The Buts

Sometimes it is the very last thing you want to do that is the very thing you need to do. And somehow you manage to get yourself to the point of doing that thing that you really did not want to do and then realize it wasn’t so bad and in fact helped you in some way.

Today for me that one thing that I really did not want to do was get out into the world. I wanted to let my hurting, exhausted body stay home. I wanted to be able to just give in to feeling sick for a day or so. I reasoned that I would then be able to get some more rest and hopefully be even better in a shorter period of time.

My heavy limbs liked the idea of just staying there, on the bed and not moving. But there is always a but in these things. At least in my experience there is. But there is the four-footed one who needs to be fed and walked. But there are papers to return and lectures to cover with such limited time left. There are people who have paid money, a large sum of money, to be able to attend the class and me not showing up wastes their money. And on and on the list goes. I can get exhausted just trying to chase down all those buts.

So I got out of bed, because someone needed to be fed and walked. A shower did not make that much of a difference and I struggled to make myself look somewhat human for class. I managed to get myself to class where it’s impossible to not get some of the positivity from the students, the same with their impatient energy. With these items, plus some coffee and snacks, I managed to finish of the day feeling a little better than when I first woke up.

Don’t misunderstand if lupus was really bad, I mean the flare of all times, there is no way I could drag myself anywhere. But it wasn’t the flare of all times. It was just lupus, again. And if I give into lupus again when it’s not being way out of control then what can I expect when it does get bad? Some of my specialists would say that this is actually a sign that I do need to slow down a bit, that if my body is telling me bed is where it should be then maybe I should listen to it. It might not hurt, except all those buts I found earlier. And because I do not know how else to fight it, I do not know how to take back myself from lupus other than not letting it define who I am and what I do.

Sure I’m even more tired and sore now. But I also got to hear some great ideas, interact with some interesting people and once again be a part of something so much bigger.

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I Double Dog Dare, Well Actually Single Dog Dare You

We’ve had a wee spot of rain.  And by wee spot I mean a massive downpour.  It didn’t last long, but while it was happening it seemed as if all the water in the skies fell right upon our little spot.  The end result is deep lakes where puddles should naturally exist.

I’m talking lakes that are enough to hide small monsters and huge schools of fish.  Lakes that the four-footed one could never possibly swim all the way across.  But of course the size of lakes she must simply jump into because they are simply irresistible.

Okay so the lakes aren’t really that deep, or large.  They just seem that way because e four-footed one is small.  And because I’ve not recovered nearly enough energy for long walks or much of anything.  So we didn’t go for a long trip out, just enough for her to find a place to happily roll around and get drenched.

Which of course meant that she needed to be dried off  and warmed up.  Only it had to be done on her terms, her way, which meant at a good portion of the house also required a wipe down.  And  I knew at that time that I’d be doing it on and on all day because the dog cannot resist a puddle, and she must spread her puddle joy everywhere she can.

And despite lacking energy because of health issues, I don’t mind,  her distractions are my distractions today.  And I dare anyone, no matter how crappy s/he feels, to not find at least a grin or smile watching a dog like mine with a puddle.

Roping Energy

Beloved finished putting the last few items in his bag and looked around to see If he had forgotten anything.  The four-footed one climbed up next to his bag as if to say don’t forget about me.  But she was staying back with me,  he was only going away for a few days for some work.  While this all makes sense to humans, it probably did not make sense to her.

He, who recently had been the one to take her for walks, and play hide the toys and chase the bag, was her current favorite person.  I was a decent human for resting against and snuggling against since the past few days have kept me mostly prone.  Between a respiratory illness and lupus I haven’t foun the energy to do much of anything.  And the four-footed one is a girl of adventure and burst of energy.  Clearly the things I currently am not.

So compromise or common ground or something would have to be found.  One that would not leave me in worse shape but also not leave her bored and full of energy.  So before he left, Beloved found the compromise with some of her rope toys.  Which is why there are ropes near the bed, the coach and the comfy chairs.  Maybe next time I will him sneak her into the bag, she’s small enough!

Blossoming Into What It Will

A colleague was looking for some insight into his short-term future and decided to follow his mother’s advice and see an expert about his question. This is how I came to be in a darkened alley way in the middle of the Chinese section of town on a dismal Thursday. We stood outside a heavy, scuffed door waiting to be let into what had once been a regular apartment and now seemed to have become a place of fortune and fate.

