Sunday, March 31, 2013

When Sorrows Come

I was fortunate to have an amazing English teacher in high school who told the class that we will someday use the Shakespeare quotes that we were force to memorize. Especially the ones from Hamlet. And wouldn't you know? He was right.

Which brings me to the quote: "When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but it battalions." This year, I'm truly living the Disaster Magnet credo, and I've pretty much thrown in the towel. I feel alone. And sad. And worthless. And scared that I'm in a hole I'll never get out of.

I've been struggling since last October to get healthy. I've been doing everything "they" tell you to. I took a lot of time off from training. I'm working with a physical therapist to fix the weak points. But things just keep crumbling. And to make it worse, they're not only related to athletics.

I was determined to fight my negativism, look for the silver lining, not wallow in despair, and laugh at all of it. I had been very successful at this for several months. Even my husband Jim said he was impressed by my attitude this year. But today,... well, today I finally broke down. I'm tired and sad and I'm sick of being injured despite how hard I've been working to get un-injured. I'm sick of having things start to go well only to be struck down by something else. I'm sick of having dental work go horribly wrong. I'm tired of drowning myself in work to avoid having to think about anything else. I'm tired of hoping. And I'm tired of keeping it all inside.

(The latest is that one of my gum grafts didn't take and will most likely require more surgery - believe me, one of the worst things you can experience is having a doctor say "uh-oh" when inspecting a post-surgical site. I also won't be running the Boston Marathon this year because I have a stress fracture in my tibia. This is my fifth stress fracture, but my first in 13 years. This one came without warning. I never even got a chance to back off to avoid it. And it came just when my running was just starting to feel strong and fast again because of the PT.)

I had even lost the will to draw (thus also feeling like a failure because of the promise I made to myself). But I picked up a pen again and made two new drawings (they made me cry even more, but I did them). I know they're pretty bad, but I'm trying to get back on track.

The first one I call "Stress Fracture No. 6":

The second one I call "Foothills" - although it started out being a drawing of the hole I was stuck in.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

March Update

Nothing much is going on in my world that's worthy of writing home about, but here's an update (like anyone cares).

My daily drawing has been a fail because I stopped doing it while I was feverishly preparing a talk on my latest project (the Cleveland Museum of Art's website) for the Cleveland Drupal Users group. The talk went well, despite my struggles with stage fright.

My training has been another fail because my physical therapist still can't fix what's wrong with my left hip and the torn labrum in my shoulder is back to its pain-state after the cortisone shot wore off. But this past week, we got a little closer to fixing my hip - a new stretch seems to have freed up the tendency to pull my foot inward on the left side. I have some new stretches and a less pessimistic outlook on the future. I've given up hope of running all 26.2 miles of the Boston Marathon and begun to look at this trip as just a way to satisfy my craving for New England clams.

I will be having periodontal surgery tomorrow - three teeth will have gum grafts and then I am told I must give up two weeks of training to recover. This will probably kill me (another reason for writing this blog just in case it's my last). I will attempt to focus on my art in (strangely still-optimistic) hope that I may get good at something before I die.

The only thing I did conquer recently was making pie crust.

And I learned something that I always knew about myself - that I was a fish in a former life. There's no other way to explain how I feel when I'm in the water and not focusing on swim training. Sometimes it feels like it's the only time I'm truly at peace with the world and myself. It also might explain why I've almost gone crazy living in places that are land-locked.

Anyway, that's pretty much all I got, and some pictures of the goings-on in my life...

Latest drawings (the first two are hip pain, the "lightbulb" one was during the Super Bowl when the lights went out in the Super Dome):

There were two new Play-Doh disasters (autobiographical): 

And we took a trip to Pittsburgh to eat, shop, and visit my favorite Edward Hopper painting: 

We saw a special exhibition of art from the World's Fairs at the Carnegie Museum of Art:

Then we went to the galleries - and once again checked out Hopper's Cape Cod Afternoon:

We got lost in Pittsburgh for the 50 billionth time (note that at one point, the GPS thought we were smack in the middle of the Monongahela River)

I went running on a very snowy morning along the north shore riverfront trail (one of my favorite Pittsburgh running spots)