Thursday, January 12, 2017

I Wonder How I Can Get Out of This?

Today started off like any other Thursday.  My son had an NJHS meeting and had to be at school early.  I got up put some sweats and a baseball cap on and proceeded to pack his lunch and get him to school.  I then came home had some coffee and cereal and watched a recording on the DVR that I hadn't gotten to yet.  About 9:30 I decided I had better kick it into high gear and start getting ready for my day because today I had a doctor's appointment to prepare for plus I had to get my daughter to her college class by eleven.

I am not a fan of going to the doctor...any doctor but I especially hate going to the lady doctor.  What makes it even worse is when you have to go to ta new doctor and you aren't sure what to expect in terms of how uncomfortable or comfortable they are going to make you.  It is a lot of information to share with anyone much less someone who have seen a total of two times which includes the visit you are at.  Today I was to go to have my annual exam so preparations were to be made.

I started with coloring my hair.  Why it matters that my grey was showing when the majority of this type of visit doesn't include the doctor looking above my waist, I have no idea.  If I learned anything from my late grandmother, it is that you try to look your best when going to the doctor.  I'm not sure why that is a thing but there you have it.  So I colored my hair but this left me running late and I had to shower quickly because I had to drive my daughter to school.  As anyone knows, one must shave on 'lady doctor day' and ordinarily shaving is not necessarily a dangerous activity that I engage in almost daily in fact since I moved to a warmer climate.  Today however, in my rush to get going I apparently thought shaving meant trying to shred my legs like a head of lettuce and my first thought was "Well, this should make an impression."  Not only am I probably going to let her know of my extreme discomfort at having to be there and how I would really rather have a root canal because at least at the dentist they have a television and they let you have custody of the remote but now I get to explain why my left leg looks like I took a cheese grater to it.  Fun!

I finished my shower and got dressed and took my daughter to school then came home to finish getting ready for my appointment.  I had several thoughts during my prepping....

1.  Whose idea was it that the way to check for this kind of cancer was to use 'the jaws of life and a forearm length cotton swab?  Were there scientists having a conversation that went like "Hey Bob, I think we should use a forearm length cotton swab and a cold metal device because that seems like it would be comfortable for everyone involved."  "Hey you're right Roger!  But you know what would make it even better is if we had a light for our heads.  Like a head-light.  Get it?  A headlight!"  "Genius!"

2.  I wonder if other women pee six times and then have to go again right before the doctor comes in the room?  Does that count as performance anxiety?

3.  I wonder how I can get out of this?  If I sign up for a hysterectomy does that mean I don't have to go to this kind of doctor anymore?  Because that is an elective I could get behind.

I don't know about you but I feel uncomfortable meeting people naked.  Call me a prude but it makes me uncomfortable.  This appointment would be the second time I would have met this woman.  It is an odd way to have a conversation.

So I got all ready for this appointment and drove all the way there and....the door was locked.  I checked my phone, I checked my appointment card because I brought it with me.  No issue there but the door is definitely locked so I knocked.....and I knocked.  Finally someone came to the door and I showed her my appointment care and said I was supposed to have an appointment.  She has me come in and tells me that the doctor is in a meeting and that they need to reschedule.  Apparently they tried to call my cell the day before but they neglected to leave a message and I don't tend to return calls from people I don't recognize the number to.

The good news is that I did get out of it, at least for the day, and now my leg has time to heal a bit.  The bad news is that now I get to go through the process all over again.  I like to think positively though so perhaps she'll have a delivery and I will get out of it again.  One can only hope.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Hurricanes, Whirlwinds, and Tailspins

Hurricanes like tailspins and whirlwinds spin and spin and spin until eventually they just....stop.  As Hurricane Matthew continued its northbound spin leaving destruction and devastation in its wake, I was left to count my blessing and to consider how tailspins and whirlwinds are much like hurricanes of emotional devastation and destruction.  They spin and spin until they stop.

