Thursday, December 30, 2010

Neck Pain or Pain in the Neck

The glass grains of the 2010 hourglass have almost completely drained and I look back at the year as everyone does. Watching the television, news shows have been broadcasting many different top events of the year. Weather, sports, news, etc. The most prominent event in my life over the past year has been the damn sore neck and upper back that o have had, it seems, forever.

Yesterday I woke up with pain again. I immediately sighed and rolled my eyes, wondering when this will end. I have been going to the chiropractor and massage therapy religiously and after my last visit I thought I was ready to lengthen my visits to monthly. Regardless, these problems occur once and awhile and generally heal themselves with time.

My only understanding of the situation, using my previous knowledge of sports medicine, is that my neck muscles are not strong enough and when the pain finally subsides, I need to do light exercises to build strength.

Now, I question, if I have had this head for my whole life, why is it that the weight of my skull has managed to increase, thus causing inflammation and pain? I refuse to admit age to be the ultimate culprit although I know I am no longer a young pup. I have also thought that pain is half psychological and half physical. Athletes work through pain all the time, similar to my working while I am sore but then realizing my pain is gone after my shift. Could the increased weight of my head be from trying to force my life to work?

Once I think I have figured out the cause o my neck pain, it returns. Everything from cell phones, bad posture, purse straps, shoes, counter height, stress and looking up shooting eagle photography have been on the list. To no avail the knife jammed in my cervical vertebrae is twisted again in time for New Year's Eve and Day.

Regardless, my neck hurts. Happy New Years.
Jen McIntyre | Create your badge

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas To You...

It is Christmas Eve...

I have spent the day keeping busy with my usual routines to avoid any lonely feelings. I woke with a bit of a headache from the libations last night. This ritual of seeing friends the day before Christmas has shifted a day to avoid any pain on the actual holiday. It seems everyone has decided on this, not just me. Last night was quite festive, karaoke Christmas carols, friends gathered around the wood laughing, smiling, hugging and generally passing out the Christmas cheer. I was pretty happy too, feeling the energy of great friends around me. There are always eyes looking regardless of what is happening in your life, and the effect they have on you after a stumble in your life is priceless.

Some of my friends off to other parts of the country, and others yet travelling to warm beaches of the tropics,  the party continued on very late. I have dropped a few walls in the last week and opened up a bit, resulting in possibly putting my foot in my mouth. It always works out in the end but I am hoping this interesting late night interlude on line continues to grow. I love to laugh, it makes me whole, and if yesterday and early this morning is a sign of the return of "laughing Jen", there will be more of that to come. Thank you - YOU.

Merry Christmas everyone. Enjoy, eat, drink, be merry and laugh - laugh, laugh, laugh. :)
Jen McIntyre | Create your badge

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Friday, December 10, 2010

It's Time....

Today was a completely relaxing day. The only day off in my work week, I had one appointment today - lunch with my Dad. We went to The Boathouse in Kitsilano, enjoying our conversation of family and Christmas plans, enjoying the view and the food. The topic of my current relationship development came up and I simply told him everything. He was happy I made the right decision in letting it all go; "then it wasn't meant to be." I did notice the glances at my finger. I figured he would mention the fimo beaded necklace from Spain, which was my mother's.  He did not but his distraction to the ring I was wearing on my right ring finger was enough for me to rethink wearing this nostalgic piece of jewelery.

The piece of jewelery is a ring I have had since my previous relationship with an ex-boyfriend of six years. The ring was a representation of our future plans to be married and move to Vancouver Island. My mother, still alive although in her second bout with breast cancer, which would ultimately take her, seemed happy and at ease that we had future plans. Unfortunately, after her passing, we parted ways. I still wear the ring, which I purchased, but on the right hand, and have now begun to think I need a new personal ring.

Part of my relaxation today after my visit with my father, consisted of looking casually for a design I would like. I thought what I would like on my hand, definite that it should represent me in some way. I have always wanted to get a tattoo but never decided on what I would want until recently. I still am not sure of whether I want it as a permanent part of my physical self. The main symbolisms of the dragonfly are renewal, positive force and power of life in general with a sense of self that comes with maturity. I wanted a dragonfly on the back of my neck. Not ready to get this permanent ink on my body, I began to think that perhaps a nice simple silver or white gold ring of a dragonfly would be an idea. Then I went to town on my online browsing skills. 

