Day 34, Pathway to Meaning

“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.”
 

Morning

 
What is worse than being on a plateau?  Going up and up.  Let me see if I can turn that around today.  It could have been the cocktail sauce.  It may have been taking my thyroid medication at the wrong time of day.  Today, I took it half an hour before breakfast.  That should help.  Or it could be that I did not get out for my walk yesterday.
 
Another unfortunate possibility is that my metabolic rate may have dropped.  However, let me focus on what I can control before I stew over what I cannot do anything about.
 

Natural Psychology

 
I did some more reading this morning in Why Smart People Hurt: A Guide for the Bright, the Sensitive, and the Creative by Eric Maisel.  He is a proponent of natural psychology, which encourages people to make rather than search for meaning.  My blog is where I make meaning.
 

No Need to Find the Reason for Feeling Glum

 
What do I need today?  I am a tad glum, for no reason that I can fathom.  The search for why I am down usually makes me go down further.  So I will spend no more time on that.  If I were happier right now, what would be the reason for it?  My husband says he is doing okay.  After reading and caring for my husband, I made and consumed a green drink.  I cleaned the Vitamix afterward.  It is convenient to have that done!   My fingernails are freshly painted.  I have not even worn them down from scratching my husband’s back and arms.
 

Evening

 
After I got out for my walk this afternoon, I felt better.  I took a few pictures.
 

Making Meaning

 
I continued with the book this afternoon.  In my younger years, I expected my religion to give me the meaning of life.  However, I found that I could not conform to its prescription.  Now I am beginning to embrace the idea that there is no inherent meaning in life.  We have to make meaning for ourselves.  I have never gone to all that work.  However, I have thought about my values.  Values support meaning.  Even the meaning of the word ‘meaning’ is something we have to define ourselves.
 

Meaning for Our Day

 
The book talks about having meaning for our day.  He does not get into what meaning we assign to the past.  I suppose we could waste a lot of time trying to ascertain the meaning of past events.  So what is the meaning of my day?
 
I was kind to my husband.  Kindness has meaning to me.  It is a value taught in the New Testament along with gentleness.
 

Meaning in Fasting

 
Today, I ate two meals and fasted from then on.  Why am I doing that?  I am hoping to reverse the weight gain I experienced last night.  My fasting is for beauty and self-control, and it might help me sleep better.  It might help me live longer if I do it often enough.  Fasting also gives me something to write about.  Other values include saving the food costs and the time required to prepare the meals.
 
Making meaning is a relatively new idea for me.  I am finding the purpose of fasting in scientific research.  However, Eric’s book is about making meaning, not searching for it.
 
Am I allowing myself to make my own meaning?  Could it be that I feel happier today because I chose to fast?  I felt in control of myself.  Today, my diet diary worked out better.  It does not have red rectangles in the nutrient facts.
 

Meaning from My App

 
Today, I decided not to drive myself so hard.  I think I have had a tendency since childhood to push myself.  That value came from hard-working parents who provided for a family of fourteen.  Even though I hire people to do a lot of the work around here, I am always trying to accomplish something.  I have my JV Life Tracker list, and I am still trying to maximize my score on that list.  However, what meaning does that have?  For better or worse, I do get meaning from my app.
 

Security and Flexibility

 
I have some money in savings.  Does that give my life meaning?  I think it does give me a measure of security and flexibility.  Security and flexibility are two values that contribute to my life.
 

Meaning from My Blog

 
What is the meaning of this blog?  To me, it is self-expression.  It can be a motivator; it is a way to develop my writing ability.  It documents my life; it serves as a journal.  I can share this blog journey down the road.  However, for now, I have it in privacy.  I am hoping that it will help people.  I do not expect anyone to follow it precisely, but I want it to inspire.  This is my brainchild.
 

I Do Not Need to be Concerned About Every World Problem

 
What about meaning?  Fortunately, I do not need to be concerned about every problem on this planet.  So far, I have not concerned myself about people who may not afford the diet I eat.  They will have to address that issue themselves.  I could advocate a rice and beans diet, but for one thing, that does not work the best for me.  Fortunately, most of the features of Cronometer are available for free.  However, you still have to have a computer and Internet access.
 

The Meaning of Access to Information

 
I value access to information.  Access to information and the time to peruse it is meaningful to me.  Of course, along with information comes misinformation.  I also want the time and brainpower to sort things out.  In college, I majored in computer science, which is information science.  I spent most of my career working on library software.  That was right up my alley.
 
