Today’s How I’m Learning to Write: Stream of Consciousness as a Very Rough Draft

Today, except for a trip to the bank before it closes at 3:30 (remember, I live in a small country in the Caribbean–population of country is about 40,000; population of whole island (2 countries within the space taken up by Los Angeles, California,with room to spare) is roughly 80,000.  But that gives me plenty of time to write a stream-of-consciousness piece that I’ll develop  into an actual post for the next submission.  That means I’ll be editing out as well as adding and improving.  I’m not going to set a time limit for myself–if it takes 10 minutes, great; if it takes an hour, that’s OK, too. I’m just trying to get words on “paper” that will give me some sort of shaky structure to the final product. Getting myself involved in a new business venture.

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Very recently, I became involved in a business organization that promises big payouts if you work hard and follow their plan.  I got involved in it not because it had anything to do with my former training (education and educational psychology on the research side of the house) but because I really liked the products and could see myself falling into a niche that would serve the Boomer population as effectively and efficiently as the support garments sold in pharmacies and medical supply stores, and the nutritional supplements sold in health food stores or by the big vitamin giants, such as NutraLife or Amway’s nutritional supplements.  Both are top quality companies, but neither can provide the service or match the cost of the limited range products offered by Ardyss, an American minority-owned business originally founded on an instant-slim undergarment and a nutritional supplement that promised an energizing and antioxidant effect that would also build up the body’s reserves of energy for a faster slim-down.  That was 25 years ago.  Today, the company boasts a whole line of slimming and support garments for men and women who are on their feet all day, and nutritional supplements that help people with diabetes Type II control their insulin levels, provide energy boosts, guarantee slimming faster without giving up totally on favorite foods, and help keep the brain cells from deteriorating while promoting better mental acuity.  There are garments–especially tops for women–that slim down the torso area if a more supportive garment is not needed (although they look fabulous over those garments, too), or help shape the chicken wings women acquire as they age.  There are garments–both tops and support types– that slim the thighs or the whole leg, some of which an be worn as leggings for full control from the waist down, and others that target specific problems.

My interest in the undergarments that lend support to aging backs and give firmness and support to the abdominals at the same time, all by also helping redistribute fat, was what sold me on the products.  I’ve already mentioned back problems.  There are at least 5 garments that lend from light to reasonably strong back/abs support that work better than the ultra-expensive medical supply items that add bulk and force women and men to wear loose clothing that make one feel like he or she is wearing a tent to cover up the visible bars that support the back.  My back problems are severe, and my posture has gotten so bad that I go from a somewhat straight position as I walk and stand to a question-mark profile view in less than 10 minutes.  Sure, those “medical” garments help, but for me they are neither enough, nor do they help me continue to feel as attractive as any 65-year-old woman can possibly become.

Specific Ardyss garments work just as well as the “scientifically developed” medical ones, are scientifically designed as well, and allow me to wear even clingy pencil-style skirts and dresses without feeling like all the “bones” of the support garment are showing through and making me look like I am wearing water pipes underneath to keep me straight. Thus, garments that were developed primarily for the more youthful body to slim and smooth and lend various levels of support are also helping an old woman feel like the question mark is turning into an exclamation point.

Since I’m new to the company, I have had my share of purchasing both garments and supplements that I’ve been using for various lengths of time–from three weeks ago to just trying something new this morning before I got onto the computer.  So far, the products I’ve been using have really helped.  And I felt a difference when, during the last two days, I was running late or was too preoccupied to remember to put on my garment or take my supplements.

Now, there’s a bit of a story here about fatigue that goes back to September of 2014, when I suffered a bleeding ulcer attack that required a transfusion of 6 units of blood.  I probably lost 8 or 9 during the episode, but you never get as much blood as you’ve lost because the idea is that your body will make up the difference reasonably quickly. When I had type of blood loss episode in November, after my ulcers had healed, and the there was reason to believe that a large section of my colon was the cause because of all the little sacs that form in the colon over the years.  What happened was that I continued to get weaker in the interim two months instead of stronger.  There was no loss of blood through the colon, as the doctors on the island believed, but no new blood cells were being produced and I was so anemic that I couldn’t even drive my car without scraping the passenger side on posts and walls, and I was having trouble driving straight.  My night vision became bad so rapidly that I could only drive the one kilometer into the resort town to get to the pharmacy or doctor’s office, or the same distance to the market in the opposite direction–and that at great concentration and the hope of a big parking space that allowed me room to maneuver so I wouldn’t scratch another vehicle while pulling in or out.  The spine problems meant I couldn’t turn my head enough to look behind me, and we can’t afford a new car with all the distance from object detectors and a video screen on the dashboard.  All of this turned out to be the result of the anemia that the doctors in the hospital were convinced were from problems in my colon.  All this turned out to be wrong, as we discovered on a trip to the Mayo Clinic in Florida in December.  The sacs in my colon turned out to be very small and not the “instant death” form bleed-out that the doctors at the island medical center predicted.  In fact, all I needed was iron supplements to “restart” my blood cell production and some rest until I regained strength.

