Sometimes it takes cancer to say I love you

I am a 30 {cough}-something year old woman.  My parents still live in the house I grew up in.  All my family, for that matter, live within a short drive of that same house.  Me?  At 23 years old, I gathered up all my worldly belongings, grabbed my cat and took my Mitsubishi Eclipse across the from Connecticut to Arizona.

When I left to drive across the country, I didn’t get a tearful, heartfelt goodbye.  No “I love yous”.  Hell, they didn’t even offer my a tank of gas or to check my oil.  Maybe spring for a calling card and ask me to call home (yes, that was during the time where long distance was cheap at 10 cents a minute).

Nope.  Their little girl…their baby…driving away…forever…couldn’t bring them to say it.

But I heard it tonight.  For what feels like the first time.  Ever.

My father is a diabetic, and during a routine check up, he found that his PSA levels were elevated.  Then at the next visit, they were exponentially higher.  And higher still at the next visit.

Finally the doctor recommended surgery.  Tomorrow morning.

I called my father today.  He is a typical New Englander.  Not big on doctors or medicine or surgery.  Or talking on the phone.  Or sharing feelings.

We blathered on about the weather.  In the 90s here.  Lows in the 30s there.   How are the kids?  How is work?

I finally asked, “You ready for tomorrow?”

He told me about the…er…stuff…he needed to do today to get ready for the surgery tomorrow.  All matter-of-fact.  Summarized the predicted recovery.

I told him I would call and check in on him.  He said he’d appreciate that.  And that he’d let me go (after 7:53 of conversation).

“OK,” I said.  “Good luck tomorrow.”

“I love you,” he said.

“Love you, too.”

Sometimes all it takes is cancer…


Happy Birthday..or whatever Frosty said…

I almost feel like I should post a “HELLO WORLD” post.  It’s been far too long.  Here’s the short version of what’s up:

1) I made the decision to quit my day job.  Months before I could actually quit my day job.  And I have a big mouth…

2) Someone at work had found this blog (Hi Nitika!)  I had worried that I would spill my “I’m going to quit my job” beans, putting her into an awkward position.  Please see  earlier comment about my big mouth.

3) So I created a new site.

4) I quit my job.

5) I have deconstructed the other site.

AND I’M BACK BABY!

me in backyard feb 2013

Do I look any different?


My Four Days of Silence

I bet you’re thinking I finally ran off to some ashram and am devoutly practicing some new form of meditation…

Well, not so much.

And, technically, it’s not total and complete silence.  But I would say my hearing is about 70% gone, and I can aptly ignore the other 30% that I can hear, so, yea, when I’ve wanted it, it has been completely silent.

Here’s the deal.

Had the sore throat for a couple days and went to the PCP on Wednesday.

Took the strep test, which always come back negative.

As a side note, my favorite time was when it was negative, then I got scarlet fever.  From the strep.  That I didn’t have.

Bygones.

dressed up family photo under tree

Ain't we a lovely family? If you look closely, you can see the red bumps all over me. Hey- at least it's not the plague, or some other disease I thought went away in the middle ages...

I will have to burn someone’s house down if I wind up with it again this year.

But, I digress.

So, I’m at the PCP.  The same PCP I have seen for 12 years, by the way, and the strep swab comes back negative.

I remind her that I always get really sick when it is this bad.  We caught it early.  Ain’t we lucky?  Let’s medicate this puppy.

No, she says, it’s a virus.  You’ll be better in 7-10 days.  Drink lots of fluids.  Get some rest.

No, I won’t, I say.  I know the difference between something I can fight off, and something that is going to take me down.

Well, if it gets worse, come back.

How about NO, treat me NOW.

Well, I left that last part out, paid my $15 copay, which seems like a good deal until you realize it has just been STOLEN from you since you didn’t actually get any treatment.

Off I go about my business.

As a quick recap, my “business” would be a demanding, more than full-time job and 2 small kids.  3 if you count Darling Husband.

Thursday at work was typical.  Didn’t feel well, but I would be better soon, right?

By the end of the day on Friday, I’m deaf as a door knob.

I stayed home that night and bowed out of my daughter’s carnival, at which she was presented with a Leader of the Year award by her teacher.

Nice.  Mommy of the Year Award will be presented to me any day now.  I will be sure to acknowledge PCP of the freaking year at my acceptance speech.

My right ear drum started causing excruciating pain.  Then started leaking all over the place.

Awesome.

Saturday I spent in bed, trying to fight off my “virus”.

Sunday I woke up, with profanities galore (after declaring RABBIT RABBIT RABBIT), hopped into my car, drove my sorry butt to Urgent Care.

I was the first one there, thank you very much.  Finally, all that Rabbit’ing has paid off.

