Patience is a Virtue

William Langland said that in a poem in the 14th century and we still say it today.  So, it has stood the test of time.  But, it doesn’t mean it is easy to uphold that virtue.  I guess it is defined as “moral excellence”  for a reason.  Tonight, I am a bit short on that virtue.  I am typically a very patient person, but at times, I reach a level of frustration and anxiety and tension that makes me want to scream.  I have reached that level tonight.  And for no real good reason at all.  Overall, today was a good day.  A long day, but a good day.

We drove to my sister’s house last night and stayed the night, allowing us to get up at 4:45 this morning instead of 3:30 a.m. to get to Bean’s heart clinic appointment in Stanford by 7:15 a.m.  My sister was nice enough to go with us, so we got to use the carpool lane and we made it a little bit early even.  The appointment went really well.  All looked good.  I was surprised to learn that her pacemaker is pacing her upper half of the heart 22% of the time and her lower half 9% of the time.  In all honesty, I thought it might just be a precaution and it wouldn’t pace very often if at all.  But, it is pacing almost one quarter of the time!  It is set at 70, so dropping into the high 60s will cause it to pace.  But, still.  A little surprising.  The doctor also said that a transplant may be done before a valve replacement if the right side of the heart becomes overwhelmed by the regurgitation.  So, there’s that on my mind.  Hell, my tension and lack of patience tonight may all be part of a little PTSD that kicks in even when we hear good news, because it often is followed up with disconcerting news (pacemaker is working great and Bean’s health looks great, BUT it is having to be used 22%/9% of the time; the regurgitation does not seem to be increasing or causing her heart issues, BUT it could get worse and could require another open heart surgery for either a valve replacement or a second transplant).  It is a lot to take.  I want to be happy, but it is also tempered.  I’m also exhausted.

In addition, I am feeling overwhelmed again.  I feel like everything in my life happens just a little later than I need it to.  I feel like I wanted so much more done at this point – on my housecleaning and organizing, on my class prep for Fall (good Lord, it starts in just four short weeks), on my finances, on my life in general.  My DH comes home in three days after being gone for five weeks and I feel like I’ve accomplished little-to-nothing.  My birthday is on Sunday and I’m feeling like I don’t even want to celebrate.  I realize this is probably temporary and things will look better when I get up tomorrow and I’ve slept longer and better than last night, do not have to face medical appointments and have two days to get some things done (well, three really because my DH doesn’t come home until Saturday night pretty late).  I need to be productive, not procrastinating. I need to get my #!*^ together.

But, I also feel overly tired and lacking in energy and motivation.  What do you do when it all seems a little overwhelming?  I would love to hear some ideas.  I only have a few more days until my Year of Fun kicks off and I need to get over this feeling of BLAH and FRUSTRATION in order to really have some fun.  I know part of it is probably diet and lack of exercise and who knows what else…

Tuesday Truth…Embracing the Fun in Year 48

I can’t believe that I will be THIS old in one week:


Yeah…I won’t be THAT old, but you know what I mean.  I used to think 48 was ancient.  Now it seems like just another year.  Trying to make every year the best year ever is getting exhausting.  So, I’m just going to try to make this year a good one.  Simple. Some things I want more of:  reading, time outside, travel,exercise, and fun.  I have not really been having as much fun in my life as I would like to.  I need to let loose.  I find myself constantly on guard.  I really can’t explain why.  And sometimes it isn’t even conscious.  I want to let that go.  So, I’m hoping to make year 48 my year of “letting loose”.  After all, if you can’t let loose at age 48, when can you let loose?  And letting loose will not include a bunch of “goals” and “plans” and such.  That isn’t very loose is it?

Now, I’m not going crazy and quitting my jobs or anything, so I still need my planner.  And I still have a 7 year old, so there is school and activities, etc.  But, I don’t need to feel tied to my laptop and constantly playing catch up.  It will take some “planning” to make it work, but it doesn’t have to be a list of action items that I check off as the year goes by or specific goals that I end up giving up on and then being upset about my “failure”.   The major requirement is getting off my couch and out of my comfort zone.  There are a ton of opportunities for fun, but I choose to skip a lot of them for some unknown reason.  So, this year, I will embrace the fun!

