Posts Tagged ‘life’


This quote reminds me of a similar one that one of my old mentors once told me. He said, “You can either make results or make excuses, you can’t do both.”

This stuck with me all these years and I use it to remind myself whenever I find myself trying to bow out of something with an excuse. My favorite excuse used to be, “I’m too tired.” But I’ve since removed that one from my mind.

We’re only here for a short time, so you might as well keep busy on your dreams/goals.

-Roz Abellera


When I was younger, I made the mistake of constantly moving around thinking that’s how I would find myself and my happiness, when really,  I was in me all along. Happiness starts with YOU no matter where you go.

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it.

-Roz Abellera

3 choices

So I’ve decided to pick the third option.



About 3 years ago, I started to get pains in my right elbow. It became increasingly worse and was usually accompanied with stiffness to the point where I couldn’t fully straighten out my right arm. Then the pain and stiffness showed up in my toes. I was still stubborn and didn’t go to the doctor, because you know, unfortunately, that’s how some of us men are. We ignore symptoms until it becomes worse or too late.  I ignored it until it showed up in my hands.  I got scared when I could no longer shut a couple of my fingers closed all the way. As an artist, my hands are my tools so I couldn’t ignore the problem any longer.

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I was shocked. At the time, I thought arthritis only happened to the elderly. “It couldn’t happen to me,” -I was wrong.  Some researchers believe that arthritis is caused by when something goes wrong with a person’s immune system, an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the body attacks itself. In this case, the joints.

A healthy immune system protects the body. It generates internal inflammation to get rid of infection and prevent disease. But the immune system can go wrong, mistakenly attacking the joints with uncontrolled inflammation, sometimes causing joint erosion and may damage other parts of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis are examples of inflammatory arthritis. Researchers believe that a combination of genetics and environmental factors can trigger autoimmunity. Smoking is an example of an environmental risk factor that can trigger rheumatoid arthritis in people with certain genes.

With autoimmune and inflammatory types of arthritis, remission is the goal and may be achieved through the use of one or more medications. The goal of treatment is to reduce pain, improve function, and prevent further joint damage.

I tried prescribed medications for a while but didn’t like the way they made me feel, they made me nauseous for some reason. I also don’t like the idea of becoming dependent upon prescribed medications so I sought out another route. That’s when I found my naturopathic doctor, a doctor who practices natural medicine, which is what I prefer.

My doctor explained to me that some people have a sensitivity to gluten. Gluten is a composite of storage proteins which is stored together with starch and found in various grass related grains. It is found in wheat, barley, rye, oat, related and products of these (such as malt). Gluten is appreciated for its viscoelastic properties. It gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and keep its shape and often gives the final product a chewy texture. So I decided together with my doctor to try a gluten-free diet.

A gluten-free diet meant I would have to alter the way I eat. But I was okay with this. I’d do whatever it would take just to feel normal again. A gluten-free diet meant I would have to say goodbye to wheat, which is in bread and pasta, as I know it. Wheat in all forms including spelt, kamut, triticale (a combination of wheat and rye), durum, einkorn, farina, semolina, cake flour, matzo (or matzah) and couscous. Wheat is found in many bread, cakes, cereals, cookies, crackers, pretzels, pasta and pizza crusts, but it can turn up in other products, too. This meant I would have to read the labels on the foods I buy because even seemingly “safe” foods like licorice candy even contains wheat. This also meant I would have to give up or lower my sugar intake because sugar can also cause inflammation.

Had this occurred to me ten years ago, it would have been harder to go gluten free because back then there really wasn’t a market for it. So this meant you had to make almost everything from scratch at home. Now, you can walk into almost any major grocery store and they have their own gluten free section where you’ll find bread, pasta, cookies, crackers, even pizza, -all gluten free. They make them with either tapioca flour or rice flour instead of wheat flour.

So has the gluten free diet helped me? Yes, immensely. I can now bend my arms all the way and close my affected fingers about 95% of the way. I still have a way to go with this lifestyle (because I slip up once in a great while), but I’m getting better.

I loathe the day that arthritis takes my whole hand and I’m unable to paint or draw because of it. At that point, I would probably tape a paintbrush to my hand and have a go at it (talk about suffering for your art). But I’m trying to prevent from going to that point, this is why I eat this way. I’m not trying to make a point, or trying to be cool or on some fad diet. This is a lifestyle and I do it for a reason.

Another thing I’d like to bring up is that there are reports that a gluten-free diet can be dangerous to some people if your body isn’t compatible with it. So please, consult with your physician first before going on it. I only wrote this because my doctor suggested it and it worked for me.

So if you see me at a party or a get together of some sort and I’m not eating Aunt Mabel’s cake, it isn’t because I’m being picky or mean. I’m only trying to prevent a flare up.




I remember back when I was in my 20’s I thought being in your 40’s meant you were old. I used to think that the age of 40 was the point where the downward slope started and it was all downhill from there. Silly.

Now that I’m in my 40’s I find that life is just beginning. At this point, there are still a lot of things I haven’t done. A lot of goals I haven’t reached. For example, one goal I have is to become a father with my wife. This was something I didn’t want in my younger years. But people change and I’m at a point where I’m ready for it and I know I can be responsible whereas I couldn’t be before.

That’s the thing- people change. So maybe in your younger years you weren’t ready for something in life and might have made bad decisions. I know for myself, I’m not exactly the same person I was even 6 months ago. We go through changes and situations that “rewire” us and so maybe now we’re ready to handle something in life that we couldn’t before.

But I also understand that maybe at some point it’s too late for certain things. For example, I admittedly regret the fact that my future children will never meet my father, their grandfather, because he’s passed away. But there is nothing I can do about that, I have to accept it.  For years I’ve hurt over my relationship with my father and his passing. But something happened to me recently that made me realize I have to accept things that I cannot change and I have to learn to let it go. Some things just weren’t meant to be.  I’m tired of hurting. I don’t want this anymore.

So I’ve reached a point in my life where I am getting rid of past regrets, past painful situations, past painful relationships, past mistakes, things that do me absolutely no good by hanging on to it. It’s time to let go of things that are draining mentally/emotionally. This has to be done in order to move forward in life.

So if you’re in a point in life where you’re feeling old, tired and drained-you don’t have to feel like that anymore. Let go of your past mistakes, maybe things didn’t go as planned with something in your life and it left you feeling defeated. Press the restart button on your life. You don’t have to hurt anymore. Work on letting things go.

Age is not a death sentence. You still have a lot to give and life still has a lot to give you. Never give up on yourself.