Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Temporary

I was feeling super anxious about a thing (because, as y'all know, this is what I do) and working myself into a full-fledged, panic riddled, unable to breathe mess when I suddenly thought:

This is temporary.

It was like flipping a switch.

Since that moment, I have felt something that I can only describe as peace. It's like I have suddenly discovered a giant pool of zen and am just gently back floating in it.

I wish I had figured this out years ago. I mean, I had obviously heard the saying "this too shall pass" but it has never resonated with me like "this is temporary" is.

Because when you start to think about it? Life is temporary. In the grand scheme of things, our time is short. It has a finite stretch. Within that teeny span come and go so many moments. Some will be of great joy. Some will be filled with stress. Some will be so funny that you will laugh until you are crying. Some will be filled with pain. Some will be easy. Some will be incredibly hard.

But they all come ... and then they go.

So if you are sad? Know that it is temporary. It is not forever.

If you are angry? This is temporary. You will move through and past it.

If you are scared? It's just in this moment. Your fear will subside.

If you are anxious? It will go away.

It's temporary.

And it's going to be okay. I promise.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Adulting, Part 8973463746

I'm finally, at forty, starting to get some of this being a grown-up stiff down. For example, I now recognize that Diet Coke is NOT actually the same thing as drinking water. * Also, I totally understand that putting vegetables on pizza does not make it a salad, and that wine is NOT just liquid fruit. I also have gotten better about making a list before I go to the grocery store** and then actually buying the things on the list so that I have things to make meals and not just a random assortment of unrelated foodstuffs and six bottles of wine.

I know! ADULTING!

There are, of course, the things I am still terrible at, like throwing away magazines after I read them. What am I keeping them for? I HAVE NO IDEA. But they're still in a big stack in our book room. I'm still afraid of the dentist and bad about going to the doctor; I'm getting better about this, but I'm not super good at it.

Anyway.

Yesterday was grocery day, so I planned out meals and then we went shopping. I was making pasta for dinner (yay gluten free pasta).

OR SO I THOUGHT.

Because in the afternoon, The Fella said, "Do you want to get Chinese for dinner? I know that's not the plan, but ..."

Let's see ... did I want delicious Chinese food? Do little birdies chirp in trees? Damn straight I wanted Chinese food!

Oh, but the pasta. It was kind of a complicated thing to make on a weeknight. Humph, what to do.

And that's when the adult-y part of my brain kicked in. "You could make it today," it whispered. "You could make it today and then tomorrow it will be all ready! You'll just have to heat it."

Okay, so here's the deal: I KNOW that this is a thing people do, this cooking things in advance. I believe there are entire television shows devoted to the concept. It's just not a thing I do, because I am organized, but I'm not THAT organized. That's, like, Martha Stewart organized, and I'm only at Yellie-level.

But I did it. I made today's dinner yesterday. It's kind of exciting, like the dinner fairy came, only I'M the dinner fairy. IT'S ME! WOOHOO!

Now if only I could take care of that pile of magazines ...


*What? Weight Watchers used to count it as being the same thing.)

**Well, USUALLY

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday Randoms

I
"What's the word for things that happen weekly?"

"Um. Weekly."

"You're the best!"

II

"Whatcha doing?"

"Being snarky on the Internet. Why?"

"Never mind. I can't interrupt your life's work."

III

"I really think that the most important thing here is that we recognize that we are this cat's minions and that we in no way own the house or anything in it."

(Cat meows)

"See? Her majesty agrees."

IV

"Oh, I wanted to tell you..."

"What?"

"..."

"Yes?"

"I wanted to tell you some words but I can't remember what any of them were? So I'm going to go now."

V

"This shoe department is a mess."

"Shoepocalypse!"

"Shoemageddon!"

"Shoenami!"

"Shoenado!"

"...Odyssey of the Mind nerds strike again."

"Pretty much."

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Insomnia Thoughts

I keep hearing that Finding Dory is good. When it's on Netflix or something I will have to see it. If The Fella will watch it again. He saw it in the theater. Remember when I could go to movie theaters? That was ... well, it was bad. Why are they always COLD? Why does someone too tall always sit in front of me? Ugh. But Finding Dory is supposed to be cute, and there's an octopus, and I love those. So yeah. My mom didn't like Finding Nemo, but she doesn't like animated movies and, as she pointed out, "Fish don't talk." Unless maybe they DO and we just don't understand them? But no, they probably don't. Hey, you know what? The fish READ in that movie too. I'll accept a talking fish but a READING fish? That makes NO sense. How would a fish learn to read? And these were ocean fish, not aquarium fish. Aquarium fish reading would make at least a LITTLE sense because they might come into contact with words but OCEAN fish? When would they have books to work from? They would NOT, that's when. Oh, maybe litter. Maybe they are becoming literate by reading trash? God, that's depressing. Not fish learning to read -- everyone should love reading! -- but learning from the trash. That's sad. Although -- what would a fish WANT to read? And how would they turn the pages if they had books? Unless they recruited like, an octopus or a crab or something as their reader-helper buddy? Tag team reading! Go, you aquatic critters, go!

