Just Getting Ready

Beloved was standing before the mirror, getting ready to head out for a presentation.  I sat back and watched him adjust his shirt, decide his beard was okay and run his fingers through his hair.  I’ve watched him do this a million times if I’ve seen him do it once. And each time he will look at himself from all sides, stick his tongue out and then mutter “it’ll do”.  At which point he flips off the light and leaves the room.

This time, as he was turning this way and that, I asked him if he was aware of what he was doing.  He gave me a shrug of his shoulders and said “you can’t undo years of whatever”.  Because he’s done it for so long, he can “remember” getting ready for all these events, even though he has no recollection of each actual moment.  He is, as we all are, a creature of habit.

Before he headed out of the door, I knew what would happen next.  He’d find the jacket, well actually he’d look in the closet, take a step back and see which jacket he felt like wearing.  He would shrug into it, grab his keys and since I was sitting on the bed, he’d come over and give me a kiss.  He’d glance at his watch, realize the time, and hurry down the hallway to where he left his shoes.  And of course there would be drama over finding the pair of shoes (one always goes missing on him) and before I’d know it, he’d shout out “bye and wait up for me if you can luv” and he’d pull the door shut, locking it.

If I got off the bed and followed him down the hall, he’d fuss that I should be resting.  We’ve done this so many times, the two of us, it’s like an old routine.  But sometimes I surprise him, like tonight.  I sipped his jacket on for him, gave him a kiss and went with him down the hall.  He found both shoes waiting for him, only because while he was grabbing a shower I grabbed his shoes.  And it was I who closed the door, after he left my sight.

Will he remember this event any differently because he had a different send off?  Probably not, but I will.  I will remember the way the way his blue eyes twinkled with surprise at me helping him. The way his eyebrows rose a he found both of his shoes waiting.  And I will remember the playful smile at the corners of his mouth when I told him to hurry home.

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To Chair Or Not To Chair

I never sit on examination beds in the doctor’s office thank you very much. No matter how many times well-meaning nurses suggest I “hop up on the table” I never do. I’m perfectly capable of sitting in a chair if it’s all the same. My doctors all know this; one of them even understands my aversion to being on an examination bed for dealing with lab results, medications and such.

Today I had the pleasure of educating a new nurse about my lack of willingness to pop up on the bed when she asked me to. I explained to her there was no need, but she insisted that is where a patient belongs when she is seeing the doctor. I patiently explained to her that we were reviewing lab results and would be doing so from the chairs, plus this saved her from having to change the stupid paper covering after my visit.

She was a determined young thing. She insisted. She threatened that the doctor wouldn’t see me if I didn’t cooperate. She even said she’d have me removed from the office and from being his patient. Because I wouldn’t sit on the bed. Now I get it would have probably been easier to just hop up for this one time and get on with things. Except the principle of it all.

Finally in a fit of exasperation, I asked her if she was chronically ill. With a mild sneer she said no she wasn’t, or she wouldn’t be working in his office. So I explained that being chronically ill meant way too many opportunities to hop up on the silly little bed thing. That once and awhile a chronically ill patient wants to be seen as a normal human being. Not sickly, or unwell. So when it wasn’t warranted, I simply did not “hop up” and wait for the doc.

It was at this point that my doctor walked in wondering what was taking so long and where the heck my chart was. He knew I was in the room, he thought the nurse had wandered off with my chart. Instead he popped in to hear me explaining that I would sit in the chair because this visit was a “chair” visit. After he greeted me, he assured her it was in fact a chair visit and he gently took the chart out of her hand.

After the appointment the nurse was standing near the reception desk, which is where I needed to go to make a follow-up appointment. She stared at me until I thought she would burn holes in my body. She loudly told another nurse how she had “never been treated so rudely from just a patient”. It was the “just a patient” part that got me. I’m not just a patient. No one is. To consider me as a “thing” that was to be tolerated was too much. Thankfully the other nurse provided the education this time while I booked my appointment with the receptionist who was apologizing all over the place. Of course both the receptionist and the other nurse not only do I sit in chairs, I have a backbone and will speak my mind if I feel it is warranted.

No Lazing Around

Some people have lazy days, typically lazy weekend days.  It’s a way of balancing out  all the hectic rushing around we do during the week I guess.  Slow things down, ignore deadlines and just go with the flow.

We don’t have those in my house.  The four-footed one doesn’t believe in lazy days.  She also doesn’t believe in sleeping in or altering a routine.  She doesn’t understand when I need to rest or the routine gets messed up due to lupus.

Beloved attempted to have a lazy day recently.  Get up when he felt like it, have a leisurely breakfast and just see where things took him.  He told me the night before he was going to sleep in and just take it moment by moment once he woke up.  He was confident in this plan despite me warning him that the four-footed one would be having none of this.

Of course when she woke him up as dawn was breaking he was not thrilled.  The fact she was ready to start her day was lost on him.  Granted I get being a bit grumpy when you get woken up at dawn because a cute little fou-footed companion needs to go outside. And yes it can be a bit ,cugh when that same cute bundle of fur demands her breakfast  and play time right after coming in.  And don’t forget the after play walk.  All before 7 in the morning thank you very much.

I figured the two of them would sort out the  lazy day by early afternoon, both of them napping, except that wasn’t the case at all.  She was determined to make up for missed walks with him, and don’t forget about al the missed play time to.  While he was hoping to put his fee to pay and read, it has her resting on his legs she was determined to get him walking and playing as if his life depended on it.

I, on the other hand, managed a nice lazy day!

Assumptions, Disappointments And Why My Life Isn’t A Novel

Beloved called around 3 this morning asking if I could possibly run an errand for him. Now if you are at all like me, it doesn’t matter who calls you at 3 in the morning, you have to assume the worst about the errand you are being asked to run.

