Calendar Girl By Cookie

Mark your calendars it’s a date!Appointment books, calendars


notebooks keep my life on tract.

Doctor appointment: check calendar!

Notebook: remember to call ….

Spend the day with family: check calendar!

Notebook: ask doctor about….

 Clean house: check calendar!

Notebook: things to discuss with hubby….

Grocery shop: check calendar!

Notebook: Nanny don’t forget….

Date with hubby: check calendar!

Schedule.    Scheduled!    Scheduled?

Sometimes I feel like I should be covered in ink.

From all the notes I jot down

and the calendars I check off

just to keep my life organized


my stress level easier to deal with.

       Schedule.    Schedule!    Schedule?

I keep a  notebook and calendar

on the counter at all times.

I feel like I should be a calendar girl!

Wouldn’t life be grand if you had a crystal ball?

You could tell the future.

Just think, you would know ahead of time

when days are going to be good or bad.

Then you could plan when you

want to be


I miss being spontaneous the most.

I miss living.

I mean Living my life.

Ankylosing Spondylitis has

taken the spontaneity out of my life.

This disease has robbed me of many small freedoms,

that I used to take for granted.

The weight of this disease is

unbearable at times.

I miss the freedom of grabbing the telephone.

Calling a friend and saying hey lets meet for lunch!

Ankylosing Spondylitis has to be picture perfect.

Before you are able to run out the door and have fun!

There are so many things we have to make sure of

that “normal” people have no clue about.

One of the things  I can’t be

spontaneous about anymore is bath time!

I am not allowed (hubby’s rule of course)

to get in the tub UNLESS he is home!

Seems he has issues with me falling.

( We won’t go into how this rule was decided!)

Things I  worry about

 toes painted,

legs shaved,

hair washed,

and on and on.



 only then

am I ready to be


One thing I used to take for granted

was clean clothes.

No worry!

There were ALWAYS clean clothes.

Now it’s like world war three

between that washer and me!

Even if you are lucky enough

to have all the clothes washed.

Will you find something

you can be comfortable in


Clothes for me have become painful.

They feel like they weigh a hundred pounds.

They hurt my raw skin.

They hurt my hips.

Sometimes I struggle to breathe.

Pure torture.


We won’t even discuss that.

My style of shoes

are flip flops.

Heels hurt my back.

Tennis shoes can’t tie them.

Shoes hurt my feet.

Shoes hurt my heels.

So flip-flops

are my new best friend.


I can’t stand them!

There are so many things

you have to consider

when you go out,

 that never cross other people’s minds.

 Every day outings are difficult.

Doctor appointments.

Running errands.

Grocery shopping.

Ankylosing Spondylitis causes even

the smallest of outings to

seem like a circus show!

It isn’t a life of simply grab

your keys and run out the door.

Takes planning, tools, and being prepared

before you can adventure out.

First you have to find out:

Where are you going?

Who is driving?

Are you able to


 in the other person’s car?

Then you have to wonder about

how long  it takes to get there.

Will there be difficulties in your route,

that place you in harm’s way

if you are driving.

Will you be able to ride comfortably

in their car or for that amount of time?

 Something to worry about

when dealing with

Ankylosing Spondylitis

is how much pain

will you be in when you get there.

 Then you have to

worry about parking.

Will you find a handicap space


one at a distance you can manage

after the difficult ride in the car.

People have no idea how far

a hundred  feet can be

for someone who is in pain

every step of the way.

The biggest thing you have to consider

is the social outing it’s self.

Family gathering?

Day with the kids?


Is it an activity you can even manage?

Are you in too much pain?

Are you coordinated enough to do it?

Physically able to?

Mentally willing to try?

Too fatigued?

So many questions surround every part of our day.

 Living in Texas

our world consists of

Bar Be Ques

family picnics

any thing out doors.

That is the hardest for me.

The heat is difficult for me to deal with.

I worry about the

lawn chairs mostly.

Can I sit in it? Will I hurt sitting in it?

Will I be able to get out of it?

Will I look like a fool?

Will there be a place I can sit

comfortably and eat?

If there isn’t a table for me to sit at.

I will not eat.

I struggle eating food from a plate on my lap.

 I don’t even bother, it’s too much of a hassle.

I’ve always loved picnics.

That is a dream of the past now.

I can’t get up and down off the ground.

I can’t get my legs to work to sit on the ground.

I am unable to sit without back support.

Life is no picnic for people with Ankylosing Spondylitis.

 One of my biggest challenges with

social outings for me,  beside the car issue,

is the type of seating I will have to deal with.

Movie theatre seats kill me.

I can’t lean back and watch, so I sit straight up.

Restaurants are difficult, booth or chair?

Large table or small table?

Friend’s gatherings are standing room

for me most of the time.

 Ankylosing Spondylitis

has caused a lot of obstacles for me

when I leave my home.

Many times when I decline,

my family or friends

I feel like a witch,


I don’t have the energy

or I hurt to much to try.

 Ankylosing Spondylitis

isolates us from the people in our lives

and from living our lives.

I spend a lot of  my time alone.

 On those wonderful occasions when every thing is good,

and I can mark off things on my mental checklist,

and enjoy time with family

or friends or a special treat just for me.

Those are the days of my life that I treasure

and help me through difficult times.

I think people fail to realise

how difficult a simple task can be

for a person with Ankylosing Spondylitis.

How hard, painful and stressful

it can be for us to go on outings.

It takes a toll on us physically, and emotionally

and sometimes the price we pay is very steep.

Some days are so difficult and painful

you wonder why you got out of bed.

My new year’s resolution this year

was to be my own best friend,

to encourage my self to do more things,

to take better care of my self

but most of all to love my self enough

to remember I am worth the extra effort

 that it takes to live my life.

To remember

 every single outing

every single day

no matter if they’re

good or bad

is still a gift.

A gift I intend to enjoy to the best of my ability.

Success is never final. Failure is never fatal.

It is the courage to continue that matters most.

 These beautiful calendar pin-up girls

are the work of

Gil Elvgren.

 Calendar Girl By Neil Sedaka


4 Responses to “Calendar Girl By Cookie”

  1. Well Miss Cookie you have done it again, hit the nail on the head! You have said all I have in my noted for this blog and more, can I just submit ditto to Miss Cookie???

    I love the beautiful layout and the picture, makes it so interesting to look at as well as read, another gold star xxx

    • Thank you so much, Jackie! I have loved how the others include pictures to tell a story. I wrote this and looked for pictures for it, and remembered my father’s love of these girls and thought Perfect! I wasn’t sure if it would turn out alright. Thank you so much you made my day and I got a GOLD STAR! Means more to me than you will ever realize, xxxx

  2. Oh, Cookie! I loved this one. The pics with your fantabulous writing ability was utter perfection. I would tell that English teacher to shove it because you have talent, Girl!!!
    Blessings, Dana

    • Thank you, Dana that means the world to me. You are the one who inspired Calendar Girl. I always love your blogs because you are able to give such powerful blogs with pictures included. So I thought I would do one “Dana” stye!

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