Why I Take Selfies

Today, I had to take steroids. For the third time this week I ended up walking around the house using my wedding cane. It was terrible but the steroids helped and I’m keeping my legs elevated.

Another thing about today and the other days of the week I’ve used a mobility aid, whether I’ve left the house or not, I’ve done a full hair and makeup getup, and worn a pretty dress. Yesterday I tried the Pinterest listerine pedicure, which exfoliated my feet but turned them blue, and painted my nails red. I’ll probably stick to Korean feet masks.

Every time I make myself pretty, I take a selfie because of all the extra effort that went into it, especially if it was on a bad day. I am proud of the work it took to doll myself up, whether it’s a pedicure, skincare, an outfit, my hair, my makeup, or a mix.

Going back to being a child, I have found strength in my femininity. Many people denounce selfies as vain, but after my illness, it’s simply me saying, “hey, I did it!”

I’m not looking for attention or accolades. Just the fact that I did it for myself and have something to look back on is enough to help me fight my battle against chronic illness.

Do I always do this? No. But it helps when I do.

Whatever helps you take a step forward, do it.

Hebrews 1:3

image of the sky with white text overlay: "Joy in the Lord Hebrews 1:3 Reflections on spoonielifestyle.com"

On zoom a very good friend of mine and I have a bible study for just the two of us almost every day. It’s a good way to keep connected, learn more about ourselves, each other, and Jesus.

Right now we are studying Philippians and one of the last questions for the study yesterday was something along the lines of how you learned where you needed to improve and how you could implement it.

I struggle with being joyful, and I told my friend that perhaps being reminded of the joy I have in the Lord would help me. Maybe I could have visual reminders?

Next I recounted an anecdote about Stephen Colbert and how he supposedly kept Hebrews 1:3 on his computer monitor.


The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of majesty in heaven.

Hebrews 1:3 NIV

I could try sticky notes around my office space. Then my friend texted me the verse.

Hebrews 1:3 is pretty deep. It reminds me of the sun and moon, how the sun nourishes all living things and we can walk by night by the moon’s reflection of the sun. And both of these heavenly bodies are, well, in heaven. I know it doesn’t mean that at all most likely and means more than that, but this is an allegory that comes to mind.

Jesus is powerful, and he loves you tenderly. Have a little joy in your heart from that! I’ll try to have some in mine.

The Monday Blues are Grateful For You

blue pain on wood with a heart imprint white text overlay " you don't know what you have till it's gone: the monday blues are thankful for you"

I haven’t had a regular Monday morning since November of 2018. At the time I was a receptionist for a seedy car lot and trying my hardest to keep up. Every morning I woke up at 3am for my strenuous 1 hour morning routine, followed by my hour commute to start work at 5am down I-35 in ridiculous traffic. My car was a 25 year old clunker with no airbags. In short, it was a dangerous journey.

I didn’t get along with the folks at the car lot. I was too genuine, and too disabled. This was year two of my chronic vomiting, and one Wednesday I ran from the receptionists’ desk to puke for about five minutes. There was another receptionist at my post. When I returned, I received a harsh reprimand and was promptly fired. The whole incident was so jarring I haven’t interviewed for a job since and have decided to make it on my own freelancing.

That’s not to say I don’t want a job. I long for a typical Monday morning with three cups of coffee, doing my hair and makeup, putting on cute clothes and rushing out the door into the chaos of traffic. I know it sounds insane, but as someone that’s been homebound for two years now, there are some “awful” things I wish I had in my life. Some tethers of normalcy to give me the crown of worthiness.

However, there was a time I hated my morning or night commute. There may be certain things we hate in life or dread, but they serve a purpose. Our commutes in our little cars take up little spaces in the world and show us where we fit in society, seamlessly and dangerously, knowing one crash could take us out forever.

A commute’s potential purpose is to gain insight about the world. That asshole who cut you off – have you ever considered you might have been the asshole? Or maybe they were rushing a baby to the hospital?

Another is to gain insight about the world. We are cars on a road part of a system that crosses continents. We are so, so small part of something so huge.

What about gaining insight about yourself? What do you do in the car to stay calm? Do you listen to angry music? Soothing music? Podcasts? Do you feed your mind, your emotions, or your soul?

Whether you make it to your destination or not, I’d say your Monday morning commute is thankful for you. Negative experiences – or experiences we think are negative – are grateful for you because they get to serve their positive purpose: to allow illumination in their darkness.

Keep Fishin’

Usually, no matter how bad my pain flare is, I wake up at 5am at the latest, do Tai Chi, have a blog post out by 9:30 edited a few times with a graphic, have eaten breakfast and downed 3 cups of coffee by 10am.

Presently I’ve been in a stress-induced pain flare. The pain has been worse than when I’ve first been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, when I would scream at night, sob while I read the bible, all because of the physical pain I was in. It was a nightmarish experience. Once I started the meds and began to get better, I thought that would never happen again.

The past 3 weeks I’ve had horrible insomnia, which has been a plague for me on and off for about two years. Last night I slept 12 hours.

Normally, this would not be a problem. But I’ve been applying for virtual volunteer positions, and I had an interview at 10am, and woke up at 10:55am.

