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Wednesday, October 29, 2014


It's getting too cold to run outside in the mornings. I'm toying with the idea of a morning gym visit (weights and treadmill) and a short evening run, just to get some outdoor time every day. The air is amazing this time of year, filled with the smell of late autumn flowers and fallen leaves. I need to be in it.

About two months after my hip replacement in February, I found myself feeling hopeful, looking forward to the future, planning things I wished to do. Probably it was because the pain of deteriorating bone was gone and I felt better, even if I was really tired. Being hopeful is a good place to be.

Last week I realized I had lost much of that feeling. I had mentally and emotionally canceled plans for friend visits and online time. My bucket list became nonexistent. The birthday party I had been thinking of throwing for myself next year was no longer a possibility.

Still, I'm giving myself props for going there in the first place. Especially when it comes to the birthday thing. The fact that I even considered it is sort of amazing.

Tabitha is unhappy with me. She asked me what I'll do if I stop dreaming. It's a good question. But I have a lot of books to read and endless music to memorize. And I'm going to admit that I'm going through something very emotionally painful right now. I believe in a month or so it will feel a little better. I think I'll feel hopeful again when that happens. Maybe I'll make a new bucket list.

In the meantime, I think it's okay to pull back. I've been reaching out a little bit, but some of my attempts have been ignored to the point that probably I need to admit that I've gotten the message and just stop. I don't want to. I want to believe that it's always okay for me to contact someone I love, but the realist in me understands that that's not the truth. Sometimes it's not okay.

So I'm finding different venues to channel the things that make me sad. Some of them are less healthy than others. I'm human. Sometimes I do stupid things. Life is not always perfect and I am doing the best I can.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Good Things

1. I haven't talked about this here because I didn't want to talk about it at all. But about a ten days ago, while visiting Utah, my mother fell down a large flight of stairs and ended up breaking several ribs (three are free-floaters), shattering a vertebra in her neck, and getting a concussion which included a small subdural hematoma. She was in critical condition for three days, but was released from the hospital last Friday. If all goes well, she'll get to travel home on Thursday this week. I've not been able to talk with her yet (my free time is nonexistent so I can only call in the early mornings and late at night when she's sleeping), but I'm given frequent updates from my dad.

2. My niece is having a baby girl today.

3. My aunt, who has been waiting nearly five years, received a kidney transplant this morning. She's doing well.

It's beautiful today. Even if it's cold, I think I need to go for a run and enjoy it.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A long time ago there was a David in my life. He was young. He spent time with me and with my family. We loved him. I believe we love him still. But one day things changed, he became unhappy with me, and he stopped being in my life. For awhile I contacted him intermittently. I wasn't sure what had happened, but wanted him to know he was still welcome. Then one day David emailed me. He told me all the reasons he was upset with me-- all the things I had done wrong. The things I was accused of were inaccurate assumptions made unfairly by him. I was understandably distraught.

Tolkien Boy was with me when I was reading the email. I shared parts of it with him. Then I read the email again. And again. Tolkien Boy said, in exasperation, "Why do you keep reading that? It's poisonous and ignorant and wrong!" I remember trying to tell him why. I remember Tolkien Boy turning away from me in impatience. I remember feeling unhappy that two people thought badly of me.

Today though, I know why I kept reading. I knew then, too. I just couldn't articulate it. The ideas were still fairly new to me. They're not anymore. They began long ago with this conversation:

me: Tolkien Boy, what do you do when someone is in your life, but you don't want them anymore? Or maybe you never wanted them, but they're just there. If they cause you distress, or they bother you, what do you do?

TB: Well, that doesn't happen often. I mostly like people

me: But what would you do? How would you ask them to leave?

TB: I wouldn't, probably. I think I would just avoid them whenever possible until they stopped coming around me.

me: Maybe that's what most people do?

TB: Maybe.

me: Tolkien Boy, I need you to promise me something.

TB: What's that?

me: Never do that to me. If the time comes that you don't need me or want me anymore, I need you to tell me. I think I deserve that. I've been in your life for a long time. I won't understand if you start avoiding me. It will hurt a lot and for a very long time-- so much more than if you just say it to me in words. Being ignored and avoided by people I love is something I used to deal with all the time. I don't want to do that again. I need you to tell me.

TB: Well, it's never going to happen.

me: Maybe not, but I still need you to promise me.

TB. It's a needless promise, but if it makes you feel better, should that time ever come, I will tell you.

me: Thank you.

