Sunday, February 23, 2014

What is Your Self Worth?

     Just this week I had a conversation with my children about self worth.  Self worth is the amount of respect you have for yourself.  Growing into an adult, our children face those who would rather strip them of  their confidences instead of stepping into positive roles.  Excuses may come from their parents, "They're just kids, they don't realize what they are saying."  Or maybe a negative influence is the only influence that other child observes from their parents.  Irregardless, even a child knows what behavior is acceptable and what is not.

     Explaining to my children that when an individual tries to tear you down, more than likely the root of their negativity stems from their own insecurities.  They may lack confidence in areas where you do not or they are afraid to step out of their box and try to keep you in the confines of your own.  My main point to my kids is that no individual can bring you down unless YOU let them.   

     Listening to my own words, I recognized the fact that this behavior does not stop once we are graduated from the hallways of our local schools.   There are some that continue to take this behavior into adulthood.   I cannot tell my children it ends when they grow up, because the facts are, it does not.

     Attending the #BOOM event in Columbia, MO, this past Friday, hosted by Dr. Sean Siebert, I was struck with the fact that I sometimes get caught up in my own challenges and forget that others are facing adversities of their own.  Sitting in a room full of  entrepreneurs brought me back to my conversation with my children.  How many times have these creative minds been told, no?  How many times have they been told their ideas are worthless?  Yet they believe in themselves enough to continue on the right paths.  

     They, just like us, have faced those boss's, co-workers, acquaintances or school bullies that show no respect to anyone.  Taking a moment to assess their situation, we can observe that their reality, is that these bullies actually have no respect for themselves.  Their self worth is so low that they deflect it onto us to avoid digging down deep and fixing the root of their problems.  As with children, many adults root problem is jealousy.  

     Society has us measuring our self worth by materialistic assets.  Starting as a child, "my bike is better than yours", as a teenager, you cannot be popular unless you have brand name clothing and as an adult, it is how large your house is, etc.   Gauging the respect we have for ourselves should be based on our daily living.  A strong question for each of us would be, " What have I done today to make myself proud?"  This is at least what I teach to my children.  

     I know we cannot stop the "nastiness" of some people who try to spread their misery everywhere, what we can control is how we let it affect ourselves.  Our attitudes. Our self worth.  I hope my children take this lesson they lived this week and use it as they grow.

     Anyone can exercise the right to ask us, "What is your self worth"?  We, as individuals, are the only ones who have the right to that answer.  If our answer does not make us proud, then for the love of Pete, let's get off our duffs and do something about it!
“We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.”
Malcolm X

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Final Count Down!-Recovery

     I am over three years into my recovery and at this point I have spent a year and a half with each of my surgeons and their medical staff.  Visiting the orthopedic office every few weeks, the staff and I can't help but to develop relationships.  

     Understanding my story, they observe my struggles, but are genuinely happy at my progressions.  Most know me by name or I am associated as, "Ohhhh, you're the girl with the ankles".   Yes, that's me.  

     I have been in the operating room so many times in a short period that even the pretesting and operating staff recognize me.  I receive well meant hugs from big breasted women, who want to mother me.  " Oh honey child, you come here. Hey girls this woman deserves some hugs, she's having surgery again!"  the techs would say just before I am embraced by welcoming arms and smiling faces.  I laugh.  I laugh so hard, but at the same time I'm laughing, tears roll down my blushing cheeks.  

     I must be the most rewarded human being on this earth.   Support comes from everyone, all around me it's there, in every direction I turn.  How could I ever fail when I am surrounded by this blessedness?  

     Spending the last three months with my left leg in a cast has reminded me of the freedoms I enjoyed last summer and I relish the same freedoms again.  Sitting in the Cast Room at Washington University in  St. Louis the last few months, the girls and I have become quite acquainted.  Having my final cast removed was a big deal and they knew the meaning for me.
I opted to rotate my leg a bit, I did not think it necessary that you view a leg that has neither been washed nor shaved in three months.   I hear the "ohhhhhh, Thank You's" loud and clear.

Now I realize that to most, getting a cast removed is a simple act.  Under normal circumstances, I could agree.  
 This cast removal is different for me because it symbolizes something greater, something I have been awaiting, for three long, agonizing years.  Not only can I Shower in my Own Bathroom, Standing Up, but there are no more surgeries hanging over my head.  I have the entire year to recover, not just a few months.   Once I'm up, I get to stay standing up!

