Thwarted

I believe the redesign of my site is complete. Or as complete as I am going to make it. I had a dream of the 2019 blog being on different page and starting fresh with this page for the family history posts that we will be doing together in 2022. But all I managed to do was make another page and delete a post (well I can still see the post but I don’t think you can, and it really wasn’t that good of a post anyway, so it will be just fine).

Anyway, thanks for stopping by. Looking forward to spending 2022 with you. If you followed me in 2019, thanks for coming back and I hope you are well. I leave you with a bit of summer until we start for real in 2022!

PS sorry the picture is so flipping large! I will work on that as it frightened even me when I looked at the page!

Afraid

I will admit it, I am afraid of these shoes. They are nice shoes. I like the colors. They fit well. I have only worn them maybe nine times. But they are the shoes I was wearing when I fell. The back heel caught just enough on the carpet to send me tumbling forward. Yeah, I probably blame them for the fall.

I have gone to the closet at least three times, had them in my hands and nope put them back. I should give them to charity. They are good shoes. Not inexpensive shoes but I fear them. I fear falling again. I honestly don’t think I can wear them again.

The doctor told me at least three times (and this was pre-surgery) that I was not a china doll and that the mental was going to be one of the more difficult parts of this whole thing. Now having had physical therapy for the past 5 weeks, not TOTALLY sure I agree with this take on what is most difficult, but I will admit to this being a stumbling point I had not really factor in in the healing process. I’m not normally a fearful person, so this is a challenge for me.

I have always liked this quote:

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” — Rosa Parks

Something to ponder as we all deal with things that make us afraid right now (job security, health, friends, family, money). The unknown can be scary, having a plan helps no matter what the level of the fear. Yeah, maybe the shoes need to go in the next bag of clothes for charity.

Asking the Cards

Keeping with my rule of don’t do a spread if you are off balance, mentally fragile or drunk; my cards have not seen the light of day for some time. Today I threw caution to the wind and did a simple three card spread. I asked the cards, what was one thing I was supposed to learn in these last 45 days since my accident.

Past: Four of pentacles. That perhaps in the past I have been a bit isolated and holding on to things maybe material but also maybe emotional or past issues. Trying to do it all and keep all the balls in the air. That I have been keeping to myself and to quote most toddlers we know “I do it myself”.

Present: Inverted Ten of Wands. Ok, this could mean having too much to bear but it also could represent letting go, shirking some duties or delegating. I can see it both ways to be honest. As I feel like I have worn both those shoes in the last few weeks. Times I have felt like giving up and times I have said, meh we will deal with this tomorrow. Both probably healthy in their own way.

Future: Inverted Ten of Swords. Things are getting better and I am in the progress of pulling myself together and learning from this experience. Maybe learning that I don’t have to do all the things, I can delegate both at work and at home and still things get done. Perhaps not my way but still done. And that is ok.

I tend to lean toward the external/internal read on upright/reverse. Probably because I use the cards to help me think about things differently and that adds a new layer.

It was nice to see the cards again. Nice to explore their meanings and try my hand at interpretation. Nice to have something to mentally say. ah yes there IS a good readson for this. Stay Safe.

Rule of Three

It seems my ability to create and write resembles the method in which most squirrels try and cross the road. In fits and starts. Turning round and heading back only to pivot and return.

I think of and write in my head lovely topics at 2am, only to have them escape except but for the tiny filaments of a memory.  There was the one about how thankful I have been that my mom taught me things I considered boring and not worth my time when I was young. Things like how to use a sewing machine, or make a white sauce from scratch. How to know when the water was the right temperature that it would not kill the yeast but help it grow. How to kneed bread and look in a pantry and figure out a meal with odd stuff left over. Thankfully I listened at the time, I am sure she thought I did not.

There was a start of one about feeling like I was in captivity as it has been 43 days since I have been able to drive myself anywhere. How staying home IS the right thing to do, but knowing I can’t leave is hard. It is a day to celebrate when I manage to make it out to our patio off the dining room.

A few sentences on the healing ability of sunshine and a few more on friendship and being thankful.