I suppose when the email from David came, there was a part of me that felt used and angry, but there was another part that felt incredibly grateful. He told me. David took time to let me know that he didn't want me anymore. I needed that to happen. It was essential for me and allowed me to grieve, heal, and move forward.

Darrin says most people would probably rather be avoided. I've been encountering a number of situations lately where people have avoided or ignored me. I'm clearly not most people. The sting of those situations cements more soundly inside me that I don't want to be with those people anymore. At all. I would rather spend a day with David, knowing how he feels, than seek out those who don't tell me with words, but imply with their actions. Those actions leave me feeling powerless and confused. I don't feel that way with David. I know exactly where I stand. That's important to me.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers...

This morning a hot air balloon, complete with enthusiastically waving riders, floated over the house across the street. Not something you see every day.

There have been a number of large changes in my life over the past few months. Some of them (being able to run again, for example), have been very good. Some have been less so. I'm beginning to understand more about my role in the lives of others. I'm also understanding that I can be a bit demanding and exhausting. I've been scheduling more of my time offline and avoiding my phone. I think this will become my norm, at least until I can adjust to some of the social changes in my life.

Autumn has seemed to last forever this year-- a good thing in my book. We saw the first leaves changing around Labor Day. Fall color usually lasts about three weeks here. Today I'm still looking out my window at the orange leaves on my crabapple tree and when the sun rises while I'm working, my neighbor's tree, seen from my front window, glows golden. I'm not sure why the leaves have stayed, but what this means is that everywhere I look is beautiful.

Flowers are still blooming. Temperatures dip into the high 30s at night, but soar into the 70s by mid-afternoon. I usually wait until 8:30 a.m. to go running because at that point it's usually close to 40 degrees. Coupled with our intense sunshine, outside feels cool and warm at the same time, and that's a pretty perfect running condition.

I have library books that are overdue. I keep getting hate-emails reminding me that after three weeks they can send me to collections for the value of the books and I'll have to pay $10 to reinstate my account. What they don't realize is that I'm challenged by their threats. I keep reading my overdue books because a) I want to see if I can finish them before the three weeks are up, and b) part of me wants to know if they really will send my account to collections. I have one book left. Wednesday marks the three-week deadline.

I'm wondering, as I write this, when mid-semester hits and if I have to turn in grades soon. I'm not curious enough to check the calendar or my university email.

I've heard nothing about the ongoing investigation of my cousin for about a month. I'm hoping they're finished with it and they don't need me anymore. I'm pretending that's what has happened. It makes me feel better.

The birds have commenced flying into my front room windows. It's an annual fall event. We notice the thumps occurring regularly, usually in late September, and by mid-November I have to clean the down and other bird leavings off my windows. Darrin blames the apples we leave on our tree. He says they ferment, the birds eat them, then fly drunkenly into our window. He could be correct. I don't think about it that much.

I've been treated to gorgeous sunrises nearly every morning for two weeks. Sometimes I stop working and just go outside to watch. On warmer mornings, I watch them as I run. I've heard that intensely colored sunrises are harbingers of oncoming inclement weather. Thus far, that has not been the case. I would be fine with another couple of weeks filled with the golden days I've enjoyed throughout October.

When things happen that upset my world a bit, my impulse is to close my doors, talk less-- or talk more about things I don't care about. I'm wary about sharing anything close to my heart. This happened last summer and has continued into the fall. Part of me wonders if this is just who I am-- another part of me feels that it doesn't really matter. People aren't really clamoring to find out what I'm thinking or feeling. Perhaps, when all is said and done, relationships and human interaction are based solely on time and vicinity. When time becomes precious and distance looms between two people, love really doesn't make that much difference.

I think that next year I will plant flowers, herbs, and tomatoes again. It will be the first time in three years.

Monday, October 13, 2014

"Like" this post...

Facebook makes me tired.

Well, let's be real about this... pretty much everything makes me tired lately.

I've come to understand that when it comes to pop culture, or socialization, or politics, or religion, or trendy food/styles/music, or lifestyles, or wisdom, or friendship, or pretty much anything really-- I am not enough.

I don't feel passionate about most things. It's not that I don't have opinions or ideas, I've just lived long enough to understand that shouting my ideas to anyone within earshot (or who can see my Facebook post or Tweet or Pin) keeps me from hearing what anyone else might be saying.

