Those of you who have read these ramblings before will notice that the numbers don't quite tally, since my most recent (published) post was very early in the hundreds. 'Published' is the crucial word here, though, because I just haven't had the chance to put up the intervening ones - or, indeed, the posts before them which would really bring this little collection to 125. That said, most of them are written, and soon to be published.
I also didn't start blogging again on the 16th, mainly because the day didn't offer up the kind of new beginning I'd hoped it would. I'll give more details in the post for that day when I finish it but, basically, I got a new chair (yay!) that doesn't fit and in which I sat even worse (boo!). I'm back in my old one (on the advice of my physio and osteopath) whilst we attempt to sort it out - so I didn't think I had anything of import to write about, because everything shuts down for the holidays.
Why post today, then? Well, it seems I was wrong. After the major disappointment and discomfort of my new chair, getting back into my old one (which I had been desperate to get rid of for good) felt like heaven. That taught me something. The state of my body is not entirely dependent on external factors - far from it! - and sometimes things that are supposed to help actually hinder. The only constant in my life is me - chairs break, essay stress comes and goes (although not without staying for what feels like forever!) but I am still Jessi.
Before I get mired in potentially pretentious philosophical profundity, though, I'll leave off and simply say that I decided to take this as an opportunity to be with myself and explore. To start from scratch as if my old chair were new. After all, I didn't have many other options; my early Christmas present hadn't arrived and I still had to make it through the actual day.
So I sat in my chair without positioning myself in the precise way I used to do, shuffling this way and that until it was 'perfect', and instead just let my body teach me what its own perfection felt like. Hence this post - because I'm not sure how, but this new strategy worked, and yesterday I had the first day completely free of pain-related tears in a very long time. Possibly even since 2007, when the first inklings of spasm appeared.
Not the most ostentatious of gifts, I know, and not as visible a marker as my blue Balliol hoody. Yet, for all its simplicity, it's the one I cherish most - it means things are changing - and I think it just might have made Christmas this year.
Pain, you're something chronic, but I don't think you will be for much longer! Thanks, chairs - you reminded me to think outside the box - and that seems rather apt as an ending today.
Happy Boxing Day!