Like I said, crazed squirrel trying to cross the street.

My mom taught me to climb. That probably sounds odd, I am not sure that most kids are taught that (ok I taught my kid because I thought it was a thing to do). Maybe they just figure it out. We lived on the side of a hill on eleven acres, most was fairly straight up. From the house there was some pastureland (which housed two cows for a small period of time) and then the tree line began. Once you hit the tree line, it got much steeper. My guess was she knew we were going to explore so she taught some guidelines. First lesson was: if you are lost, just head down, you will eventually hit the road and then the river, once you can see from there, you will know where you are. I kinda like that for life also, you get lost, stop and go back until you find where you need to be.

Her second lesson was the rule of three. When you climb, make sure you have three solid foot/hand holds before you move your fourth. This works for trees or hillsides. Make sure you have some sort of foundation before you move. I have used that a ton since I tore my patellar tendon. I have to think about how to stand, how to sit down, how to get in the car (and out). And it always goes back to that, have something steady to count on (preferably three) before you move.

Who knew the stuff she taught me as a child would be so valuable so many years later and in a different context.

Stay Safe.

 

 

Best You Can

About two months ago we were in the parking lot of a big box store and this very large SUV was either trying to park or trying to get out of a parking spot (to this day I am not sure). My son and I sat and waited while the SUV pulled forward are turned a wheel slightly and then backed up and then repeated the process. “What are they doing?” I asked rhetorically with a sigh.  My son with utter calm said, “Their Best, they are doing their best”.

I cannot tell you how many times that has stuck in my head since that event. And it holds more true today. Because that is what we can do right now. Just our best and our best might look different on Monday than it does on Thursday. That is ok also. Like a friend told me, the measuring stick has changed in these odd days.

This is hard on so many different levels of fear. Fear of health and fear of the health of others. Fear about money, food and jobs. But mostly the fear of the unknown. The how long does this last, what does it look like when it is done? It pushes us way out of our comfort zone. Way out.

My husband has had to do the grocery shopping since I fell and my surgery. I have done it (with him going along but with me making choices and a list) for the last ten years. This is not his comfort zone. And then you add to the fact that whole shelves of items are just gone. The other day there was no pasta sauce to speak of and only 3 packages of gluten free pasta. I told him to skip it, no big deal. But I could see he felt badly because he didn’t bring back what I had on the list. I told him it was like a list for Santa, if they have it great, if not, I have been cooking since I was 8, I can get creative.

He was dreading going out today and told me his goal was to talk to and smile at three people. When he returned, he was understandably overwhelmed but told me he thanked very single worker he saw in the store, smiled and talked to six people and had the check out clerk laughing. He was exhausted but brightened the day of lots of people. He did his best and it changed the tone of the day for quite a few people.

Be kind to yourself. Do you best but know you are going to have days that your best is changing your underwear and brushing your teeth and that is ok. Stay safe.

Join Me

When I fell two weeks ago and needed knee surgery, they told me I would probably be off work for six weeks after surgery and it was doubtful I would drive before then (my right knee).  What in the world would I do to keep busy in that time period? I knew the first two weeks or so would be trying to figure out how to do things (shower, cook, laundry, wash my hair, even go to the bathroom) but then I saw this large calendar page of nothing. It was overwhelming. I love to read, but you can only read so much. There are a zillion things on the internet and TV but again, can only do that for so long. Yeah, not only overwhelming but a tad depressing.

I had a few ideas of making story time videos to assist my staff, but I can’t read books because of copyrights. I had some other ideas of what I could do along those lines. I made lists for my husband to grocery shop so our pantry was stocked and I could make a dish we could eat a few meals from (like chicken pot pie or lasagna). Tried to plan ahead on all fronts for this six week period.

Then I tried to refocus. Be kind to myself and remember that things take time. That I need to ask for help on some things I just cannot do. That I need to allow people to help me because they get pleasure in that also. That my house may get messy, my bathtub needs cleaned and that is ok; they will be there when I am better and I can clean them at that time. That I need to take the time to look at the small things that make me smile and focus on those. That naps are ok because they can recharge you and not everything needs to be on a strict time table.

