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I wrote the poem titled ‘Superficial’ two years ago.
I remember feeling both hurt and angry, but mostly just plain tired of being made to feel as though I continually failed to reach the arbitrary standards expected of me by certain people.
This weekend, I have realised it is still far too relevant. It’s still just as true as when I wrote it.
You know, that’s just rubbish. It was rubbish then, and it’s rubbish now.
In fact, the only thing that has changed is how much I care — or actually don’t — about whether publishing it will confront the people who inspired it, and how they might respond to being called out.
The thing is, they should be called out. Their comfortable, conformist jusdgment is not okay. They don’t get to decide who is “worthy”. Their ideas of what is “acceptable” or “normal” are as subjective and as anyone else’s.
I am who I am.
I matter, and so do my feelings.
I am enough.
And I deserve to be treated with respect, whether they like me or not..
Too bright, too individual, too funky,
Too wild, too unafraid, too chunky,
Too short, too loud, too bold, too dyed—
When will you ever look inside?
It’s so easy to label something as sin
Ignoring the gems concealed within—
Love, passion, talent, loyalty, art.
Yet you say God looks at each person’s heart
For faith, service, and integrity:
Why can’t you look that way at me?
©2018 Joanne Van Leerdam
I saw you looking at my ears
And all my pretty piercings there;
Your distaste was almost palpable
And I still don’t eally care
If you suffer with insomnia, or if you have trouble relaxing at night, you might find this post helpful.
One of my most consistent problems with sleeplessness is that I can be totally exhausted, but still unable to actually drop off to sleep.
That’s mostly because of my fibromyalgia, but it is complicated by back pain on those nights when my pain relief medication fails to cut the mustard, as it sometimes does.
Because I know from past experience that prescription sleeping medication causes my whole system to lag, and because of the strong pain killers I need to take for my back as well as my fibro, I feel very strongly about not having those other drugs in my regime.
So,I recently visited my friendly local alternative health practitioner and asked, “What can you suggest to help me sleep?”
She suggested Vetiver Oil, diluted in fractionated coconut oil. The instructions say to apply it under both big toes and to the wrists, to inhale deeply on going to…
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Amazon users, beware of fake emails!
This morning I checked my email and had one of those “Oh NO!” moments when I saw an email from Amazon saying that my account had been put on hold.
It’s a good thing I have trained myself to breathe deeply twice before reading such emails again to see what the problem is.
It would have been easy to click on the link they gave me and do as they asked, but I’m glad I didn’t. The email looks completely legit, but it’s a scam.
Three things gave it away:
Had I clicked on the link and done as the email asked, I would have virtually signed my life away to whoever sent the email.
My standard practice is to never click on a link in an email from any company, but rather to sign into my account normally to check and see if there is a problem.
It just goes to show how important it is to read carefully and think before click!ing!
This kind of experience is common for sufferers of Fibromyalgia and some other conditions.
It’s not logical. There is often no real reason why one morning or one day is better or worse than another.
It simply is what it is.
My plans for today are not optional. That is a luxury rarely available to me.
When I woke up, though, I realised my body has other ideas:
Me: “Come on, legs. You can do it!”
My legs: “No. We can’t.”
Me: “You have to.”
My legs: “Fine. But we’re going to make you suffer.”
My back: “I’m with them.”
My fingers: “Us too!”
I got up and showered. I needed the hot water for my back, but the water hitting my skin was painful.
I dressed, but then had to change into something made from softer fabric that didn’t hurt my skin so much just by being against it.
I downed my medications, hoping they would work quickly. They didn’t.
I drank my coffee, hoping the caffeine would make a difference. It didn’t.
I can’t take any more pain killers for hours. I can have…
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As is evident in my favourite classic book admiration posts on Bleak House and A Christmas Carol, I love Charles Dickens’ writing. He has always been one of my favourite authors and a source of inspiration.
This is one of Dickens’ short stories that I have not yet read, so it’s fair to say that this blog post that alerted me to that fact made my day! I hope to read it this afternoon.
I’m excited to share the story with you, too — and I’d love to know what you think of it!
The Trial for Murder by Charles Dickens (1865)
Tuesday’s Tale of Suspense February 11, 2020
This week, February 7, is the birth date of Charles Dickens. How many of us have read his ghostly inspired The Trial for Murder? Let’s focus on Dickens today to remember this timeless author and his life.
