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2011: My Year of “Industriousness”

2011 rang in with my chosen virtue/thew of study:  Industriousness/Busyship (Workhardiness).  It’s the fourth year I’ve done this now.  One virtue, one year.



Honestly?  Dude, I had this in the bag! Mother of five, full time job…managing a household, finances, a soon-to-be husband…seemed like a pretty easy one to study.   Okay, so I’d had a little setback regarding my health at the end of 2010…with the diagnosis of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus…but hey…how bad could it be?

My initial perceptions of this virtue was  one that I’ve held for years…you work hard…you be efficient…and your plans can come to fruition…”manifest your reality”.  My ancestors didn’t just go to the grocery store…they grew their food.  They tilled the land which birthed their sustenance.  They cared for the animals which filled their bellies after sacrificing their lives to ensure their own survival.  If my ancestors did not work hard…they died.

So I endeavoured to be “busy.”  I craved to succeed at being “industrious”…creating successes throughout the year.

In May, I dragged my aching carcass up to the steps of Parliament Hill in Ottawa’s Walk for Lupus. I personally raised just over $1,300.00…in three weeks!

In May, I also led the Procession of Nerthus at Raven’s Knoll, my second year doing so…an experience that words fail to describe.  Connecting to my own spirituality is a life-changing, perception-altering occurrence that I wish to continue to partake in the success of for years to come.

I fulfilled my Oath a Hoardkeeper for my Kindred.

I read the words of my ancestors and have begun to learn their culture to pass to my own family.  Dude…I spoke in OLD ENGLISH!!

I began an art project for myself that I chose to call `Healing Through Art`.

All whilst running a daycare, running a home…running…

…out of time…

2011 also added curveballs the likes of which I`d never imagined.  It most assuredly did not conform to my realistic, perfect, expectations.…

I went from one diagnosis to a handful.  Within the span of 6 months.

From Lupus to…Fibromyalgia.  Rheumatoid Arthritis, Secondary Sjogren’s Syndrome.  Raynaud’s Phenomeneon.  An increase in blood glucose due to my Type 2 diabetes.

I have Chronic Renal Insufficiency. Aka, my kidneys are not doing so hot-shit.

I have pericarditis.  The lining surrounding my heart is inflamed.  It makes my chest hurt. A lot.  And often.  It sucks ass.

Therefore, I have spent countless hours researching medical references/ journals/ articles … networking through online forums…establishing connections with others who experience the pain and panic that surround the unknowable.

Oh, this year? Yes,  I was most assuredly, “busy“.

However, over the course of the year, being “industrious“ has taught me that not only does physical action serve to create success.  No, I had to use skills…knowledge…empowerment…I had to come up with different ways to define my own successes.

I had to downsize my employment.

I started a blog.  I became an advocate.  I educated…I inspired…I also had to concurrently learn how to compensate for things I used to do physically…mentally… make modifications …arrangements …delegations.

I have had to endure the heartache of sacrifice…and keep persevering.  I saw the departure of not one, but two of my sons from my home.  I saw their difficulties and used multiple resources and explored a plethora of options in order to make decisions.

Hard decisions.

Decisions that make your very essence feel loss.

I had to struggle to find opportunities to find esteem in other manners.

2011 made me feel like I`d lost my `muchness`.

But wait!!

I am my own person…

I make my own reality…

I choose to persevere…

I continue to endure…

I am much more than I previously allowed myself to be…confined and restricted by “what if`s” and “maybe’s” and “I don’t know’s”…Hell, I even allowed myself to be defined by the judgements of others…

In truth?

2011 made me see that the person I thought I was, was not the person I was meant to be.

2012, therefore, will be my best year yet.

My name is Brynn.  And I am a Chronic Badass.


  1. Iris Carden

    Hi Bryn

    Have you ever thought of being less industrious? Maybe find a way to take some time out just to look after you? You give so much of yourself for everyone else, don’t forget that you are important and special, and deserve just as much care as everyone else.

    • Brynn

      The thing with industriousness is that for much of it, there was no choice…it was Yoda…Do or do not…there is no try. I was faced with having to be “busy” in ways I’d never imagined, other than the glaringly obvious, of course.

      That being said…THIS year’s virtue/thew is “Discipline/Self-Rule”…it begets the perception of exemplifying the, “if I talk the talk, I’d better damn well walk the walk”…so, your point will therefore be most applicable regarding taking time for myself. If I’mma gonna preach it…I’mma gonna have to damn well sit my I’ve-earned-this-ass DOWN.

      So. Being “less industrious” is not particularly an option as I’ve studied…the key is to GUIDE those bouts of industriousness into their proper proportions. 🙂


  2. Lemon-Aid

    Holy Smokes Girl!!!! You are BUSY! And inspiring. But going a thousand miles an hour with pericarditis is brutal, not to mention all the other illnesses you’re juggling. Glad to hear you’re 2012 virture is Self Rule– “Self” being the key word here.

    Keep up the good work and the GREAT attitude. I’ll be reading and getting to know you better in 2012.


    • Brynn

      I appreciate every ounce of support…and, yes, 2012 is most assuredly the year of SELF rule…it’s become glaringly obvious…my key will be to find BALANCE…in BOTH the literally and the zen 😉

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