I haven’t gotten tons of sleep this week. Sunday night there was a terrible thunderstorm and a late night phone call with a friend. Monday night there was the SWAT team flash-bang and overflowing of the supposed-to-be-relaxing night time bath. Tuesday I was probably just stupid and didn’t put down the computer at a reasonable time. Last night I went to a great Opening Night Baseball Show at Eddie’s Attic. It wasn’t a terribly late evening, but it took a bit to wind down. I never turned the heat on yesterday, and it was mid 50’s in the house. Spencer woke me up to let him out around 2AM. I woke up needing to go to the bathroom around 4. Percy sleeps with me on the bed–usually tucked against my right hip. I jostled her so I could climb out of bed, and she didn’t move. I touched her and she was in that tight little cat circle…and very cold to the touch. I’m a nurse, not moving and cold made me think she was dead. Curled up next to me dead and cold. I was distressed and sad, but also trying to figure out the practical issues. I need to pee. I need to go to work in a few hours. Do I have a ziplock bag big enough to put her in? I shifted around in the bed trying to get out around her. She cocked her head and looked at me in an annoyed fashion. The little bitch just didn’t want to be disturbed, and her fur was just cold because the heat wasn’t on. I made assumptions based on the “middle of the night in a week that has had fewer hours asleep than I require.” I’m super glad she is still alive, but I might not give her any tuna for a long while.
Archive for March, 2011
I have been trying to figure out how to post the thoughts swirling around my brain the past few weeks. I have been pondering, re-evaluating, and in a sense prioritizing things in my life. I do not intend this to be at all preachy, shoulds, or even presume on any level that anyone who reads this ought to do the same. It just is an indication of where I am and how I am doing.
A couple of things happened in the past week that made me realize that my life over the past few year was in quite a stall out. I lightly refer to them as “the Houston years,” but it is far deeper than that. I was depressed much more than I have ever been before. I do not blame my marriage or my ex-husband. We loved each other then, and we love each other still. However for me, being married and living in Houston was not a good thing. I cannot say which piece contributed the most, and I feel I will likely never know for sure. However, now that I am able to live more fully than “one day at a time” (or on some days one painful minute at a time), I feel compelled to live more purposefully.
Work is still incredibly difficult for me, but I think I am making some progress. Slow, painful progress, but progress all the same. If this continues, perhaps this will be where I stay for a while. If it does not, then I will consider other options. I have less angst about it in general, and I think I am handling things in a more productive way.
I am content at the moment as far as “relationship status” is concerned. I certainly believe firmly that I am in the category of “trying to figure out what I want so I can figure out how to get there.” I’m really okay with that.
I continue to adore my house. I am further behind in the unpacking and organizing category than I wish I were, but that may well change soon. The parts I have unpacked and made home remain fairly uncluttered, and for me this is a very large accomplishment.
I have become somewhat vigilant (though only with myself) about my impact on the environment. I recycle nearly everything possible. The fact that we have no recycle bins at work pains me. I have begun bringing my cans and bottles home with me instead of tossing them in the trash. I have purchased a recycle bin for the break room, and install it tomorrow. Someone asked me, “Who’s going to empty it?” When I answered, “I am,” they were quite surprised. I have made other small changes, reusable bags for groceries, and not accepting a bag when the purchase is only a few items. My mindfulness of environmental impact has changed my choices about what I want to happen to my body after I die. I assure you that some of you will be a little squigged by my choice, but that is for a later post. I have yet to start composting in the back yard, when I do, I will let you know how it goes.
I have contacted a local organization about doing some volunteer work. I hope to soon be mentoring a child who has a parent in jail. Again, I will let you know how it goes.
I heard some fabulous music last night. Since I do not blog under my real life name, I don’t like to name the artist here. (Real life people have found previous blogs when googling artists’ names.) She played a song that never fails to bring tears to my eyes. She wrote it after a friend’s death, I know many people have played it at their wedding. I intend to have it played at my memorial service. Last night, I realized that it is a powerful song that can apply to almost anyone at any moment. I will leave you with those lyrics.
