Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Where Am I in Life?

So many things have happened since my last blogging. It has been two years since I left pharmacy at Kroger. I was searching for physically easier job where I will not be standing, walking, or running for up to 13 hours in order to take care of patients.

 I found a job at a hospital where I can sit down for the whole shift.  I became keenly aware that my learning curve had dramatically changed, and I left that new job in three months. That was beginning of  October in 2017. This was one full year after when I was taken to ER with a complete amnesia, Transient Global Amnesia from 9 am to 7 pm on a Sunday in May of 2016.

My last visit to Croatia (Spring of 2019) has brought attention to the seriousness of my brain issue. It takes me good three weeks before I get acclimated to a new time zone. My lack of sleep in Croatia and again here in US was manifested in daily inability to remember what happened for 2 to 3 hours of any given day. Now fully rested with plenty of sleep, I am realizing that my brain is affected. It dawned on me that I AM retired...maybe for good. I am not yet 64. I always dreamed of working well into 90's as a health and wellness practitioner. I saw myself as a thin old lady who is in love with her life helping sickies of today. I saw myself as a 95 years old little lady, full of life and zest with love for healing and watching health restoration.

I decided for now, I must stop studying and to re-evaluate my future. How am I to occupy my time. It has always been easy in the past; I always gave my studies priority. I have been a student all my life and at late age, I have discovered my passion; my desire to be a natural health practitioner. Yet when the realization set in that I may never be the healer, I was not as discouraged as I thought I would be. Having time on my hand was a new experience.  Now my dream career is put aside, maybe permanently. I wonder what my future holds for me.

What must I do to heal and restore my brain? I tried to remember anything related to brain restoration from my studies. I was left with a "blank." I had one patient, myself. Yet all my hours and years of studies preparing me to a new career left me blank.

I decided there are two things that I would love; writing and painting. I have always loved writing. I have a long way to reach the skill set of a good writer. Painting has been very sporadic. I will write and paint. This time I will not give myself pressure to accomplish. I will see it as one of my healing project that I can enjoy. Learn skill set at a pace where I can enjoy my life no matter where it may lead me.

So I start my life again at age 64 with different goal set! Learn to enjoy life! Learn to enjoy people around me. Learn to develop relationships. Learn to walk in steps with my dear husband. Learn to be connected with my grown children and still young grand children.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

One Baby Step at a Time

This year is almost over. I am filled with anxiety of so many things to consider.

I am finished with Functional Medicine studies. How do I pursue from here. Where do I start? It's not like I can go someplace and apply. There is no FM clinics around here or next several towns.

My mother fell for the second time and is in the hospital. It looks like we are the only ones who can take her in for the remaining years. What happens with my FM career which is already scary to start by myself. Now that has to be in back burner until my mother is established in my home. Last time she was with me for three weeks, all my spare time was spent on her. I still have so much desire to be in a profession, be active in it, to find fulfillment in it.

As I sit daily, I ponder, "How do I get myself into an active profession? Where do I start? I do not want to go back to pharmacy.

This morning I felt such a reassurance. God knows... one little step at a time... how to begin.
... He has all things under control. Just trust in Him and I take one baby step at a time. Don't look at daily results. When time is right, God will bring in the clients one by one. Just keep plugging along. Thank You Lord.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Where am I going?

I am 63 years old. Where have time gone! Feeling vanity of living.

I am sitting on the couch wondering what I should do! It seems like my life is in a constant pressure to accomplish, to achieve, and to earn. I have no desire to go back to pharmacy. So what can I do? I studied functional medicine. As I am taking steps to get started, I feel more lost than ever.

Tom tells me that I need to spend 2 hours a day to water color. That actually will be my whole day when I include cooking, shopping, and house upkeep.

Lately I have been feeling that I am losing my memory even from day to day. I seem to forget things constantly all the time.

I fear being lost into the oblivion. To not pursue into some goal is to be lost. To not have an income feels like I am lost, falling into the oblivion.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


It is a beautiful day. I went out for a walk along the Mill Race Trail between Elkhart River along the canal. I should call my mother I thought. She would enjoy talking to me. She is 83 years old and insist on living alone. So the best we can do is visit or call her on the phone. I have more than one hour.

