Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Not in a Box...Not with a Fox

When I was a little girl, my mother loved to serve peas with our dinner. It seemed like there were peas on my plate  on far too many nights.
I was not a fan of the peas. Not. At. All.

Peas were mushy and slimy. Peas made me gag. Literally.
There were evenings when I would try to strike a bargain with my mom…”If you let me not eat my peas…I’ll…wash all the windows for you.”…never worked.

I got the standard speeches about “starving children in Africa” and the “poor children without mommies and daddies who’d love to have my peas”…I offered to let them have the stupid peas on more than one occasion. That usually earned me a week or so of no TV or even no playing outside (which used to actually be a punishment).

There came a time when my mother was over the whole thing. She sat me down and explained to me that she was The Mom. As such she was allowed to dictate what was on my dinner plate. Because I was The Child I had to eat what was on my plate or go hungry and risk losing privileges. Period.
Then she said the magic words that I have held close to my heart ever since: “When you’re The Mom you don’t ever have to serve peas in your house.”
**Hallelujah Chorus**

Yes!! One day I would be the one controlling what was on my dinner plate! AWESOME! Never mind that that day was eons away – it was a hope I could hold on to.
Additionally, Mom conceded that it would be OK if I held my nose when downing the nefarious peas…at least they were going in my tummy.

Fast forward thirty-something years to this evening. I tried a new recipe in my crock pot and made mashed potatoes to go along with that. What to do for a veggie? I looked in my freezer…there, staring back at me was the large bag of “organic peas” that I bought as part of a Cowboy Pie recipe I make frequently (the peas are part of a mish-mash of ingredients – you can hardly taste them! ).
Hmmmm? Peas? Maybe…NAH!!

But…then again. What harm could it do. I’m The Mom now…right? I do NOT have to eat them if I still *hate* them…right?
Here’s the rub… We might want to send someone to check on hell…see if it’s frozen over.

I sorta liked ‘em.
There! I said it! I like peas!  They were rather yummy with a bit of butter and some sea salt.

Please, don’t tell my mom =)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

It's a Trap!

 I've decided I don't want to be a "grown-up" anymore.

There is far too much yucky stuff (a.k.a. responsibilities) that comes with the title. Bills to pay, taxes to file, laundry to do, houses to keep clean, jobs to find...ick.

I'm over it.

I want to go back to the days when my biggest concern was whether or not the cute guy with the locker two rows down from mine knew I was alive.

Do you remember those days?

Homework was pretty much the biggest responsibility we had. Many of us had chores that we *had* to do for Mom & Dad - but, those paled in comparison to homework and our social calendar.

Now my calendar (the non-social one) is filled with reminders to pay this bill and that well as appointment reminders for annual check-ups and vehicle repairs. Man! Being responsible is hard work! Exhausting actually!

I miss the days when "weekend" meant deciding whose house we were going to hang out at - preferrably the one we can all crash at because their mom is cool with it - and which movie to rent. We'd easily divide up the snack responsibilities (chips, soda, pizza, ice cream) - go to the store - buy everything we wanted and hunker down to "hang out" with our besties. Now...weekends are often the time used for things we can't do during the week. Like yard work & household repairs. So boring.

Weekends of "fun" are now planned well in advance and often require saving extra funds and scheduling time off from work. Far too much work for what is supposed to be relaxing. It really sucks.

All those school holidays we had and looked forward to? Gone.

Couple weeks off here and there for Christmas and Easter? Gone.

The occasional babysitting gig to buy something special at the mall? Thing of the past.

Being a Grown-up means 40+ hour work weeks, W-2s, budgets and mortgages.

Yep. I definitely want off this merry-go-round. Same thing, year in and year out. Not much changes and there isn't much to look forward to anymore. All those milestone birthdays have passed - except, perhaps, the year that we qualify for a "senior discount" .

I miss the variety & spice that came with youthgul, ignorant bliss.

Life is filled with routine and requirement now...and I am not a fan.

Kids...enjoy your doesn't last long!