But maybe that's the point. Maybe those people who say inflammatory things about sexuality and marriage and religion and Twinkies and disposable diapers don't want to hear what anyone else says.

I do, though.

Watching people I know and care about write gloating or caustic things about my beliefs is difficult for me to process. I don't write things about their beliefs. I don't press "like" when someone else does. I suppose if I feel passionate about something, it's that people have the right to believe as they wish without being mocked or bullied in a social forum.

It's an unpopular belief. VERY unpopular. I still feel it passionately.

Seeing posts about extreme political views or reading comments that are hateful or blatantly bigoted-- posts and comments that originate from people I care about deeply-- well, that simply makes me even more confused. I want to support them. They're my friends and sometimes my family. But mostly I don't agree with anyone.

Feeling isolated on Facebook is a very odd concept.

I write posts about funny things that happen to me or something beautiful I've encountered. Sometimes I laugh at myself or wonder what to make for dinner. Occasionally I whine because my life feels a little bit overwhelming or painful.

Why did I join Facebook in the first place?

I thought it might keep me connected with people I care about. I wanted to see pictures of spouses and children and friends and loved ones. Sometimes I play Scrabble there, and other stupid Facebook games. There are times that I read posts that make me laugh. I hoped I would feel closer ties to people I care about.

I don't though. The photos are still fun. I like reconnecting with people from my past (actually-- that was a therapy assignment). But I find myself hiding posts that feel hateful, or that diminish parts of my life that make me who I am, or that just make me wish I'd never read or seen or encountered whatever topic might be screaming at me from my computer. Mostly, at this point, it's very clear that Facebook is a way for people to say, "Look at me! I'm here! and I can scream my opinions so very loudly that I'll never, even for a moment, hear the words you're whispering! They (and you) don't matter! The only thing that matters is that I get to talk about the things that make me angry/passionate/frustrated!"

I'm not a screamer. I would love to have a conversation about the things that are loved by the people I love. But a conversation is not a placard on Facebook. It's intimate and involves sharing, and it is only through that type of interchange that people understand what makes another person beautiful.

I'm too tired to participate in the scathing words. I don't have the stamina to fight over whether or not I believe things that are right or wrong. I despise feeling that I no longer have a right to decide what I feel--that I must jump on one bandwagon or another and original thought is no longer valued.

Perhaps it's time to unplug.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Letting Go

Sometimes it helps to talk about things here. And I've sort of been doing it in conjunction with this topic for about 8 months now-- since I noticed a shift if a few of my closest relationships. People were moving on and I was not.

However, right now I want to just say this: I've been working on letting go for awhile now. It's been difficult, but Therapist helped me figure out what I need to do. He said I could wait until I was ready, and that I could rant all I wanted. He said it was okay to wait to see if the changes I sensed were real or not. He said I would be okay.

The emotional things I've been working on are almost finished. Most of what I've gone through emotionally is deeply personal and not really something I want to talk about in depth. But Therapist is right. I will be okay. I always am.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Things I miss now that all I do is lesson planning and grading (in no particular order):

1. Cooking with AtP and Brozy. And trying crazy foods with them. And laughing just because it's fun to be together.

2. Playing with Boo and her daughter-- and husband when he's around (I believe it's way past time for another REALLY AWFUL movie night).

3. Meeting people I've spoken with online. This happened a lot at Fob and Blue-beta get-togethers. Those particular social events don't happen anymore with regularity, but when I crashed them, I met some pretty amazing people. In fact, it's when I met Edgy and fell in love with his shoes.

4. Shopping at ghetto Walmart. And if you've ever gone with me, you know why.

5. Looooonnnnggg conversations with Josh, when we both have things we're supposed to be doing but we want to talk instead.

6. Tolkien Boy's writing. Sometimes I miss this so much I pretend write things that he might write. They're never any good, so then I have to go back and reread some of the things he's written that he's shared with me.

7. Chatting with friends online. I can't do it anymore. Part of this is due to a PTSD phobia which I hope is temporary, and part of it is because if I chat with anyone, I stop doing the things I'm supposed to do.

8. Friend gatherings at restaurants. Just because they're fun. And sometimes Brozy sneaks in delicious homemade desserts and shares them with the wait staff.

9. Lunch with Edgy. I miss this. A lot.

10. Alone time with all the people mentioned above.

There are also people I've not been able to spend a great deal of time with-- but I want to. I want to be able to miss them, as well.