I was expecting the "same old" stories that she tells me over and over and over. I could almost recite them. At times she does not even realize that she is repeating herself for 20th time in one time stretch.

As she was talking, my mind was far away. Agreeing with her and synchronizing the timing of response that she expects at the right moments. I had heard this story so many times before, but today she pulled on my heart until I was in tune with her story telling.

"We had just immigrated to US. You were about 12 years old. After school, I would find you in bed with expression of forlorn life. Depression was on your face every day. I was desperate and did not want to lose you the way your aunt and uncle lost their daughter TaeSoon; from depression to loss of her mind. She never got her mind restored.

TaeSoon was 16 years old. She was probably the smartest girl in the family of seven children. So smart that everyone knew that she would become somebody someday. Yet she did not have the beauty that her older sister and younger sister had. She had fallen in love with a local boy. Her mother and father did not approve of him. They told her that her status was too high for that common boy. This was Korea during early 1960's.  Her dad was a high level executive and they were very wealthy.  Because of the disapproval of the parents TaeSoon had to give up her love. She changed. The boy was taken away from her yet her mind hung on to him and eventually desire for life left. She never sought another man. Eventually all her siblings got married and left home. When her father retired, he bought a large farm. He gave TaeSoon bit of land to manage herself, to plant vegetables and flowers. She lived with her parents. She had lost zest for life. Her ambition in career died. In time her mother died. Then her father died. She grew to be an old woman. I don't know if she is still alive or not."

That is a sad story of my cousin I thought. Yet this was an intro to how that relates to me as a 12 years old. My mother continued.

"You told me that ...Life is too hard. Learning English is too hard. You have no friends.... I told your dad that we must do something to make you happier. Otherwise you may end up like your cousin TaeSoon. You had tendency to be depressed. That is why we bought you a piano."

At that time we lived in a cheap one bedroom apartment. My parents had the bedroom. My brother had the dining room and my little sister and I had the living room. It totally did not make any sense to buy a piano at that stage in life. My mother continued ...'I told your dad, I want to save you(JaeHi) from depression that can lead to mind loss. I don't care about money....' Once we bought the piano, I found you playing the piano every day after school. I did not see you being depressed anymore."

On my part, yes I do remember those days. I felt it was my duty to play the piano otherwise all of their money would be wasted. My ten years old brother and five years old sister had no interest in piano. I kept on playing because my parents sacrificed too much. I knew how many hours they had to work to buy that instrument. I never understood why they bought a piano. I did not know that I appeared so depressed to my mother. I was always a melancholy child and having melancholy face was the norm for me. Immigrating at age eleven and being put into my grade when I did not speak any English was not an easy thing. Not having any friends was not a easy phase to go through. Anyhow it was my duty to play whether I wanted to or not especially since my brother and sister did not care to play the piano. My mother felt that they did the right thing to pull me away from depression.

When I married Tom, he bought a piano because he wanted to play. I hardly notice that we have a piano. I don't play our piano but I always love to hear Tom play.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Clearing the Paths

We live near a small woods where we hike daily if time and weather allows. The winding trails can intertwine so much that we can hike up to two hours within a deceptively small space. We have done this for few years now. We are creating memories for ourselves when we can no longer hike. Then we will reminisce ... those good old days when we were able to spend so much time together daily in the woods, breathing in the wonderful fresh air and loving the beauty of it all.

This year the river that flows within the woods flooded due to melting snow and lots of rain. Much of our trails have been under water for a week or more. As our paths have dried out, we have been able to use more and more of them, after clearing away the branches and fallen trees carried by the flood blocking the paths.

This flood also left an abundance of litter: pop cans, alcohol bottles, candy and gum wrappers, etc. The first day back on our trails, we collected five grocery bags of garbage. Subsequent days were much less. One week will clear the woods for another year!

It is rather interesting that we have learned to enjoy the whole process of maintaining these trails by trimming the thorn bushes that would snag us, collecting litter, and clearing fallen branches and trees as we're on our daily walks.