Don't be in such a hurry to "grow up"! It's a TRAP!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Role Reversal

I am not a fan of being on this side of the lab coat. I am uncomfortable without my stethoscope, blood pressure cuff and fancy name tag. This side of the lab coat doesn't feel natural to me.

Being The Nurse feels natural to me. I'm good at that. The Nurse is the one on the outside of the situation (supposedly), the one with some semblance of control over a few variables.

I am great at being The Nurse! Managing the care of others. Education and advocating for my patients. That feels natural, that is what is comfortable for me.

Unfortunately, today I am not The, I am on the other side of the lab coat. Today,  I am The Patient's Family Member.

I am not good at being "The Patient's Family Member". Plain and simple.

Specifically, I am not good at being told what I can and cannot do. I do not enjoy letting someone else have control.

I have a hard time asking for something as simple a blanket or a glass of water when I know where they are and *could*, *technically* just go get it myself. Also, I am not a fan of having to go all the way to the end of hall to use the bathroom (although I do understand the "why" behind that rule).

Having to switch roles in such a drastic way sends me way off kilter. It's disorienting and confusing.  Logic tells me that I can't expect all my Loved One's caregivers to know that I am a nurse, that I KNOW this stuff. Simple because, they don't know me. But...I get irritated when someone new comes in & begins to speak to me like I am a small child with learning disabilities. (Please, gawd, I pray I have NEVER spoken to anyone in that tone while caring for them). I tend to lose grip...and get snarky.

Snarky tends to become something more emotional - and the stress all comes crashing in - and I end up sitting with the previously mentioned blanket covering my face while I cry, softly, trying not to disturb my Loved One. He needs his rest, after all, he is the patient.

You know what? I really, truly do not enjoy being on this side of the lab coat! I will be grateful when everything is back to normal and I can be The Nurse again!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

To Whom It May Concern

Dear Email Spammers,

There are a few things you need to consider when sending your BS emails to me:

1) I am a straight female and, therefore, have no reason to "turn her on tonight"nor do I need your "penis enlargement" products.

2) I am not a "senior" hence I do not require any memberships or social/dating groups which cater to people "of a certain age". Similarly, I am definitely not yet eligible for Medicare or AARP.

3) As previously stated in #2 I am not yet in the category of those who may require a "scooter" or other motorized chair - thanks.

4) As a female I am not seeking a bride of any nationality - not Russian, Chinese or Latin whether they are "hot" or not.

5) I do NOT own a timeshare.

6) Golf is not my thing...never has been.

7) Although, (as previously discussed) I am not a "senior,"  I am also not a teenager and have no need for Proactiv, or any other "acne solutions". It would have been nice if they'd been around when I actually did need them however.

8) I have no need for "V.DiCarlo" or his "Dating Secrets"...thank you very much.

9) Just because it's February does not mean you can try to shame me into purchasing some quasi-romantic gift for my "special someone"...not even by sending me a dozen ads each day. Nope. Not gonna work.

10) If your "miracle" product was truly a miracle...why do I have to read about it in an unsolicited email?

11) Should I decide to seek out cosmetic procedures of any kind, you can rest assured I will not begin my research with your email titled "Anti-aging secret" or "Look Younger NOW"

12) This is not my first rodeo - I know you are not a Prince in need of my assistance to gain access to your fortune. Seriously, go away.

13) I'd love to know who told you I snore? HUH?! Who was it? I'll kill 'em!
p.s. I don't actually open any of the emails that fall into the category of "spam" - I have a system in place to mass delete them as well as a spam folder where they are banished...until the spammers come up with a work-around. Evil little bastards!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Rest is Still Unwritten!

I have those words on my wall . There was a time when I needed to be reminded of the “blankness” of my future – of the clean slate that lay before me.

In vinyl lettering, where I will see it EVERY day.