May I Suggest
May I suggest
May I suggest to you
May I suggest this is the best part of
May I suggest
This time is blessed for you
This time is
blessed and shining almost blinding bright
Just turn your head
begin to see
The thousand reasons that were just beyond your sight
Why I suggest to you
Why I suggest this is the best part of
There is a world
That’s been addressed to you
to you, intended only for your eyes
A secret world
Like a treasure chest
Of private scenes and brilliant dreams that mesmerise
A tiny baby’s hands
The million stars that fill the turning
sky at night
Oh I suggest
Oh I suggest to you
Oh I suggest this is the
best part of your life
There is a hope
That’s been expressed in
The hope of seven generations, maybe more
And this is the
That they invest in you
It’s that you’ll do one better than was done
Inside you know
Inside you understand
Inside you know what’s
yours to finally set right
And I suggest
And I suggest to you
suggest this is the best part of your life
This is a song
the west to you
Comes from the west, comes from the slowly setting
With a request
With a request of you
To see how very short the
endless days will run
And when they’re gone
And when the dark
Oh we’d give anything for one more hour of light
suggest this is the best part of your life
Please call me when you can help me ‘cut and paste’ my resume.
I was talking to a friend the other night and somehow the topic of an annoying little mop-headed pop star came up. (I would link to her BLOG if she would ever fucking start one.) She called him the antichrist. I told her that she could not possibly hate him as much as I do. She seemed doubtful that this was possible. However, I knew I was gonna win no matter what her arguments were. You see, I hate Justin B**ber for every single reason most people hate him. The only thing I could possibly be one-upped on is the fact that I do not have children who play his music at an alarming loud decibel. I do not count that as a valid reason because…if you have allowed a minor child to bring his music into your home–much less play it without headphones–it is your own damned fault. My god, people! It’s called parenting. I am usually loathe to critique the parenting of others (at least out loud or in print), but there have to be some lines drawn. Maintaining a B**ber-less home is one of the essentials. Right up there with not letting your kids jump off the roof of the back porch using an umbrella for “lift,” and not being so ready getting ready for your date to arrive that you fail to notice your children building a fire on the front porch (that then must be stomped out when aforementioned date arrives). Not that my siblings and I have ever met, known, or been somebody who did both of those things–no-sir-ee.
Okay, back to the reason why I win. In addition to all those normal reasons to hate JB, I have a super bonus reason. A couple years ago his website posted a phone number for fans to contact him…except they didn’t. There was that overlooked transposition of numbers that annoys me every day. You see, instead of the actual number, they posted the number of the unit on which I work. At the hospital. Where we are very busy dealing with sick people and their families. So, at least 2 (and sometimes 15-20) times a day, I answer the phone hoping it is the physician I just paged for a patient in trouble, a family member who needs to come sit with their agitated patient, the pharmacy calling about when some essential drug might be delivered. Instead of any of these productive things, I get silence…or giggling…and hang-ups. Only once have I ever had one who said, “Sorry, I got the wrong number.” That part might piss me off the most. If you google the phone number of our unit, the results still include at least a couple of references to JB. Because, even though the official website corrected the error, it was too late. Discussion boards, blogs, fansites, etc. still have the number active.
Yesterday was a particularly frustrating day in terms of “b**ber calls.” One of my staff put on her “mommy voice” and said, “This is a hospital. We are busy taking care of sick people and saving lives. You had better stop calling here!” We all cackled like crazy people–because we love it when one of us gets irritated enough to be almost inappropriate. Then one of the physical therapists “got a wonderful, awful idea.” (bonus point to whomever first identifies the source) He said, “The next one is mine.” It didn’t take long, and he answered the phone. When it was one of JB’s girls, he said, “I am JB’s manager, and I have to ask you to stop calling. He does not like girls any more. He likes boys. You need to stop wasting your time and ours.” Howling like maniacs, passing high fives, trying not to wet our pants…we loved it. And then two calls in a row….the first one, “Can I speak to Justin’s manager?”….the second, “Justin’s gay, Justin’s gay.” accompanied by tears. They were so astonished that we made them speak! It was the high point of the day.
