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Non-Resolutions

I’ve never done new year’s resolutions, really. Or if I’ve done them they weren’t salient enough in my memory to remember them. Guess that’s close enough to not doing them at all then.

So I’m not doing any this year. But I do have some guiding principles I’m trying to adhere to…

Work hard, play hard. Yeah, super-cliche and slightly stupid. But totally true. Work is hard and rewarding and usually fulfilling and I want to keep it that way! And figure out just where I want to aim my career aspirations and prepare myself for that with professional development and such. And then play: dogs, horses, Hamilton!SHN, NYC… more arts and theatre. And family/friends/etc. 

Respect me. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes others (I think) take me for granted. I’m ready to change that. I’m ready to demand that people take a look at what I’m doing, and give me some damn credit for it!

Stretch myself. Comfort zones are awesome, but not entirely productive. Challenge accepted. 

Be artsy. Being artistic makes me happy. Need to make actual time for arts (and crafts! Or whatever crazy category dog ornaments fall into…)

There’s probably more, but as I said… I don’t really do resolutions.

(Pig the Palomino says happy new year!)

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Caffeine, Canines & Camaraderie

This is a sponsored post for Self Care Catalysts. I have been compensated through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. All opinions remain my own and I was in now way influenced by the company.

Sometimes I majorly fail at self care. I have things to do, work to do, lots of deadlines and should-do’s in both my work life and other life (which isn’t work but certainly feels like it sometimes). But I try. So, going in order with my alliterated list (because, really, alliteration makes everything better).

Caffeine


I love my coffee. Whether it is fancy independent roasters or your run of the mill Starbucks or something else (well, nearly, I am admittedly a coffee snob!) my coffee makes me happy. It also helps me with fatigue and I swear it helps with chronic pain – or else it just makes you so buzzed it doesn’t matter as much! My morning is made by my morning, and midmorning, coffee. I’ve learned that I have to be careful, so part of my self care is to stay away from the coffee after 1 pm if I want to sleep. Because actually being able to sleep is good!

Canines


My Canine Companions for Independence service dog is s huge contributor towards my self care! He helps me conserve my pathetically low energy by opening doors, carrying things, and picking up all sorts of stuff! These are all things I can do myself but that take a tremendous amount of effort and energy. And using that energy means that I have less physical energy for other things. And honestly, nothing sucks as much as having lots of mental energy but no physical energy. That’s a recipe for self-pity. My dog, in his role just as a dog and not as a service dog, is also paramount to my mental self care! Animals are awesome in this way. And yes, an equine is crashing the canine party because that’s also important to my self-care. The physical and mental exercise I get from riding are life-changing.

Camaraderie

For me, a connection to others with chronic illnesses and disabilities, both my particular condition and others, is vital to my self care! It is reaffirming and sometimes life-changing. I get this connection in many ways – through the groups dedicated to my condition, from cross-disability groups, from my service dog group, and from conferences such as MedX which bring together people of many different backgrounds, both epatients and supporters, all interested in self care through education and empowerment and working together. The rush I get from the interactions I have with people who have experienced what I have is vital.

Having Said All This

Somehow this post makes it seem like I have everything in control with my self care. And… I don’t! I push myself, putting way too much on my plate – and then regret it! But self care and relying on what I outlined above are goals I’m always striving to achieve.

Photo: Rick Guidotti

My name is Natalie, and I ride horses. I also have Moebius syndrome.

http://www.selfcaremvmt.com facebook.com/selfcaremvmt @selfcaremvmt @selfcaremvmt

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Red, Yellow & Blue

Spent the Fourth of July weekend (an actual 3-day weekend for me!) with my yellow boys who both rocked the blue, and humored me when I added some red to the mix!



I hope the paw on the flag isn’t disrespectful. It was awkward holding it, sooo…

Readying myself for three days of work + one day off + one day of work + one day off + three days of work = Los Angeles for the Moebius Syndrome Foundation Conference for four days (really a working vacation if you can even call it a vacation) then Disneyland for my 1 day mini-vacation.

I’m tired already and this 2 week stretch hasn’t even started…

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Dogs Just Gotta Have Fun

It’s actually quite surprising how often I hear “does your service dog ever get to have fun?”… common sense would dictate that of course he does, but apparently his serious working demeanor (wiggly tail aside) leads people to believe that he doesn’t get to be a dog.   
I assure you, this dog has more toys than any one dog needs, 3 beds in a one-bedroom apartment (not including the couch and person-bed!) and a ridiculous amount of attention and spoiling. Of course he deserves it all (and more!)

 
Dog parks are a no go for my particular situation, so getting to go to the humongous Gittinger Park after a chapter planning meeting in Santa Rosa yesterday was a treat. He only ran around for about 5 to 10 minutes, but it was a very happy run with some of his assistance dog and breeder friends.   

“Cashie, HERE!”

 

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