Sunday, February 09, 2014

Good Morning, Sunshine.

So I woke up this morning, and the first tendrils of daylight were creeping across the inky sky. I could've stayed in my oceanfront room and watched the return of the light, but it just isn't the same as being actually on the beach. So I dragged my butt out of my warm bed (it was a rough, restless night) and down to the sand in the 30 degree weather. I bundled and climbed up to perch on the lifeguard tower (technically not allowed. Oopsie). And the sunrise did not disappoint.



I am now back at the local coffee chain (can we get some of these where I work, please?) trying to do a bit more journaling and drinking too much coffee (but it's so GOOD). They even have a gluten-free breakfast sandwich. How cool is that? It's been a good weekend. I did a lot of writing and shot a bunch of pictures and actually did gain some insights this weekend, I think. Yesterday I walked the beach shooting and then wandered down the boardwalk and the little shops by my hotel. I wandered into this shop that looked like the usual jewelry and beachside tchotchkies but also turned out to be full of new age-y things. There I found this ring, as well as a delightful indulgence of my woo-woo side.



The ring is Labradorite, which is supposed to be good for insight and offer protection.The owner also gave me some intuitive advice on a conflict in my life of late. I've been trying to get more in touch with my less concrete, more spiritual side lately. I had a tarot reading a couple of weeks ago, which didn't tell me anything I didn't know but certainly helped catalyze some things. I have been looking into learning to do some energy work (my friend teaches Reiki) and would like to get a meditation practice going for real. I've been reading about being a Highly Sensitive Person and I've picked up a little more Jungian stuff. God and I have always been on good terms, but sometimes I take that for granted. I think I often neglect my more spiritual/mystical side, which I also suspect is a fairly big piece of who I am.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Happy 2014

I truly have no idea why it's been well over a year since I've blogged. So much has happened. Maybe it's the fact that SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED. I think it's felt overwhelming to try to detail what's been going on in my life.

I won't try to give you the full list, because there just isn't enough room on the server. But my dad died in January of last year. I bought a new car just before that. That car was totalled a couple of weeks ago (along with the integrity of my left eighth-or-so rib), and I now have a Subaru, which is what I intended to buy in the first place. I traded the underpowered Honda in for a freaking awesome Harley-Davidson. I dropped that bike, but fortunately she was fixable. I fell tremendously in love, which has turned out to be quite complicated and problematic. I was deeply and terribly hurt by a whole different man, who, well, we're working on repairing that, and making reasonable progress. I have a whole new motorcycle-related family, thanks to the somewhat impulsive purchase of the Harley. My biological family rallied a bit. I've acquired important new friends who feel like family. My Village is going strong. I have a new job...actually, that job turned into a different new job. The new job is not committing fraud like the old job, and this pleases me. Plus I like being a real ACTT doctor, it turns out. The private practice has been...oh, wait, I don't think you knew about the private practice. I joined a private practice as well and that's been in much flux, at my hand. I moved my mom into a different retirement community. I lost sixty pounds (well, 75, but I've gained some of it back over the past couple of months). Olivia is no longer a kitten but a full-grown and hilarious cat. Lucky tends to go by Lou these days (his middle name, of course), and is such a delight. He's by far my best snuggler. Maggie is still the Grande Dame of the house and will be TWELVE next month.

Strangely, as I reflect on this time of love and loss, of tremendous tumult and change and upheaval, it's the past two months that feel like they've been the hardest. I have no explanation for this, except that maybe I forgot how hard things were previously. And, I'm exhausted. But things are leveling out. I'm taking more time to focus on my own needs (which you know I can never identify). I truly feel like I can't see the issue even though it's there in front of me. Which is a weird and unpleasant feeling.

I'm currently writing this from a coffee shop at the beach, by the way. I had lunch with my old officemate earlier this week, who (perhaps inadvertently) suggested I needed to get the hell out of Dodge for a minute. I'd been saying that for months, but something about her suggesting it jarred me loose. So here I am, on my first solo vacation ever. I didn't even bring the dog. I have an oceanfront hotel room for the weekend and my laptop and my journal and my camera, and my phone (to keep me connected to the ones I love). I can't imagine what else I could need. Oh - coffee. Check. I'm hoping to get in some serious reflection and gain a little perspective on my life right now. Here's hoping.

Let's do this.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Ushering in the Christmas season

It was a tough day.

But then, I was trying to put together my Christmas cards online. I was searching for the perfect photo for the last slot on the card and Lucky did THIS.


