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An Act of Kindness

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This is just a sampling of years of photographs that my good friend has taken and shared with me since I can no longer enjoy the outdoors.
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Now, my friends on Facebook who are also home-bound look forward to her photographs.
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She has been snapping and sharing pictures of her nature walks for the past few years because I have been confined to a bed and unable to go outside due to chronic illness. She brings the outdoors to me through the art of photography.
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In our friendship, nature has always been an important aspect, so we connect now through her breathtaking cloud photos, landscapes, and plants. Without her, I wouldn’t see the wondrous sky, I’d never know when the leaves were changing, or get to experience the colorful spring flowers. I write that with tears in my eyes for all of the beauty she lends on some of my darkest days. Even though I tell her, I doubt I have aptly expressed how deeply her labor of love has truly meant to me over the years.
She inspires me to do more creatively, she exemplifies the importance of meeting small needs, and she is a reminder how acts of kindness can make huge differences in people’s lives.
10457963_10202353246604935_5388975173777239688_nI hope she has encouraged you to find the opportunities and needs around you, and find ways you can make an impact. Be well!

Beauty: Peeling Back the Layers

Finding out Fibro’s writing has inspired me in such a beautiful way. She is always pushing herself to dig deeper, to persevere despite chronic pain and setbacks with her health, and she is so willing to pour her soul onto the page, sharing it so generously with her readers.
This is one of her most intimate, raw expressions of her truth pouring out; my favorite of her posts. I’ve been saving it to share with you.
Hold onto your socks!

Finding Out Fibro

I’m still getting used to the idea that I can’t be fixed, because I’m not broken in the first place. Everything good about me is still here. I am not worth any less than before I became ill.

Harder to get used to is the idea that I didn’t do everything wrong; that this is exactly where I need to be right now.

Hardest of all the lessons I am learning is that I too deserve to be happy and loved. I even deserve to love myself, for that matter.

Crazy how notions that seem so simple and straightforward, things I tell people all the time and think I understand, will refuse to fully sink in for myself until the right moment.

It took me until this year to realize that my vision of my own relative unattractiveness was based on something false all along, which is the idea that women (or anyone…

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Pajama Chic: Fashion

Because if you are going to be laying around wearing the same clothes for several days, they might as well be adorable clothes, right? Even when I’m in survival mode, being carted off to the hospital, I’d like the nurses complementing me on my robe, ya know? This is me aspiring to a certain image of chronic fabulicioushness.

Firstly, I’m thinking turbans would be an excellent, practical (and super chic) choice for my bedbounders fashion collection. A turban would keep my hair from getting matted and keep those pesky stray clumps to a minimum (you know what I’m talking about, chronic gals). Also, I want to look like Audrey Hepburn on holiday.

headwrap | ladysmay . "Pajama Chic" #Spoonie

headwrap | ladysmay

 

 This Etsy shop mademoisellemermaid has so many cute things for a Spoonie.

 

Next, let’s talk eyewear. I happen to use some intensive eyewear on the regular, so an eyemask is my best friend along with lightweight shades. PS, the #1 best eye mask is this style because it bulges outwards around the eyes so it doesn’t touch- allowing for blinking and your eyes can breathe without getting gunk on the mask. It doesn’t bother your nose, and the backing is velcro to fit any head size comfortably. I happen to be very picky about my face masks and have several different types. This is my very favorite for comfort. And look, I found a cute one on Amazon!

Sleep Mask | City of Sleep on Amazon. "Pajama Chic" #Spoonie #Fashion

Sleep Mask | City of Sleep

 

Well, I don’t yet have a kimono, but I FEEL like I already own one. You either are a kimono person or you aren’t, and I definitely hear my kimono song calling to me. The song sounds sort of like a circle of drums from which wafts a scent of patchouli mixed with body odor. MMMmmm!

 

Kimono | ASOS "Pajama Chic" #Spoonie #fashion

Kimono | ASOS

 

Now for Palazzo Pants. I heard somewhere they look good on every body type. I also like the Harem Pant idea because I end up in such crazy positions due to my Dysautonomia/POTS, I think they would really live out their Harem pant destiny on my legs if I owned a pair. Mostly though, I just want to know I’ve got something cute going on under my covers. I already have one pair of Palazzos and they are getting it done! (Not sure what “it” means, but the pants are fab and my man always makes nice remarks.)

