EDWISE  - EDITOR AND EDUCATION CONSULTANT
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A Year of Living Positively-Day 1

This is the first entry of the year-long daily blog that I pledged to make a few weeks ago. My project is to write about good things and acts of kindness that I experience for 365 days starting the day after my birthday.

My birthday was actually the 12th, but I envisioned starting to write today on the 14th because the main celebration was yesterday, the 13th, and I have more free time today since it is Saturday. Anyway, I've been ill, as it so happens. I guess I'd better tell you about how my Friday the 13th went.

Friday, December the 13th was a nice day for me, full of good luck, pleasant experiences and kind acts.  Went to teach my 11:00 a.m. class, had lunch with colleagues, then went home to rest. At around 4:00 in the afternoon, one of my colleagues-housemates (Bee) came to my door to present me a gift, a knit pullover in my favorite color, which is turquoise. I had just been contemplating shopping for another warm and attractive pullover, especially as I had been thinking of what to where to the party that evening, when the friend Bee arrived to give me the sweater. I had not expected to receive a gift at all.

A similar experience of "synchronicity" had happened to me earlier in the day. I took the bus to work at around 10:15 and there was my office mate and colleague, Lor, on that same bus. We got out and headed up the campus roadway, and I was thinking that I had forgotten to pack some more tissues for my runny nose when a woman handed me a packet of tissues out of the blue. She was standing on the sidewalk handing out the packets of tissues on behalf of her Church, and reaching out to the students on our campus.

Nine friends turned up  at my invitation to my dinner party, all colleagues or hiking buddies. Being afflicted with Bell's palsy and sinusitis these days, I had been feeling weak and a bit dull, as well as reluctant to reveal my distorted face and bandaged eye, but their company and goodwill cheered me up. I soon was able to laugh at my uncomfortable and disfiguring predicament. I had written ridiculous predictions on pieces of paper and presented them in the role of a fortune teller, and they received them well and with good humour. C told an hilarious story about trying to ride a camel in Mongolia, and another about his miscommunication with a Francophone about my birthday party invitation over the telephone. We all ate too much. Afterwards, some of us went out into the street and I took pictures of them posing in front of the festival winter lighting.

After a good night's rest, I woke up this morning and found that my smile is returning. The muscles on the left side of my face have been paralyzed for over a week, turning a great smile into a one-sided grimace. Today, I can push back the left corner of my mouth a bit. Another thing is that I am blinking partially. Fantastic! I have not been able to blink for 8 days so far, which causes irritation and puts the cornea at risk of permanent damage. Sealing the eyelid and covering the eye for most of the day each day has therefore been mandatory. The neurologist must have made a good guess, then, that the eye would be blinking by next week. Hoorah! 

My medical care has been terrific, by the way. I was able to get prompt expert attention with the help of hospital volunteers and state-of-the-art technology. The medical center that I go to is full of sharp young compassionate minds, many of them promising young women. Beyond the hospital, people have been considerate and understanding as I stumble along grey-faced and half-blind.

Yes, I'm feeling much better though I should still take it easy. Other friends surprised me with an invitation to meet later today, and I look forward to a short but sweet visit.

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