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Take Heart and Do Good

It’s been a rough month. Truly. Some days I had to have a good ol’ cry because it all felt, as a dear friend put it, “too much of a muchness.”

That spider bite really knocked me flat. Yep, it sure did. One of the stranger side effects of the bite is what professionals refer to as “agitation.” For us mortals that means “Feel Anxious All The Time For No Reason.” Dreadful. Nothing takes it away. Not rest, not writing in a journal, not going for a walk or breathing exercises. Nope. You just have to let it do its wretched panicky thing, week after week, and try not to take it personally or give it validation or let it send you on fruitless rabbit trails of introspection trying to get to the heart of the anxiety.

Thankfully, on Tuesday this debilitating fog of pain, exhaustion, and anxiety finally began to lift. Instead of stumbling along through my days just trying to do the next thing before I keeled over, I could actually think again, focus again, and, the best part of all, feel peaceful and happy again.

I wanted to run to the nearest mirror and shout, ” WELCOME BACK!!!”

Each day the symptoms ebb a bit more, the peaceful state lasts a bit longer, and I’m so very, very thankful.

Before the ebbing began, I was quite discouraged, frustrated, and plain ol’ tired. As I wrote out to a friend what I was feeling, I typed the words, “So I’m just trying to take heart and do good.”

Take heart and do good.

Even as I typed them out I began to smile. This pain, this awfulness, it wouldn’t last. I knew there would be an end one day. And in the meantime, I could just focus on doing good. Good to me, good to Bear, good to our animals, good to the people I came across.

Funny how these things come to us just when we need them most.

They came to me the day I took Bear in to the hospital for surgery. After I got him signed in and kissed him good-bye I thought, “What good can I do right now?”

It was 7 a.m. on a winter morning and I knew immediately what I needed to do. I needed to get outside. To see beauty and breathe fresh air and just be.

So I drove to Queen’s Park in Toowoomba, packed up my breakfast, book, and journal, and went for a walk.

I could not have asked for a more exquisite morning. Out of nowhere, Spring had arrived. There was no frost, no icy wind, just clear blue skies and a world flooding with light as the sun crept up through the trees casting magical shadows and giving a rich, golden hue to everything it touched.

I found a bench bathed in sunlight and settled in to watch the park wake up.

Joggers, walkers, and cyclists hustled past on their morning constitutional, nearly always accompanied by dogs who made sure to trot over to me for an ear scratch and a hello.

Magpies and galahs toddled about in the dewy grass looking for morsels to eat.

But me, well, mostly I just soaked up that glorious light, basking in the warmth and delighting in the novelty of not being cold.

I tucked in to my own breakfast – boiled eggs with salt and pepper, tomato salad with lime Dijon dressing – and figured that the only thing that could possibly make this moment more perfect would be a hot cuppa. I’ll remember that for next time.

In between bites I read a bit more of my book and scribbled away in my journal, marveling at how wonderful it was to have no deadlines to meet, no appointments to make, just time alone in luminous beauty. Even spider-bite-anxiety is no match for such utter gloriousness.

In time, when all the words were written and the pages read that needed to be read, I packed up again and strolled back through the park, my spirits restored.

On my way to pick up Bear I knew just what I wanted to “do good” for him. I stopped at a deli and got fresh bread, triple cream brie, Italian salami, and unsalted butter, some of our favorite things to celebrate his successful surgery. He loved it. We had a scrumptious picnic in our motel room, then settled in for a cozy afternoon of movies and naps.

Take heart and do good. What a difference they make during hard times.


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Try Again » Rambling Tart - […] a decent sleep. Then, and only then, can I summon up the oomph to stiffen the ol’ upper lip, take heart, and try […]

Do The Things » Rambling Tart - […] I don’t know where I heard that line, but I like it very much. And I needed it this frazzleicious week after utterly neglecting the self-care that is so necessary for my peace. I easily get caught up in the “have to’s and forget about the little things that make the “have-to’s” so much more bearable. So I stopped myself in my tracks over the weekend and got back to doing the things. […]

A Satisfactory Condition » Rambling Tart - […] a nutshell, it’s doing what is good for […]

Imen McDonnell - I am just catching up here Krista, wow, you’ve had a rough couple of months!!!! So happy to hear your are out the of woods and “back!” The agitation symptom sounded really, really challenging, so glad you are symptom free now and can enjoy the farm and do good =) how is Bear recovering from surgery, I hope it wasn’t serious! Thinking of you from one isle to another xx

Krista - Apparently one in five people experience this full body reaction, @disqus_o9c9vkchcC:disqus I just drew the short straw, I think. 🙂 Hoping you have a wonderful week. XO

Krista - Thank you so much, @LindyLouMac:disqus I’m so glad you liked The Signature of All Things too. 🙂 Such a fascinating read!

Krista - I can imagine, Velva! I know I will be longing for them in a few months. 🙂

Krista - I’m so glad, @GourmetGetaway:disqus 🙂

Krista - “blah, it’s not me” – I love that, @coffeeandcrumpets:disqus 🙂 I’m so glad we can support and cheer each other during the dark times. XO

Krista - Thank you, Minnie. 🙂

Krista - Yes, I always resonate with your descriptions of your weather, @kimlivlife:disqus It feels so similar, even down to the things that grow well here. 🙂 Wishing you a much better month after your rough one. XO

Krista - Thanks so much, @joanneeatswellwithothers:disqus 🙂

Krista - I feel like I’ve been hanging on for dear life, Charlie, thank you for your very encouraging words. XO

Krista - I’m so glad you like the photos, @goldiegal:disqus 🙂 That really makes me smile. 🙂 xo

Krista - That made me laugh, @deborahregen:disqus 🙂 A “booby prize” is right!!