I think that as we get older, we sometimes lose our capacity for joy.  We let things get in the way of us experiencing joy when and where we could.  We have so much baggage that has built up over time that we have problems setting it down so we can enjoy the fun.  If we’re weighed down with problems and past wrongs and frustrations and all those bags are so heavy, we can’t focus on enjoying ourselves.  So, maybe the key is to set our bags down at the door and take a load off!  That will be what I try to do at each and every opportunity this year – set my baggage down, no matter how difficult it is to pile up at the door and let go of it all!  Because taking that load off will allow me to loosen up and enjoy myself.  And who knows, maybe I will find a way to leave some of it behind at each occasion.  A small package here, a piece of baggage there and I will feel less weighed down all the time!

So, here is to my year 48!  The year of embracing the fun, letting go of the baggage and doing the things I want to do while still getting done the things I need to do.


Five Minute Friday -Create

Joining Five Minute Friday before heading out to our camping trip!  This week’s prompt is “create”.  So, here goes:


This weekend I aim to create memories.  I am living a life with my daughter who is on borrowed time and although I certainly hope and pray she lives a long and healthy life with her transplanted heart, I also try to be cognizant of the fact that I have no guarantees.  Now, no one really has any guarantees (see this horrific story about the dad and 11 year old son who lost their lives in the Nice attack yesterday), but my awareness of this is just a bit more acute with my DD.

Many of my favorite memories from childhood are those on the road.  I didn’t always have the most pleasant of experiences at home.  My father was an alcoholic, but for some reason, when we were traveling, he was usually pretty good about staying sober.  I remember my mom reading to me (for some reason, I really remember reading Ishi one year on our way to Wyoming), listening to the AM radio as we drove through darkness on unfamiliar roads, waking up in a new place each morning.  I remember one time in Arizona waking to the braying of a wild donkey (burro?) outside of our van at a rest stop.  I remember going to museums and old ghost towns and zoos in other cities.  We did a lot of things on these trips and they always felt like an adventure.  We didn’t have super specific plans.  There were no cell phones with GPS so we went by maps and stopped at Visitor Centers.  We camped at rest stops and KOA campgrounds and state and national parks.  And all of those trips created fond memories of family.  That is what I want for my daughter.  No one’s life is all good memories.  She will have her share of hospital and medical memories that will not be great, but hopefully we can create some others that will be her true place of comfort and joy.


Summer Adventure – Camping

We (my DD and I) are going camping this weekend for the first time!  I’m a bit terrified, but luckily we are going with three other families who have all been camping before.  So, I think we should be okay.  I went to Amazon this morning and ordered a blow up mattress (I think I had to throw ours out because it had a slow leak), a sleeping bag (how did I not own a sleeping bag?!?) and a couple of lanterns (which will function as flashlights when home, which we needed for emergencies anyways).  I’m borrowing a camp chair  and a tent and will share another family’s camp stove.  I’m working my way through camping lists on Pinterest trying to make sure I don’t look like a total rookie despite being a total rookie.

We camped a lot when I was younger, but we always had a trailer or van conversion that we slept in.  We were definitely NOT tent campers.  So, we had a sink and refrigerator in the van.  We had beds.  We didn’t have to “set up” anything when we decided to pull off and sleep for the night.  I guess I was a bit spoiled.  We spent many a night in a parking lot or a rest stop or something similar.  If at a rest stop, we would get up and bust out the camp stove on a picnic table and make breakfast and then get back on the road.  I loved the way we traveled.  It was relatively simple and minimalist.  We didn’t need a ton of stuff and could pick up things along the way.  I want to capture that same simplicity for Bean.  I am trying to decide if we can take the Prius or need to pay extra for gas and take the SUV. I am leaning towards the latter just because it would give us plenty of space, dirt roads would be easier to take and we could always sleep in there if everything went to hell.  :)

We are going to a lake and I am already paranoid about her swimming in it.  We will probably try to do more paddle boats and such to keep her dry but enjoying the water.  The water will probably be too cold for her to spend much time in it anyways.  I am sure we will have a grand old time.  I am looking forward to sharing an experience that I really enjoyed as a child her age with her and I hope I can make many memories with her out in nature!  I am also looking forward to taking books to read and not much else. No iPad, no laptop – I will take my phone, but I don’t expect to be able to use it much.  It will be nice to have a tech vacation and see what we can do!