A quick 30-minute read, this story is a dive into 19th century England, murder, a trial, and a ghost. Because Dickens was a court reporter during Victorian times, we can appreciate the accuracy and characterization of this murder trial.
During the 1830s, Dickens covered Parliament and British elections for the Morning Chronicle. Many of his fans know that Dickens owned a beloved raven “Grip.” Dickens believed that his pet raven was immeasurably more knowing and “could make a very queer character of him.”
He was a member of the Ghost Club along with Arthur Conan…
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I really enjoy the story of Beowulf. I read it with my Year 9 students in English, and we explore the ways in which the poetry and storytelling are similar or different to the ways in which things are done now.
That’s why I was excited to learn of the existence of The Seafarer, another AngloSaxon poem of similar vintage, which was almost lost to history for all time.
It, too, is written in Old English, and uses similar devices of imagery and poetic narrative to those found in Beowulf, such as kennings and alliteration. This poem, though, reads more like a dramatic monologue than an epic heroic adventure, and is far more religious and deeply spiritual than the secular, wildly fantastic and, at times, quite superstitious story of Beowulf.
What treasures these stories and poems are – snippets of the past that have survived the centuries despite the best efforts of warring tribes and religious authorities alike to destroy everything that stood between them and the power they sought over Britain and her people.
You can read a translation of the poem in today’s English at The Anglo-Saxon Narrative Poetry Project website.
You can read Dr Oliver Tearle’s thoughts on the poems at the Interesting Literature blog. It is to this blog that I owe my thanks for drawing my attention to the poem.
This post struck a chord with me. I hate my insomnia, but because of it, I have written some incredible poetry at 3am.
I do try to manage it, and to practise good sleep hygiene, but sometimes my pain levels and my brain conspire against me.
On those night when I am not able to write, I find listening to talkback radio, a podcast or an audiobook helps me to relax and and least rest while I am awake.
I’d love to know what works for you.
Insomnia can be quite unpleasant. Who wants to be tired and cranky the next day? Probably nobody.
But as the clock ticks and you’re still awake, you come to the point of acknowledging that you’re going to be tired and cranky anyway.
So why not using the time you can’t sleep for something good and productive, right?
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Since I began posting about my experiences of Fibromyalgia, a number of friends have asked me to explain what it is. I always start with “I can really only tell you what it’s like for me…”
I was recently introduced to a video by Dr Andrea Furlan, a pain specialist from Toronto, in which she explains the symptoms, possible causes and treatments for Fibromyalgia far better than I ever could. While some GPS are still fairly dismissive of this disease, Dr Furlan explains with empathy and understanding of both the physical and mental effects of Fibromyalgia on those who endure it.
Even though everyone experiences it a bit differently, it felt as though she spent most of the time actually talking about me. This tells me two things: she really knows what she is talking about, and she is a very good communicator.
So, if you want to know more about Fibromyalgia, take the time to watch this video and find out why the people you know with this condition I find it so debilitating.
There are some fabulous tips here for staying motivated despite the things that try to drag us down.
I found this post hugely relatable, and also got some great new ideas from it.
Plus, on an entirely different note, like this blogger, I also have a calico cat. Her name is Scout – after the central character in To Kill A Mockingbird – and she is divine.
Hi lovely readers,
Thursday is my least favourite day of the week, because I have a 3 hour class followed by 3 hours of work (I am a teacher’s assistant for a class I took a few years ago). I am my most awake and happy in the morning, but on Thursdays I have to relax during the morning and try to sleep in (I never end up doing this) and do some self-care so that I’m not totally drained by the time I have to head to school.
Every Thursday morning I wake up with dread because I am genuinely afraid I will end up having paralyzing anxiety, or start a depressive episode, or just plain get so tired I cop out of class and work. In the past, I did – often. When I was still using (I am a recovering addict, if you haven’t read my blog…
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After two ridiculously hot days –40C or 104F–and a busy first week of the school year, my fibromyalgia pain is going nuts.
It’s currently 11.35pm and still warm out, even though a cool change came through a few hours ago and dropped the temperature by ten degrees in as many minutes. It’s also pouring rain – and I’m not going to complain about that!
I am lying in bed listening to the rain, hoping my pain meds will work quickly, and trying to focus on positive things instead of feeling miserable.
So, in no particular order, here is my list of things I am thankful for tonight: