Sunday, February 21, 2016

Smoothing out the rough edges...

Sitting alone in the silence.  My favorite heating pad on my shoulders (I've been a little tense lately and they are a bit tight). Sipping on some of the best Rooibos tea I have had since leaving Germany (it's Bourbon Vanilla Rooibos and I got it at The Spicery in Kimmswick, if you are local).  I'm simply unwinding.

There are many things on my to do list, in fact it's seems longer than I have the hours to accomplish. This entire month has been absolute insanity! My Gator boy needed emergency surgery. The vet wasn't sure he was going to live, we go back Tuesday, I feel much better about things than I did two weeks ago.  Two weeks ago I was sitting around holding him and sobbing.  Afraid that our time together was coming to an end.  Today walking in the sunshine, with Sir Sniffs-a-lot... well it sure feels like we have a good amount of time left together.

I think that therapy is coming along good, although since we've added in weight bearing exercises, it's been pretty sore.  My mission is still to avoid surgery, praying I will be able to.  Frankly not a fan of anyone cutting me open.  Unfortunately since I have been working so hard on the left leg, the right foot is feeling the need for attention.  Getting old is definitely not for sissy's!

I feel like I have sort of been living at work.  Probably because I sort of have...  Hubs and I driving separate is definitely a double edged sword.  I might not have to go in super early on days I have to work late, but I am finding a whole lot of days its easier to stay later and later. I am not real good at drawing lines. Sometimes I need someone to take out a big crayon and draw them for me.

Tonight marks my third day off.  I feel a bit unaccomplished.  My house is still needing attention, I could vacuum, hang up coats, dust, iron, empty the dish washer, and a few other things.  But... well, I didn't, and if it weren't for knowing that it will be March before I have a day off again... the laundry in the washing machine, well... lets just say I am pretty sure it wouldn't be happening.  Frankly, I'm tired.

God graced us with a beautiful weekend, the kind that are unheard of here in the Midwest in February.  Last week we had snow, this weekend we had a sneak preview of spring.

Very uncharacteristically, I spoiled myself.  I finally had my birthday massage, that was so relaxing - until the next day, note to self... you should never forget that no matter how good you feel you still have fibro.  YIKES!  Had lunch with Hubs and an early afternoon fabulous walk with my girl all before my late afternoon nap, and that was just on Friday!!  It's been a long time since I spent a day like that.

Saturday morning we got up early and took the boys for a walk at the park, after all of Gators trauma we felt he earned a nice stroll in the sunshine before we had a meeting at church. After that the Hubs took me on a mini-adventure.  We went to Historic Washington, Missouri.  He's been dying to take me to a little place called Wimpy's.  Maybe I am just moving out of the phase where I find burgers tasty, but I didn't really like the burger, the fries were awesome though! In all fairness, it could have been the "brain sandwich" on the menu that took my taste for meat away.  Who eats that??  Wimpy's is 81 years old, and it's still in the same place.  From the looks of it, it's probably going to be around another 81, unless a flood carries it away.  Folks were sure packed in there... but seriously... brains?

We then spent the next few hours wandering through little shops, mostly antiques and a few specialty shops. I found a yarn shop, and actually a couple of skeins of yarn that I was seriously coveting (yes, I know thou shalt not covet...) planned to buy them, but after 10 minutes of waiting for the owner to quit talking and wait on me, I left.  Sorry, I don't have time to stand around while you discuss bake sales. Guess she really didn't want to sell any yarn.

We ended yesterday having pie for dinner.  It wasn't the game plan, but 4 different shop owners told us we should have pie at Cowan's.  So... we did.  We weren't expecting such huge slices of pie, so pie and coffee it was. We bought our girl one as a surprise, needless to say it safely fed at 7 or 8 people.

It was an unbelievably early evening after that.  And I slept for 11 hours, I guess I was tired. And it's always easier to sleep after a day of sunshine and warm weather listening to a thunderstorm outside.

Today dawned sunny and warm, I think Hubs could tell by the fact that after a long walk with the boys and soak in a hot tub I wasn't in the mood to do chores.  I simply didn't want to be a grown up. He knows me so well.

So after service, instead of turning right, he went left.  All the way to Historic Kimmswick, I'd never been, and was intrigued. Lunch at the Blue Owl, then a meet up with friend that are part owners in a shop down there led to an afternoon of exploring and laughter.  Just what the doctor ordered.  We browsed through some fantastic little stores.  Found a few odds and ends, bought some tea, wandered through the Christmas Haus (oh MY! haven't enjoyed that so much since Kathe Wohlfahrt in Germany) and finally stopped for a hand made pretzel at the Dough Depot.

Sunshine, laughter and friends.  Does it get any better?

Maybe... except for the fact that Mastodon State Historic Site does not in fact have any mastodon's. But it was a beautiful walk in the sunshine just the same.

Tomorrow will be soon enough, I needed these three days.  I have been neck deep in stress and strain both mental and physical for weeks.  I could feel stress fractures happening in my world. My edges were fraying.

How did you spend your weekend?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

I need a break!

It's been a long day...

My little old guy is in pain.  For some reason one of his joints is very swollen.  I will take him to the vet in the morning, pray that it is minor.

I hate seeing him suffer.  It breaks my heart into a million pieces.  He's so low to the ground that lifting it and hobbling on 3 legs isn't really an option.  I know it's aching him, he's sat in my lap all day, wanting it gently rubbed.  I am concerned that he pulled something when he was running around Friday.  You would have thought he was a puppy, not pushing 15.

He'd met me at the door bouncing and wagging everything he could possibly wag!  He's been super playful all week, I even caught him with a toy (this never happens) twice.

But yesterday morning it was a tad swollen, and by the time we came home from Mardi Gras with the girl and her group of friends, it was huge!  Poor baby.

I was up most of the night, worried about him, stressed, looking for him.

He'd finally gotten comfortable on the floor and was sleeping really sound.  I didn't sleep good, worried that I would find him gone, I do that a lot. The way he was laying, stopped my heart.  In the darkness I couldn't see if he was breathing, and when I called his name he didn't respond.  I laid down on the floor beside him. Panic trying to over take me.  Gently placing my hand on his side, praying.  I felt nothing. I am fairly sure I stopped breathing myself.  Then he growled.  Seems he was in a deep sleep and I'd startled him.

I let him go back to sleep.  I tried to do the same.

I know that he's old.  I know that he is sick.  I am simply not ready to let him go.  He's been my baby since 2004, when we rescued him.  Or he rescued us, I'm not sure which way that went.

He's surly and sweet.  There are times that little grouch totally makes me cranky and others that I can't get enough of his sweet little ways.

Today he's needed his mom.  Today, I've sat with him on the couch, snuggled with him on the floor.  I needed the time with him too.

I just wish he wasn't feeling so low.  Neeko ran into him, knocking him over.  It had to be painful, but he didn't yelp.  He just hopped around with it held up looking at me to fix it.  And I can't. He's walking good. Just slow.  Seems to bother him most when he's trying to get up or jump.

This weekend has been such a mix of emotions and almost no sleep.  It's hard to sort it out.

I haven't managed to finish the laundry, but I am working on it.  I am cooking dinner right now and Gator just hobbled in to see if there were any morsels that he was missing out on.

Tomorrow starts a long stretch of work days.  And more worry about the little old guy.

I have therapy in the morning, and I am afraid to jinx myself, but whatever changed on Wednesday, seems to have been a change for the better.  It is barely hurting at all.  Maybe I dodged that surgery bullet after all.  I am hopeful! The therapist has really been working hard to help me avoid it.  I appreciate it more than you can imagine.