And if you are even more like me, you will roll with that assumption and thus miss the ordinary conversation as you imagine some clandestine meeting in some shady area of town with people who’s names you aren’t even given. Yeah just go with it! 😉

But instead of an errand full of intrigue, mystery and a hint of danger, he was asking me to pick him up at the airport in a couple of hours. Not nearly as much fun as what I had imagined, which was heading into the roughest section of town to exchange an envelope of cash for a small thumb drive with information on it.

Some how a trip to the airport after imaging this type of a meeting with faceless, nameless people, was a letdown. A huge let down to be honest. Given the nature of Beloved’s work it really isn’t that hard to see him in a Dan Brown novel and yet nope…not a chance. Save for the jackets with the patches on the elbows, the university lectures about well religion and ethics. So definitely not really a Dan Brown novel, but then again I was not fully awake when he started with the “I need you to do something for me” conversation. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it, because it’s so much better than a 5 in the morning run to the airport to pick up Beloved from his latest university lecture series. (Hoping for an Indiana adventure is no where near my horizon, and apparently neither can I except any Dan Brown novels in his future.)

Habits, Routine And Lessons Learned

Some people says it takes 21 days to make a habit, others say 90 days are required to form a habit. The four-footed one says it takes as long as it takes, and that may be dependent upon a number of things such as the environment and the feedback she is receiving.

For example, if she receives a nice reward in the form of food each time she does something, and the food continues to be a favorite item to consume, she can learn the habit in less than 21 days. (Yes I know she is a dog, but stick with me.) If she receives praise for what she is doing without any food reward she may never learn the habit because she isn’t getting enough back in return for what she is being asked to do.

The past 2 weeks she has created her own morning habits. After she has gotten out of bed and taken care of the call of nature she seeks out her breakfast. These are all things she has done for a year now. The new habit is that after breakfast is finished, she wants to be picked up and snuggled for an hour or so (depends upon the weather and how much real estate of the bed she managed to acquire at night) while she catches a morning nap.

This habit of hers just started the one day when she approached a chair I was sitting in and put her front paws on my legs. Once I picked her up she settled down into my lap and snuggled in for warmth. (It was a bit chilly in the house.) And she promptly fell asleep for roughly an hour. The next few days were repeats of that first day. After that she’d switch it up with Beloved being the morning snuggler now and then, but by 14 days she had found her new morning habit or ritual. And to be honest, it isn’t one I’m all that inclined to break.

From Drab To Fab, Yes You Can

I once worked in a singularly dull office, from the drab beige colored walls to the different shade of beige on the doors. There was no pop of color other than what one could see outside the window and since over half the building faced a brick warehouse that’s not saying much.

One of the things management decided to do in this drab office was to bring in plants. Greenery would create pops of color here and there and most certainly boost productivity. So, a third-party company that supplies drab offices everywhere with plants was brought in. This third-party company would take care of the plants from watering them to replacing any that may not enjoy the environment if it came to that.

Once a week the plants would get watered by a person wearing beige pants and a green polo shirt. The watering can was green. You knew it was happening because there was a pop of green moving amongst the sea of bland colors in the office. (Most of the staff dressed in muted browns or blacks, some daring to wear a grey only to be reprimanded if it wasn’t in keeping with the company’s image. Yes, the image of drab was clearly their goal.)

At least once a month, two carts would be brought in, one with fresh green office plants to be set out and the other to remove those who had succumbed to being drabbed to death. It wasn’t the fault of the plants, nor was it the fault of the people who took care of the plants. The plants simply adapted too adeptly to their drab surroundings. So they would get replaced and the cycle would just continue.

What made me think about this place (it hasn’t crossed my mind in years) was a conversation I overheard while riding an elevator with two strangers. Clearly these strangers knew each other and didn’t seem to care about what they said in front of me. Both of them were talking about their jobs and how they hated going to them, they hated every minute they were at their jobs. Basically these two people lived for quitting time and any time that wasn’t spent in their working environments. On of the people went so far as to say that her Sundays are ruined just by the mere fact that the next day she must go back to her job.

Sometimes when things get too drab or too whatever for you, you need to find a new location. If you don’t you may find yourself like those poor plants, being replaced once you’ve become all shriveled up and dead. I wanted to tell these strangers that time is precious and spending so much of it hating something that passionately must lead to a drab existence. I wanted to tell them it’s no worth the energy and effort they spend in being unhappy, instead they should channel that energy into something else, something that brings that some pep and a pop of color. Life is far too short to be angry and bitter, besides we all have enough negative things to deal with now and then, why have more of it in your life?

Blanketed

The four-footed one decided today was good for nothing more than resting.  She wasn’t really interested in going for any of her usual walks, playing with her toys or seeking out a new adventure.  It may be because she has found a favorite blanket.

Yesterday I was given a nice, micro fleece blanket as a gift.  I brought my gift home and tossed it on a chair, planning to move it later on.  The four-footed one had other plans.  First she sniffed the new item.  After a few sniffs she planned on testing it.  For softness and comfort.  And somehow that testing plan resulted in a whole day of quality control work on her part.

Yes it’s true dear friends, my four-footed friend, in the name of ensuring I’d have maximum comfort sacrificed a whole day to rigorously testing out my new blanket.  The one I haven’t been able to touch since putting it on the chair.  Which I guess is the sacrifice I made.  Which in light of all she has given up today (walks, playing with her toys, adventures, running around the house and barking at anyone who dares to come near the house) seems like nothing.  Except it’s my blanket and I haven’t even got to use it yet!