Several years ago, the Los Angeles campus to a university I worked for was shut down for good.  That was bad enough, but then I learned that I needed another surgery on my back.  That’s another story in itself, and I won’t go into it here, but that took me out of the “unemployment” market before I even got started, and was followed too quickly by another unexpected surgery that was discovered during the MRI for the prior one.  Totally out of the unemployment market now, and becoming clinically depressed, not for the first time.  We had moved to Beverly Hills when I got this job, and the rent although affordable while I was working, took on (generated? forced?) a life-style change.  No longer could we afford to eat out when the mood struck us, but became a Special Occasions event only.  Not that we didn’t do take-out. Believe it or not, there are plenty of inexpensive yet healthy and nourishing restaurants in the BH area that helped keep us within budget if I was too depressed or in too much pain to do anything worthwhile.

My doctor, both “back home” and here, kept prescribing anti-depressants to me, and changing them every six months or so.  I kept telling them that the happy pills were just bringing me down more, but they are the doctors and knew what was best for me, right?  So I felt like I was not only in a depressed state of mind, but that I was also crumbling away.  Looking for a job in the States became a lesson in futility as I was rapidly approaching the age of 60, and no matter what the law states, agism is a factor not discussed by employers.  The only thing they had to do was look at my undergraduate graduation date to guess at my age.  Here on the island, I was already past retirement age when we got here (it changed upward within a year, but I was too close to that age to make a difference), so there was no purpose to trying to get a job. Instead, I tried for some consulting work in special education–something sorely lacking on the island–only to discover that there was much talk about helping children with disturbances and learning problems, but the preferred solution was incarceration in a juvenile facility.  I switched to volunteer work until I got sick.  Until recently, I was too weak to go to physical therapy–in my mind, anyway.  But as I started to feel my strength return with the help of the products I had purchased through Ardyss, I realized that I was right about the effects of some of the products on the aging body.  And I was glad I decided to get into the business end of things instead of just buying a membership that would offer me the same discounts but no shot at producing an income of some sort.

So yesterday a new order arrived.  I had decided, with the advice of my friend who signed me up, that I needed to specialize in certain products and order enough to provide samples of the supplements whenever possible, and garments in enough of a size range that could be sold or used for potential customers to try on for that personal demonstration touch.  Some of the items in the order were new to me and I was anxious to try them out.  For starters, I had ordered cappuccino-flavored instant coffee mixtures that contain collagen development or weight-loss formulas.  I ordered the new chocolate flavored nutirshake blend for meal replacement, and more slimming and strength- and mental acuity-building formulations.  One of these formulas sells like hotcakes for its apparent libido-enhancing qualities, especially in men, but also in women.  This is not why I ordered it–I ordered it for the strengthening properties.  But if it sells to men of any age to help with “peformance,” I’m OK with that, too.  And there are certainly enough testimonials of the latter by men using PowerBoost on YouTube that it gives me hope. Many of these testimonials come from older men who gave up on Viagra and other prescription formulas because of various side-effects.  This is an all-natural product made from nutritional supplements that have been studied for years in the health food industry.

The beauty of the products I received in this and the preceding shipment is that there are tons of testimonials, and no articles that I could find on the internet that does anything more than caution people with high blood pressure not to consume a small handful of nutritional supplements.  One smart person is selling the PowerBoost on Amazon.com, but at a price that is higher than I can provide to a customer.  That means it is time to re-establish my vendor account with Amazon and let their warehouses handle some of the products for people who do not want to join up as a member to reap the 40% wholesale reduction.

Now, I have to talk a bit about some of the garments.  The most popular one–and the overall most support-giving one–requires some time to learn to put on.  As a newbie, it takes anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes for me to get into mine, even after watching the video of how to get it on by literally dancing your butt into the garment and pulling up.  I don’t think I mentioned that I also have arthritis–especially in my spine, but that has nothing to do with my garment problem.  It’s my hands.  For maximum effect, once you dance your way into the Body Magic, you need to literally stuff excess fat toward your back to hook up the front.  If you have a partner around willing to help the first few times, you’re in luck.  If, like me, your partner is already at work when you are ready to put it on, it is an interesting process of lying on your back–preferably on a hard surface or an extra-firm mattress–and recognize that, until you “break in” the garment to shape and support your body, it might take 15 minutes or longer to get it closed–not an easy feat with arthritic hands.  So I traded my original spanking new garment for a slightly used Body Magic in the next size up.  It still takes a while to get everything in, and it closes up at the tightest row of hooks, but it is also a bit large.  Today I am going to try to get into the one in my size–working on the farthest hook row, which is just a smidgen smaller than the tightest hook row on the current garment.

