Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truth…Embracing the Fun in Year 48

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

out-of-my-way_quickmeme-com

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.

 

Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truth

This week’s Tuesday Truths are here!

Tuesday Truth

First, illness sucks.  It especially sucks when the person who is ill is 7 years old and just spent three weeks recovering from surgery.  That’s right.  My DD, who had just started feeling better a week ago (after her pacemaker surgery) seems to have picked up a flu bug or something.  She woke up last night at 2 a.m. complaining of stomach pains, was awake and asleep and awake and asleep the rest of the night, was determined to go to VBS today so she could have her planned play date with a school friend and then one hour into it showed up where I was volunteering crying about her stomach really hurting and having a headache.  So, we came home.  She took Tylenol, watched TV for about an hour and then slept for over three hours.  She woke up feeling better, ate a small amount of yogurt and raspberries and a cracker, drank some water…and about an hour later threw all that up.  😦  She is now asleep again and I’m thinking no VBS tomorrow and probably a trip to the pedes.  Poor thing.  She can’t catch a break…I’m hoping it is a 24 hour thing and she will be all better tomorrow, but with her immune system, it could be a while.

Second, flies suck.  We always have a problem with flies.  We live backed up to a giant field where everyone walks their dogs and lets them poop and cats go to poop and probably kill things and then we have our own pooping dogs in our backyard.  So, we have a crap ton of flies all the time in the summer.  They seem especially bad right now.  I hate them.  I wish I felt comfortable just spraying the toxic fly spray all over our yard, but I don’t.  So, I have a fly trap in our tree, which has trapped a lot of them already, but there are all those plus more flying around back there and subsequently into our house every time the backdoor is open, which is often with a puppy.  Hate, hate, hate them. If anyone has any non-toxic suggestions, I would love to hear them.  I tried the pennies in a bag of water last year and it was a fail.  So, please, something other than that!

Third, because there has to be something that doesn’t suck on my list, bulldog puppies are hilarious.  Our new puppy, Scout, is a character.  Bulldog puppies are much less energetic than lab/shepherd mixes, but she is plenty entertaining in her own way.  Often in the way she sleeps!  And snores.  What isn’t funny is her gaseous fumes she releases on us!  But, she has been a great addition to our family zoo!  For your enjoyment, a lovely picture of her and our Seven snuggled up together:

Seven and Scout

So, there you go – my Tuesday Truths this week.  Back to worrying about my DD and hoping her illness goes away quickly!

Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truth

Today is Tuesday.  And in that, we can find some some truth.  I would like to share some truths I’ve realized today:

Tuesday Truth

First, others really can steal your joy, even from far away, if you let them.  And I let them.  I am currently at a teaching conference and really enjoying it.  I am in a nice hotel room in San Diego, right on the Marina, eating really good food and feeling excited about making changes to my classes.  But, I received an email about an issue that has nothing to do with what I’m doing here.  Something that was somewhat outside of my control, but is still within my realm of responsibility.  And more than the issue, was the way the message about the issue was delivered.  Backhanded insult.  Passive aggressive attack.  Something to highlight past mistakes instead of current successes.  And immediately, my mood changed.  I was no longer enjoying the conference, but instead was caught up in a defensive response and feeling less than adequate.  My joy was stolen by that email.  I didn’t speak to anyone.  I dealt with the issue as best I could.  I resolved myself to “fix everything and make it perfect” so that I would not have to ever deal with this passive aggressive attack again.  But, really, that isn’t possible.  Mistakes happen, especially when you are dealing with a pile of crap on a plate that is way to small.  So, I’m not going to be perfect.  Instead, I need to figure out how to not let these passive aggressive attacks steal my joy.  I have to figure out how to recognize that the insults are short lived and the amount of things I do are long lived.  I need to take the delivery and dismiss the insults while dealing with the issue.  But, it isn’t easy.  It is NOT easy.

Second, San Diego is beautiful.  If you’ve ever been to San Diego, you know this truth.  There is beauty everywhere one looks down here.  The water.  The weather. The architecture.  The art.  The boats.  The surrounding environment.  It really is gorgeous.  I think we’ll be coming back here for a family vacation at the end of summer.

Third, having a home town that I love.  I really look forward to going home.  I love my home town and it is so nice to love where you live and where I work.  Even if you don’t love everything about your job, being happy to be where you ARE in the world is important.

So, what’s your truths for today?

Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truth: Life in the ICU

This place is familiar, but also somewhat unknown.  I believe it is a safety mechanism in our brains that protects us from remembering the full experience of unpleasant places.  Here I sit in a CVICU room, something I’ve done for months of my precious daughter’s seven years of life.  It all looks somewhat familiar.  The myriad of machines that beep and pulse and beep some more.  The bed that is at once, highly technical, yet still totally uninviting.  My daughter, with the tubes and tubes and more tubes coming out of what seems to be every area of her little body.  She has grown a lot since those first days in the PICU and CVICU as a premature four month old, but she is still a similar vulnerable child who needs lots of love and care and wears her anxiety like a hated piece of clothing, trying to cover it up, while knowing that at some point it WILL be seen by others.

