Friday, September 30, 2011

Health, Wealth, and Happiness

That sounds like a good title for a blog post, doesn't it? Health, wealth, and happiness.

Life is full of good stuff and bad. I've had my share of it this week. Here are some examples.

Yesterday I had a low blood sugar attack, late in the afternoon. Since I haven't bought glucose pills yet (will rectify that this weekend) all I could do was hit the vending machines. I had $1.00 so bought some chips for 80 cents. That didn't do the trick. So I borrowed 40 cents and bought a regular, sugared Coke and consumed it. I had to just sit back in my chair for more than half an hour till it all took effect. By then it was time to drive home. The worst part of it was it sapped my energy. After we tried out the new Mexican restaurant near us, I had no energy to write last night, one of my normal writing nights.

My knees feel better. I have good days and bad days, with the bad days getting progressively worse and the norm rather than the exception. One thing I'm doing, however, is paying more attention to how I put my legs when sitting. I find that I have a bad habit of twisting my legs in odd positions. An hour later when I stand up, I can barely move. So I've been trying to recognize when I'm doing that and keep my legs nicely bent, but relaxed. I learned that years ago with my shoulder and with my right leg. Is it helping? I don't know, but today my knees are significantly better. Is it greater awareness about small things such as just mentioned, or is it...

...better eating and slight reduction in weight? I've noticed this through the years: When I'm losing weight I feel better. When I'm gaining weight I feel worse. The exception to this seems to be when weight loss is fairly rapid I don't feel my best. I suspect that might be due to release of toxins stored in fat being broken down, but I haven't found reliable references for that. This week I've lost a couple of pounds. I've eaten well, in that I've cut back on portions for most meals and eaten better stuff. Maybe this is having an impact. Or maybe it's just the cooler, dryer weather.

My novel is only 5000-6000 words away from being finished! If I could have written last night, I'd have different numbers to report. But that is a very good position to be in. I haven't thought too much about the last two chapters—except for the last scene at the hospital (oops!), so I don't know how quickly the writing will go. Plus at this stage of the novel I have the point of view of six or so characters to juggle. But it's a good feeling. And that leads to...

...ideas for articles have been popping into my head. After the novel is finished, I'll take a week or two to write a few non-fiction articles about engineering and literature. I haven't written for Suite101 since February, and a couple of editors are looking for articles in their section. Plus the owner of Decoded Science has asked me to write for them, on a revenue share basis. In those two weeks I hope to get six articles written.

Among the bad things, unless something different happens today, I will have gone the entire month of September without a single e-book sale. I didn't promote much, since I'm sort of waiting on being able to finish the print version of Documenting America. While I see myself as a writer of books, writing articles also had a certain appeal. I'd like to keep both types of writing in my portfolio.

And, a good thing, I'm reading for pleasure again. For whatever reason I did very little reading from May through mid-September. About all I did was reading for my Wesley studies books, which are now on hold, and reading the many periodicals we get at home. But last year I began reading the book Mr. Baruch, about the life of Bernard M. Baruch, Wall St. speculator, advisor to presidents, statesman of another era. It's a scholarly book with many end notes, but an easy read. I've been reading 5 to 10 pages a night, more on the weekends. I still have a couple of hundred pages to go, so at this rate I won't likely finish till late October. But that's okay. I'm enjoying that part of the journey.

Time to post and go exercise my knees a little. I walked 14 minutes at noon, with little pain. As I've gone thither and yon in our office, I find I'm moving faster and with less pain, more like a 59 year old rather than an 80 year old (as I've been of late. It's a good feeling.

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