     My grin threatened to split my face as the tech ran the handheld saw up my cast and I said hello to my puny, orange unwashed leg.  It is truly a disgusting site, but one I greeted.  I will not be officially recovered from this surgery until late 2014, but I aim to wear out a Pair  of shoes as soon as I am out of this Air Boot. 

     Each step I get to take is one step closer to freedom.  No surgeries, no hospitals, no huge anesthesia needles, no more cuts or sutures.  I get to live. Really, really live.  I am counting down 2014 and the obstacles in it.  2015 will be my year.  I will get to test out this body and see what it can do and I will be Free!

      This is my Theme Song (click) (or at least the chorus! )for the remainder of 2014.  You can laugh with me or even at me, it makes no matter because this chic is on 

                                The Final Count Down!


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Enduring Pain: See it, Say it, Believe It!

     Pain has a way of tearing you down to your most vulnerable self.  Whether it be physical pain, mental or emotional pain.  When it hits, it usually hits hard.   Slowly slithering it's way into your body or mind and then slamming you to your very core.

     When my husband would arrive home and view a new inspirational quote on the wall, he could positively assume his wife was in need of extra motivation.  The first two years of recovery were a toss up between physical, mental and emotional pain as I experienced all three at once.  This last year though he could guess that I mostly suffered from a physical pain.  

     Although my pain is greatly decreased since those terrible days of the first year, I have pain from surgery and pain that will live with me til the end of my days.  One such day happened this past Tuesday.  I blame it on this winter weather. 

      Too cold, for too long, for too many days.

     My arthritis is in "end stage".  It cannot get any worse unless my bones just fall apart.  No hot whirlpool bath, ice packs or pleading would ease this deep-seated ache that bore it's way into my bones. 

     I reverted to a technique that I used frequently during those first two years.   A form of meditation, I would guess.  I would recite quotes over and over and over.  I have them everywhere.  On my walls, in my closet, in my drawers, on my phone.  Everywhere a reminder of how fortunate I am and that I will always endure and defeat what is challenging me.

     Literally speaking, I must see the quote to remind myself to concentrate.  Recite it in my head, again and again.  When the pain is at it's worse, that is just not enough.  I must say it.  I must say it out loud.  I must say it with conviction!  "I WILL BE OK!"  It doesn't work unless you strip everything away.  Give your whole heart, mind and soul into Believing It.  But sometimes and there have been times, that the pain encompasses me to the point that I can only whisper, " God grant me the strength to keep fighting."  And when the pain threatens to pull me into it's darkness, I let my tears fall, unashamed, because when we cannot speak, God observes our tears as prayers too.

     My point being is that all pain is pain.  All pain hurts.  All pain tears you down.  We must find our inspiration to fight through the challenges in our life from any source we can.  If you do not have support, you must inspire yourself.  

     I bare my soul not only to heal, but now I understand I need let others in pain 'See' that it can be accomplished.  Hear the words I 'Say' to be true and 'Believe' it because I am still here, standing proudly.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Game Day Spicy Snack Crackers

    I have to share this recipe before the soup season ends.   Eating them as a snack is great also, but I really like them for soups, chili and salads! 

     These crackers are easy enough for your kids to make, so get them busy!  Noticing that I kept grabbing for another one as I passed by the bag, I'd say they are a little addicting. I originally made them to dip in my  Beefy Vegetable Soup , but my favorite is in chili, which is great for game day.

      Game Day Spicy Snack Crackers
  • 1 – 1 1/4 cup canola or olive oil
  • 1 packet Ranch dressing mix
  • 2-3 Tbs. red pepper flakes( 2 Tbs was warm enough for me)
  • 4 sleeves of Saltine crackers 
1-Now mix all of that together in a bowl and let soak for 5-10 minutes.  Make sure each of the crackers are coated adequately.  
     This is the point where I snatched one to eat, just to see how well they tasted without being baked.  Pretty good like this, just a little messy with the oil dripping from them.
 2-Lay the individual crackers on a baking sheet. (You can lay parchment paper under them if you like.) There will be extra oil left in the bowl, you can pour the rest over the crackers, or if you believe they are coated evenly leave them as they are.
3- Bake at 250 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
4- Let them cool.  I stored my left overs in a baggie on the counter and as I stated previously, I grabbed one each time I walked by.
     Today would be a great day to try them out with the hot and cold dips you are making.  I am having Buffalo Chicken Dip, I'll let you know how the combination turns out!
     Happy Super Bowl Day!