This is a good visit.  A quick in and out – one night only.  But, it is a very, very long night.  There is never peace in an ICU (really, any hospital room), but this night is not so good for someone else, so the lack of peace is even more pronounced.  There is an emergency.  Everyone is gathered around one room.  At some point, privacy screens are put up and doctors and nurses suit up and there is some procedure being done.  Right there in the ICU.  Usually, that means there is no time to move to a different location, which is never good.  This morning I dreaded walking that hallway.  Fearing the sight of an empty room.  But, there was a patient there.  Still surrounded by a number of doctors and nurses, but there, with machines beeping and pulsing and beeping.  So, at least that was good news.  But, from here, who knows?  The child next to us screamed at night about being “firsty,” but each time he had something to drink, he would go into a coughing attack and sometimes throw up.  So, they put him on “NPO” meaning no matter how “firsty” he would get nothing but a little pink swab soaked in some water to rub around his mouth.  I am thankful that my daughter was so little when she was suffering the literal heart ache of cardiomyopathy.  If not for her sake (as I’m sure she was quite often thirsty or hungry or hurt when she coughed), for mine. I did not have to be the parent who tried to rationalize this seemingly torturous behavior of withholding vital needs to their child.

My daughter is whiny.  She wakes up every hour or so to call my name and has me come from my uncomfortable perch in the less-than-cozy rocking chair to rub her arm or simply remind her she is not alone in this place that could easily be mistaken for a house of torture.  She is in pain at times.  She tells me she wants to go home a few times.  But, overall, she is able to be comforted and will go back to sleep, at least temporarily.  I am exhausted.  And somewhat resentful.  It is not unheard of.  Why us?  Why do WE have to go through this AGAIN?  Then I remember the alternative is not having the opportunity to get better, and it all gets put in perspective.

The doctors and nurses go about their business.  They are not unconcerned, but deal with the pain and suffering all around them with professionalism, compassion and as much happiness as is possible.  Some are downright joyful and you wonder how they do it.  It takes a certain type of personality to be sure.  Working in an adult ICU is one thing, but a pediatric ICU is something altogether different.  These are people who have not reached a stage of life where they should be this seriously ill.  And most of the cases in the CVICU are not trauma or accident victims.  They are victims of their genes. They are victims of random statistics.  They are victims of early births or birth defects.  And so many are babies.  And so many are having their third, fourth…tenth surgeries.

We are now home and hopefully will not face time in the CVICU for a long time.  But, if you have a spare prayer or some positive thoughts, please send them to those who aren’t as lucky as we are and are still sitting in that room, in the uncomfortable chair, trying to be hopeful that they too will one day roll out of that wing to the “step down” unit, and then home.  #thankful

Goldfish in hospital

Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truths

I’m jumping in with some Tuesday Truths this week.  Just tryin’ to keep it real…and truthful!

Tuesday Truth

My first truth this week is ANTIBIOTICS ARE AWESOME!  I woke up yesterday morning at 1 a.m. with a terrible pain in my throat.  Having gone many years in college getting strep throat multiple times a year, I recognized the feeling immediately.  I tried to ignore it thinking maybe it was allergies (they’ve been bad here), fell asleep again for a while, but woke at 3:30 a.m. with even worse pain.  At 4 a.m., I took a Tylenol and started planning my day with cancelling classes and office hours, going to the prompt care clinic and getting this taken care of ASAP.  With an immune-suppressed child (tonsilless thank goodness, I think that makes the strep less likely to take hold, but still) and a national travel trip with 15 students scheduled on Wednesday, I could take no chances.  I got up and started sending emails, dealing with planning, and as soon as I dropped my DD off at school, drove over to the prompt care clinic.  Within an hour, I had tested positive for strep, got a steroid to help with the inflammation and pain, and dropped off my prescription.  Within three hours, I had taken my first antibiotic in a 10 day, 3X a day protocol and settled in for a nap.  By the time I picked up my DD, the stabbing pain had turned to a dull ache.  I was still achy and exhausted, but felt much better already.  This morning, I woke up and am feeling GREAT!  So, yes, antibiotics are awesome!!!

My second truth is God is Good!  I know, I know.  It is a bit cliche.  But, I’ve seen Him working in my life in so many ways this year already.  Life is certainly not all smooth sailing, but His hand touches so many things in so many ways that I don’t always notice.  And this “season”, while starting out tough with news of surgery, financial concerns and job anxiety, has turned into so much goodness.  The surgery is on and I’m thankful that we are with an insurance that doesn’t question the pacemaker placement even though my DD has not been symptomatic (I read a thread online where multiple people had been told no).  I’m thankful I have a job that I can get people to cover for me and make adjustments where necessary when things like this surgery pop up.  I got a raise at my current job, where I would really prefer to stay, so I’ve decided not to apply for the other job (which was a stress in my life, mostly because of insurance concerns).  I also got a grant for revising a class that is going to be really exciting to work on next year.  And I’ve got ideas and plans and exciting possibilities for the coming years!  And I can see where God has had a hand in all those things.  So, I am feeling extremely thankful.

