Happy Trials

Last week I wrote about how a trip to southern Utah gave Lord Julian’s work in progress a boost, but since I’ve come home, I’ve seen a few other boosts as well. First, and maybe most significantly, I’m sleeping better.

Why? Because to get to the site of my family reunion (Capitol Reef environs), I had to go very short of sleep one night, and then less than a week later, I took a red-eye home, so no sleep that night, which I did not enjoy (see restless leg syndrome at 38,000 feet). I napped upon landing, but not for long, and now, a week later, my sleep cycle still seems to be enjoying a benefit. I’m sleeping well, not just thrashing around in bed while it’s dark outside.

And when I sleep well, everything goes better.

Another boost came from being at high altitudes (7000+ feet above sea level, which is high for me). I got good doses of Vitamin D without sunburning, and I probably made some extra red blood cells frolicking around up there in the thin air.

I got to trail ride with my daughter, something she set up for us that we haven’t done together for… twenty years? That did my heart more good than even abundant red blood cells. At one point, I got pretty rattled in the saddle. Because the horse ahead of us stopped, my mount had to halt at an awkward angle on a steep, narrow trail into a ravine. But I do know how to ride, the horse knew how to navigate the trail if I’d just leave him in peace, and we managed. Phew! and also, in a modest way, “We did it!”

Because I needed a pet sitter to look after the beasts while I traveled, I simplified my cat-care routine. Stripped it right down to bare necessities (well, the cats’ idea of bare necessities). Now, my pensioners do not expect private gourmet dining on separate plates in the kitchen, while the rank and file scarf the usual rations outdoors. I also cleaned out my fridge, because the pet sitter would be rummaging around in there, and … really, it needed doing.

I weathered the pandemic pretty easily, from what I gather, and that makes sense. I thrive on large amounts of solitude, I’m pretty self-entertaining, and I have a voracious reading habit. Then too, I was working from home before it was popular–I was one of the lucky ones. Nonetheless, all that hermiting caused my courage for adventures to Worth More Than Rubies by Grace Burrowesatrophy, and what courage I do have went to dealing with long haul COVID, economic uncertainty, and the stresses we all put up with for some very challenging years.

I’m reminded though, that adventures can bring happy surprises–good sleep is a very happy surprise–and that the courage well can be replenished in manageable doses, if I can just lure myself, even by baby steps–out of my comfy-productive ruts.

When was the last time you had to draw on a little extra courage? I’m still giving away ARCs of Worth More Than Rubies, though the ebook is also available from the web store, and the print version can be purchased from Amazon.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

15 comments on “Happy Trials

  1. I have faced with some tough choices this past year. I have had to be strong for my family and friends when I haven’t felt strong at all.
    I put on a happy face and smile every Friday during chemo and now during infusion treatment.I had to trust the doctors and nurses during my treatment and be positive and calm.
    Sometimes it take courage to trust- to trust your medical team, the treatment (even if it make yo sick) and know that your family and friends support you.

    • I think there must be a higher order or bravery required of cancer patients. The treatments are a challenge in themselves, and there’s all that “being your own case manager,” burden that comes when friends and loved ones are rattled by your illness. Then too, the medical horizon is ever evolving, and the experts sometimes don’t agree. Not fun AT ALL.
      I will keep you and yours (two-legged and four-legged) in my thoughts, Sue. I hope the path grows easier soon, and that you don’t have keep being THIS brave for yourself and for everybody else.

    • Susan, I hope all goes well and remission is in your future. I, too, am traveling this path. To my great surprise, I was diagnosed with Stage IV clear cell uterine cancer in August. First chemo was three weeks ago and my hair has decided it’s time to jump ship. I just put one foot in front of the other (like Winter Warlock in Santa Claus is Coming to Town) and hope I’ll be walking through that door at the end! Courage and optimism are the words of the day. And Grace, I read your books the minute they’re available on Nook and can’t wait for the next one!

    • You are the very definition of courage, and my heart goes out to you. I will keep you in my prayers for your continuing courage and that you see complete remission.

  2. Pingback: When Dashing Met Dubious | Grace Burrowes | I believe in love.

  3. I feel that making the decision to get my worst knee replaced earlier this year required a bit more courage than I normally have to expend. I was suffering with the pain of my osteoarthritis but I knew what to expect generally with it and had little idea about post-knee replacement. Yes, my younger sister had her knee replaced a year before me and said it was the best decision she had made but our issues were different (and it turned out our recoveries were, too) so I didn’t feel I could extrapolate from her experience. I also felt a bit weird about having a big hunk of metal in my knee, and my knee still doesn’t feel like it really belongs to me. But it works so much better and without the pain and fear of it giving out, that it turned out to be a good thing. So, yes, I’m glad I went ahead in spite of my trepidations (but I don’t really feel that it makes me brave).

  4. Two years ago, my son married a woman whose country of origin is India. The spring before their marriage, just before Covid shut the world down, they had a celebration of their engagement in Jaipur, India. My husband and I are introverted homebodies. We aren’t especially adventurous on our own. However, we traveled to India from Minnesota for the celebration. We started our adventure in New Delhi and then pressed on to Jaipur. We traveled on our own, negotiated rides in tuk-tuks, dealt with high pressure salespeople, visited palaces, forts, and elephants. We ate new and interesting foods and met wonderfully kind people. This was a kind of courageous different from illness or difficult choices. But it took courage to make the giant leap to travel to a country far from our own. I’m really glad we did!

