Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘health

When Life Gives You Lemons…

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You all know the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade?”

Sometimes, that lemonade can be sour, even bitter to the taste. But eventually, you will learn to tolerate that taste…and you might even begin to crave it.


Because it means you’re still trying. It means you haven’t given up. It means you know, deep down in your soul, you are doing everything in your power you can to make the world a better place.

You might be wondering what brought this on.

I’ve been dealing with a family health crisis this past week, and I’ve been running back and forth to the hospital. While I’d rather be doing just about anything else, I’m very glad to do this.


It means my family member is still alive, still fighting, getting better and doing whatever is possible to improve her health.

That’s a good thing.

See, the connections I have with my family and friends are essential. I want them to be happy, healthy, and to enjoy life to the fullest.

But no one can do that while sitting in a hospital bed.

Even though this week didn’t go at all according to plan, I’m glad that I was able to do something to try to help those who are important to me.

One final thought:

Sometimes, it feels like we’re not doing very much during a crisis. This is very human, but somehow we need to throw those feelings to the side.


Because self-forgiveness — which I’ve discussed before — is essential at times like this. We are not saints, and we can’t expect ourselves to act as if we are. All we can do is be ourselves, try our best, and do whatever we can to make life a little better place.

Including visiting those who are ill (if they’re up to visits), talking with them, and letting them know we care.

That’s what’s important.

Don’t lose sight of it. (Please?)


Written by Barb Caffrey

April 29, 2017 at 11:33 pm

Quick Tuesday Ill Health Update

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Today is April 2, 2013.  The day after April Fool’s Day . . . the second game of the major league baseball season (my favorite team, the Milwaukee Brewers, faces off against the Colorado Rockies in less than an hour).

And it’s another day that I’d rather forget, because I woke up sick with a very sore throat.  I had so little energy that I had no interest in eating (yet it wasn’t a migraine — with a migraine, I’d at least understand this), and ended up going right back to bed at a time I normally am awake and alert.

(Of course, then I slept for three more hours.)

Now, I’m awake again, and I hope to be able to watch the Brewers game.  But I’m unsure I can do that.  I’m also unsure I’m going to be able to do much of anything at all the rest of the week, which is why I’m writing this particular blog . . . even though it’s not something I enjoy doing, and believe it might actually be detrimental to my overall chances of employment down the line.

Still.  A friend of mine on Facebook had suggested a while back that if people were more honest about how they were feeling, maybe we’d see less artifice and strife in the world.  I didn’t entirely follow what he’d said, mind you — though I agree that people should be more honest and far less artificial — but in his clarifying notes, he said that what he wanted was to know that other people actually did get sick, did suffer when losing a loved one, did recover from illness and somehow dealt with their grief . . . all things our contemporary society tries to kick under the rug because these are not things that our society prefers to dwell upon.

Oh, no.  We’re supposed to be perfectly healthy.  Thin.  Never grieve the loss of a loved one.  Always be happy, even when we’re miserable.  “Fake it ’til we make it.”

That sort of thing.

And even though I’d love to be perfectly healthy (this after possibly the worst year, health-wise, I’ve ever had), certainly would like to be thinner and in better shape than I am, not be grieving for my beloved husband and my excellent best friend, etc., it’s not going to happen.

I’d rather embrace who I am, even if I’m not where I’d hoped I’d be by this time in my life.  I prefer to remember the people who’ve graced my life with fondness, bare minimum . . . everything I’ve gone through has made me who I am today.  And really, as I refuse to be one of these people who “puts behind them” the people they care about, or the memories they most treasure because society doesn’t like to dwell upon them, I need to continue to be my truest self.

Even if that means, like today, all I can do is rest, read a little bit (I’m too tired to read, which is how I know I’m really ill), and hope I can watch a baseball game (when normally nothing would keep me from at least listening to it).  And try to get back after it tomorrow, somehow.

Or at worst, the day after that.

