Thursday, October 29, 2009

Random Thoughts...back on track

Boy this has been a really random day.  I started off with my yearly appt. with my doctor.  Only it wasn't with my doctor, because my doctor has left the practice where she's been for the past 10 years, which is how long I've been seeing her.  But she doesn't start at her new practice until January...so I had a new doctor at the old practice.  (are you still with me?)

So I head out to drive there and there's been a downpour in Portland this morning and people still haven't re-learned how to drive in the rain here and there are accidents everywhere I turn.  I get to the office right on the dot of my appointment time.  There's only me and one other patient in the waiting room, which could be good, could be bad.  Turns out okay...I'm whisked in for my weigh and measure...don't ask me the number it's embarrassing and makes me really mad that in spite of all the shedding I'm doing emotionally, there is still actual dead weight I'm carrying around.  Huff....

Then I get the blood pressure, history check, medications check, all that Physician's assistant stuff.  And this is a new assistant too who doesn't know all the things that Molly and Bridget (her assistant) have known about me for years.  Then I have to do the uncomfortable thing.  You know, the little drape that goes over the top and the little drape that goes over the bottom.  It doesn't matter how girlie and cute you make the prints...they are still just little pieces of fabric that you are naked under and they can't keep you warm in that stark, sterile little room.   So there I sit on the exam table, literally freezing my ass, trying to read the New Yorker from back in July and not think about how exposed I feel, and the PA pops in to tell me that Dr. Rachel isn't in the office yet.  I'm her first appointment of the day and she was doing rounds at the hospital seeing the new babies and she'll be there as soon as she can.  Huff....

Well, she finally gets there and we have to chat while she waits for her laptop to boot up and my medical records to get loaded and finally we get to the fun stuff.   But it's all good and eventually I get to go have my blood drawn and get my tetanus shot.  Oh yeah, she discovered I haven't had my tetanus shot in 10 years, so surprise!  And I've been fasting for about 14 hours by now and my stomach can be heard a mile away.

So I dash off to get coffee and food on my way back to work. 

Work lately has been just a series of meetings and typing and editing and teaching.  All good stuff, but the days just fly by.  I don't even know where the month has gone!!  Like I said, I've been doing lots of shedding - emotional processes  mostly  - but some physical too.  Like I cleaned out my bathroom/linen closet and found all the half used tiny tubes of toothpaste and 10 year old bath salts and other stuff that I'm just never going to use again.  Hauled that out to the trash.  Got my carpets cleaned.  Now I just have to keep Sol off the rugs.  Yeah...good luck with that.   I got my 100 Acre Wood rug cleaned...and there's a big spot on Tigger.  Just where he barfed on it.  Dude said he was jealous of Tigger. :)

I've booked my trip to Boston for Christmas.  My lovely daughter said I can stay for two weeks...well...almost 2 weeks.  I'm flying in on Dec. 19 and flying home on New Year's Eve.  I'm very excited to see Bridgete again, and Boston.   Also, I get to meet Jenn and see my friend Les.  It's going to be a great trip.  I can feel it.

Gotta go to yoga now.  More later....

Yoga was great.  I love how it's really become a part of my week.  I feel it if I have to miss class for some reason - and I miss it.  And now I'm home on the couch with my wine letting go of the day.  I love where I am.  Love the view out my window.  Love the sounds around me.  Love the direction I'm headed in.  It's all good!!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Freedom of Choice

We like choice.  We like the ability to look at the array of garments on a rack, shoes on a display, toothpaste on a shelf, even auto insurance plans - and saying - "Yes...I choose this."  

Lately, I've been teaching myself about choice.  That may sound pretty silly.  Obviously I haven't lived this long or done what I've done in my life without making choices.  But I have to say I wasn't really taught how to choose.  It's been sort of hit or miss in my life.  Fortunately, I've had more hits than misses.  My guardian angel has definitely earned her wings.  And I think it's time I gave her a rest.