Well, I may have missed an opportunity to make the world a better place, but my body feels much better and I may actually be able to do Tai Chi today.

What I mean to say is, for anyone else going through this, don’t give up, or as my favorite band Weezer would say, Keep Fishin’:

You’ll never be
A better kind
If you don’t leave
The world behind

Waste my days (Waste my days)
It drowns aways (Drown aways)
It’s just the thought of you
In love with someone else
It breaks my heart, to see you hangin’ from your shelf

You’ll never do
about:blankThe things you want
If you don’t move
And get a job

Waste my days (Waste my days)
It drowns aways (Drown aways)
It’s just the thought of you
In love with someone else
It breaks my heart, to see you hangin’ from your shelf

Oh girl when I’m in love with you (Do wah)
Keep fishin’ if you feel it’s true (Do wah)
There’s nothing much that we can do
To save you from yourself

Waste my days (Waste my days)
It drowns aways (Drowns aways)
It’s just the thought of you
In love with someone else
It breaks my heart to see you hangin’ from your shelf

Oh girl when I’m in love with you (Do wah)
Keep fishin’ if you feel it’s true (Do wah)
There’s nothing much that we can do
To save you from yourself

You’ll never be
A better kind
You’ll never be
A better kind

Waste my days (Ohhh)

Keep fishin’ y’all.

(Yes I know these are super lazy posts but I’m trying to still crank something positive out every day. Wait, that wasn’t a positive statement. It’s okay. I’m doing the best I can, me.)

It’s OK

I wasn’t sure what to write about today.

I woke up at 2:00AM in extreme pain, but that’s okay. It went away eventually and I fell back asleep.

As I erroneously look forward in my life, ever playing the fortune teller, I see black clouds hanging ahead. But I know that this is false thinking, and not what is actually true. Life can be hard sometimes, but it’s our perspectives that make seeing visible. If you purposefully put a towel over your eyes, you cannot see anything in your world. The world is dark and precarious. However, you are responsible for this. You can realize you have something covering your face and take it off, or you can see it in your hands and not put it on.

I juggle with the face-cover, sometimes blinding myself and sometimes enlightening myself within the cycle of minutes throughout the day. And that’s okay.

I’m human. So are you. We all are.

Taking Back Your Power Before Power Takes You

I notice a trend in my life, in other blogger’s lives, and in human beings in general. It’s of helplessness and hopelessness: being a victim of who you are and your circumstances.

I created this blog to take the stones thrown at me by life and create a castle out of them. For now, it’s what serves me – telling my story not to inspire others, but so that others in similar situations don’t feel so alone, that they may find strength in solidarity.

Oftentimes in the chronically ill community it is said that you have to cut out negativity in your life, and this includes friends. I recently did this with a particularly demeaning and diminutive friend.

She had always struck me as a snaggle-toothed, mousy girl who was kind-hearted but self-absorbed. Day and night she would text me her problems, but didn’t have time for mine. She belittled my diagnoses and insulted my wedding dress.

Eventually she turned out to be racist, sexist, and homophobic. This led me to the ethical questions of being so close to her. Was it wise to be associated with someone who thought such hateful thoughts and assumed they were mine as well when I couldn’t be more different? Is it okay to let yourself be friends with people who are so prejudiced? Does that mean you condone that line of thinking?

Ultimately, a racist statement and her general selfish mannerisms led me to cut ties.

She lived her life thinking she was a victim – always a problem, never having the power to solve it. While demeaning socialism she was a job hopper on minimum wages living with her parents and had a bachelor’s degree from a supposedly reputable private school.

Everything always happened to her. This was how she went from being a newspaper journalist to working at a Goodwill. She didn’t take back her power before power took her.

As for me, I admit I fall into the power trap as we all do at times. Sometimes I curse my pain and how I have no control. We may not have a say in the hands we’re dealt, but we can learn how to play them.

List of all the ways I’ve been loved TODAY

When a person comes around to recognize their blessings, they need to record them. It’s like taking photographs of favorite destinations, making a collage, and displaying it teenager-style like your soul anthem on your bedroom wall. There, your memories wait for you each time you go to sleep.

I’ve been suffering on multiple fronts lately and I want to acknowledge the ways people have loved me TODAY, even if it was part of their job description:

  • The librarian who showed me Convenience Store Woman, recommended it to me, and had a conversation about it with me after she noted how much I read in a short amount of time. Thank you for your book love that is a part of your job description but still needed.
  • Sayaka Murata, for writing Convenience Store Woman, so that I could find it today and laugh my ass off when I asked the librarian for the happiest book in the library
  • Bear, for buying me books, queso, and enchiladas. Money can’t buy you love but they can buy you comfort. Thank you for loving me in this dimension today.
  • Bear, who shows genuine love and concern by answering all of my phone calls at work despite our current living situation, who truly does care, and won’t let me forget it. Thank you for loving me genuinely and unconditionally.
  • Bear’s friend, who was asked by Bear to check up on me, and did even though she didn’t have to. Thank you for being a friend of Bear and consequently, of mine, even if you may have gotten more than you bargained for.
  • My friends, for periodically checking on me, texting and calling throughout my day.
  • Random person on roll20 who noticed my distress at being unable to dungeon my dragons, thanks for reaching out to a freaked out person going through a DBT skills breakdown.
  • Mom, for driving me to DBT and the library because the doctors say I can’t drive right now.
  • Mom and dad, for driving me to meet Bear tonight for our date.
  • Dad, for trying to fix the record player so I could experience vinyl and not rely on digital technology to listen to music.
  • Indoor plumbing, for giving me a hot shower and a soaking bath. You do you man!
  • Me, for taking time out of my day to try to learn some new ukulele songs, devote time to music when I haven’t in years, and feed my brain. Learning to love you too boo.