I’ve never seen “stick” reading before and was intrigued. Unfortunately for me, the man doing the reading did not feel it was right for me to be present while my colleague’s reading was taking place. He insisted that this was of a most personal and private nature and despite the curiosity I brought, the only way I could observe the reading was to have one done for myself. Whether he did this for business purposes, or if it is the way the energy works, I can’t say. But I can say I did have a reading done. Out of curiosity.

I have had many readings done over the years, not because I necessarily believe that what I am told will happen, but because I never cease be to amazed and how people can tell the future through various means of divination. I have had my palm read, whereby I was told I would have a long life. I have had my tea leaves read and been told that my future is one of fortune. I have had scattered sticks read with the result being I would have a short and hard life (not my favorite reading). But never have I had one of these readings before.

The main difference with this type of reading is that it isn’t for your whole future; it’s at best going to give you information going to the end of the year. And the information is a bit vague. Basically this is a year of “even” I was told. I guess that means there will be some good balanced out with some bag, but basically just a ho-hum year for me. What more could I ask for when my future was told by a stick that was shaken out of a container?

My colleague never shared with me what his reading (which took longer than mine) was, but he seemed at peace or comfortable with what he was told. And that’s the key, accepting the answer you are provided rather than searching for more or hidden meanings behind the answer as he pointed out while we headed back to the car. The message provided is the answer that is required for you at that time and if you just let it be it will blossom to what is. He also told me that I cannot expect to have champagne in a glass if what I bought was beer.

Good People, Bad Things And Trying To Explain The Unexplainable

Why do bad things happen to good people? It’s an age-old question, but when it becomes important in your life you tend to spend some time thinking upon this. Sure good things happen to good people, and in that line of thinking you could argue that sometimes good things happen to not so good people. You may even allow yourself to consider that good things may happen to bad people now and then. It’s just the nature of things.

The flip to that of course is that bad things must also happen and it stands to reason that if good things happen to those who aren’t so good as well as the bad people then surely sometimes bad things must simply happen to good people too. You can think of it as a type of natural balancing act if that helps.

But what if the reality is that bad things don’t care who they visit as long as they are able to visit someone? What if we say that good things care about people and what they will bring into people’s lives? The opposite of that of course would be that bad things do not care what they wrought into a person’s life. Or maybe we can give bad things even more power and claim that they do care provided that it’s a negative impact into someone’s life.

I’m not suggesting that bad things or good things have this power because they don’t. Unless we give the power to them through our thoughts and beliefs, thus breathing a type of life into an otherwise lifeless concept. Not that there is anything wrong with doing this if that is what helps you make meaning of that which is meaningless and inexplicable.

The thing is we all cope in our own ways. We make meaning and assign ritual to things in a way that works for us with some influence from our communities and greater society. When we are children and something truly wonderful happens to us, we may take note of what we were wearing and assign the concept of luck to the outfit. If something else good happens to us when we are only wearing part of the same outfit we wore when we were “lucky” last time, we can narrow down what specifically is bringing us this fortune and from there we can wear our lucky clothing item whenever we need it.

Until that moment when our lucky item fails us, leaving us confused and adrift in turmoil and churning water. At that point we are confronted with the either the failure of our item, the failure of our belief or something else.

If it’s a case of a failing item, we simply must find another one, going through some form of ritual and logic to reach for the next good thing. And if it is us that have failed with our lack of belief, or perhaps not believing enough in a way that is respectful, we can change there can’t we? We can petition the item, or whoever manages these things, to have things change. We promise we will be good and never take it for granted any more. We won’t joke about our lucky item etc.

But if we have neither of those thoughts, then we must accept that good and bad come into our lives. Fortune and misfortune are part of the human condition and we must find a way to cope with this. It’s similar to the process of finding our lucky item in the start, but on a grander scale with more to risk if carried out incorrectly.
Since time immemorial bad things have happened to good people, horrible things have happened to wonderful people and the reverse is true as well. There does not have to be a reason that we understand. There does not have to be an end game to this…it simply is the way of things.

An Ocean Past

I ran into an old friend today, someone I haven’t seen since a lifetime ago or so it seems. And while it was great to see him, it also made me realize that I had traveled an ocean of time since last seeing him. And in traveling that massive ocean of time, well, things changed. I had changed.

He used to make me laugh when the only choices were to laugh or cry. I thought it was a wonderful trait to have. There was something magical about always being able to make someone laugh, to keep laughter around and not take things too seriously. It was shimmery, golden and simply perfection.