Yesterday was full of fun, Mardi Gras with Hubs, my girl and her guy and two of their friends.  I don't normally like crowds and that really wasn't the exception.  We were lucky to be able to be at a private party. We could be inside enjoying the music and not being trampled. I've been the German Octoberfest and never encountered so many over the top drunk folks. YIKES!  But it was about seven hours of revelry in the middle of stress. I needed it.

Well... please say a prayer for my little old guy... I need to go feed the big old guy!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

digging down...

Anger, frustration, bewilderment, disbelief, amazement, disappointment and discouraged are all words that describe where my head and heart are today.  And yes I am aware that it is only 5 am.  But when you have been up since 2:38 am trying to rationalize through things that steal your sleep, it is safe to say it's already a day.

Sitting here in the quasi-silence of my home, listening to the hum of the heater, the bubbling of the turtle's filter reminding me that it needs cleaned and refilled today, and the soft thuds of the kitty pouncing around wondering if Mom has become nocturnal, I am pondering.

Hubs is back upstairs trying to find a few more hours of precious sleep.  I am pretty sure that he was surprised to find me in the kitchen at 4 am, cleaning up and scrubbing furiously at things while waiting for my coffee to finish brewing. He'd been awakened just a bit before by unfinished business also, he understood. He knows what rattled my sleep, he can commiserate with me.

Unfortunately, he can't walk the path for me.  He can't give me the words or protect me.

Anyone that truly knows me, knows that I am a very open and honest person.  I don't like everyone, and I don't expect everyone to like me.  I do my level best to treat everyone with respect and empathy.

Life is hard, and NO ONE gets out alive.

It was a long week.  A really long week.  I rarely get sick.  This in itself is a sheer miracle. I work with the public.  Not just the every day public either, I often spend time in close proximity to people that have minimum access even the most basic things that will protect them and others, they often make life choices that set them up for an even tougher road.  Add to that the fact that I live every day with an immune system that has been compromised.  Dang bug...

This week, I got sick. I spent most of Monday night into late Wednesday sort of praying for someone to decide they needed to shoot me.  I actually spent over 24 hours in my jammies, in my bed, curled up with my dogs. And the "nurse cat" lying terribly uncomfortably on top of me, trying to provide comfort, oh the irony! After the toilet and I were able to break up our close personal relationship, I spent another two days boycotting food, willing to eventually sip coffee and nibble on some nut crisps.

I don't much remember Tuesday, the fever was making me hurt so badly that I frankly just slept in tossing and turning fits trying to ignore it.  I remember Hubs trying to convince to go to the hospital.  Um, no thank you!  Do you know what kind of things you catch in one of those places?  I remember my burning eyes trying to focus on the sweet text messages from people that knew I was out sick and were worried.  I remember a few short phone calls.  And I remember pain. Fevers do not mix well with Fibro, ever!

Wednesday was a bit better.  The fever had gone, but the tummy and I were still on the outs! I still had the darn sweats and chills to deal with.  It was rather ironic.  Tuesday I was so dang cold, or so I thought.  I was actually burning up with a fever, but couldn't get enough blankets on me to stop shivering.  By Wednesday my temp had actually dropped below where it should be and my skin felt cold and clammy. I was drenched in sweat.

It was horrid.  I don't often admit to illness or pain.  And I even more rarely give in and let anyone see me down with either.   So between the knee (another source of endless frustration) and then the flu bug, lets just say on the health front its been fail, fail, fail.

None of that is what has me awake at ungodly hours. But it does lead up to it.

I had a full schedule at work this week.  Way too many things to ever consider being ill.  Evidently, a virus fails to check your calendar when planning your demise.  Instead of sleeping Wednesday, instead of being healthy enough to attend an event I was looking forward to, I spent the day working on tying up loose ends. I had brought home a ton of work on Monday, planning to spend the evening catching up, instead of coming down.  Thankfully, I had plenty to keep me occupied and I made the most of the miserable hours on Wednesday in the silence of Hubs man-cave, safely within running (or hobbling if you want to be technical) distance of a bathroom.