As we were preparing to move almost nine months ago it was a whirlwind of activity.  We had been in our house almost sixteen years.  We knew most in our neighborhood and had many connections in our community.  It took nine months to sell the house but once we did it all happened very fast.  Packing, planning, preparing, and compartmentalizing every detail both physically and emotionally.  An overwhelming whirlwind of activity with not much time to really process.  Until we were finally moved and everything just ...stopped.  Sure we unpacked after living a week in an empty house because we ran into holidays with the moving company but for the most part the spinning just ceased.  Just the five of us in an unfamiliar area with no family, and four busy friends, and none of the comforts of home.  We arrived to an empty house and not a home.

Looking back I think I truly believed it would be this grande adventure.  That it would all be so much fun exploring and learning a new area and all it had to offer and what's more it would be warm.  How much better could it be?  I believed that there was nothing that the five of us couldn't do.  That all we needed was each other. We would grow closer as a family.  I thought all of those things and more.  I thought we would have no trouble finding friends and integrating ourselves because, why wouldn't we?  It's the south.  Southern hospitality rules require people to just bring you into the fold and love you and offer you tea and biscuits or something, don't they?  I thought many things and I thought many things wrong.  We were an island unto ourselves...for weeks that turned to months.  In retrospect you can think of all the ifs and what ifs and buts but time doesn't stop and it doesn't rewind. It doesn't care about your timetable and what and how you think things should be and how things were supposed to go.  The reality is this:  Being the ones that left can be harder than being left behind.

Do not misunderstand me.  I know being left behind.  I know it to the core of my being.  But being the one that left is hard when you realize that perhaps you didn't have as much of an impact as you thought.  Maybe they don't actually miss you now that you are gone when you were sure that the ones you left loved you as you did them.  It is hurtful. It is raw and it is real.  Maybe we had misconceptions about staying in contact with people.  We thought people would call.  We thought we would be overrun with visitors.  We just would be different.

I love my new home nine months in.  I love my messy disorganized house.  I love that it is warm in October and my pool is still open.  I love that I have found some of the kindest people I have ever met.  I love that since coming here I have become braver than I may have otherwise.  Nine months in and I can find my way around without fear of the traffic that I was once overwhelmed by.  There is never a shortage of things to go see and do but I'm just as content to stay at home.  I'm also not afraid to just walk up and talk to random strangers...ok maybe I wasn't all that afraid of that one before. We have had some grande adventures and for the first few weeks or so we were top notch in the family togetherness realm until our island unto ourselves started feeling too small.

The thing is that while it is hard to make friends as an adult it can be equally as hard as a kid.  My son is the funniest, kindest, most entertaining boy I have ever met.  He's also very calm and laid back.  Perhaps being the youngest in the family he learned early to go with the flow.  Maybe it is a trait that he inherited from his father.  My husband is like that.  His very nature is calming.  I wish I could be like that.  He has made some friends at school but he doesn't have his "crew," his "cast of characters" if you will.  We come from a place where we are used to six boys running in and out of the house and that doesn't happen here.  He misses that but acknowledges now that there are things that he does like about being here.

For the others in my family it hasn't been so easy.  It has seemed that we have been in a tailspin at times.  Not something that we haven't encountered before as it seems with life you will have your share of whirlwinds and tailspins.  It also seems that tailspins like to follow whirlwinds.  Reminders of what we had and what we no longer have tend to do that to you.

I'm not sure how men make friends really.  As a woman I made a lot of friends through my kids at school functions.  Not something that I have been able to do here as my kids are a bit old now for class parties and such.  Men are a different species really in my mind.  My husband had the same friends as he had when growing up with a few others mixed in and a few of those were made through the kids.  What I do know is that men, like women, need people.  They need other guys to unwind with.  To have guy talk and play cards and watch sporting events and whatever else it is that they do.  Finding your people when you word ridiculous hours and even when you are not scheduled to keep things running is hard to do.  It takes its toll.  One I hadn't anticipated paying.

I also didn't count on it being hard for my young adult children to find their people.  In a generation full of people with their heads down looking at screens and no idea how to connect on a human level and I didn't think it would be difficult.  Perhaps as a mother I am blinded by my love for my children and thought that people would flock to befriend them.  The lack of interaction with peers has taken its toll.  Another toll I hadn't counted on paying so highly for.