So, there it is. I have to deal with his little fans–rude ones without telephone manners–every single day. Until somebody comes up with a better argument. I’m calling this one a win.
I really, really thought I was going to write an actual post tonight. Then I uploaded and titled and made notes to a set of photos of my house for my family. Since you guys are my internet family, you get to see them as well.
Click on the first photo to embiggen and see the notes.
Real post almost for sure tomorrow.
I think I may have mentione before how much I love my “house with the red door.” I have finally gotten around to hanging some stuff on the walls. I can’t really say that I have a “grown-up” house, but that’s just fine with me. I suppose that is why my niece and nephew were overheard dividing up my stuff “to be prepared” for when I die. Little scoundrels. Today, I managed to address the hallway wall. (If I have finally figured out how to make an active link, that will take you to a flickr photo. If not, you will have to settle for one I upload here…but the one here won’t have all the tricky little notes, so I really hope it works.)
I struggled with the fact that the art didn’t have a cohesive theme, then decided I would just pretend it didn’t matter. With that in mind, I added a couple of items most normal people don’t hang on the wall to make it even more eclectic. I think I like the way it turned out. If you can get to the etsy links, please visit them. The artists are very talented. The one in the middle is called “But She Was Only Dreaming,” and is the work of a blogger who does not have anything currently up in her store, but she totally rocks. I totally welcome any feedback. So, what do you have on your walls? Anything unusual or surprising? Family photos? Please share.
This morning I met my Poppa and sister for breakfast. At some point the topic turned to how to help people who are going through something traumatic. We had mentioned a friend whose husband died after a short illness at a very young age. My sister remembered calling her at the hospital and asking what she needed. The friend stated she wasn’t up to visitors, and left it at that. Since we have had some experience, my sister knew to be more persistent. My ex-husband recently went to visit a friend who was in a hospice facility–knowing it would likely be the last time he saw her. He wanted to know what to say.
Hopefully, none of you will be faced with either of these situations any time soon, but here are some thoughts about what you can do when it really seems there is nothing to be done.
When someone is in hospice, they are way beyond you in where they are in accepting what is going to happen soon. If you are going to visit “one more time,” they know that as well as you do. Nothing you can say will make things better, so there is absolutely no “right” thing to say. Showing up at all takes more courage than many people have. It is okay to reminisce about old times–this lets them know they are important to you and that they will be missed. It is okay to ask them how they are feeling–even though they are dying, there may be things you can do to help…if their pillow looks crooked, offer to turn it over…if they are allowed, give them something to drink…ask if they want to talk or just to be–hold their hand, many people will have been afraid to do this simple act of kindness and humanity. If they are the praying type–offer to pray with them. If they are not, perhaps just wish them a safe journey. You cannot change the facts of the matter. Walking in the room will be the most important thing you do. The rest is just details.
When someone has family in the hospital (either sick or dying), they probably don’t have any idea what they need or want. If you just ask in general, you are likely to get little response. However, there are many things you can do. Imagine you left your house unexpectedly and do not know when you will return. You might need laundry done. You might need a toothbrush or a hairbrush or even deodorant. Change and one dollar bills for the vending machines will be greatly appreciated–or a care package of snacks. Offer to babysit the kids–even if the babysitting means just taking them outside to the hospital grounds to stretch their legs. Pets need feeding, trash needs to be taken out. If there is going to be a funeral, it is quite possible that a suit or dress needs to be dry cleaned. If there are children involved, they may very well not even have a suit that fits them–offer to shop with them. When Mother died, one of her friends gave each of us a one-hundred dollar bill. She didn’t know what we needed, but she knew we needed something. My sister and I both used the money to buy dreses for the funeral. Choose one of these specific things and offer to do them. They are small things, but they each represent something to be checked off a list that is likely very long and overwhelming. It is hard for a person “in crisis” to answer a vague (though very genuine) offer–the more specific you can be–the better.
In short, there isn’t anything in the world that you can do to make things okay again, but there are many things you can do to make the days a bit easier. Anything else that I may have missed? Any other ideas?