Monday, January 26, 2009

Maturity and Tenacity Prevail

I am an avid figure skating fan. As many people like to watch football games, I love to watch figure skating competitions. The combination of athleticism and art draws me to it. I recall delightful times of skating on ponds and rinks when I was young but I never had the opportunity to go beyond that. Nevertheless, following the sport of figure skating is a hobby that I enjoy.

Ice dancing is my favorite event. The art and romance of it create a beautiful drama on ice and of all the figure skating disciplines it showcases more maturity and expression. The ice dancers tend to be older than the others. Continuing with my predilection for romance, pairs is my second favorite. Also, their stunts are risky, exciting and breathtaking. The men's event is my third favorite because I think men are interesting. My least favorite, ironically the most popular, is the ladies event. It seems that the women tend to peak at a very young age, around 15, and although they are very good, they lack the maturity of expression that makes figure skating so satisfying to watch.

Therefore, I was delighted to see twenty-one year old Alissa Czisny skate well and win the Ladies US national competition. I have admired her skating over the past five years or so but it has been painful to watch her struggle to rise to the top. Thus it was gratifying to see her win the fruit of her perseverance last weekend. Her quote in my local newspaper inspires me.

Throughout the years there 's been a lot of disappointments and hard times. I think I've been able to take all of them and learn from them. It's made me a better person, it's made me a better skater and I've learned a lot, a lot about life.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Historic Inauguration

This month my book club is reading a classic; Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Every third month we read a classic. In between we read a fiction book followed by nonfiction. Anyway, it is extremely painful to read about the cruel and inhuman practice of slavery. It made the historic inauguration yesterday so much more poignant for me.
I am probably repeating the obvious but I am optimistic that Barak Obama’s Presidency will cause a dramatic decrease in racism in this country. I believe that it will gradually fade away without a lot of fanfare. The widespread reality of having a black president will infuse people’s consciousness and sub-consciousness leading to a breakdown in prejudicial thinking.
Part of the reason I believe this is because of something that happened to me when I was a young girl. It may be frivolous to compare my situation to the profoundly difficult experience of many people. However, when I was young, kids teased me about my name. I disliked being singled out and scorned for any reason so it hurt me when kids taunted me saying, “Jackie is a boy’s name.” However, when John F. Kennedy began his race for the White House and he and his wife grew in popularity, kids ceased to make fun of my name. It just never came up anymore.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Reading the Bible

I prefer to read the Bible in short passages, chewing over them meditatively and thoughtfully. However, the leadership at our church has challenged us to read the entire Bible in a year. It has been presented as a project that we can do together as a community. So I have resolved to take on the challenge. I have discovered that Holy Trinity Brompton in London is doing the same thing. I have become acquainted with Holy Trinity Brompton through the podcast, Godpod. The reading schedule that they have chosen coordinates with the one I am following. On their website, Nicky Gumbel, is offering comments on each daily reading. I love the way, Nicky, the facilatator of the Alpha course, presents God's good news in a simple, modern, clear way. I have only been reading his comments for a few days, but I have discovered that he is able to unify several not necessarily related passages to draw out a satisfying spiritual concept. There are interesting comments by others as well on the HTB site.

In addition to using the hard copy of my NIV Bible, I like using this site. It gives me the option of listening to the passages being read. One drawback, however, is that I don't particularly like the reading voice. He makes God's voice seem too harsh at times.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Christmas Memories

Christmas 2008 is quickly receding into the past. It went by too fast but I am enjoying the memories of it. It was such a delight to have our family all together for a week. Sarah and Andrew and darling grandson Henry flew from Boston to spend the week with us.

Check out these photos is you want to see something of our week together.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Fibromyalgia is gone

I have neglected my blog the last few months but I wish to resume it and pick up where I left off. My sudden cessation of Surmontil has resulted in the most amazing thing. After suffering withdrawal and dealing with the physical aftermath of an automobile accident at the end of October, I noticed that I was no longer experiencing fibromyalgia symptoms. My friend's suggestion that there might be a connection between my long term Surmontil use and my fibromyalgia symptoms was prophetic. Gone is the end of the day excessive exhaustion to which I had become accustomed. Gone is the stiffness and pain that followed the slightest physical exertion. I am free to workout again and enjoy it. I look forward to skiing now. I have more energy and can actually stay up later than 9 PM!

The downside is that I struggle with insomnia again. The Surmontil did do a great job of keeping my insomnia at bay. However, if given a choice, I'd take insomnia over fibromyalgia any day. I just feel bad that none of my doctors were aware that there may be a link between the drug and my fibromyalgia symptoms. It was a good medication for me short term but I really wish one of my doctors would have seen the wisdom of discontinuing it after say--five years or so. Instead, the doctor who first prescribed it told me I could safely be on it for the rest of my life. I guess physicians really don't know pharmaceutical agents that well. I feel sad that I inadvertantly poisoned myself for all those years thus dimishing the quality of my life during that time.