Fitness Progress as of January 2012

After failing my evaluation with the driving instructor in September, I decided to take a break from working on my cognition and instead focus for a while on improving my fitness.  I figured that it would still help getting back to driving in a couple of ways and also move me forward on other goals.

It’s getting to the end of January and my short-term goal is being able to get out and about on mass transit so I’m not as dependent on Kathy as chauffeur and I can enjoy a little more independence.  The problem is that it’s a 6 block walk between home and the bus stop so I have to be able to hump that in addition to anything else I want to do while I’m out.

This week the reward for hard work was lunch today in San Francisco to celebrate my friend Flora’s birthday.  The adventure was taking the bus and BART on my own into the city for the first time since the stroke.

To increase my walking range more, I need to improve the movement of my left knee and foot so that my gait is more natural and I reduce the strain on my left hip and right leg. another benefit will be an increase in my pace.

Next week, I’ll add a knee to chest exercise in addition to the leg extensions and foot raises that I’ve been doing.  At the end of the week, I’ll re-evaluate my progress in regard to getting back on a bike; see if I need to add any other exercises and how long I need to work before starting on the stationary bikes at the rehab gym.

Flower

Our cat Flower passed away Sunday.

She wasn’t an easy cat to see face to face, much less love.  But she’s been a member of our family for fourteen years and we are all heartbroken that she’s not with us any more.

The lesson at church Sunday discussed how we don’t see everything in someone’s life, so we can’t judge whether their death was a tragedy or a blessing.  And we certainly can’t see beyond the veil to know what their circumstances are in the spirit world justify their passing to it at this time.  But we still grieve for our loss and the loss of potential that death involves.

I don’t know if cats go to “heaven” but I know that Flower was kind and loving to her family.  So if anyone deserves to live with Heavenly Father, I think it would be Flower.  I can picture her curled up under His throne, purring as He pets her while attending to His business.

Praying For a New Life

I’ve decided that I’m going to pray for what I need and want in life.  I’m going to pray for everything and everyone.  I’m going to pray so much that God is going to get tired of my continual supplication.  And by praying, I want to bring about these things and focus myself on creating them or making them happen.

I joined the lds church last June and most members are enthusiastic pray-ers.  They will pray about just about anything and for just about everyone.  They believe that Heavenly Father (God) hears all prayers and answers them and that He knows each of us “by name”, “individually” and “personally”.  That may very well be true but my problem is when they anthropomorphise God, it gets in the way of understanding what prayer is about.  (Maybe that isn’t really too far off if we’re all children of God or part of the “great consciousness”.   Maybe Jesus was trying to teach how we can all be creators just like him and Heavenly Father.)  prayer is not just another conversation like you have with your next door neighbor over the fence while pruning the roses.

A prayer is your focused effort to make something by conscious will.  It’s like a formal method of working the law of attraction.  Of course, now I’ve annoyed all those pray-ers by equating their faith with new age hokum…  But at some level, both the pray-ers and the law of attraction folks are saying to do the same thing – think about what you want to happen so that God or whatever powers the universe can make it come about.

The Fear of Wanting Something So Much That You’d Pray For It

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I would like my life to be if I could change it.  My life isn’t very satisfying right now.  It’s not that I don’t have people who love and care for me, I do.  It’s not that I’m financially strapped, my wife makes a good living.

It’s actually very scary to think about what I truly want.  I worry whether it will be as good as I visualize it.  I worry whether I’ll end up alone or, even worse, living with someone that I don’t care for (enough.)

But I’m not who I want to be and I’m not doing what I want to be doing.  A lot of my current situation is due to the stroke.  But not all of it.  And in some ways, the stroke has clarified how the current direction of my life is deviating from what I sense is my true direction.

It’s not like I made some huge decision at some point and my path veered dramatically off-course.  It’s more like it’s a result of many small decisions and non-decisions that over time changed my life.  Unfortunately, now I have to deal with the cumulative effect of those decisions and struggle to get my course headed in the right direction again.

Many of those places (and people) will take time to reach and I don’t know if it’s already too late to try for them.  I don’t know what it will be like if I ever arrive and how the natives will react.

One of the lessons from Richard Bach’s Bridge Across Forever” is that you can’t search for a soulmate; you have to do what you love and they’ll be attracted to that.  One of my problems is that right now I can’t do what I love to do so I don’t know how I’ll attract anyone compatible, much less my soulmate.  That’s frustrating for me and my need for instant gratification.

Happy New Year 2012?

The last couple of weeks, we’ve been discussing what 2012 portends for us and how incredible 2011 was for me.

With significant life changes looming for me in 2012 and alll of the good things that happened in 2011, I am a little apprehensive about what’s in store this year.  I don’t know how it could top last year and I certainly don’t want to think about how disastrous any of those life changes could be for me.

So, how do you embrace the new year and wish everyone a happy new year when you don’t know how any year could be better than the last year?