Mumbo jumbo

I’m not a big fan of “New Agey mumbo jumbo”. I should probably define that.

New Agey mumbo jumbo: n (ˈˌn(j)u āje ˈməmbō ˈjəmbō): (1) nonsense related to or connected with an alternative approach to tradition (or Western) culture, primarily in the areas of spirituality, holism, mysticism, and environmentalism; (2) anything strange or foreign that seems to be of the hand waving nature and which Abigail deems rubbish.

So I was telling someone my recent sob story. More specifically that in the past week, I had four encounters with medical professionals, two job interviews, and one “move in 24 hours or else”. It seemed like a lot. Now, some people would just say, Yeah. That’s a lot. This person had a different reaction. He said,

Best thing to do, as always, is go with the flow. Visualize your successful handling all of the challenges you’re currently facing.

Somehow, I still don’t know what that means. I’m pretty sure that going with the flow would have meant staying in that house. And feeling guilty for not being grateful. And for feeling sick. And for not wanting the jobs I interviewed for. At least, that’s what it conjures up for me. It all feels like some New Agey mumbo jumbo.

Although I have to admit that I’ve heard some very traditional psychologists say similar things. And I haven’t listened to them either. I don’t think it’s just the fact that the person who made the above comment strikes me as a New Agey person. It just really doesn’t help. Going with the flow means being passive to me. And I’m not a visual person anyways. I can hear the music playing for my success story. But visualizing it? Not so much.

I think I like Dr. Samuel’s evaluation better. He said that I’m doing well juggling all the things considering that I feel super awful and want to be in bed all day. He also said that I have realistic expectations and am not setting myself up for failure. I’m aware of my limitations.

NAMJ or not, I think I’m filing this comment into the “oh” pile of comments. Maybe it’s useful for the person who said it. But otherwise, it seems like a smokescreen for me.

Just being honest,


At service this week, the priest began his sermon by breaking bread. To be honest, it was a little jarring. But he said, Through that gesture I convey a multitude of meaning and tradition. And it’s true.

I’ve encountered it in a lot of ways in the past days and weeks. The priest pointed to Mary of Bethany anointing the Lord with costly ointment. It was in the moment of sharing a hymnal with the girl next to me who was momentarily lost. Another experience of someone just being with me while I mourned the loss of the independence I once dreamed of., another priest, pointed to an image of a woman that looks strikingly like a picture of the celebration Holy Communion. In the image, the woman is simply washing dishes, a simple everyday chore that has to be done. But the image conveys the love, the detail, the gravity of the task. The image, entitled St. Therese Doing the Dishes, captures the person of a simple sister who valued the little things in life, the small ways in which she could serve God.

In the same way, I see this little figurine. And there’s a power just in being. You don’t get the sense that the father and daughter are making something together or studying or even going anywhere. There’s just the love and peace that comes from being together. The compassion, the admiration.

They say action speaks louder than words. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Perhaps they also say, a gesture means more than anyone can know or tell.


In a Nutshell

I’ve been having fun taking personality quizzes. I see myself as a certain person, but then I behave in ways that I’m not conscious of. Maybe that’s why I’m interested in studying the intersection between ideology and experience? Anyhow, here are the results of several personality quizzes. What do you think? Does it fit the Abigail you know from the blog??

Archetype Me

I think the above assessment is pretty fair. I did notice a lot of choices about the body and exercise that I was very definitely not interested in. I can’t imagine why!!

The most famous personality test, Myers-Briggs, I took last month and earned the title of ESTJ: Overseer.

apparently, I've rather judgmental (or discerning & analytical)
apparently, I’ve rather judgmental (or discerning & analytical)

The Keisey Temperament test shows me as ESFJ: Guardian Provider.


Jung-Briggs-Myers has me as ISFJ: apparently, I’m a good mix of introvert and extrovert.


Then Typealyzer actually takes the content of your blog and analyzes it. No more subconscious working against you. Guess what it came up with?? ISFP: Artist!!!

Abigail: ISFP

based on this blog, Abigail is ISFP

I guess the consensus is that my perception is by sense rather than intuition. Just depends who you ask on how much that is so!! Everything else is up for debate!!

Don’t forget to take a look at how I’m evolving!!

  • March 2012: a book hunter & someone who enjoys spending quality time with other people
  • July 2012 had me as a pediatrician who loves Big Bird!
  • November 2012: I like helping people.

What do you think? What else do you think you know about me??



When you’re a chronic patient, what comes to mind with the word progress?

My first few years of being ill, a lot of doctors told me that the reason I was sick was because I wasn’t being proactive and responsible in seeking a diagnosis and treatment. This attitude fostered a lot of growth in me and underscored numerous intense arguments with my family. Now that I’m seeking medical care on my own, no doctor can tell me that I’m not being responsible. But the question remains: am I making progress?

Progress is defined as “forward movement in a given direction or toward a destination”.

For me, medical progress means that we (the medical team and I) are getting closer to knowing what I have and figuring out how to treat it. Of course, there’s another definition of medical progress: feeling better and stronger and able to do more stuff.

The tricky part is that we want both types of medical progress and usually they come at the same time. But for chronic patients, progress type 1 is absolutely necessary to achieve progress type 2. So even if there isn’t quantifiable progress that an outsider might be looking forward to, there is still definite and very real progress happening.

Anything living requires time to heal and to develop. With a chronic illness, time can be measured in months or even years. In the grand scheme of things, it’s amazing to think that a person can even partially recover from a debilitating illness. But in the context of school which measures itself in days and weeks, healing seems to take an eternity.

Sometimes semantics really do distinguish one thought from another. From a conversation with a friend earlier this week, I realized that what I see as much anticipated progress appears as stalemate to an outsider. That outsider assigns a different meaning to progress and then is confused when my behavior doesn’t match the assumed progress.

Thinking out loud,