Palazzo Pants | Palazzo Fashion "Pajama Chic" #Spoonie #Fashion

Palazzo Pants | Palazzo Fashion

 

Harem Pants | Napat Clothing "Pajama Chic" #Spoonie #Fashion

Harem Pants | Napat Clothing

 

I didn’t have many stretch pants until recently, but I’m getting into them now. Anything that makes me look like I am on my way to the dance studio is my kind of delusional clothing. Just laying here on the floor (P.O.T.S.) because I’m so worn out after Swan Lake rehearsals… If you are wearing them outside of your home however, I guess the rule is: your tush should be covered. I’m an inside cat, so I can do what I want with my tush, thank you!

Leggings | Legit "Pajama Chic" #Spoonie #Fashion

Leggings | Legit

 

Leg warmers and socks. For myself and for many people with chronic health concerns, footwear is a sensitive subject. I’ve gone through all kinds of phases with my footwear because of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. If you need compression gear of any kind, Amazon.com really has the very best selection. Legwarmers give an added layer of protection and they also help transport me back to my ballerina days. (Is this what my counselor meant by “Guided Visualization??”)

Legwarmers | Grace and Lace Co. "Pajama Chic" #Spoonie #Fashion

Legwarmers | Grace and Lace Co.

 

Slippers, yay! Or you can refer to them as “house shoes” if you are fancy like myself (ehem). This one is tricky since my feet are so picky about what they want on their feet from one day to the next. I was like that BEFORE I had anything wrong with my feet though (bu-dum-ching). Shoe fetish humor. It can be difficult to find slippers I think I could wear, but these might work for me and they are very cute, too.

 

It’s always fun to look at clothing and get inspired. And even when we are feeling bad and cannot go anywhere, I’ve been told by other Chronics it helps them feel better about themselves to put effort into their appearance just for themselves. Do you find that for yourself? What are your favorite fashions that make you look good and feel comfortable also? For now, for me, these might be aspirational, but maybe in time, I’ll be a turban wearing, kimono sporting goddess of my bedroom.

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If you enjoyed this post, check out my sassy fashionista Spoonie friend at Sublime Mercies.

 

You’re Pretty and Your Hair is Magic

Maya Angelou quote | You're Pretty and Your Hair is Magic: Dark Girls

Maya Angelou

I recently watched Dark Girls, a documentary on African American culture. The focus was on prejudices based on skin tones within the black community and how this leads some women to devalue their skin and hair. Each women told a personal story of how she was disgraced by the shade of her complexion. Of course I am aware of this cultural phenomenon. However, hearing women of all ages share their intimate stories puts it in a perspective that would make any woman emotional on behalf of these challenges.

When I was a child, I was so envious of dark skin. First, you should know, growing up, we were the only white family on our block. I would swim with the neighbor children and watch the sun bounce light off their dark chocolate skin. On the playground, so many of the girls wore the plastic marble ball bands to hold their braids- which seemed to stand up, defying gravity. My little sister and I were so jealous of those hair bands! (Along with gravity-defying hair, of course). Hair that could twist and mold one moment and appear soft to the touch the next.

We got our wish for those marble ball bands once, but our braids fell limp. I suppose I thought the magic came with the bands. But that experience made me realize the girls on the playground just had magic hair that I would never acquire.

Everyone in our neighborhood had a special unique skin tone all their own.

Back at my crayon box there weren’t enough crayons to express all of my neighborhood playmates. Only one color to express my family though: Peach. When I asked what color we were, my mother said we are “white.” Confused, I responded, “No, we are peach,” and I ran to get the correct crayon to prove it.

Our Barbies we had collected up until that point were all the same color: Peach. The only variation was hair color. At this point, I asked for more colorful Barbies. That Christmas I got a Hawaiian Barbie. She had coffee skin, almond eyes, and long black hair. She was my favorite Barbie. My mother remembers this story and says at that time Hawaiian Barbie was the only non-Caucasian-looking Barbie she could find.

I’m really not trying to open up a can of worms with this entry. However, what struck my heart the most in the documentary was the little girl of around 3 or 4 who was asked to identify the ugliest and dumbest child. Each time, the African American girl pointed to the darkest of all of the images. And the prettiest, smartest child she believed was the lightest image. That experiment is a heart-crusher. If not, go get your vitals checked.

Below is CNN’s version of a similar experiment.

Without knowing the history and socioeconomic influences, she envies the light skin girl with the light hair and light eyes. And without knowing the history and socioeconomic influences, I envied the girls in my neighborhood with the chocolate brown skin and the magically soft hair.

Why do we always want what we don’t have? Why can’t we appreciate the beauty of others without depreciating our own beauty? Why do we grow up and cast judgement on others for being slightly different from us? I suppose this is the human condition. But just because it’s how we lean doesn’t mean we can’t learn to stand up straight, you know?

Please tell someone they are beautiful today. You truly are.

*****

“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.”

Song of Solomon 4:7

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