Wish us luck!

Summer Book Review – To Live and Die in Dixie

I must admit, the pink VW an on the cover helped me choose this book!

To Live & Die in Dixie (Callahan Garrity Mystery, #2)To Live & Die in Dixie by Kathy Hogan Trocheck

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked this up at the library because it was the first fiction book in author alpha order that seemed light and interesting enough to get through quickly and give me some reading momentum. I picked well! I will now have to go back and read the first of the Callahan Garrity series, Every Crooked Nanny.

This is a quick, enjoyable read with likable characters. It is not the greatest “mystery”. It is predictable and I figured out the killer about half way through, but the characters were enough to make me want to keep reading. I think the cop gone cleaning lady gone PI is interesting to set the story. There is a little bit of romance, a little bit of family drama, a little bit of suspenseful action and a lot of entertaining dialogue. Perfect light summer read if you like a character driven murder mystery. I will definitely be reading more of the series.

View all my reviews

Simplicity Sunday – No such thing as “simple”

I am quickly coming to the conclusion that there really is no such thing as simple.  According to the Oxford Dictionary, simple is:  easily understood or done; presenting no difficulty.  Not much about my life seems easily understood or done.  Much about my life presents some difficulty.  But, I’m not sure this is all bad.  As the saying goes, nothing easy is worth pursuing.

The last few weeks have been tough.  I didn’t sleep particularly well before leaving for the pre-hospital trip, getting grading done and the house cleaned up.  Then there was the hospital, where I didn’t really sleep at all one night (in the CVICU), barely slept the next night and slept on and off the next couple of nights.  I slept a bit better back at home, but Bean was still up every few hours complaining of pain or needing to move.  My husband left for five weeks a few days after we got home and soon after I left my DD at my in-laws to go to a conference in San Diego.  The first night, my MIL called me with Bean scream crying in the background, saying she was upset because she had forgotten to call me to say goodnight.  That was obviously not the reason she was scream crying.  She was scream crying because she wanted me THERE, with her.

My mom guilt was extremely high.  I should not have left her so soon after she went through so much.  I’m afraid her anxiety will come back due to this craziness.  How important was this conference (well, it was pretty important because I need it to work on this year-long project I am working on)?  Could I have figured out a way to bring her here (tough one…it is expensive and difficult logistically)?  Should I just give up on making it all work (probably…let’s face facts)?  From there, things got much better and she was fine.  So, on the roller coaster of mothering, I was on the short, fun drop instead of the upside down, traveling way to fast to be comfortable part of the ride.

We’ve been home now for a little over a week and things are going pretty well.  Although, she missed two days of VBS this past week with a fever, so there was a bit of panic for that.  But, it must have been some 24 hour bug because it was quickly gone.

I also didn’t get one of her medications in the monthly delivery, but when I called the pharmacy they said the doctor had not sent a refill.  When I called the doctor, it was a problem with pre-authorization.  And it turns out, we can just buy this stuff over the counter for about the same cost as the copay (maybe cheaper if I can catch it on sale).  So, we took care of that issue.

So, this is what I mean by NOTHING being simple.  But, I think that gives me all the more reason to simplify whatever parts of my life I CAN simplify.  So, decluttering my house (I feel like I have rid myself of VOLUMES of stuff in the past six months, but we still have VOLUMES AND VOLUMES of stuff left.  What is with that?!?  Decluttering my schedule and establishing routines so I don’t have to constantly think about what I should be doing next.  I want to surround myself with things I love and enjoy and that make me feel peaceful and content.  Then, when the inevitable complexity of life pops up, I can not only survive, but thrive.

I am quickly approaching my 48th birthday (what the heck?).  I want to live up to what this blog title suggests…being more in my 40s.  I have a limited time to achieve that though.  A very limited time indeed.