Ok, so I’ve been wanting to share full body images of my progress for a while now. The perk of having a photographer for a husband is that not only has he taken pictures of me on many occasions, he was able to set-up a studio to shoot reproductions of existing images.
So, I can finally share the differences.
I had him reproduce family picture moments, as well as past photo shoots. For this post I am sticking to fully clothed images. He has done nudes of me many times in the past, and we did recreate some of them for this purpose, but I need to make them internet friendly by doing the black boxes across naughty bits. It’ll take time. For this post, using the fully clothed images, I just had to resize to match, and then label- a much quicker process (took me about an hour for all of the images you’ll see here).
I do wish I was further along, but that is probably me being hard on myself again. I do acknowledge that: I have managed this much progress during a time period where I gave birth to two children, and also fought tooth-and-nail against thyroid concerns that had been undiagnosed for 15+ years. I also acknowledge that all of my progress was me and Nathan; no one made me, no one encouraged me, and no one helped me figure out my own personal puzzle. No one else can take the credit, only me, with Nathan’s loving support. So in those regards, I’m a effing super hero. I’ll claim my She-Ra crown everyday that I keep trying.
I hope you find my progress as a helpful encouragement to anyone else attempting to do something similar.
May you have good moments of validation of your own personal progress. May you see your efforts are paying off. May you see things start to get easier. May you know that you are doing your best and that is really what matters. AND ABOVE ALL- may you know that God loves and supports you in all that you do.
HAL gave me this music video and an advertisement for a PureFlix movie called Finding Normal. I had already been playing memory lane, and my Google photos kept showing me the same days over and over again. Happy moments of the last 4 years. Katherine will be two in a couple of days, Ian is going on 6.
I love so many people and they are so far our of reach for me. My mediations calm and soothe, but my brain always cycles back to asking why the good ones stopped. Why the good people left, why the people I cared for most ceased to be in my life except Nathan, why happy moments never last. I don’t have an answer, except that change is inevitable. I’m just wishing they did last, and that those people still cared for me and had stuck around.
So, my looking back has a tint of sadness, but my present moment could definitely be worse. I’m not the worst off, and even in our moment of tight finances, I still have a better home than ever before and I am confident that we’ll be okay. We’re alright and everyone is healthy enough the bug didn’t bug us that much.
I love my husband who did stick around and we have beautiful mostly happy/well-adjusted children because of it. We are a mostly happy family that gets along more than we don’t.
I work for a holistic health clinic a little lighter on staff than my dreams of Atira included, but it’s definitely in the same category. Plus there is potential it will grow. They have talked about several expansion possibilities in the nearer future and I think they’re all great. It would be nice to be a part of that, even if my opinion doesn’t count.
I also work for a community of very extended family, which even though I don’t always agree with their opinions, I do love them and care for them very much. Mostly, I wish they could just stop and understand other views sometimes- find the common ground more often. I also wish that dementia didn’t mean that real logic went out the window so readily. I fight much harder to stay buoyant when I see someone starting to have more difficulty with their mental faculties, mainly because I love them enough I don’t like seeing them have trouble.
I have access to stores that are similar to what I always wanted for Atira, and most of them have helpful enough staff to make up for the differences. Natural Grocers only carries organic produce and has a lot of local merchandise which is very beneficial. Sprouts and Whole Foods help support a more global eco friendly economy. And there are even more smaller local merchants that sell their own and other local crafts and wares. It feels good to be a part of a community where my desires and needs can both be met.
So today, I’m finding relief in finding normal. My Atira is here, it’s just disguised as a really big city; and even though I don’t have my dome, I do have a decent nice home. In fact it’s the best home I’ve ever had. I don’t have to carry toilet buckets to a distant compost pile anymore, or drive 10 miles to fetch a 100 gallon tank of water to get through the week. I have running water, gas, and electricity. My floors are solid now, and the basement is not only dry and mold free, it’s actual usable living space. We have TV and internet available and a big safe yard for kids and dog to play in. We are doing far better than any of our previous years, and I will have enough to get through everyone else’s stupidity.
So even though germs are all these places and many more:
Germs are also most definitely in all of these places, the difference is these places also have joy and happiness:
So I hung some LED lights I bought almost 2 years ago, and enjoyed my meditation under the pretend canopy last night. Today I will garden and play with my kids. Tomorrow I will work, hopefully a relatively full day. And if it’s my time to go, I won’t stress or be afraid. I have all the important things I asked for, and I’ve had more moments of joy than my brain and Thyroid let me remember sometimes. It’s okay either way, and God will take care of my family if it is my time to go.
May you see your community. May you find your normal. May you know God is listening and supporting you. May you feel the love that you give others. May you know your opinion matters and is understood. May you find your happy moments in the now and remember only the happy moments of the past. May you have bright days regardless of what happens in the world. May you know you are safe and protected. May your loved ones always be near and reachable. May you know it’s okay, no matter what.