I hate to ever feel like I let people down.  Even when I hate a task, and sometimes there are many that I simply cannot abide, if I am asked to accomplish something I will do so.  Be it personal or professional, its important to me.  And on top of being sick, I was worried about not accomplishing all of the things on my list.

The reason I am awake with all that crap eating at me is because I have allowed someone else to get into my head and "live rent free". Someone that doesn't truly know me, but feels they do.  I have allowed someone else to pass judgement based on limited information and facts, and I have accepted it.

I don't like conflict.  I've had enough of it in my life and it doesn't do any good.  No one wins.

I don't like bullies.  I know my weaknesses, I know my strengths.  Just because I don't choose to engage in a battle, doesn't mean it's because I am afraid of the outcome.  It's because I have weighed the pros and cons and determined that battle isn't worth using the limited amounts of energy and strength that I have.  It isn't because you are right and I am wrong.  Maybe neither of us is either of those things.  It's because some battles don't need to be fought.

I don't like being judged. I don't at all mind "constructive criticism", although I find the very words to be harsh and "un"-constructive.  I much prefer to have worthwhile conversations, to explore options and reach mutual decisions and goals. No one is better than I am, no one is worse.  Frankly, we are all equal. Your paycheck might be more or less than mine. Your perceived worth might also be greater or less than mine. The reality is that we all put our pants on one leg at a time.  We are all capable in our own right and way of being great!

I don't have or know all of your life experiences, nor do you know mine.  I don't hold that every person must go to college to achieve greatness, some of the greatest contributors to our world never stepped foot into an "institute of higher learning".  Some career paths require a deeper dive into academia, others not so much, they require life skills and alternate lessons . I don't subscribe to the idea that any one event or experience creates who we are. Reality is we are all created from millions of moments, lessons, thoughts, ideas, actions, and reactions.  Each of us is shaped not by what has happened or been experienced so much as by our reactions to those very things. At least that is what I believe.

Each and everyone one of us has a reason behind the parts of ourselves that we choose to allow others to see.  If I don't let you see all of me, chances are I don't trust you.  If I hold back anything, it is because you have said or done something that has made me feel unsafe around you.  Oh, maybe it is my perception of the "situation", that in my mind and heart has become a reality. Or maybe it isn't my perception.  Maybe it is reality.

This week I had a conversation that has caused great turmoil in my heart and mind. I felt judged, I felt demotivated, I felt discarded. I went in search of support and mentoring, I found metaphors and discouragement.  I discovered that the person I was speaking to didn't know me as a person at all.

Just like most people there are many different layers and facets to me.  I am sometimes a highly cut and deeply defined diamond.  Other times I can appear to be that lump of coal buried deep in the metamorphic rocks, being crushed on my journey to the deepest layers of the earth.  Being shaped, molded, subjected to extreme heat and pressure. Those are all bits and pieces of me.  Just like they are bits and pieces of everyone.

I will always share my strengths for the greater good.  I am willing to allow anyone else to steal my flame to make their own
|}brighter when they need it, I only ask when I need the same benefit it is extended.

My personal life and my professional life at times intersect far too much. At others they overlap and both become blurry and distorted. There are times I fight the devil himself to keep the worlds a million miles apart. I try to never have either half of who I am overwhelm and steal from the other half.  Both of them leave me feeling fulfilled and happy. When they balance.

The me that is content in silence.  Blogging, knitting, gardening, quilting, wood working, painting, spinning, soap making, home making, cooking, riding on the motorcycle with hubs, photographing, creating...  She is a different person than the me that shows up to make a difference for others.  It doesn't mean that I am not passionate about both, it means that both are important for very different reasons. Both are parts of a greater whole. Isn't everyone like that?

That conversation is eating at me... I have to sort it out.  There were interesting things posed in it.  There were challenges made... It is robbing me of sleep and not in a good and powerful way.

Yes... 2016 is going to be an interesting year.  It is going to be a year of surprises, changes and decisions...