Wrapping up StoryWorth

Last year after Christmas I gave myself a subscription to StoryWorth, which is a way to write up my memories by answering one question at a time throughout the year. At the end of the year, all of the answers are compiled into a bound book of collected stories and memories. I’ve been writing away all year, answering some of their questions and many that I made up myself, ending with 67 “chapters.” They cover topics from childhood to education to careers to family to travels and more, such as my Covid experience and where I was on 9/11. Today I looked over all the writings, made edits, and pushed the button to order my bound volume. After I see what it looks like, I will order a few more copies for family members who’ve said they’re interested in having one.

Why do it? So that when my memory begins to get fuzzy, I can remind myself of answers to questions that no one else around me can answer. And because I have lots of words and like to write. I highly recommend StoryWorth as a great gift for someone you love or just for yourself.

I’ve renewed my subscription for another year but this time the focus is on my year of healing from the spinal cord injury. I’ve been blogging about my progress here, but I want to pull them all into StoryWorth and continue writing as the year advances. My surgeon told me that it will take 8-12 months to see the full results of my surgery and to see what comes back from my conus swelling. The plan is that I can use this project to keep track of progress, challenges, emotions, and results – and end up with a bound volume that pulls it all together in a way that the blog simply can’t.

Not All is Merry and Bright

In spite of the almost non-stop showings of Hallmark Christmas movies at our house, not all is merry and bright. I did something to a muscle (or tendon or ligament or something) in my left thigh that pulls on the knee and zings right into the groin when I raise my knee (say, to walk or anything). And getting the leg up into bed with the leg lifter is excruciating. It’s hard to get comfortable IN bed, too, especially with Ellie plastered against my other leg. She rarely sleeps with me and I don’t want to push her away – but trying to find any position that doesn’t hurt is a challenge. My therapist has been using the diathermy machine on me – but I only have a few more sessions left. It will just take time, but meanwhile, it hurts.

This is my first Christmas away from my home in Emerald Bay. I was back last week for the Women’s Club Christmas luncheon to hear my friend Curtis offer a Soul-ebration of the season and had the chance to see lots of people for about 2 minutes each. But I’m very aware that I’m no longer part of that community and it felt weird to be back with so many people and activities that I knew nothing about. Lots of changes in just four months but it feels like so much longer since my life was normal.

I want to go hear Messiah and sing the Christmas Cantata, and to go Christmas shopping, even if just to look. But I can’t do that. Transportation is tricky and not available evenings and weekends. I’m learning to live a smaller life and it’s a hard adjustment. I’m trying to remember that I’m giving this one year to just be what it is and see how much healing happens. But waiting is hard and it’s lonely. Oh, there are things to do here in my new community but it’s still a big adjustment and I have to work around therapy and my aide’s schedule.

Three of my new friends here are moving to be closer to their children. It’s logical, it’s sensible, and it’s another loss for me. I need to get used to it – there’s a lot of turnover with moves to new places, moves to assisted living, and deaths. It’s part of living in a community of older people – and have I mentioned that I’m the youngest resident here?

So I’m feeling a bit depressed and sad, and eating more than I should, which makes me depressed and sad. I have the lovely kitties to keep me company, books to read, Hallmark movies to watch, but still. I want to bake cookies but don’t trust my ability to stand and maneuver around the hot oven, so that’s out. I want to rearrange the closet but can’t stand up and do it. And I want to weed out stuff to take to the thrift store, but can’t do that either. I can’t even set up a puzzle at the table because my legs are too swollen and I need to keep them raised up. Arrrrgh. Whine. Sorry.

Image credit: Photo 66773269 © Androlia | Dreamstime.com