I am checking in after not having written in awhile. It’s been exactly three months since Dad died. I am experiencing fewer moments of diffuse sadness and unexpected negative self-talk. I do feel a pang when I come across a photo of Dad or after not thinking about him for a few hours and then remembering that he is dead. My mom is coping very well. She is making new friends at church, singing again, and approaching each day with a schedule of chores.

I began a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course two weeks ago. I have taken one before as well as attended mindfulness classes and retreats. My formal meditation practice had fallen off in the last year. The class is in the evening, something I would not have been able to do six months ago, due to fatigue from taking beta blockers. Since going off of the medicine, my energy level has improved, and taking the class has also resulted in increased energy and emotional balance. I have also started eating more healthfully again. I am being mindful of my food choices, especially quantity and quality. I also decided to change eating plans.

More energy also means more time to do pottery! I’ve been working on some new surface design techniques, which allow me to incorporate my photography into my work. John is still taking classes with me, though I notice that his enthusiasm level is less. Maybe it’s just relative, I don’t know. I do know that he is working to take better care of himself. He had a health scare over the weekend and has asked to meditate with me, which he has been doing all week. John is also exercising again. He’s not yet convinced that his food choices might be significantly improved. I am treading lightly but making my concerns known. We are both overweight and at risk for cardiac problems. John carries all of his weight in his mid-section, which is a risk factor. The fact that his dad died of sudden cardiac death at age 49 is also a risk factor as is John’s high cholesterol.

Our daughter is doing well, nearly a senior (a few credits short) at Western Washington University, about 1 3/4 hours away. She is majoring in journalism, taking vocal lessons, and vlogging. A favorite vlog entry is, “Why you shouldn’t drive like a dick.”

Ah yes, I am also reading the news. Another reason for meditation.

Peace, friends.