Somewhere between all the laughing, I recall he could sing. Not great, but he could sing and did so sometimes. I think when he wanted something that he thought I was going to say no to. He’d sing, and do these odd pantomimes to try to work it into a yes.

He still has those deep chocolate eyes that once seemed to be so full of laughter all the time. His shoulders haven’t shrunk and he still drives a jeep, just not the same one he had when I knew him an ocean ago.

He didn’t try to make me laugh the entire time we were visiting this time and he didn’t even hum. Because like myself, he too has travels an ocean of time. I got the feeling that while I hit a few storms and a number of squalls in my travels, it wouldn’t compare to what he had seen and been through. He reminded me of someone who is used to looking far onto the horizon for something, but never really finding it.

He told me that death has a way of stealing your laughter. The more you see it, the more you realize that there is a time for laughing and a time for being serious. And there is no way you can laugh with carefree nature when you’ve had to deal with as many deaths, as many examples of the horror humans inflict upon one another as he has.

I offered an ear, and one of my own shoulders (certainly not broad like his) to lean upon because everyone needs a place to lean or rest now and then. Life and the search for justice has a way of taking things from you, like carefree laughter and a sense of lightness in life.

And I realized that who I was across the other side of the ocean is so different in some ways than whom I am today. But somewhere now and then that younger me pops out as if to say there is something back there that’s important too. It isn’t so much the boy with the chocolate, laughing eyes or his broad shoulders. It isn’t his jeep that never seemed to be washed. It was those moments. When you could just throw your head back and laugh because the most serious thing that was going to happen was missing a grade, nothing more.

Undone Ties

Have you ever been utterly undone by the most ordinary of things without a graceful way to recover? Or perhaps not recover at all? Or is that just me?

After yet another stress fracture, my doctor decided we should check my bone density more closely among other things. I was thinking he would just put my foot in a cast and send me on my merry way, but that would be too easy. Too straight forward. So he sent off for a radioactive dye injection and scan test.

Now I am okay with needles. Heck I give myself needles all the time and have blood drawn on a regular basis. So this should be easy as pie right? What should make it even easier is the realization that I’ve had this test done before, many years ago. Nothing to worry about. A small injection, a wait time followed by a scan and you are on your way.

Except for some reason this was anything but simple. I signed papers accepting the risk of the radioactive dye. I was injected and found a place to wait for the required time to come back. Even made it back without issue. Yep so far nothing is undone.

I don’t remember this part of the process from before, but this time I was handed one of those hospital gowns because “no metal” is allowed in the scanner. I was sent off to the world’s smallest change area and given five seconds to get out of the street clothes and into the dreaded gown. Okay it wasn’t five seconds, it seemed that way though. And that my friends was the beginning of my undoing right there, just that thin, flimsy piece of material.

For some reason I struggle to get out of my shirt and bra when any other time there are no issues. My arms get stuck at odd angles or trapped in the sleeves in an awkward way. By the time I get that sorted out there are ties to try to line up and get done up so I’m not showing more than I want because there are sick people present and there is no need to make anyone feel any more sick than they already do.

Ties done up, pants off and then I remember I have a necklace to remove. Which somehow makes those pesky ties untie themselves like magic. And by the time I get them tied back up I’m a sweaty mess of “I don’t want to be here anymore” and planning to just throw in the towel and say forget it. Except there is a technician waiting for me.

Actually by this point the technician is waiting for me right outside that cubical, asking if I require assistance. Which of course I do, but I’m not about to admit I’m having a tie issue so I just muddle through and try to whip back the curtain with a flourish, but instead trip myself up. And you just know those pesky ties won’t stay put until I make it to the scanning machine, not a chance. The pleasant tech simply hands me another gown to use as a robe and we get on with the scanning because by now it’s taken longer than anticipated and I’m pretty sure there is a one way mirror somewhere with half the medical staff having a good chuckle at my struggles.

Scan complete and I get to make my way back to the safety of clothes. Real clothes, my own even, but the damage is done. There is no way to pull out of this with dignity or anything and I can’t even begin to explain how my normal flat hair is now standing out on end like some sort of prickly weed.

So I toss everything on and leave in a hurry only to discover in the elevator that in my haste I failed to actually zip my pants up, one pant leg is rolled up for some reason and to top it all off I put on my shirt backwards. But hey at least someone got a laugh out of it!  Now I will need to find another medical testing place to lose my dignity in.