My intention remains the same as before: stay alive long enough to get my book, ELFY, out there into the marketplace in the hopes that people I don’t know will enjoy the book.  And in the process, get every other scrap of writing I’ve worked on, or that Michael worked on, or that the two of us together worked on, into print as well.

That’s why I need to rest and get my sore throat to calm down a little bit.

Anyway, for the time being, there are other good blogs out there to keep you busy.  I suggest Jason Cordova’s blog, Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s blog, and Chris Nuttall’s blog “the Chrishanger” to get you started.   (All links are available on the side of my blog page.)

As for me, I will try to get a new blog up by the weekend.  But I have a big edit to complete, and a rehearsal to try to get to (even if all I can do is pick up the music and go home again), and lots of other stuff to do that’s too mundane to mention.

So do me a favor, and until then, contemplate this quote by Walt Disney:

There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island and at the bottom of the Spanish Main… and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.”

— From Peter’s Quotations : Ideas for Our Time (1977) by Laurence J. Peter (via Wikiquotes).

Because this is not only the reason I read . . . it’s also the reason I write.

Written by Barb Caffrey

April 2, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Down with the Flu . . .

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. . . and take that any way you want.

So far, 2013 has shaped up to be a year full of illness, frustration and pain.  I haven’t enjoyed it, but I have continued to do whatever I can despite all of the various things that have cropped up.

I saw my sister last week, which is a good thing.  Unfortunately, she came up with a particularly nasty case of the flu and let me know she’d been diagnosed with the same on Monday.

Despite all of the various things that have hit me within the last two or three months, I haven’t yet had an “official” flu diagnosis.  (Merely “flu-like symptoms” or a secondary infection — usually a sinus infection, occasionally a respiratory ailment as well — but not an actual diagnosis calling for Tamiflu or any of the other drugs that can help minimize a case of the flu.)  And it’s possible that this isn’t the flu either, though it assuredly feels like it as it came on suddenly within the last twenty-four hours and has disorganized my thinking like no one’s business.

So my hope is that it will leave suddenly, also.

If so, it wouldn’t be the flu — it might instead by that Australian norovirus I’ve heard about, which has a duration of 48-72 hours of nastiness for most people, then runs its course — but that doesn’t mean it’s any less distressing to deal with.

Topping it all off, I was midway through a story that I’d planned to submit to an anthology in a few days.  I don’t know this particular editor (I won’t name her), though I do know her writing . . . anyway, I’d introduced myself, told her a bit about my story and she said she’d look forward to reading it.

Now I may not be able to finish the story, which really bothers me as it shows a lack of professionalism.  (And to me, being anything less than a pro in every area is deeply disturbing.)

This particular anthology has a deadline of February 1.  I’ve known about it since early October — just before I took on the Bleacher Report internship, in fact — and thought about what I wanted to do that would meet the requirements of the anthology.  I had finally come up with what I thought was a winning idea . . .

. . . and am now too ill to finish the dratted thing up.

I do have tomorrow to make a stab at it, and if I can finish it up and believe it’s credible, I will try.

But the chances to do so do not look promising.

I know, however, that if I can finish this story, albeit more slowly than I’d like — providing I can do so before March 31, that is — I can try the Writers of the Future contest one more time as ELFY still isn’t out (I’m still going over copy-editing changes and have been asked to make one, last pass of my own in addition), not even in ARC format (that’s “advanced reader copy” to thee and me).  I may still be eligible even for the June quarter (though I’m unsure); I do know I’ll be eligible for the March 31 quarter.

So maybe not all is lost, no matter how it looks right now.

In the past few days, I did do some editing on some paying projects and a little bit of writing (I got all of 300 words into it yesterday before stalling, again).  So it’s not that I’ve done nothing whatsoever this week . . . far, far from it.

I just haven’t been able to get this done when it counts.  And that vexes me.


Written by Barb Caffrey

January 31, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Posted in Writing

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