And then you all decided to join me.

The virus has closed schools and libraries. Canceled sporting events and other gatherings. Postponed weddings and concerts. Caused purchasing panic and misinformation overload.

A friend posted the other day that if you are fortunate enough to be healthy and you find yourself home with the vast expanse of what do I do now, it is a good time to rest and reinvest in yourself. I’d like to add to it. It is also a good time to learn something new, take a walk or plan ahead for when this is over. A good time to reconnect with people who matter, be it electronically or even a note in the mail. It is a good time to reach out to those who need a helping hand (either physically or mentally). A good time to embrace common sense and kindness. Take a news break and listen to a TED talk you know nothing about but want to learn or make a dish that takes a bit because you have the time. But use this period of history to help you reset and maybe a few extra naps thrown in for fun. Know you are not alone, we are all in this together.

I’m Not Patrick Mahomes

I felt I should make that clear from the get-go.

I fell at work on Friday. My heal caught the top of the second to last step as I was stepping down and I fell, books in hands (I’m a librarian, of course I had books in my hands) and landed on my right knee. Heard a pop and rolled over to a sitting position but my leg would not straighten, and holy house cats did it hurt. I yelled up and they called the EMS. Two amazing dudes, that one day I will return their blankets and make them cookies, came in and we discuss that my right knee does not look like my left knee (it was still hidden in jeans).

Dude: You watch football?

Me: Yeah, I like football.

Dude: Who won the Super Bowl?

Me: Patrick Mahomes (now I do know he had help but I was in a ton of pain right then)

Dude: Exactly, you see you and Patrick have something in common right now.

Now had I not been in so much pain, I might have said well it is not our income or our resumes perhaps it is our extremely good looks. But I was not thinking that fast, I just looked at him.

We then discuss how these were my favorite jeans (they were) and that they need to be cut but would make lovely shorts. I clung to hand of Dude2 like a barnacle on the hull of a ship, while Dude1 put my patella back in place. I tried to bend it and oops out again. We then repeated the process and decided I should never, ever, ever bend this knee again in my lifetime.

I declined their nice offer to ER in the ambulance (tempting though) and had my husband take me to the Ortho place near my house. Full immobilization for the weekend (told you I am never bending this thing again), MRI yesterday, results tomorrow but we are already pre-certifying surgery. Which doesn’t surprise me if that is next step as I can finally feel my patella (swelling down a bit) and it is not in its happy home.

I’m sure could come at a worse time; I think. My biggest work event is Saturday. We had a 10 day vacation planned with concert tickets. My MIL is recovering from her sixth round of chemo and my dad has heart surgery tomorrow. A tad overwhelming but manageable. Mr. Rogers told us that didn’t he? “Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.” So I blog my worries and you listen and I already feel better.

I will channel Mr. Rogers and @PatrickMahomes for the next 24 hours until I know for sure (and then maybe find a #15 shirt to wear to PT for the next many months). I have always been a big believer in you go through things for a reason; just not sure what the reason for this one is at the moment. I’m thankful I have a great group of friends and a family to help me in this process. Not to mention I think it is kinda cool that I have something in common with Patrick Mahomes, why it might even be “the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Hoops

Sports didn’t play a big role in my household growing up. The first time I even remember playing any type of organized sport was when I was horrible mismatch of twelve-year-old me and a church softball team. I had to catch, was scared to death of the ball, bat and everything else involved. It was not my calling.

However, I do like viewing sports. Love to watch hockey and football. Enjoy going to a baseball game as long as the weather is nice and there is enough food (I need lots of food for a baseball game). I don’t really understand soccer, cricket or lacrosse but they look interesting.

I live in a state that on the state tax return there is a question that asks if you own a basketball or have a basketball hoop in your driveway. If you answer no, there is a giant “You are a Fake Resident” penalty. Ok, not really but it does seem like that at times. High school basketball is a huge draw and the high school gyms are gigantic in comparison to certain areas of the school. Even 30+ years ago when my hometown high school was built, the gymnasium eclipsed all the rest of the establishment.