In life it seems when dreams come true they come at a price and you have to decide if it is worth the price.  Whirlwinds seem to always be followed by tailspins.  We had our whirlwind and we have slowly been entering a tailspin.  It starts slow and picks up steam as time progresses.  It doesn't care that you didn't sign up for the hard.  But getting through the hard I believe is what makes us stronger and makes it all worth it.

I know there will be some who will read this and get it.  They've been there.  Maybe they are still there.  There will be some that will read this and think "I knew it.  I told you so!"  Perhaps they don't know what I know.  Perhaps they never will or maybe they just don't know me....or my family.  Not like I do.  My own family may not even know what I know.  Maybe they have forgotten.  Because what I know is that after every storm comes a rainbow.  I have endured many storms and seen the other side knowing that I didn't get there alone.  I can't get there alone.  I'm broken.  But I've tied a knot in my rope and I'm hanging on tight during this particular storm in this paradise.  I haven't lost all hope.  Those who will question have forgotten that God has said, He knows the plans he has for us.  He didn't bring us down here to fail or fall in despair.  I also know that His plans are better than my own.  The plans I had....  well it hasn't gone exactly like I had planned.  But what has?  In the history of all the plans I have ever made well I don't think anything has gone the way I wanted or planned.

In the molding and shaping of the bundle of brokenness that is me, what can I learn if things always go the way I want them to?  How do I learn to trust?  How do I learn that I can't fix it.  I can't fix anything.  I have control issues.  Odd from an only child, I know.  I have trust issues...OK we can establish here and now that I have many issues.  I get it.  I am not unaware.  I'm a work in progress.  I tend to forget that too.  I want to fix every problem that everyone has here and I can't.  It is breaking me.  I pray for God to fix it.  I fall asleep in exhaustion from running "the complaint department" and not having the answers and not being able to fix it.  I feel like a failure because I can't do it.  Who am I?  I'm the mom.  It's my job to fix it.  If it isn't my job then what is?  I must have some purpose. Am I just supposed to sit and watch as everyone falls apart around me?  It occurs to me that that is exactly what I'm supposed to do because it isn't really MY job.  Not really.  It might just be that just as I have to be broken in order to learn to trust God, my family may also need to learn a lesson as well and instead of trying to fix it I should take a step back and watch God work.  Quite the revelation to have on such little sleep today.

I tossed and turned all night last night.  Perhaps knowing that you will be more forgiving of this post with so little humor and probably many errors that I won't find when rereading.  I once had an editor to keep me in check.  I had dream after dream that didn't make sense to me and at the end of it all I'm wrung out and this is what was left.  I have found my eternal summer paradise but seasons of life still occur.  This particular season feels like a tailspin but like hurricanes they eventually subside and cease their spinning.  My God is stronger than this tailspin and He has great plans at the end of this.  I mean GREAT plans so you should all just get ready for it. We are a pretty scrappy bunch and God is on our side so....we might get knocked down but we will always get back up and keep moving forward.  Hurricanes, whirlwinds, or tailspins....we are getting back up and when we do....
Watch out because I still believe there isn't anything the five of us can't do, I just believe we don't and we won't and we can't do it alone.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A New Job, A New Experience, and More Movie References

This week I received a job offer.  It is interesting the way of the world and how things are done now as opposed to how things were done before.  It is also interesting that I am old enough and make it sound as though I have so much experience in how things were done when in all actuality I have very little experience.  I have interviewed and received jobs before but I have never gotten an offer for a job via email.  Is this what it is like when girls get asked out on dates via text?  Do people really not do things in person anymore?

Anyway....I received my job offer via email and had to accept it or deny it (circle yes if you like me and no if you don't) and then receive further instructions via email as to my next steps.  As I type this it makes it sound like it involves much more intrigue than it actually does.  It sounds like a mystery or perhaps that is only how my mind works?  My next step was to approve a background check then go get a drug test.