Growing up when I did, where I did with the parents I had, I basically learned two things.  Nice girls always say yes - this gets them loved and appreciated and desired.  And my world as a girl was basically flat - and going to the edge, especially going over the edge, was just not something you did.  

Let me explain here.  When I say that nice girls always say yes, the great unspoken NO was, of course, sex.  But THIS is easily explained.  Nice Girls only go with Nice Boys and Nice Boys would never ask a Nice Girl to cross that line.  So if you found yourself in that predicament, you were not with a Nice Boy and were playing around the edge of Nice Girl land.

First a bit about the edge of the world.  Falling off the edge isn't necessarily a bad thing.  You might fly.  And if you do fall, chances are there are some really great people where you land who will help you pick yourself up and show you around the new place you have landed in.  But this is where learning about Choice becomes really important.  If you land in a place that feels bad to you, it's good to know you have a choice about leaving there and you're not stuck for good. 

Learning to say NO, learning that I have the power, the freedom of CHOICE, that's been a real experience for me.  Some NOs are easier than others.  Some NOs are obvious.  But discovering the power of NO has made me a little crazy.  Sometimes I just say NO automatically...like a two year old that just learned the word.  And how do we teach a two year old to stop saying NO?  We teach them about making choices.  It's a long process to teach someone about choice, especially when we can see so clearly the right choice.  But making that choice for someone else, whether they are 2 or 12 or 22, teaches them nothing.  And so I have been learning about No. 

And a remarkable thing has happened.  Now that I know I can say No - and the world doesn't end and people still love me and I'm still a Nice Girl - it makes YES so much more meaningful.  More pleasurable.  More honest.  More confident.  More My Choice. 

So - as CSN say - teach your children well.  Teach them about Choice.  How to make them and how to use them wisely.  Teach them that if there is a YES, then there is also a NO.  Teach them about that edge - be the tree at the edge that will hold them up and let them fly.  Let them fall too.  Sometimes the best lessons are found in landing. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's My Party

The Gods have smiled on me.  My birthday party was all that, da bomb, buck, absolutely FABULOUS.

To begin with, my darling friend Nancy called as we were setting up.  Considering that she was nursing a broken elbow and looking at surgery the next day, I was honored that she thought to call me at all.  My cupcakes from Lisa Madrid were adorable and yummy.  Contact me if you want her info.  They were proclaimed by my daughter Jennifer to be "the best she has ever had."


(Picture is of a painting by Erika Lee Sears who introduced me to Lisa and yes the cupcakes looked just like that)

Jennifer and her husband were there.  Not a big deal for a daughter, you say?  Well, considering that she is actually my step-daughter and her father and I haven't been together for 5 years, yeah it was.  He was there, too.  My ex.  See?  It is possible to be friends with your ex.

Then people began to flow in too fast for me to catch everyone.  When a woman came in looking vaguely familiar, and then the light dawned that it was my friend Kate Hawkes, who I thought was still in Australia!, and I screamed!  It was so lovely to see her.  More hugging, talking, eating, moving from table to table sipping lovely wines all around.  Work friends. High school friends.  So many people here for me.

And just when I thought I might be able to slow down and sit with some folks....up the sidewalk I see my sister Judie and her husband Jules.  Then behind them I begin to see...my sister Nancy!  My brother Nick.  My brother ROBERT!!!!  Those three live in Grants Pass, 250 miles away and I haven't seen them in a couple of years.  Yes, I screamed and hugged and cried!!
Thank you Polly for the picture!

It was truly a night to remember.  I felt very loved.  And even as people began to leave and the evening ran down, I continued to feel the love and connection to them.  To all of them.  And to all who weren't there.

My therapist once told me that he had never known anyone who made and maintained connections to others like I do.  That night, I saw what he meant.   My life has been touched and shaped by so many wonderful people.  My birthday was a time for me to give back, to say "thank you for being part of me."  Yet again, I am the one who is blessed.  The one who received the gift.  And the one who is humbled by how many lives I touch.

Thank you everyone - near and far - who continue to support me as I grow into the woman I am supposed to be.