Doctor:  “That looks painful.  Most people come in here complaining like you are and they are just congested, but that is a nasty ear infection.  Wait, let me check the other one.  TWO.  Wow.  Both ears.  I bet they hurt and you can’t hear much, huh?”

{Insert my sarcasm face}

Got a bunch of prescriptions for antibiotics and steroids.  Yes, that is what I need in my life.  Roid Rage.  Random hairs going out of my face.

Did I mention how awesome all this was?

So, what the hell is my point?

 

First, it was apparently entertaining enough for my husband to tell me today, “You should really blog about this”.  Hmmm, that means it might be a good story, or he is just done hearing about it.

 

Second, and more importantly, people are treating me differently.  I don’t have a sign around my neck that says, “Deaf”, so people are just rambling at me like they always do.  Not facing me so I can read their lips.  Looking all over the place, which, by the way, is really annoying.  TALK TO ME.  I’m over HERE.

 

But, what is different is me.  I am half-hearing, half-reading lips, so I have not been responding unless the person is looking at me and speaking.  And, I am paying painful attention to their every word.

 

Guess I wasn’t doing that before.  For all the communication classes I’ve taken and books I’ve read, apparently, I’ve been a poor listener.  Until I was forced to make a conscious decision to listen.  With every ounce of my fiber I am trying to hear you.  Mostly because I don’t want to look stupid and have to say “huh” over and over again, but you get the point.

 

I realized this today when someone asked me about my ipad case.  I didn’t hear her.  So, she looked right at me, got close, and asked me again about it.  I handed it to her and talked about it.  She then told me her life story.  She just got the ipad 2, but traded it in for the 3. She was from Wisconsin, so she bought one for all her family members so they could use FaceTime.  They never come out to see her and her brother just died…At one point, she even said, “I’m not sure why I’m giving you my life story”.  It happened again at Walgreen’s.  At Trader Joe’s.  Picking up my kids at the day care…

 

“I’m not sure why I’m giving you my life story.”

 

Probably because you need someone to really listen to it right now.  All I did was…smile.


Fabulous Friday Photo(s)…Er….I mean…Marvelous Monday Montage.

We just returned from a family vacation that involved a 6 hour car ride…each way {insert uphill both ways in the snow if you need to}.

If you have a 5 and 7 year old, you can imagine how awesome that car ride was.

Awesome.  Or shall I say, “asum”?

When we got home, I plugged Sassy’s ipod touch into the computer to charge it.  What I found was a series of pictures she had taken and edited during the car ride…

She’s 7…

All the editing and titles are hers, so if you can’t recognize the word when you see it, say it out loud.  She spells it out phonetically.  And, to tell you the truth, I think some of the words should be spelled the way she does.  It just makes more sense. 

 

 

DS game

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit

Is “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit” just something us superstitious New Englanders do?

On the first of the month, if the first thing you say is “rabbit” (we said it 3 times in CT.  Can’t be too safe.), then you would be rewarded with something you want within that month.

No, I have no idea why those two things would correlate.  Rabbit=something good.  But, then again, I accept “ghosts” as a valid response to “what was that noise in the basement” without batting an eye.

So, this month, I woke up early on March 1st and said outloud, “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit.”

Then I shortly followed up with a, “Shut it” to the complainer lying in bed next to me regarding my outburst.

Maybe that is where I went wrong.  It should be “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit” then a moment of silence, not profanity.

Regardless, my fabulous moment was followed up with stepping on an exposed carpet tack going straight into my big toe as I walked in the dark to the bathroom.

Three words were also said then, and they did not sound like “Rabbit”.

I got myself on the road to go to work, on time, I might add, and stopped at the mailbox.  There was a thick letter from scary to-be-left-unnamed agency that you do not want to receive letters from.

Rabbit?

You owe $26,000…Please remit immediately.

{See explicatives from carpet tack.}

I start driving, clutching onto my black rock.

Have I told you about my black rock?

black rock

I should really give him a name...

I was at a yoga retreat a few weeks back, and my instructor handed these out.  She said that she always keeps them handy because they absorb your excess energy. There was also something you could do with a flower, but you would have to bury it when you were done and I didn’t quite follow the whole thing. 

Anyway, try it.  It reminded me of a worry stone, and it’s been working for me.  I am an extremely hyper person by nature and my current situation in life is requiring me to learn how to sit patiently on my butt for hours on hand.  Oh, and I fall down a lot.  This is supposed to help wtih that too.

Clutching onto the rock dispels some of my excess energy.  And, it leaves enough left over to be be directed toward throwing the rock at someone’s head if the situation calls for it…

Now, if I could only stop losing the damn rock…

But, I digress.

My first reaction to all these unfortunate circumstances was to curse the Rabbit. 

Instead, I just let it be.  Ok.  This is my new reality.  Hold onto your butts, as Ray said in Jurassic Park.