But there’s another “new” for today.  I am trying the weight-loss formula coffee beverage for the first time.  Interestingly, it contains green tea, and has no caffeine.  I also am trying the ThermogenTea beverage mix which, taken about 20 minutes prior to a workout session (in the pool for me), increases the metabolism via nutrients that add “heat” to the body to generate more energy.  This is one of the products that should not be taken by people with diabetes or heart conditions, but since I have neither and am anxious to shed the 15 pounds I gained through inactivity and the addition of red meat–and three additional meals–to my normal diet to increase the efficacy of the iron supplements to build up my mature blood cell count (I had plenty of immature blood cells in my body after several weeks on iron and red meat supplements, but that ratio is hopefully changing as the blood cells have matured).  And I can now eat less while keeping up my blood levels, although I still need to have them checked every three months or so.

So I am gradually becoming the before-and-after image you see in many advertisements for weight reduction, and I need to get the before-and-after support garment images to share, as well.  That’s the next step in my business campaign.

The greatest thing about the way this company functions is that the whole team shares in the profits from sales.  It’s not just the individual seller, who makes a profit primarily based on sales and sign-ups at the beginning.  As one becomes more experienced and has a bigger group of people under his/her tutelage, one raises in rank, which is accompanied by greater incentives–especially of free pre-offering items to try and, at a higher level with more people reporting to him/her and more levels below a car allowance)–there is no reason to believe one cannot go from a “part-time” or “bottom level” seller to the next level and the one above that until it is no longer a part-time income generator but a full-time business.

In all, I try to take new products for the first time when I will be near or at home, as no one can predict the effects of a product on anyone else’s body.  Aside from restrictions of some items if a person has high blood pressure issues (that does not respond to concurrent medications) or has diabetes-related restrictions with two or three of the nutritionals–and the company is very strict about this, making one fill out a medical form for the advisor to use in advising a potential consumer–so far, every item I have used seems to be producing the desired effects that I am seeking–support for my spine, energy gain, and–according to my daily weigh-in on my trusty digital scale–slow but steady weight loss (hey, it’s only been a couple of weeks for the energy drink and my first day with the weight loss coffee), and increased energy levels, I am truly happy with the products I’m selling.  I’ll be selling a lot more, I’m sure.  Not necessarily on the island, but also back home in the States.  All I need is to set up a few demonstrations–possibly in meeting rooms at strategically selected hotels–and take out a few ads to promote the event, and things may start to happen for me.  I’m looking forward to some hard work, but I’m also looking forward to becoming my own testimonial.

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That’s pretty much stream-of-consciousness for me.  I can’t stand spelling errors when I notice them, so those were changed.  In a few places, I had to delete text because it simply did not fit or my right hand moved one key to the right as I typed.  Otherwise, this is the beginning.  From this, I will re-write a post that makes more sense.  Maybe I’ll take out portions related to my health, maybe I’ll take out or move “product placement” information.  Maybe I’ll enhance or highlight certain areas that I skimmed over.  I don’t know yet what this will look like in the end, because I am not ready to review what I wrote to indulge in serious editing.  To do so as soon as a manuscript is typed has always been a bad idea for me.  I have to let it sit and rest a day or two or five.  But next week, I’ll have a more polished version of the manuscript to publish.  Instead of discussing line by line the changes I made (as I did last time), I am going to introduce the general redesign, show you the “finished” product, and then discuss in more detail what changes I made and why–for example, why I removed whole sections of material, or why I moved things around.  I already know that the introductory information needs to be redone, as does the ending.  But I don’t know what I will do with the middle yet. So come back next week and find out.

#educ_dr

About DrEMiller

Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT). Home: Sint Maarten. K-12 teacher for 13 years (Special Education for 10 years); Post-secondary educator since 2002; Education consulting since 1995. When teaching, held teaching certificates in K-12 special education, reading specialist; and secondary social studies. Doctorate: Educational Psychology Programmer/analyst for 10 years, including project management and training of corporate execs.
This entry was posted in About Writing, improving my writing, learn to write, Learning to Write, Stream-of-consciousness draft, writing, Writing process and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Today’s How I’m Learning to Write: Stream of Consciousness as a Very Rough Draft

  1. Pingback: Blogging 101, Day 4: Audience and Focus Post–Stream of Consciousness, Take 2 | Eleanore's Ramblings…

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