Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sorry For The Delay

I have been a Very Bad Blogger.  Ugh.  Revolting.

The truth is that, unfortunately, after a relatively short period of time for Smaug to regroup, he struck again with a vengeance.  Of course the delay was just long enough for Hope to get more than a toehold (more like a springboard).  And the crash back to reality just so sucks.  And it was his longest assault to date, lasting more than a week. 

And then a sinus infection/bronchitis followed hot on Smaug's heels, throw in a root canal just for giggles, and it flattened me.  I'm still trying to catch my breath.  So this will be a rather short post, and I hope to catch up with everyone when I'm more on my feet.

On one other note: I will be needing to get a GPS system (for my car) for my new job.  I want a voice system that will name the streets and provide traffic updates.  Currently on top of my list is the Nuvi 765t.  Any thoughts, anyone? 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Foto Friday 3

I should just give up and call it Foto Sunday. . .

Anyway, here's one of my latest photos

I have no idea who this little one is.  This photo was taken at the WW2 Air Show in Reading, PA, and she and her family were re-enactors in the show.  She trotted all over, clutching her favorite dolly.  I love the timeless whimsey and innocence it captures.  

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Finding Joy - Day 5

Whimsey's project on finding joy is wrapping up. . .

Although I joined in later in the game, I'm so glad I participated; it's been an an enriching exercise.  It has made me more aware of what I'm experiencing, more present in the moment, more introspective.

Whimsey's most recent post, though, has really given me food for thought. She talks about really working to extract joy, especially during difficult times. About pushing beyond the obvious and easy answers.  Its a challenge, and makes me question myself - have I really gone beyond reflecting on the easy and obvious joy in each day?  That's a hard question, and one I don't know that I have a ready answer for.  In each post I have tried to be honest, but is there more I should be digging for?

Take the situation right now, for example.  As I've indicated in previous posts, I recently came off BCPs.  And you know what?  I've been feeling better.  Physically I have more energy, just feel stronger.  And it has screwed with Smaug.  I was expecting a full blown tantrum from him a few days ago.  And while I've had moderate discomfort, it has not manifested into his usual onslaught.  Now in truth, its way too soon to even begin speculating about what all this might mean,  but my mind can't help spinning in exactly that direction.

In all the times I've imagined finding a way to resolve Smaug, what I would have bargained away, up to and including my right arm, if only I were free of him,  I imagined the absolute joy I'd feel.  I don't think I  ever allowed myself to speculate how different my life would be if I were not ruled by the dictates of a pain-wielding tyrant, especially on a practical level - it's just too painful to even go there.  But I did imagine the joy I'd feel, and I imagined it would be immense.

As my heart and head try to wrap around the swirling cacophony of "what ifs", and I tentatively allow myself to imagine the slim possibility that this just might be the answer, to my astonishment, the foremost emotion I am struggling with is not joy, but anger.  For years I have been begging my doctors to let me try going off BCPs.  I have been dismissed over and over again as I insisted that given the regularity of Smaug's outbursts, there had to be a hormonal relationship, begged to have my hormone levels tested.  And I know I am getting way ahead of myself.  At this time, it is almost impossible to speculate on the long term ramifications on Smaug and my health.  At bare minimum, I need to track it over at least one, if not two months.  It could easily be that the change in meds is throwing Smaug briefly off schedule, only to resume again with a fury.  It has happened before.

But IF this is the answer, and IF it helps control Smaug, then this simple thing is something I have been pushing for for a long time, and a reprieve has been this close all along if only I had been listened to, if only I had trusted my own instincts over medical opinion.  It feels kind of like what I imagine it would be like to be wrongfully convicted for a crime, and after years in prison, being freed.  To know true freedom after that is joyous and mind-boggling, but also there is grief for what has been lost.  And then to consider that BCPs work by hormonally mimicking pregnancy, and if I can't tolerate that, than tolerating a real pregnancy would be impossible.  Again, I'm getting WAY ahead of myself, but if this is true, than its the final nail in the coffin of our dream of having a biological child.

But in the midst of this emotional storm, there is joy.  I cannot wrap my head around what it would be like without Smaug.  To not be planning my life in 6 day increments.  To not constantly be thinking ahead, to make sure I get cat litter by Wednesday, otherwise I will not be able to carry it in the house during a pain cycle.  To not have to deal with wanting to plan a special weekend with my husband, only to be incapacitated by pain.

So all I can do is focus on the fact that I am not incapacitated by pain today, in this particular moment.  And just simply celebrate the joy found in today.  And take each moment, and the joy found in that moment, as it comes.  It sounds very Zen, but in the midst of the swirling storm around me, its the best thing I can do.

And you know what, while I think it is important to dig for the deep/buried joys in our life and cherish them, there is also merit in celebrating the simple, easy joys we encounter every day - a favorite movie, time with loved ones, a favorite song, a sunset.  And sometimes, in the middle of the hustle and chaos of daily life, it is even harder to pay attention to the simple joys.  When we are in the middle of difficult or stressful times, we spend energy and time searching for the deep joys; they are what we cling to and what helps to shine light into those darker days.  Those deep joys are recognized and cherished for what they are.  But when you are going through lighter times, the glimmer of every day joys is much easier to miss - it doesn't have the contrast it has in darker times.

So recognizing the "easy" joys doesn't mean you have done less than when you dig deep and work hard to find joy in harder times.  It is still 'work" to make yourself be still in the middle of daily hustle and bustle and sort out those precious joys.  Because regardless of when they occur, it is important to recognize them for the gift that they are.

Thanks for joining along in this, for listening to my ramblings.  And thanks, Whimsey, for spearheading this challenge.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Finding Joy - Day 4

New Beginnings -
Today marked my first day full time in a new job.
There's much joy to be found in this -

  • The excitement of the unknown
  • Having felt rather stagnated in my previous position, this new one offers the chance to learn and work at something entirely new.
  • To work with people I genuinely like and respect.
  • And as an added bonus, they seem to genuinely like and respect me.
  • The chance to help people in a new way.
  • To stretch out of my comfort zone a bit.
  • To have all this, and still maintain a connection to my previous work.
This sums it up nicely, but doesn't do it justice.  My day was spent with people who are passionate about helping people and will move heaven and earth to do so, and are willing to challenge the assumed "norms" in order to help.  They are are also a group who, office politics aside, like and respect each other so much they linger at the end of the day, just talking and sharing. 

It's lovely to go to work and not know exactly what my day will entail.  And this is from someone who is usually leery about change.  But its just so lovely to not feel like I am just plodding along on a treadmill.  Even though I am brand new at this, to be asked for my thoughts and ideas, and to have those ideas taken seriously.  And the fact that they took me out to lunch to welcome me is just an added bonus:)  OK, I still didn't do it justice. 

Other bright spots of joy today:
  • Enjoying the best ice cream ever with a beloved student.
  • Having somewhere/someone competent to turn to when faced with a spot of trouble.
  • To savor a good book.
  • To get home earlier than I had anticipated.
  • To snuggle up and relax with my husband.
  • To trying something new (Crenshaw melon) and finding it absolutely succulent. (Almost as good as the ice cream) 
All in all, so much to be thankful for. . .