Remember that scene when he takes the system down in Jurassic Park?  That’s my life most of the time.  Everything I try, I think to myself, “Hold onto your butts”…

Again, I digress.

And, just as quickly as it started, my life started to return to “normal” (i.e. nothing acutely tragic).  My toe stopped throbbing.  Made some phone calls to clear up the error on the $26k.

And, I quickly thanked the Rabbit.

 


Who Cares?

I have had writer’s block lately.  Not from a lack of not having something to say.  No, that is never my problem.  I am never suffering from a lack of something I’d like to say…

It’s because of something I read about what you should keep in mind when you are creating something.  I’m not entirely sure I agree, but the advice imparted upon me was to think about, “who cares?”  If you can’t answer that, your effort is wasted.

For every thought I’ve had that I wanted to write about, I’ve asked myself, “Who cares?” and have come up with nothing.

So, instead of continuing to obsess about it, I decided to post a Fabulous Friday Photo.  On a Saturday, I know.

Who cares?

beige shoes on woman in bathrobe

This is me, lying on the couch after a long, extremely frustrating day. Yes, I am also in my bathrobe. Fabulous shoes are sometimes the only thing that keeps me going.


Change your butt, change your life

After last week’s hindsight realization (haha), I did more research on the Brazilian Butt Lift program…So, I….

Leandro Carvahlo’s Brazilian Butt Lift DVD program

I ordered Brazilian Butt Lift from Beachbody. I'm sure the hard part is over now....

Yes, that’s right.  I identified an issue, an improvement I wanted to make in my life, and immediately took action to rectify.  In this case, I had just gotten paid, it wasn’t that expensive, and the online ordering system was super easy…bam…

That is not, by far, my normal MO.  Usually, I am sitting around for weeks/months/years thinking….

“I’ve really got to ________” (insert:  “start college fund”, “get MBA”, “get yoga teacher certification”, “wrap loose coins”, “call my family”…)

I have been trying to figure out all week what was it that got me off my rear end (haha) and take even the smallest step to change something I wanted to improve in my life.

  1.  it was a concrete, identified problem that I wanted to fix
  2. people readily wanted to share their opinion about it, so it was easy to do research to come to a decision.  so many of my friends are working on fitness/health goals that I knew I’d have support and accountability too.
  3. i have nothing to lose if it doesn’t work out
  4. i love online shopping
  5. it felt good to take immediate action

Five Steps to Change Your Life

  1. clearly state the problem you wish to resolve

  2. conduct research on all potential solutions

  3. make sure the benefits outweigh the risk

  4. choose the resolution that most clearly aligns with an activity you already like doing, along with the support/accountability

  5. take immediate action.  if the risks are too great to rip it off like a band-aid, take small steps every day.

Now, where to begin?  I have a job interview coming up, so that always opens up thinking space around your life and your career path.  What I have been thinking about is what is my ideal work situation/environment.  I may take out an ad:

Top Executive seeking position where:

  • I have flexible hours that I set myself
  • I receive a great, big, huge, mega salary
  • I get a company car (luxury model, of course.  Or a Jeep Wrangler.  Silver with a black soft top.)
  • there are 8 weeks paid vacation a year, plus all school holidays off
  • the team takes fabulous, fun, quarterly retreats at places like Miraval
  • I get a discretionary expense account
  • the environment is family-friendly
  • I get the ability to work remotely most of the time
  • I have intelligent, dedicated, loyal staff
  • I GET TO BE CREATIVE
  • Tuition reimbursement is available, and I mean enough to actually get a DEGREE, not barely enough to purchase a text book
  • A sizable signing bonus is provided
  • A semi-annual performance bonus is given
  • Annual RAISES are given
  • there is a culture that encourages health, exercise and overall wellness
  • Excellent health insurance coverage options are provided
  • Travel opportunities to fabulous international locations are available.  Oh, and at my discretion.  I don’t want it to feel like it’s a burden, of course…

And, most importantly, I have enough resources and support to live my motto:

THINK BIG

DO GOOD

CHANGE THE WORLD

There is my wish list, Universe.  Hear, that???  Maggie, the psychic from Miraval, told me back in August that this would be a great year, and that February 4th would be a big day for me.

I’m assuming a company is going to call me today and make me a job offer with all the perks above.  My small step for today will be to answer the phone, even if I have to pause my Bum Bum DVD.

Tomorrow, I may need to take a more proactive approach…but that is for tomorrow…

Speaking of which, I wanted to share a “before” photo of the offending backside as the start of my accountability, but have you ever  tried to take a picture of your ass?  It ain’t easy.  And it’s not exactly the thing I can walk up to someone and ask.  “Excuse me, can you please take a picture of my bum?”

Side angle. Yes, it is that flat...Time to lift my butt...and my life...