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It’s February, but I still feel like it’s the beginning of the year. I’m still having to remind myself that it’s 2020. I’m happy that A Chronic Voice has a new February Link Up. The words this month were a little tricky for me. I’ve sort of been living in a small bubble lately, and context was a bit unknown.

The last two weeks have been very difficult. My dad has been in the ICU and hospital for over a week with heart failure. He’s home now and getting stronger, but I spent a week traveling daily to sit with him. I’m physically exhausted and mentally tired.


I’m looking forward to going home tomorrow and recuperating from all the wear and tear on this chronically painful body. I’m looking forward to controlling my diet. Staying with other people, even family, makes it impossible to eat what’s best for my body.


Playing is a word that I don’t use for myself, but for others. Becoming a person who is too disabled to participate in activities that are considered normal, takes play out of the picture. I once enjoyed playing tennis and musical instruments. These activities brought me much joy and excitement.

I now take enjoyment from watching other people play. I love watching professional tennis and other sports on tv. I love watching my grandchild play even more!


Joining groups hasn’t happened for me in a few years. Joining in social events and classes hasn’t happened either. I’ve joined online communities and found social interaction easier, since I don’t get out much.

I also don’t join in the fun like I used to. I get more quiet and a little bit withdrawn. With all the brain fog, I often join in a conversation and then wish that I hadn’t. More times than not, I will start to talk and the wrong words come out. It makes me feel stupid. After a few years of this, people in groups tend to just ignore me.


What do you find invigorating? I guess one thing that invigorates me is sudden changes. I love going from my warm house to the freezing cold outdoors and feel that sudden chill. I love to wake up to sunshine when I’ve spent a few days in dreary, wet weather. I also love when a season suddenly seems to change overnight.


Ditching was one of the jobs that my dad performed. He had a construction business and used heavy machinery to grade land and move dirt. Building foundations and preparing lawns was one job, but most lots would need ditching, too.

Ditching is needed for many reasons, but especially to keep water moving. When there is no ditch, the road or lawn could hold water and lead to flooding. Ditches allow water to run off and flow away.

Even though ditches aren’t beautiful, and we often ignore them, we would certainly miss them if they weren’t there. If they’re clogged, the water in them becomes stagnant and dirty. There is an old saying, “dull as ditchwater”. I hope I’m not that dull.

Even though I’m not socially as active as I would like, I don’t want to become dull as ditchwater. Although I’m not joining in with lots of groups, I still want to feel useful and productive. I work hard every day to keep up with whatever goes on in the world. I love writing and interacting with my sweet readers and group followers.

@2020, copyright Lisa Ehrman

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  1. You make such a good point about ditchwater. So many things in life we don’t realise are so helpful to us, and I guess it’s similar to health – when you lose it then you realise it. Thanks for the reminder 🙂 I hope you get to have a bit of fun indoors despite the pains. Even books, etc can bring a small glimmer of joy sometimes. Sending love x

    1. I’m glad the point was understood, and you’re definitely right. I never thought about how it would feel to be sick 24/7 until it happened. Reading is a great option on dreary days 🙂

    2. I really enjoyed your reflection on ditching. A really interesting way round of thinking about it – and you dad. Take care abs be kind to yourself.

      1. Thanks, Naomi! Being kind to oneself is something I need to keep working on. 🙂

  2. I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad, I do hope he is continuing to get better all the time. It’s so hard having to deal with other’s illness when you are not well yourself. Wishing you a nice peaceful February.

    1. Thank you, Anne. It’s exhausting, but I feel better knowing that I did what I could to help. I hope your winter days ahead are also blessed 🙂

  3. So sorry to hear about your dad’s health. I hope you are taking time to rest and care for yourself. Hugs!

    1. Thank you, Cynthia. I am resting a lot and starting to feel better. 🙂

  4. I am sorry to hear about your Dad’s health, I hope that you have been able to find the time to rest and have some time for yourself too. Take care and I hope the rest of the month isn’t too taxing for you.

    Rhiann x

    1. Thank you. I’m resting a lot. We sure need more rest with these chronic illnesses. I never knew how exhausted I would get! I miss the days when I was younger and wasn’t sick.

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