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Finding My Way in Stoicism

I’m quite new to this Stoic way of living, and I’m sure that I’m not getting all of the things I could/should be doing right, not yet, perhaps never will. But I am thinking more, and more deeply about life, the things I can do to make the world a better place, as well as the things I can do to live a good and fulfilling life, on a more personal level.

I had an accident recently, one that ended up with me having a broken ankle, and an operation to fix the ankle. This meant even more time available to me to think, but I have to admit it was my broken ankle, rather than stoicism that took up most of my thinking. But I didn’t complain about anything that happened, the fixing and then healing processes were handled well, and I am grateful for all of the wonderful help I received.

And, because I’m a writer and poet, this could have been a great time to get stuck into work on my next fiction writing project, which is writing Cozy Murder Mystery novels. I did haveĀ  thought about this project, that a hospital would be a fine place to have in one of these books, but I didn’t get much further than that, on that project.

Instead I began a completely new project, and I wrote poems about my broken ankle. And I’d like to think that because I am a thinking kind of person, these poems weren’t woe is me kinds of poems, but more contemplative poems. Certainly gratitude is there amongst the poems, because there was so much to be grateful for.

I contacted a publisher I know, and mentioned this ankle related poetry collection, and they were most happy to read what I had written, on the subject of “Angles on Ankles”, which is what I named this small poetry collection. Once I’d sent them the poems, and a few photographs to consider for the front cover, as well as something for the back blurb, the putting together and printing of this collection went ahead rapidly, and now, less than three months after breaking my ankle, my book is available to sell or give to other people!

The collection is of a kind named a chapbook, which is a book of only 14-40 pages, usually, but not always of poetry, and originally sold on the streets for a small price. My chapbook is being given away, or sole for $5 to interested people. I’m happy to share my words, and as soon as I’ve made the amount I paid for buying copies to sell, I may well give the rest away to people who’d like to read it.

This seems a Stoic thing, not to accumulate lots of money, but only enough …

I welcome thoughts about what I have written here – all comments can lead to great discussions, and further knowledge, a truly good thing, for sure!

Idle but not willingly so

At the moment, I am largely non mobile, due to breaking my right ankle three weeks ago. I have spent time in hospitals (3 of them), and now I’m home, largely sofa bound.

I have been using a nifty thing called a Knee Walker to get around inside my house, now that I’m home. This allows me to go from sofa to toilet, to bathroom, and to bed, under my own steam. I am not able to bear any weight on my right foot, not yet.

The Knee Walker, my mobility buddy!

I tried out using another of my mobility aids available to me at home at the moment, a walking frame. This device is useful for very short distances, going from knee walker to toilet seat and back again. Usually that is it, the Knee Walker trumps the frame. I did give the walking frame a better go today though, just to check it out more.

I discovered using the walking frame is hard work! I used it to travel halfway from the laundry to the bedroom but then decided it was too hard, so turned around and headed back to the laundry. I then realised the absolute winning point of the Knee Walker over the walking frame.

With the Knee Walker, it’s easy to rest, just stop there, kneeling on the walker and not moving, if needed. With the walking frame, standing there leaning on it with my hands isn’t actually restful at all, it’s still working, not working as hard as moving, but still working.

Once I was back with the Knee Walker, I went to the bedroom, got on the bed – ah blissful rest! and then I folded up and put away as many of the clothes as I could. I used the Knee Walker to stand up and put away the relevant clothes in the wardrobe, and to move to where I had put the clothes to go in drawers. Easy and all done!

I now feel like a useful member of the household again, hooray! Thinking on that thought makes me realise one of the burdens felt when you are unable due to ill health, to help out. You feel useless, and surely feeling useless is a nasty feeling to have. I know I feel better today for having let the dog out, and putting the clothes away.

I can hear Missy at the back door, wanting to come back in, so I will do that soon, and while I’m at it, I will get her lunch for her too. I know I’m able to do this task because I’ve done it once, since I got home from hospital. It meant getting a container I could put the dog food into, and put a lid on it, otherwise I may well have dropped the food all over the floor, not a good thing!

This is Missy, isn’t she lovely?

So I’ll feed Missy, and I may even think about getting my own lunch. A sofa break again first though, I don’t want to push my luck. Doing what I can do for myself and others is the virtuous Stoic way, pushing myself too far is not the Stoic way at all. So having said all of that, I will sign off here, and go and feed Missy!