We have all the wonders of nature, many giant logs that have fallen, the uphill climb, wetlands, river, countless trees that create such interesting patterns with the blue sky, small and large animals that make home here, and all the birds and their songs.  And we have our little haven in which we take daily mini vacations of hiking in nature as if these woods belonged to us.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Goals, dreams, and an open door

Earlier today, as we were walking in the woods after the flood, even though our boots were getting muddy, I was moved to see the beauty of my surroundings. My thoughts were roaming. What is it that is important for me? How do I want to finish my life.

I thought of my history. As a little girl growing up in post-war Korea, I determined that I wanted to fulfill all the aspirations that my parents had, that were taken away by the war. I wanted to fulfill my grandfather's aspiration also taken away by the war. It was a huge task to fulfill their dreams.
In that endeavor, I tried so hard to achieve the unachievable. Those around me noticed me as someone  accomplished, but I was always a huge disappointment to myself for failing my parents' and grand-father's dreams. I could not enjoy my present life. 

Here I am, 62 years old. Because of what I believe was a providential pathway, I resigned from my lifelong career. Then another career path opened up, which I believe was also providential. That step alone was empowering. I actually chose my desire in studies, something that I am passionate about.

 The thought of fulfilling that path also scared me. Why would I want to be a functional medicine practitioner when I don't have... a million reasons pop into my mind contrary to pressing on.

Providence has opened the door for me. I will pursue it. At the same time, I realize that what is important is relationship with those whom I love and care about and those whom I will meet in my path. My dream is not a successful career but a successful life. I dream of making an impact on the people whose lives I hope to touch with love for God by serving humanity in the healing arts.

I realized that there are lots of things that need to be cleaned up within me. With God's help I am allowing forgiveness for myself. I can let go of my past, when I was so intensely focused on fulfilling my seniors' dreams that I often did not enjoy, relish, and pour myself into my own children as they were growing up. My regrets only tie me down. Only when I am free from that weight of guilt can I love my grown children to the utmost and love my grandchildren to the fullest. I shall also let go of any bitterness that has come along my path one by one so that I can fully be released to live in life, in God, and in love.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Visiting my blog again

Life has a funny way of marching on. Who would have thought a year ago that so much would have changed in my life. I was able to leave the pharmacy world in September, then embark on totally new studies as I pursue another field. As most peers my age are looking forward to retirement, I have decided to tackle new studies for new goals. And I am dreaming of living a full life and loving my new career as I age.

I graduated from college in 1980, 38 years ago. It has been a long time since I was an active student. Back then, it was normal to dedicate a full day every day to studies. Fast forwarding 38 years, I was not ready to experience headaches and eye aches after just two hours of studying.

Four years ago, I stopped blogging, except during vacations. My full-time job as a pharmacy manager had consumed my body and my soul. This very dissatisfaction with my career screamed out to me, and I felt I must do what I wanted to do before I die. So now I spend most of my days studying functional medicine. No excitement. Just plugging along daily in my studies with the dream of becoming a passionate healing practitioner.

Just two days ago, I made a decision to join #standupandshinechallenge. This was something the young me, as a college student, would have joined. Lizy, my youngest daughter, had joined and in her excitement, I followed suit. Joining was a difficult decision for me. These thoughts were filling my head: "I am too old for these kinds of challenges. My daughter will be embarrassed with her mother doing the same projects. My peers will laugh at me." On and on the thoughts came into my head. Not only that, I was filled with, "What a crazy venture I am starting. I like to study. After I am done studying, I will quit. I do not have the oomph to press on to become an effective practitioner, to fight through what it takes to get there."

Oh my goodness! All those thoughts passed through my head. I just pushed and forced myself to signed up on my Instagram account (@noni_jaehi) and tagged Lizy (@elizab_anne). If I become a laughing stock, well let me see if I will survive.

My daughter Lizy responded:
  • elizbeth_anneGo mama!! You’re amazing and I love you so much!!!
  • elizbeth_anneYou inspire me ❤️