I have been a mother for close to twenty one years.  While I have had just a few part time jobs in that time frame I mostly worked for and with people I knew and while I did have to have a background check to work at the schools I do not recall having a drug test.  Point being...I was a newby to the drug test and had no idea how it worked.  I did know I was going to have to pee in a cup but I didn't really understand the gravity of the situation.  I have never been exposed to drugs, I hate the taste of alcohol and even my coffee is decaf.  I showed up with my work out clothes on so I could go to the gym right after.  I had an arm band with my ID and gym membership card and a belt that can only hold my phone around my waist plus my shorts didn't have pockets.

I checked in and when I was called she asked me if I had to go.  I said, "Well... I have to go in the way that I'm old and I usually have to go but I don't have to go like gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now."  (I do believe it is possible at this point she tried to restrain herself from rolling her eyes) She says, "Well you have to be able to give me this much." and indicates how much with her fingers.  I say, "How big is the container?"  and again she indicates with her fingers and says, "If you can't give a full sample you have to wait around for forty five minutes then try again."  OK now this is when I started to panic.  How does one know for sure how much they are going to produce at any one time?  I remember giving samples when pregnant.  I remember giving samples when I had bladder infections.  I do not remember ever having a quota to fill regarding giving samples.  I am then asked if I want to try or if I want to drink some more water.  Lets be real here for a minute, ok?  I am forty four years old and I have birthed three children via c-section.  Everything I have has fallen or shifted or been moved around and put back in some way from where it once was.  In addition to that I drink a full gallon of water a day so I usually have to go to the bathroom.  I have to go to the bathroom regularly.  Like to the point I think of The Santa Claus movie with Tim Allen and he says, "I shave in the morning and in the afternoon I look like this!"  I go before I leave the house and by the time I drop my son off at school and get to the gym I have to go again.  My ability to go is not in question here.  My ability to produce a sufficient amount that my husband who is waiting to go to the gym with me and would really rather this not take all day is now in question.  The pressure was real.  I chose to drink a bit more water just to be sure.

I chugged water for maybe ten minutes and people started filing into the facility so I figured I had better get a move on and get this over with.  I told her I was ready and was told to go wait in a room and she would be there in a minute.  Had I known the room would be the temperature of a meat locker I could have saved us the trouble of me downing as much water as I could for ten minutes.  I waited....and waited.  Finally she comes in and walks me into a room, tells me to empty my pockets and lock up all of my belongings and bring her the key.  OK???  Is she afraid I will spend time playing 7 Little Words on my phone while I potty?  I cannot very well do that and hold the cup can I?  But whatever... I did as told and I said, "I'm sorry, I'm new and I don't know how all this works."  She says, "You've never had a drug test?"  I said, "Uh no, I've been a bit busy being a mom."  She says, "Well I guess there are people who have never had one."  She gets my information, I sign my life away and am then released to give my sample.  I am proud to say I was able to give my full sample.  I also wasn't allowed to flush or turn on the water to wash my hands until I gave her the sample.  So gross!

I am naive of the ways of the world I suppose.  When I told my husband about it and asked him where on earth on my person would I have been able to bring the pee of another he said, "You'd be surprised.  People do crazy things."  I imagine he has heard his share of stories. Although now that I think of it.  People do do crazy things.  My daughter while working at a fast food restaurant had a guy take a cup for ketchup and pee in it and bring it to the counter and hand it to her and tell her it was his sample for a drug test.  She was so grossed out I think she is only now getting over it.  She washed her hands and sterilized them nonstop for weeks.

I have been very lucky in this life to have worked when I was able and wanted to with some great people and I have been very lucky and blessed to have been able to stay home and raise my family.  I recognize that not everyone is able to do so when they want to.  This hiring process has been different from anything I have ever experienced.  It has made for some good stories though.  I'm excited and nervous and a little bit scared of this new adventure.  I'm hoping to meet some great new people and make some new friends.  My last job was the best job in the world. I'm hoping this next one will at least be in the ball park.  If not the job itself but in the relationships I will have the ability to build while working with new people.  I'm a person who enjoys being around people.  I also enjoy being of help to people.  I am an acquired taste though.  Not everyone speaks fluent sarcasm and not everyone speaks in movie quotes.  We'll see how it goes.  For now I am waiting for my next email for further instruction...I think.  I does sound mysterious to say it that way...very True Lies.  I wonder what adventure I will have next?