Today I’m grateful for having access to exercise equipment, and being healthy enough to use it.
I’ve known of mindfulness practices for several years, and read Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn several years ago. It is one of the books I’ve recommended on this blog in the past.
I have only recently, though, truly committed myself to using the practices. I have to say that I was shocked to find that when I give myself over to the spirit of some guided meditations, the pain is gone. I am still on my medications, but I’m going down on dosages and using no breakthrough pain medication these days.
Kabat-Zinn has published many other products, including a CD of meditations entitled Mindfulness Meditation for Pain Relief: Guided Practices for Reclaiming Your Body and Your Life. I’m so impressed with the quality of his work on The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness and the other books I’ve mentioned that I have no hesitation in recommending that recording. I’d love to hear from others who are using mindfulness practices in their recovery, too!
Plinky said, “Name a movie that has a great soundtrack.”
There are so many! If I had access to my full music library right now, we could be here all day, because i do love movie soundtracks. For simplicity’s sake, I decided to leave musicals out of this discussion.
My first pick is Chocolat, a lovely French movie from 2001 starring Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench and Johnny Depp. If you haven’t heard the score you’re missing a treasure. It has been on my list of favorites since seeing the film over a decade ago. It includes pieces by Django Reinhardt, Duke Ellington, Hoagy Carmichael and George Gershwin. With a line-up like that, how could it go wrong?
My second choice is another an old favorite, Practical Magic. Faith Hill’s “This Kiss,”, “Black-eyed Dog” by Nick Drake, and “A Case of You” by Joni Mitchell are just a few of the wonderful cuts from this CD. I can listen to it over and over again and hear something new in the songs each time.
Now it’s your turn — suggest something I haven’t seen that will make me sing or dance!
Plinky asked, “When was the last time you voted in an election? Will you vote this year?”
I voted in a county referendum regarding a one-cent sales tax a few months ago. I vote in every election, so of course I’ll vote this year. Why wouldn’t I vote? Men and women have died to win me that right, and I would be willing to fight and die for it as well. I’m not so foolish as to waste a chance to have my say in important matters whether at the county or national level.
The presidential election is especially important, because of the GOP’s war on women and the fact that I find Santorum especially insane. Romney seems the best of the Republican evils, but that isn’t saying much. I’d much rather see Obama re-elected than any of the Republicans in office. It’s obvious that most of the opposition to the President is based on racism, pure and simple, which is an ugly, ugly thing (but not surprising to this lifelong southerner).
Plinky asked, “Do you need coffee to wake up in the morning?”
I wouldn’t say I need it, because I don’t drink it every day. I do, however, enjoy it, especially if I’m able to sit down and sip a cup in that quiet time before anyone else is up and about.
My preferred coffee at home is Suisse Mocha, and the sugar-free sort is also decaffeinated. 1 Back when I was at Agnes Scott, my friend Anne Mireille would ask me if I was drinking brown crayons because of the residue Suisse Mocha leaves behind in the cup. By the end of fall quarter, she too was enjoying “brown crayons” because the stuff is just that good, no matter how it looks.
Away from home, I enjoy Starbucks’ Raspberry Vanilla Mocha. No, that isn’t on the menu — it’s a special order, and well worth the trouble (two pumps of each syrup added to the regular mocha for the Grande size). That’s even more calorie-laden than the regular Suisse Mocha, though, so it’s a very special treat.
1 I do wish the company would give me more choices there, but they don’t.
Plinky said, “List your must-haves for a successful road trip.”
Assuming you’ve already got a reliable vehicle, the most important thing is good company — someone who understands that the journey is at least as important as the destination, someone who can happily follow the surprises that come up on a real road trip.
Next is good music. Without that, you are sunk. One of the great things about good company is that you can make your own good music in a pinch, and that’s how we used to do it before we had CDs and MP3 players with which to carry many GBs of tunes around.
Next, a cooler filled with drinks. You get thirsty in the car, and its cheaper and more convenient to just take your own water bottles and sodas along. Taking healthy snacks with you is advisable, too. You can skip this step in a pinch, but it’s more expensive to travel without them.
Finally, a couple of changes of clothes and your toothbrush. Pack lightly, because you don’t go on road trips to look glamorous. You go on them to have fun, period.
Livejournal’s Writer’s Block question of the day is, “Cats or dogs– which do you prefer, and why?”
I don’t prefer one over the other. I’ve shared my life with cats and dogs from my earliest years and love both. My parents wouldn’t consider allowing dogs inside the house and weren’t happy about having cats there, but smaller critters are easier to sneak in, so I got more time to snuggle with the cats. Recently, I haven’t had a home with a fenced yard, so I haven’t had a dog. It seems unfair to have a dog without giving him a place to run around and play off the leash every day. The cats deal with an all-indoor environment more easily. But as soon as I’m able to do so, I’ll have a canine companion again!
Plinky asked, “What type of hat suits your personality best? A baseball cap? Fedora? Beanie?”
Hmm. I don’t know the names of many types of hats, but a cloche comes to mind. I don’t own one, but I’d like to. I have my baseball cap and Fedora days, certainly. No matter how geeky I am, I don’t think a beanie would suit me.
I do have a purple Sunday-go-to-meeting hat that definitely suits me, but I have no idea what the name of its style is. I’ll have to post a picture of it at some point to see what y’all think of it.
Plinky asked, Which of your hobbies have you been doing for the longest amount of time? When did you start?”
That would be music. I’ve been singing since I was a small child in church choir. The way my mother’s family makes music, I could hardly avoid it (not that I wanted to). I learned to play the ukulele with the rest of my second grade class, but held on to my instrument and kept playing it for some time. I began piano lessons in the fifth grade, I think, and continued for a couple of years and through three teachers (we moved, one quit, and I outgrew the last). The flute came with sixth grade and middle school band.
At some point my parents acquired an organ in addition to the piano and I taught myself to play that, which was interesting. In high school I flirted with the oboe and bassoon, but didn’t really take to them very well. I gave them up altogether after reading something that claimed that double reed players suffered loss of brain cells due to oxygen deprivation (I haven’t fact-checked that since, so it could be utter nonsense). I acquired a wooden flute at a Renn Faire that has a much sweeter tone than the metal flute, but I’ve never pushed myself to really learn to play it.
Now I want to return to the ukulele, but I really need a new instrument. That poor little student uke that has been used as a “guitar” by children isn’t in perfect condition after all these years, and won’t stay in tune in addition to having some broken bits.
Plinky asked, “If you had to live in a large city for a year, which would you pick? What if you had to pick a big city in another country?”
I’d be happy to go live in Seattle or Boston for a year or maybe more, and even happier to try Toronto. San Francisco is on the list of places I’d like to try, too. All of the above have better transit systems than Atlanta as well as being in more liberal environments. The fact that there are other features to each city that make it incredibly attractive is great, too.