A failed marriage, a run in with a con-artist and several failed relationships had severely damaged how I saw myself and my life as a whole. It was a dark place to be.
Then, one day, the lyrics for Unwritten (by Natasha Bedingfield) hit me like a ton of bricks! Suddenly, it all made perfect sense.
As I drove down the road that day – listening to the words blaring through the speakers – it hit me! It's true! No one else can live this life for me. I can’t truly live if I am always afraid of the “next bad thing.” I have to live like I’ve never experienced the pain of rejection, the searing jolt of loss or the ache that comes with uncertainty.

Our society teaches us that making mistakes is “bad.” On the contrary! Mistakes teach us life lessons and skills that we need to succeed as we move forward on the path of our lives. If we never stumbled, or landed flat on our faces, we would never gain the wisdom we need to be successful at living.
It is vital that we take the knowledge gained from our mistakes, file it away in our hearts, leave the mistake behind us and move forward. There is no need to look back toward the mistake – we are not, after all, going in that direction.

Before us lies an unblemished path. There are no footprints on it yet, no mistakes, no pain and no expectations.
We have within us the information we have gathered and saved thus far on our journey. Our toolbox has more than enough items to aid us as we continue on our way. What works, what doesn’t, how to navigate specific situations and where to look if we need help. All these things are ours to tap into at any given moment.

Each of us knows where we’ve been and some of us even know where we would like to end up – and maybe not, that's not important now. That’s the beauty of life – we have the combined knowledge of all that have been through to guide us along the way – but…the rest is still unwritten!
No expectations, no judgement, just blank pages.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Morning at Wal-Mart

I have decided that I enjoy shopping at Wal-Mart on Friday mornings. Normally the mere thought of going there raises my blood pressure and triggers the beginnings of a panic attack - but not today. Today was different.

The people I encountered there this morning were far more friendly and personable than the “usual crowd.”
Just walking in from the parking lot I was greeted with several smiles and a “hello” – all from total strangers (yes, for you dirty minded ones, I made sure there wasn’t a “reason” for the sudden friendliness…no open buttons or cleavage showing).

As I made my way up and down the aisles (didn’t have a list today – which is out of character for me – normally I know exactly where to go for what’s on my list – today I wandered) I was met with people asking each other for advice regarding which cold/flu medications work best, how that pain product they were holding worked and was there anyone who could reach that thing on the top shelf. Opinions were being offered and assistance given to those who needed it. Very civilized and friendly banter.
Even the employees this morning were a cut above what I’m used to. As I stood in the fabric aisle - pondering which flannel print to purchase – a saleswoman said “Uh oh! She’s deciding!” I laughed and said “This is what happens when you spend hours on Pinterest finding craft ideas.” The saleswoman stopped what she was doing, came over to where I was standing and talked to me for several minutes about why I like Pinterest. You see, she isn’t a “crafter” or a “sew-er” (her word) so she didn’t see the point. I asked if she cooked…DING! That did it! She said the next time she sees me she may be mad at me for sucking away all her spare time. See? Not the norm for Wal-Mart (or anywhere for that matter these days).

Later, as I stood in line to pay for may mish-mash of items, the little girl in the cart two customers ahead of me - munching on McDonald's fries (lucky kid) waved and said “HI!” I waved and said “HI!” back. Then the gentleman in between us turned (I assume to see who she was waving at) and struck up a chat about the yarn I was buying. Soon, he introduced himself and asked me what I knew about “Irish wool”…not much, I’m afraid…beyond how expensive it is.

Just then another register opened up and I she waved us over…my new acquaintance let me go first since he had already placed his items on the counter.

Feelin' all blue-skis and sunflowery today
I am thoroughly happy with humanity today.
For just a few moments it felt like the “old days” when I was a kid and my mom took us with her to Gemco. Every trip was like the one I had this morning. Friendly people, impromptu chats and courtesy all around!

Why can’t it be like that again…all the time?
I miss the way things used to be.
The proprieters of the local shops knew us by name - remembered to ask about things & people that we held dear. Sometimes, they even offered deals on products because...well, just because.
I miss living in a friendly community like that. What makes the whole thing sad is that I still live in the same neighborhood I grew up in. What has happened to us as a society?
We probably ought to do something about it - soon.