Feel free to share ways that you felt loved TODAY in the comments! I would love to feel the love, and I’m sure you would too!

Amarillo by Morning

It’s my usual early morning. Most days I wake up at 4 or 5 am, except for Sundays where I sleep till noon (the one day my religious family would like me to be up early).

As I sit here at the keyboard, I’m thinking of a song that’s stuck in my head: Amarillo by Morning by George Strait, or the unofficial Texas National Anthem. (It’s totally not, I had to sing the anthem in choir and I guarantee it is not as awesome as Amarillo by Morning.)

With all the crazy psychonautical bullshit that is going on with my health and personal life, the yearning, symphonic nature of the song really speaks to me, especially these parts of the song.

Amarillo by morning, up from San Antone
Everything that I’ve got is just what I’ve got on

When that sun is high in that Texas sky
I’ll be bucking at the county fair
Amarillo by morning, Amarillo I’ll be there

They took my saddle in Houston, broke my leg in Santa Fe
Lost my wife and a girlfriend somewhere along the way
Well I’ll be looking for eight when they pull that gate
And I hope that judge ain’t blind
Amarillo by morning, Amarillo’s on my mind

Amarillo by morning, up from San Antone
Everything that I’ve got is just what I’ve got on
I ain’t got a dime, but what I got is mine
I ain’t rich, but Lord I’m free

Amarillo by morning, Amarillo’s where I’ll be
Amarillo by morning, Amarillo’s where I’ll be”

-Amarillo by Morning, George Strait

I’ve lost all of my worldly possessions about three times in this life, and the notion of finding freedom in that in the song I wonder is what the singer is truly feeling or if it’s a wish. If it’s a state of mind, a place you lock yourself into so you can make it to Amarillo. But once you’ve lost everything three times, I guess it’s safe to say you know you’ll be okay.

Amarillo by morning this 5am. Amarillo is where I’ll be.

(I don’t live in Amarillo please don’t try to find me.)

The choices we make

Throughout history, different people have come up with numerous ways to determine how to define a human being, or rather, a person’s worth.

The most common in the west is money, that ones value is determined by what a person gives to the economy. I tried so hard to give to the blessed mother economy that has given me so much. Say what you want but in the end I was its slave. A marker of adulthood is being a willing one, and I was, but I had fallen down and was thrown to the side with the chaff.

Worse of all, I am now applying for disability. I am asking money from the government, an act considered so heinous by many people I know I don’t deserve the donated clothes on my back.

Many conservative people will tell you a woman belongs with a man. I will not disclose why but I have decided my husband and I cannot do this marriage journey in our short time together. This will bring me shame from my surrounding conservative community.

Oftentimes when I volunteered to cook at funerals people would ask when I was going to get a man because my food was so good. It took me six years to find one, but it turned out to be a bad love.

At first I thought I would be relieved, but then the tears started coming every day. I’ve been listening to “The Redheaded Stranger” album by Willie Nelson on repeat the past two days.

I am afraid I will lose my sense of personhood through all of these losses, but I am doing what I can do hold on to Christ and what he says, that I am God’s child and his princess. I am royalty, even if the world says otherwise. No one can take my crown. If it needs adjusting then I do and keep marching on.

Does this all go down to the choices we make consciously?

Could I have foreseen being rejected by a dollar, or what was to go down with my husband?

I don’t know if I could have at all. But there were points where I could have demanded more or walked out. And I did try that, to no avail.

You end up where you are and there’s no use reminiscing. You straighten your crown and march on.

That’s a crown from God that no illness or man can take away, ladies and gents, and it’s on your head whether you believe in it or not.

A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes

My view from my Sansa 12 passenger plane in Costa Rica.

My mother was a pilot.

She flew Cessnas back in the 1980s.

Whenever I would ask her about it, she would talk about it as if it were some frivolous, silly thing. That is, until I told her I wanted to be a pilot. That I wanted to fly Cessnas.

Yes, I want to be a bush pilot. I want to fly people out into the middle of nowhere, go on adventures up in the sky, and I want to write about my adventures. My big dream is to see the world from up above and chronicle it all.

My hands aren’t working right now, but I’ll close out with some wisdom from Disney’s Cinderella:

“Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling through
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
The dream that you wish will come true”

For now, I have Google Earth Pro’s flight simulator. With my hand’s being messed up I keep crashing my little propeller plane. Maybe once Bear and I get through these crazy medical bills, I can get a joystick.

Keep dreaming, and I’ll see you on the skyways.