Now with a library within walking distance, I am checking out books every few days.  Today, I took three back.  I am living within my element with tons of information.  I wish I had time to finish every book I check out.  However, I do not.
 
Amazon.com has more titles than the library can stock.  My Kindle is stuffed with books, too, some I have not found time to read yet.
 
What meaning can I make of all this information?  Sometimes it is life-changing.  From the material I have read, I have learned how to manage my moods better.  However, I have not found a cure for my bipolar.
 

The Meaning of My Bipolar

 
I created a meaning for my bipolar once when I was manic.  I do not think I will repeat it here.  What is my euthymic meaning?  There are not a lot of upsides to bipolar.
 
Why Me?
Most of my feelings have been along the lines of, “Why me?”  Tonight, I do not seek a “Why me?” meaning.  I could think of it as my curriculum from God.  In having bipolar, I cannot take good moods for granted and hope they will appear randomly.  I have learned how to create them.  The curriculum is meaningful for me.
 
Crisis Lines
It is a challenging curriculum.  I probably have flunked some of the courses.  However, I am here, doing this, and I am okay.  I have not committed suicide.  I have wanted to, but I have always talked myself out of it or let others talk me out of it.  Sometimes, you have to use the crisis lines for what they are.  That is part of the curriculum:  you have to accept help.  Do not try to do it all on your own.  Crisis workers help you choose your next step, then they assure you that you can call back again that night if you need it.  Medication has been the most challenging course of all.  However, I finally reached acceptance of it and stopped trying to medicate myself.
 
Surviving It
Does this sound fun?  It is not.  However, I have found some stability.  Now I am making meaning.  I had a boyfriend for sixteen years.  We were engaged several times.  On May 2nd, 2013, he took his own life.  He was talking about ascending to heaven, but I did not think he would do it.  I do not condemn him for what he did.  However, I do not want the same fate.  He serves as a reminder that things could work out differently.
 
I am glad the crisis lines are there.
 

Meaning of Caring for My Husband

 
Let us talk about happy meaning.  My husband tells me he cannot do it without me.  Sometimes, the responsibility of caring for him seems too heavy for my shoulders.  However, I remember what I learned from my curriculum.  Do not try to do it without help.  I have sought help and gotten it.  I have even more support at my disposal, just for the asking.  Thank God I do not have to do it all alone.  
 
Seconds ago, I rubbed my husband’s back and arms and scratched them gently with a back-scratcher.  I rubbed hydrogen peroxide on his scalp with a cotton ball and topped his head with lotion.  Then I scratched it gently with my fingers.  Now I have returned to think about how I can make meaning.  One meaning is love.  My marriage means love.
 

Diet Diary

 
 
 
 

Prayer

 
 
 
MORNING PRAYER
 
Dear Lord,
 
My weight is moving in the right direction again.  Most critically, I resumed fasting.
 
Making Meaning
Yesterday, I finished Eric Maisel’s book.  For most of my life, I have searched for meaning rather than making it.  What do I do now that I intend to make it?  What is the purpose of this diet?  Most people say I am thin enough.  However, I was silently screaming because my weight was inching up and up.  The snapshots people see are not the deciding factor.  I have the dynamic data of what is going on in my life.
 
I Can Still Get There
I have 2.1 kilograms and 76 more days to go on this journey.  I have lost some ground this past week.  However, I can still get there.
 
This Journey Means Beauty
Lord, are you with me?  I want this journey to have meaning.  My cosmetologist did not think I needed to diet.  However, when she saw the lady in red photo on the wall, she said it was beautiful.
 
The Meaning of Age
Today is my birthday–the end of my 59th year.  Many people say age has no meaning.  Maybe it has no meaning for God.  However, it does for me.  It means that I want to leave my mark before it is too late.
 
A Strict Diet Works
Lord, I want to live.  Guide me to my best path.  Yesterday’s diet was strict, but it worked.  I still ate some shrimp but left the cocktail sauce off.
 
Lord, give my readers whatever they need from this.
 
Amen.
 
If you would like to join me on this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.  If you wish to download a FREE copy of my ebook (with no need to enter your name or email), click on the book below.  Please continue this journey with me by clicking on the arrows at the right of the page.
 
 
 
 
 
 
This article, with its diet diary, shows what worked for me.  I do not claim that it will work for you.  Consult a licensed medical provider to determine your diet and medical care.  These blog entries do not diagnose or treat any disease.  If I provide any clues for you or your provider, I will be happy.
 
 

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