Yes, this is the ceiling of our bedroom. The other night while I was waiting on Dr. M to finish playing Farmville, I was lying in bed staring up at it thinking about all of our problems. I can't really talk about all of them, and I don't want this post to be a list of "issues" (but if you must know I am about tired of my arthritis, shoulder & tail bone hurting, among other things).

I just wanted to point out that, looking up at the ceiling, thinking about all my many concerns big and small, the spackled ridges appeared to recede so that instead of seeing all these random mountain ranges I was now looking at oddly shaped plateaus. It's a trick of the eyes similar to those 3-D pictures that were all the rage about 20 years ago. And no, there were no "medications" involved (unless you count Kroger Big K Diet Citrus Drop).

The eye trick doesn't happen when I'm staring fixedly at the ceiling. I have to relax my eyes and let them cross & wander a bit. I started thinking about perspective and how these plateaus seemed a little gentler than all those ridges.

And here is my big takeaway from the incident: I should just relax and stop staring so fixedly at my problems. Some of them won't go away if I ignore them, but I don't need to keep my laser focus on them at all times. Just chill every now & then & enjoy the plateau before tackling the mountain again.


  1. Well, that's right. When you focus your attention on the problems all the time, they become bigger.

  2. A wonderful metaphor. Indeed, whatever we tend to focus on DOES indeed get bigger and bigger in our lives. Sending you warm, but gentle, hugs today my friend.

  3. Oh Bug, sometimes we all become a bit overwhelmed, and I suppose it helps to concentrate on the small, good things, too. It's just not always possible.

    Listen, I've got a lot of the same joint issues, arthritis caused by some spectacularly broken bones about fifteen years ago. I think that's part of the reason I tried to hang on to the summer with all my might, the cooler weather tends to make the soreness worse. However, having said that, I've found a couple of things that really help.

    Stretching regularly is very helpful. Then, you might also recall that we got a tempurpedic mattress. The only reason you might recall that is that I had an epic battle with the stench of the darned thing. It really, really helped with the hip problem (that I also share) so it's worth considering.

    Other than that I've no practical advice, other than I think your take here is another way. Broaden the view and try to relax.

    Long ago someone told me something that might be helpful -- I had just gotten divorced from my first husband, and I had that car accident which landed me in a wheelchair for five months (hey, not complaining, I got out of that sucker) but I was feeling very overwhelmed and a friend told me, "You do realize that even right now you're living someone's fairytale ending?" and went on to enumerate exactly how...and I realized, "Whoa. How true."

    Sometimes when things pile up, it helps to remember that our lives have things others can only pray for. Friends, family, people to love, roof over ones head. That sort of thing.

    So whenever I get up, all creaky and groaning, wondering "Gah, why me?" I remember what my friend told me and realize, "why me, indeed?" but I'm thinking about how incredibly lucky I am in so many ways.

    It doesn't solve much, you know? But it does give me enough of a lift to figure out how to handle the things that bring me down.

  4. Sorry Dana. Big Hug! I too have been feeling similar things and do not want to share them on the blog. I have been playing those games on facebook also because they are mindless activities like staring at the ceiling. Sometimes you just need to not think...if you know what I mean.

  5. I like this metaphoric reflection. Is that the right grammar? See, you could join me in obsessing over really unnecessary things and then you wouldn't get distracted by the bigger things. That's supposed to be a joke.

    There's nothing little about pain. I have my own that rears its head, and my hubby seems to be soaked with arthritic pain that renders him perpetually cranky. Please don't draw a conclusion that I'm calling you cranky. I'm trying to be sympathetic to your pain, and also applauding your success at navigating the ceiling with such aplomb as to help you find a perspective that, to me, sounds quite useful.

    I'm also rambling on here without much coherence, so will close with my best wishes to you and hopes that whatever issues or concerns plague you, they don't claim you.

  6. I really did identify with this post. There is nothing wrong with focusing on problems, espcially ones like physical pain that pronounce themselves so loudly in our everday lives. But yeah, a certain point we do need to shift our focus before we go completely mad.

  7. excellent life advice Bug!

  8. exactly! stressing out, though easy to do, never helps the situation. good luck with everything!

  9. I'm hoping your problems become fewer. All my best, Ms. Bug.

  10. Now if you could bottle the ability to "chill" and not focus on our problems, you'd be a rich woman! :)


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