My good boy...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkeys and Thanks

So it's Thanksgiving. And I know I have a LOT for which to be thankful. Texts and phone calls and Facebook messages have been pouring in all day to remind me of the friends and family far away who I miss desperately. This morning I started my day with the Village, as our coffee shop opened from 7-9 to accommodate us (they didn't expressly limit coffee to us, but we like to think we're the reason they opened today). Between Village Thanksgiving last weekend and coffee today, I can't help but feel especially thankful to be part of such an amazing group of friends that feel like family, particularly this time of year. I spoke to my sisters and was reminded of how wonderfully our relationship has grown this year. I am so thankful that's come along so well, and for continuing to know them better as well as my nieces and nephews. I got a text from my godson, who's all married now and headed into the Navy (I still think of him as a toddler, chasing a rabbit around the pine tree in my front yard). I heard from local friends that I adore. And I spent the meal in the community which has helped take such good care of my parents. And then I came home and hung out with the three best pets on the planet. Lucky and Maggie even snuggled up with my at nap time.

Of course I spent a good deal of quality time with my folks today. It's been a rough week for us; my dad fell, of course, and hasn't been feeling very well. Yesterday we were given the opportunity to move him to Assisted Living at the beginning of next month. It's probably greatly overdue for him, and frankly, I'm trying to get my mom in as well, because I think their quality of life would go up so dramatically. My mom especially is resistant, and I think my dad feels a little defeated. This stymies me a little. I think they're mourning the loss of their independence a bit, but I also think they have this idea that it's a nursing home, and it isn't. AL is just that - assistance. And the cold hard fact is that their limitations already exist. Not fun, no one is denying that. But frankly, if I could pay someone to cook me three meals a day and do my laundry and be on demand to meet all my needs, I might be all over that (this place has a SPA, for Pete's sake). And the particularly nice thing is that this AL is in the same building they already live, so my mom can visit all day if she wants. Plus they'll let Maggie visit. It's going to be expensive, but worth every penny, for my dad's comfort as well as my and my mother's peace of mind. Having said all that, it was a very difficult decision to make.

Today was lovely, though. I brought them coffee and breakfast, came home and put the finishing touches on a pie (I was recently reminded of how my grandmother used to make my mom a lemon meringue pie every Thanksgiving from when she was little because she didn't like pumpkin) and went back to share the meal with them. Dad was feeling pretty good today and we all managed to go down to the dining room to enjoy the festivities. It was really delightful. I stayed and visited a while after and then let them rest (and came home and took my own nap).  I'm about to head back over there to help my dad get tucked in for the night.

Post nap, I also started putting up my Christmas decorations today! My tree - which I bought last night - looks lovely. And I got all nostalgic pulling heirloom decorations out. I also found our stockings - I need to get another one for Olivia this year. And this year I have a much nicer mantle on which to hang them.

It's a nice little life I have.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Twenty

1. I'm grateful for a job that I love. It wears me out and is a lot of work, but it's rewarding and ALWAYS interesting.

2. I'm grateful for the lessons my parents have taught me, and how that's shaped who I am in so many ways.

3. I'm grateful for the sweet puppy sleeping next to me right now. She's been with me through an awful lot.

4. I'm grateful for the two crazy cats who wandered into my life and my house. They keep trying to knock everything off my coffee table, my counters, and my nightstand, they run amok at all hours of the night, and they create general havoc. They're hilarious.

5. I'm grateful for the love and support of good friends.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Nineteen (wait, what?)

How is it already the 19th of November? Wow, this month is flying.

1. I am grateful that my work week is half over. How cool is that?

2. I am grateful for really good, homemade pasta sauce that I had for dinner tonight. I made it yesterday in the Crock Pot and divvied it up tonight into little aliquots in tiny tupperware that I then put into the freezer. It was super easy, and it's super good.

3. So, midway through writing this post, my dad fell and bonked his head. So now I'm grateful for fabulous hospice nurses that will drive 40 minutes each way to reassure me that my neuro exam is right, and he looks neurologically intact.

4. I am grateful that I made the decision two and a half years ago to move my family down here. I'm so grateful to have them close to me at times like this.

5. I am grateful that, through strength, resilience, and the grace of God, I am not the hot mess that I'm entitled to be, but am as high functioning as I am.

And I have to get up every three hours and call my dad to check on him, so I? Am getting my tuchas to bed.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Oops.

So I got a little distracted. My sister and niece and great-nephew were in town and we were trying to pack in the family time as much as we could. But I'm back. And so....

1. I'm obviously grateful for family. We had a wonderful visit and it was great to have them here. We covered a lot of ground in a short period of time.

2. I'm grateful for friends who feel like family. Last night was Village Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of the year. We had so much fun. And have so much to be grateful for, as a group. I'm very blessed to have such a solid group of friends.

3. I'm grateful for fire pits, laundry room raves, and people with whom I can be myself (and more than a little silly).

4. I'm grateful for my gluten free life. I indulged last night - I figured it was the one night of the year I could give in and eat gluten - and boy did I pay for it today.

5. I'm grateful for Sunday night dinners and some quality time with my parents.