I found a simple silver Tiffany and Co. ring and made the quick, inexpensive purchase. I also may think about looking at the jewels in my possession from my mother and grand mother. Wearing the necklace today reminded me of the times at the age of six, trying to find two matching beads on the string of colourful handmade glass beads. There are some pieces I would like to resize to fit my larger digits. In addition, I have a intricate silver charm bracelet filled with my travel history which I should share with the world.

It's time for baby steps in the direction of my metamorphosis.

Jen McIntyre | Create your badge

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Betting on the horses is like gambling in online casinos. When you look for online craps
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

And the Clouds Broke Open and....

Rain is inevitable in the Fall in Vancouver. If Google took a picture from above the city, it would appear that the streets were canopied with multicolored octagon patches, umbrellas everywhere, creating a colorful quilt. The streets have small rivers down them with tributaries running down sidewalks. Unusually warm today, double digits, even the local mountains, formerly blanketed with meters of snow, have closed after opening prematurely with a November snowfall.

The soggy weather combined with the shortest daylight hours of the year, have put a heavy feeling over the city. The streets have no life to them, pedestrians hiding under their umbrellas, looking down the sidewalk. There is an obvious state of mourning in Vancouver, predicted by the news and media one year ago. This year had a full dance card all year long, and now that the twinkle of her tiara is dulled, she is being taken for granted again. It's like Vancouver was all dressed up and now her gown is faded and her mascara is gone.

There have been many passings in our city this year, the most obvious lately is Summer. Vitamin D should be flying off the shelves, in an attempt to replace the missing sunshine. Without those extra hours of daylight, and rays of sunshine, we as humans become down and depressed. Our summer this year was phenomenal, hot and sunny for weeks. Everyone longs for those days again, hence the mass exodus out of the city for the 'snowbirds' - the baby boomers and yuppies hitting palm springs, Florida, Mexico or anywhere where the sun is shining. In the meanwhile, Vancouver sits and waits for it's inhabitants to return, joining the umbrella protected population.

Another loss and the tiara of the city, the Winter Olympics. During February this year,the city played host to the world, showing each and every country that Canada was the most hospitable nation. We invited the world, showed them a great time and kissed them on their cheeks goodbye when they flew from our home. Vancouver was for a moment in time, the jewel of the country, a diamond glittering in the sunshine for the world to see. The post Olympic hangover was predicted by the media and proponents. The previous hosting cities also experienced equivalent recessions. The physical landmarks and buildings remain, but the sheen is gone. The athletes village is empty, a political snafu of empty suites waiting to be filled with Vancouverites. It seems like a dream, all of the crazy crowds, red and white clothing and flags, the singing of Oh Canada, the 24hr buzz of the city.

Another past memory of this year was the World Cup festivities, the sport of soccer filling our Olympic void. North America was enveloped with 'footy' fans everywhere, and Vancouver had its equal excitement. There were jerseys of every color, cavalcades of honking cars decked out in the flag of the winning team. The vesuvela was heard everywhere, the noisy bee-swarm sounding horn heard over each match played. Again, the excitement rose in Vancouver in the afterglow of the spectacular representation of Canada in the Olympics. The bars were packed again and Vancouver was alive.

The Canucks aren't considered so much as a passing, but the playoff run was definitely an added addition to keep the city alive. The hope and loyalty of Canuck fans is one of the eclectic aspects of Vancouver. Blue and green jerseys lined the sidewalks downtown, with the patriotic Olympic red and white garments left over from the gold medal winning Winter  Games. Unfortunately, the run was short and a sad let down, no Stanley Cup in our back pocket.

Now Vancouver is in hangover mode, asses firmly planted on the couch, large bag of chips and a 2 liter bottle of coke at her side, Advil popped into her system, waiting for the heavy blanket to lift. The occupants of this oasis are burdened with the bill of all of these parties, the invoice in the form of the HST. We all know that if we overspend we have to save to repay the debt. It's unfortunate that the world economy crashed the year before our party. Vancouver not only was hit by the recession but then we are footing the bill of hosting the Olympics. Yes, it was an event that will increase tourism but not immediately. We must now wait for the seed we planted to grow.

In the meantime we sit here in our soggy city, hiding under our umbrellas, trudging through puddles and small rivers in hopes to see a glimmer of our diamond when the sun peaks out of the heavy dark clouds. From above the city our patchwork quilt is bustling along waiting for the rain to stop.