Krista - It sure was, Tandy. So thankful it’s gone now. 🙂

Krista - Thank you, Paradis!! This week is much better and brighter. 🙂

Krista - Bear is doing great, El. We both just have to get a lot of rest as we recover. 🙂

Krista - Thank you, Cheryl, I really am feeling better and better. XO

Krista - Thanks so much for the hugs, @Kayrpea61:disqus 🙂 Hugs are the best on wonky days. xo

Krista - Thank you, darling @breannemosher:disqus I’m glad the mantra is meaningful to you too. XO

Krista - It is amazing how much our health affects our spirits, @disqus_WseMqaTPwi:disqus I’m so thankful to be feeling stronger now. 🙂 XO

Almost Spring » Rambling Tart - […] Spring. Seeing my world come to life again rejuvenates my own spirits and renews my dedication to doing the things that lead to wholeness, peace, and well-being. Difficulties that seemed insurmountable a few weeks ago have glimmers of possibility now as I face […]

LindyLouMac - So sorry you have been having a rough time my dear virtual friend. You have a lovely heart and soul and you are a survivor, stay strong. I thought The Signature of All Things was an outstanding piece of writing. http://lindyloumacbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/the-signature-of-all-things-by.html

Anna Johnston - Oh my goodness, that’s really scary. I had no idea a spider bite caused those kind of awful feelings. I am so sorry you’ve been having a rough time of it, but most pleased you are coming out of that and feeling better. Isn’t it wonderful when you notice that change?! Happy weekend sweets. xo

Velva-Tomatoes on the Vine - What a beautiful morning! I would do a lot for cooler temperatures (laugh).. So glad you are feeling better.

Gourmet Getaways - Inspiring and strikes up a smile :). Life is good…

Julie & Alesah
Gourmet Getaways xx

Coffee and Crumpets - My dear Krista, I sure do know how you feel! A chronic illness does what it will and there are days I just feel exhausted and not necessarily with tiredness but with the muchness of it all. But then like you, I shake it off, I have to because being down and blah, it’s not me.
Your words give me strength too and you are right about doing good, it makes you feel alive and good all over.
Take care my dear. I hope your positive light is back and that Bear is well too. xx

Kim - Liv Life - Your posts are so inspiring!! I’ve been working on doing good” too, trying to keep the positive over the negative. It’s been a tough month, but at least we haven’t had any spider bites. That gives met the shivers just thinking about it. I hadn’t expected you to still be feeling anything from it. that was one nasty spider.
And Krista… your photos are just so beautiful. They tell stories and make me feel peaceful.
And, I love that you are wearing a dress in winter!! I feel like I understand your Australia, I think our worlds are a little similar. Cheers to a good week!

Minnie Gupta - Very nicely written. Beautiful pictures too.

Joanne (eats well with others) - I’m so glad to hear that the fog is parting and you’re feeling alright again!!

Hotly Spiced - That spider bite has been truly shocking and I think you’ve done so well to keep blogging and keep working on the farm all while having those dreadful symptoms. I am glad you are finally beginning to feel a bit better. I have been to that park in Toowoomba and it is really beautiful and tranquil. Just this week I’ve been beginning to feel that spring is just around the corner – I can’t wait! xx

Deborah Regen - My mother would have called that anxiety side-effect a “booby prize” – something you received but certainly did not ask for! Glad you are now on the upswing. Sending a warm hug from hot & muggy south Florida.

Nagi | RecipeTin Eats - Krista, you are one of the most kind hearted souls I know on the blogosphere. I’m so glad you are feeling better after that horrendous spider bite. Those photos are just glorious. They lift my soul!

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - Great words here Krista. That anxious feeling must have been awful. So glad it’s lifted 🙂

mlleparadis - ’nuff said! lovely post. hope you both are feeling much much better!


El - I’m sorry to hear it’s been a rough week. I hope you’re on the mend soon. Stay gentle with yourself. Hope Bear is okay too. Hang in there!

Cheryl - Krista, I just knew that you were probably not feeling too well since all was quiet on your blog. I’m so sorry that you have had to deal with this. I hop you feel better each day ahead. What a positive, joyous person you are despite adversity.

Ken Powell - You’ve given me more than I ever knew about the debilitating effects of that spider bite, Krista. So glad you are finally getting through it. What a lovely park, and your photos make me want to sit there too. Hugs xx

Breanne @ This Vintage Moment - What a lovely mantra- so simple and so powerful. I’m sorry it’s been a rough month, luv, those kind are not fun to experience. Glad you are both on the mend. XO

Jackie Smith - “all the words written and all the pages read that needed to be read” — I love that phrase. I loved the whole post, Krista. Isn’t it amazing how pain, or feeling ‘not right’ can impact your entire being, heart, soul, head and body? Glad you are on the mend and that Bear’s surgery went well. I am sipping my cuppa as I write this on a still-sunny-summer morning in the Pacific Northwest. You’ve made me pause to look out the window and enjoy the morning’s shadows and think about what good I might do today. Hugs to you~

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