  5. Unfortunately I have faced several very unpleasant, some downright scary medical tests over the past year. In each case, I have been tempted to cancel them right up to the day of testing, because the thought of enduring the test was more terrifying than the condition the tests were meant to diagnose. But in each case, I summoned courage i didn’t know I possessed and endured. Some tests were not nearly as bad as I had imagined and some were even more horrifying than I could ever have believed. But in each case, I bucked up and survived. I feel like these events inoculate me against future experiences that I am dreading and let me know that I will survive those as well. In the end, I think we are stronger than we think we are. Stay safe. Stay well everyone!

  6. I am SO lacking in courage that I am too embarrassed to share “the list.” The last thing I did that took courage (at least for me) was to have a epidural injection to try to help my worrisome back issues. I think it helped some and I hope more can be done.

    I would like to have the “worth more than rubies” ARC if there are some still available. I really like getting those.

    Currently I am re-reading “What a Lady Needs for Christmas” I am loving the parts I always loved and am annoyed with the parts that always annoyed me (LOL) I still think there should have at least been a bloody nose delivered!

  7. I began speech/cognitive therapy a few weeks ago to see if I can get help with mild cognitive/mental stamina issues remaining after my brain aneurysm rupture 2.5 years ago. The drive to get there is 45 minutes so getting there and home and doing the session is a test by itself. And I drove by myself the 2.5 hours to be with my parents as they prepare for a move soon – first doing that drove alone in over a year (when I said to myself that I would never be able to do it again). I’m trying. I rest to take care of myself. I learn my limits and learn to make the most of the wiggle room in the middle. Thanks for the beautiful stories of others learning to live fearlessly with what they have, too.

  8. Feeling like I’m using a little courage these days as we approach retirement, have a house sitting on the market, and my partner’s contract is expiring. I’m sure it’ll work out, but lots of deep breathing these days…I’d love an ARC of Worth More Than Rubies!

  9. It’s been a while since I’ve had to draw on some extra courage- long enough that I can’t recall when it might have occurred! <Maybe that means I need to be a little more adventurous??

  10. We put trust in some specialists for my struggling autistic teen and it really really paid off. There has been so much dealing with the squeekiest wheel and hoping the back burner doesn’t boil over with their varied needs, it taking so much time and effort to juggle everything and keep them on track and that often was just trying to prevent a backward slide. We got them in DBT then ERP with great people and have watched them mature, gain perspective, and watch their external support needs lessen. A lot of my role in supporting this process has felt scary and counterintuitive and required a leap of faith, but I had a suicidal kid and this morning they told him how great life is, so I am finding the courage to hope for their even greater independence and my own obsolescence.

  11. One courageous/potentially dangerous moment I had was in the first autumn of Covid, 2020. I’d come across a good deal for an rv rental and pitched the idea of a Jasper-Banff Rockies walkabout to a friend.
    Trouble was, I’d never driven an rv and hadn’t driven anything in seven years. (I’d moved into a wonderful 60+ building, with excellent public transit nearby, so had given up my vehicle).
    My lovely, trusting SIL loaned me her van to practice. The first time out I was so scared I took an easy drive to the cemetery where my parents and son lie, and talked to them for the afternoon. The second time wasn’t so frightening, and the third, I remembered how much I’d always enjoyed driving.
    We hired our little rv and had a blissful drive thru the mountains and home via the beautiful gold of recently harvested prairie fields. That trip did a lot to buffer us from Covid cabin fever, and was a good reminder that things often seem much scarier than they are; just give it a try & it might work out fine.

  12. Every one of the comments on this post has struck a chord with me. It seems like the last 5 years have been nothing but facing challenges that required courage. None of them as fearful as the cancer that Susan G. is facing-God Bless her. I’ve gone through some of the same things that Tina and Sue have had to face, for me it has been the past two years working with a pain specialist. The tests have been scary, some pretty awful and some that I feared greatly turned out to be a walk in the park. I have multiple issues I’m dealing with and some days they all pile up on me at once and I’m forced to step back from commitments, (and THAT makes me so angry at myself and my issues, then I have to deal with that feeling.) Losing the things that you used to be able to do, one by one, feels so defeating but the creative urges I have has helped me channel some of that loss into other activities.

    Making changes in my life for the good, has not been a one and done thing. It’s every stinking day. But, for me, it was: How many wake-up calls did I need?

    I am extremely blessed to have my supporting and caring husband. I know how fortunate and lucky and blessed I am for him. Being there for him for his challenges, namely scary heart issues post open heart emergency surgery and recovery after, frightening for me yet another reason to be brave and be deeply grateful to God and medical science and my brave husband who answered his wake-up call.

    When I read your posts and hear about what you have had to go through Grace, I have nothing but admiration for your continued courage.

    If they are still available I would love the ARC. I am so ready to start rereading my collection of and adding new Christmas stories of which all of yours takes precedence. I’m very proud for you that you went on your trip to Utah and everything you did.