In my late 20s, I was diagnosed with a rare and permanent muscle disorder (metabolic myopathy). Periodically I am reminded through some app or another each year that I was on dialysis, living in a nightmare... nice. BUT these photos are the motivation for me to persist in my healthcare journey and to keep track of what's progressing with this disorder (which if you know me, I sometimes fail to do, cause "I don't wannnnaa"). Most importantly they remind me to live my life for me, (WHILE self-assessing and keeping the doctor's ADVICE in mind....). Life gets hard and busy and repetitive, but remember to make time to LIVE. It's all so temporary which is why you need to choose how you want to live so when the time does come and you find yourself laying in that hospital bed (hopefully at a very old age) or diagnosed with something that clips your wings, your heart will be satisfied and content. It sounds so cliché I know, but if you've been there, I know you get it!
My words of advice for anyone with or without a disability: listen to your doctors (remember, it's a practice...) but more importantly listen to your body. That part remains difficult for me because some days I am fully capable and other days, I can't do something I did yesterday and I feel so defeated.
Surround yourself with the people you genuinely want to be around, who support you, who may not always understand what's happening but get it. The people who show up for you are the people who matter. Distance yourself from negative situations, people, environments, etc. Lastly, be your own healthcare advocate, inside and outside of the medical offices.
As a former flight attendant, roller derby player, mosh pit loving, concert-goer I Suddenly found myself on a completely different journey. I crossed paths with an old friend in NC who kept bees and I thought, maybe this might be fun. I came home and jumped right in, taking my husband and sister-in-law with me! Having this myopathy, the doctors suggested things like yoga or meditation, but I have a racing mind and begin to twitch anytime I am asked to sit still for more than 10 seconds. But somehow opening a hive and holding a frame of bees, assessing what's happening on that frame, thinking, asking questions, concentrating, doing all this mental exercise while simultaneously putting your body in a meditative state. You find yourself so present, that you cannot think of anything else but what is happening right in that moment. It was a perfect fit. Now listen, I am not saying this was a cure for my disorder, actually very far from it, but what I am saying is, it works for me. Not everyone will find the therapeutic qualities of being surrounded by thousands of stinging insects, and I totally get that.
I am an avid reader, so I read every bee book or article or website possible. Thank god for my neighbor that used to be a keeper who taught me so much in my first year. This is where my beekeeping knowledge began and once you open that door, its really hard to remain ignorant. I just had no idea about the connections between agriculture and honeybees, how honeybees came into the Americas, and how they're not even on the endangered species list! Mind. Was. Blown. Here I thought I was saving all the bees, and I was saving the wrong ones! So, now faced with a conundrum, here I am with all these bees, throwing off the ecosystem by suddenly flooding my backyard with over 30 hives. It was time to either downsize or find these ladies a job....
If you've ever owned a hive, you understand how exciting it is to get your friends and family suited up and into the bees. It is exciting to share all the fascinating happenings within a colony.
On the Eastern Shore, our beekeeping community is such a wealth of knowledge. I cannot say that enough. Please take advantage of getting to know each other by joining a bee club or coming to events such as EAS. In beekeeping, knowledge sharing is so important! We really encourage and foster a knowledge-sharing environment that allows you to tap into beekeeping subject-matter experts! Across the business, people have built skills and best practices that work for their beekeeping endeavors and when they share those experiences, they allow others to skip the trial-and-error phase and get right to productivity. The act of sharing knowledge alone is great for building rapport and relationships, but listening to another keeper sharing their wisdom or picking up on the wisdom of others who have experienced it is priceless. The generations before have so much to teach us, I am so lucky to be surrounded by giants. They have taken me in and mentored me. They help me, support me, and embrace me as a beekeeper and their peer. We cannot learn it all alone so please connect with an association and find your mentors! I hope to see you soon, if not at our apiary then maybe at a bee meeting or farmers market! Please feel free to reach out if you need to. Thanks for your continued support with supporting our small local business.