Good grief, I am tired.

Monday, August 15, 2016

When You're Born Broken

...You don't understand what it's like to be healthy.

... You are mystified when people say that they have a head cold. You have never had a head cold. You have had the sniffles, and then pneumonia, but never just a head cold. Ever.

... You hate the doctor. Not because they don't help, but because you're tired of it. The routine. The treatments. The steroids. 

... You are tired of being a burden to your loved ones. You know they worry about you. You know that when they hear you sneeze they brace themselves for the worst. It makes you feel terrible.

... You develop an allergy to everything. This antibiotic. That antibiotic. That other antibiotic. Your doctors get excited when something new hits the market, and maybe you'll only have to take a ten day cycle instead of a fifteen day cycle. You can hope. Unless you develop an allergy to that, and then it's back to the drawing board, AGAIN.

... People ask you about the status of your meds. Are you low? Do you need a new script? When was the last time you talked to your PCP?

... People don't want you to walk, carry things, try hard. Because they are afraid you will die.

... People will ask, "Do you have your meds with you?" Because they are afraid you will die.

... When someone with your condition dies, you will know ASAP. People will remind you, as though you don't remember every day.

... Some people with your condition will challenge you, as though your issues and theirs are exactly the same even though they are not. Refusal to rise to the bait will be viewed as concession. It isn't.

... You will not be afraid of the life you have, because it is the only one you remember. Other people will not understand this ... Mostly people who have bodies that are not broken. You do not have to explain.

... You may do things that aggravate your condition, because your body has never ever worked properly, so what difference does it make? (You eventually decide that this is very stupid.)

... You give up on the miracle you hoped for when you were younger. This is what you get. There is nothing else.

... When you have an episode, you sometimes wonder if this is it.

... You are sometimes so tired that you would be okay if this was it.

... You have experience with people staying by your side for days, watching you. Waiting for you to get worse or better. Willing you to live. So far, they have succeeded.

... You believe in a higher power because you are still here. It's not a complicated belief.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday Randoms ... the Writer Problems Edition

I

"That last thing that you just wrote? I love that!"

"Um. I wrote that months ago..."

"What?"

"... and it's been live on the site this whole time."

"Welp. Um... nice job?"

II

"Oh I love this sentence! Good job."

"You wrote that."

"I did??? OH I DID! What do I need you for then?"

III

"Those two words mean the same thing. So, when you create two headings for them, you basically have two columns that mean the same thing. We should get rid of one of them."

"But there are two."

"But there should only be ONE."

"... but there are two."

IV

"I kind of want this to say all of these other things, like about teamwork and beauty and the nature of work."

"Did you read the whole thing?"

"No, I just read the first sentence. Why?"

"Because the rest of it is about teamwork and beauty and the nature of work?"

"Show-off."

V

"Could you rewrite this so it says this same thing but uses completely different words? That would be better."

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

You Know What You Know

I have been making oatmeal for The Fella's breakfast for a while. It is not a complex task: two cups of boiling water plus one cup of rolled oats, cook for fourteen minutes, and voila, oatmeal.

Well, maybe it is a little complex. It took me a while to land on the fourteen minute cook time. You see, the package says to cook them for ten  minutes. You know what you get when you cook oatmeal for ten minutes? No? Me either, but it's not really oatmeal. It's ... a very wet substance that looks in no way like something you should voluntarily ingest.

So I experimented. And after some trial and error, I discovered that fourteen minutes with the oven burner set to four made a perfect bowl of oatmeal. Yay for me!

My mornings were like clockwork: put the water on, empty the dishwasher, pour the oatmeal into the now boiling water, stir, eat my own breakfast, and by the time I was done with my meal, the oatmeal would be done. Brilliant. I love a routine.

The world at large, it seems, likes to screw with my routines. Because The Fella has been instructed to eat exactly half of that amount of oatmeal daily now.

No big, right?

I mean, it shouldn't be a big deal. Half is half. One cup of water plus half a cup of oatmeal, cook for seven minutes, done.

I knew it.

But I didn't believe it.

What if seven minutes ended up being too long? No one wants overcooked oatmeal. I stared at the boiling water and then, poured the oatmeal in and set the kitchen timer for five minutes. Five was probably right, I reasoned. I'd come back and check.

You need seven minutes, my gut said.

But what if I DON'T, my brain argued.

You probably know how this ends. When the timer went off after five minutes, I checked the oatmeal.

It needed ...

... two more minutes.

I KNEW IT. And I knew I knew it, but I didn't trust what I knew. I think a lot of us do this -- we don't believe in our own intelligence or experience or power. We doubt ourselves, and because of this, we make more work for ourselves. We make other people question us when we question ourselves. We are afraid to step up and show what we know. We don't act confidently.

It needs to stop. We are all smart. We have all had experiences that we have learned from. We all deserve to stand tall and proud and lead the way when we know what to do. No one should question you when you say you know how to do this, you know how this works.

Especially you.

And especially me.