My last truth this Tuesday is travel is stressful.  I THINK I have all the logistics of this trip handled.  Luckily, my DH moved up his return flight today so he got back a couple of hours ago.  Originally, he was scheduled to arrive back home around Midnight and I was scheduled to leave at 3 a.m.  That’s stressful.  Today, he had a two hour delay.  If that would have happened tonight, I would have been a basket case.  So, much better.  I’ve got all the rental cars and we actually ended up with a truck, which will be much easier to fit all the luggage in (as long as it doesn’t rain, which it is projected to earlier in the night – but I will bring some big towels to throw down under luggage and hopefully it will suffice). One of the students was notified he has mono this afternoon, so I had to cancel him.  He was really upset and still wanted to go, but I told him if he put his body through the 3 a.m. departure, time change and long days of a tournament, he might not make it through the semester when he gets back. Mono can be rough and I think he isn’t feeling it right now, but he DEFINITELY would be if he went through this trip.  So, I said no.  So, now there are only 14 students going…but that is still the largest group I’ve ever flown with.  So, it is a bit stressful.  But, seems to be going okay so far.

 

 

Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truth: Fear, Tragedy and Einstein

This Tuesday brings more world tragedy and ongoing fear.  It seems that Europe is the new “front” in War on Terror, which often ends up being more of a war WITH terror.  As I drove my DD to school this morning, I couldn’t help but think that I am glad that I live where I do.  I am not in a metro area.  I am far away from any major airport.  And then, I caught myself thinking that and realized that although I don’t feel it as viscerally as those in Europe are today, I am living in fear.  I think that most of the world lives with at least an undercurrent of fear in their lives nowadays.  But, it isn’t all about terrorism, in the traditional sense.  Some have gunshots ringing out in their neighborhoods at night.  Others put themselves in harms way through jobs with police or military.  Others fear that the color of their skin in certain locations may put them in harm’s way.  Still others are threatened with sexual assault in their day-to-day travels.  The fear is real.  I live in fear of my daughter becoming ill again and not being able to “be fixed” this time.  Fear is everywhere, but it varies greatly from one person to another.  Fear, in itself, is not a “bad” thing.  In fact, sometimes it can be a lifesaver.  But, when fear becomes our primary reason for decision-making and allows us to dismiss other information, that is problematic.  Today’s tragedy drives another stake of fear into the hearts of people everywhere.  And I do mean everywhere.  It isn’t just Europe.  It isn’t just Syria.  It isn’t just Israel or Palestine.  The POSSIBILITY of attack is everywhere.  It is just more likely in certain locations.  And that likelihood must be considered when making decisions.  The way we have dealt with these attacks since 9/11 seems to remain more or less unchanged.  There is an outcry for patriotism and not letting the terrorists “win”.  There is a commitment for “defeating” the enemy, despite the fact that the enemies are not well-defined, but rather an amorphous group that is loosely organized.  There is some “attack” on the amorphous group (now, usually coming in the form of either drone attacks or much worse, an outcry to stop immigration or remove those immigrants living among us who look or sound like those guilty of the attacks) and there is an uptick in security measures, at least temporarily.  But, almost two decades later, we are in much the same place.

albert einstein insanity

I don’t have a better answer, but I do feel like what we have been doing is not working.  And I feel like as fear builds, people become more and more willing to give up their values and their neighbors and their LIVES in order to be “safe”.  And I feel like because we are fighting this “war” against such an amorphous group that is loosely organized, we try to create an enemy where one does not necessarily exist just in order to be able to look our enemy in the face.

I hope I’m wrong.  I hope that we can stop this violence.  But, as of now, I don’t see how it is going to happen.

Thankfulness Challenge, Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truth – Thankfulness Challenge Edition

I have not done a Tuesday Truth post in a while, but I thought I would bring it back today.  Just to mix things up a bit on the blog.  I am going to combine it with a Thankfulness Challenge post just in case I don’t get back for another post later today.

Tuesday Truth

I have a couple of truths today.

pumpkin spice

My first truth is that coffee is the elixir of the gods.  For those who do not know what elixir means (I had to look it up to make sure I was using it correctly), according to Merriam Webster’s Medical Dictionary, it is: “a sweetened liquid usually containing alcohol that is used in medication either for its medicinal ingredients or as a flavoring”.  I am currently using Coffee Mate Pumpkin Spice creamer, so my coffee is definitely sweetened and although it doesn’t contain alcohol, it is definitely medicinal for me.  I am extremely thankful for coffee and the truth is, I have thought about giving it up, but it is one of my few serious vices.  So, I’m keeping it and I’m enjoying it.

Second, life is short.  Sometimes shorter than we would consider.  A colleague at my University (whom I did not know, but one of my students had as an instructor this semester) passed away yesterday.  She was younger than me.  This is somewhat jolting.  The reason for her death has not been disclosed yet, but someone that young passing away totally unexpectedly is always a shock to the system.  So, as we approach a new year, I am thankful for my life and my health and I hope that it last a good long while.