for letting sugarplum fairies lead the charge. Being removed from convenience can sometimes be a good thing.

Something happens to me in semi-seclusion. Without the distractions of TV and a social life, I tend to write and draw more. And I tend to write better. Not on this blog, mind you, but my pen or pencil stabs away at paper more. When you don't physically write much, it feels strange not to tap out your thoughts with fingertips. How odd.

It has always been this way. In my younger years I always wrote most when at the cabin. Being alone with my thoughts makes them louder. That's mostly a good thing.

My thoughts about MS have always been fairly quiet. Not that I don't have frustration or fears about having MS, but after my first year as a person with MS, my inner dialogue quieted to a murmur, for the most part. I have never been able to write about in in a concretely creative way. I have a half-assed poem about MRI claustrophobia but that's it. I have tried to write about having a (mostly) invisible disease, but it bores me. It's not interesting enough for me to put my energy into. I have wondered if denial keeps me from delving into that side of my life in a creative fashion, but I don't think so. Which sounds a lot like denial, right? 

It seems fertile ground for many authors, some with MS. Silent struggle, bravery [Raoul], hope - it's all so self absorbed...unlike keeping a blog, of course. But I write about it here and that seems enough. I stay on top of the research (MS sufferers* benefit from high levels of vitamin D). I try to remain active and eat well, the last few weeks notwithstanding. But I can't romanticise a disease that has taken things from me. It doesn't anger me enough to work up artistic acrimony. It's upsetting and sometimes to a degree that few around me would guess, but I've never been one to work out my fears out loud or in  any way other than straightforward. While I may pitch an internal hissy fit at new or worsening symptoms, I am accepting of MS and don't want to give it more room in my life than it deserves.  

It is a gorgeous, cold day in New Denmark. At -28, the wind chill is a degree colder than yesterday's face blazing snowshoe. I have learned that one needs a balaclava to snowshoe across breezy, open potato fields once January hits. The Ireland walking tour is half a year away but has become motivation to get outside even in bitey weather. Even when sloth suggests I really, really don't want to. At all.

We three [catface makes four, but he's anti-snow] love being outdoors together, so this winter is going to add a lot of miles to the snowshoes. Nance has found a new spin class. We have the treadmill in the den. Now if only someone could hide the remaining snacks.


*authors and researchers need to stop using this language. We're people with MS before we're sufferers or patients. Get with the fucking times.

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