Taking Care of Me & My Little Corner of the World

Good Soggy Valentine's All,

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I've been quiet on the blog for a while - just sending out my blogettes on FB (thanks to all of you for interacting and sharing your stories). I wanted to catch up with you guys as a thank you for supporting my efforts at bringing an honest conversation to the table. Here's what's I've been up to, and I would love to hear from you or feature your journey on The Healing Wall.

1. Many of you followed my autoimmune journey over the past year - very humbling for a person who wrote a book on women's health to be taken down by a condition that had everything to do with my own choices.

I knew I had to actually start doing the things I wrote about in that book again, and there are only so many hours in the day. The good news? They work! I am so much better than I've been in over a year. Some days, I think, "I'm cured!" But, as I know too well, I am in remission, and the way to stay in remission is to care for myself.

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2. I've been spending a lot of time working out of The King Center, a local community center that focusses on adult education and job skills. I have loved helping people find decent housing, apply for school, rewrite resumes, get driver's licenses, and apply for jobs. For me, the fastest way to alleviate a hopeless feeling about the state of the world is to serve. I've met some of the strongest characters in my life at this place. I wouldn't last two weeks under the conditions some families spend lifetimes navigating. The barriers to escaping are unending, but I find hope there most days.

3. I've been working slowly on several co-writing projects, which I love. The first is a book on beating depression and anxiety with two amazing counselors. I thought this would be easy, given my depth of experience with this topic:) but it is challenging to combine three styles written separately. The second is the most fun I've ever had writing. My college roommate and I are writing an early reader chapter book series that is absolutely hilarious. We are literally writing together on long weekends and over Skype and we laugh as much as we type. The last project is based on my work on the Wise Elder from Rethinking Women's Health. I've been asked to contribute a chapter to a book called "Growing Old Well" based on that research.

I hoped to have a new book out this spring, but I realized this was just a date I put on myself. I needed to take a slower pace so I could take care of me, my family, and do my little part to help my corner of the world. I still love sharing the kids' books at schools around the state and have a few more I'm going to this spring. Mostly, I'm spending the rest of winter and spring working in the greenhouse and garden and going to wet soccer tournaments to cheer on my kids.

Thanks as always for reading. It's nice to know my words reach people. Again, I'd love to share your stories too.

Here's to being your own best valentine!

Alison