There is a comfort that basketball brings to me. That squeak of athletic shoes on the wood floor. The certain pitch of the referee whistle. The drone of the announcers. These are very unique and comforting sounds to me. On those cold, grey February afternoons where chores are done and my eyes are heavy, this is the perfect background for me to take a small nap.

And oddly great background sound to get work done. I am working on a grant application for work. We went out to BW3 to catch a game that we couldn’t get at home. I watched a bit and wrote a bit. Had a beer. Wrote and watched some more. I rode the waves of joy and angst around me without realizing it was taking place. This morning when I dug into it again, I was really surprised how much I had accomplished and how good some of it was. Maybe basketball at a bar is my new happy place for writing.

Out of the Box

We called the cops twice last week to the library. Ok, we called once, and a patron called the other time. End result was the same: Cops at the library. And that makes me feel defeated on so many levels. First off, I am not wading into a fight between teens with a circle of nine others around them. I can’t touch anyone so what am I going to do? Yell “stop fighting!” or “you are making poor choices!”  We all know how well that will work. The cops got there, the fight was over and parents who where there with their kids were upset that we allow this sort of thing to go on. Yeah, discouraging to say the least.

I stopped the daily cards about four weeks ago. I read somewhere that you should read if you were not in the proper place mentally. Seemed like good advice. I had also gotten to the place where I wanted to do a spread, not a complex one but maybe just a past, present, future one. But I was having trouble coming up with a question. They all seemed silly or small or not worthy of the cards. I made the cards a nice box and put them away.

I got the cards out this morning (I close tonight so I go in later) and asked them: How do I deal with this ugly teen vibe after school in the library? I dealt the past, present, future spread above. This helped to show me I need to be better with my phrasing of my question as it looks to be the answer is: be filled with anxiety and don’t sleep.  Darn you Nine of Swords.

Ok, not really. My read on this spread (and I am a newbie so don’t throw rocks). Is that in the past I felt in control in the library with the teens, I felt I was making progress and changing the mindset. (and maybe I was). But now I feel alone, I feel that I have no support in this issue from my supervisor (who has been informed of this) and I am discouraged at the path this has taken. And finally what to do, this is bothering me and will continue to do so. It is probably beyond my pay grade. So maybe it is time to meet with the town chief of police and see if they will have a patrol car drive through our alley from 4-6 randomly during the week or maybe an officer just pop into the desk to say hi to staff. A presence to get this tamped back down.

I did get out of this read that this is not normal; and is something that needs my attention before it gets completely out of hand. That I can’t do it all alone. And that is what I needed from the cards all along, just a shove to say, go do this, trust your gut.

What Have You Done for You Lately?

We do things for others all the time and think nothing about it. I cook, grocery shop, fix things, do laundry, all because I love my family and want them to feel that love and happy. I send cards to friends for special occasions and for no reason at all except to make them smile. I buy the car behind me their coffee on days I am feeling down. The other day, we were out to dinner and this couple near us didn’t get to go out much and were very economically making dinner choices. I did the sneaky thing and bought their dinner (they never knew who did it). I switch shifts or take desk shifts for co-workers when they need it. I do drop box (normally not a manager task). I like to do things for others, it is what makes me Me. I was taught from birth to say thank you, give up your seat and hold the door. To not do these things, well it throws me off.

I had a friend tell me one time my mean was normal people’s nice. I think that is a bit of an exaggeration. I am not alone. I know there are tons of people out there like this. The nurturers of the world. Heck, I have even gotten free coffee one morning from one of you. Which brings me to my title.

When my friends have a birthday, I tend to wish in a card and then on a FB post, if they are FB people…Happy all about you day! Do something special for you!

But what about every day? You need to do something nice for you each and every day. You are just as deserving as the people for which you do those RAOK and changing the tone of their whole day.

I pondered this in the o’dark hundred hours of the morning. What do I do for me? And I am getting much better about it. I have set it as a focus the last six months. I tend to cook myself breakfast every morning before work, sit down at the table, complete with place setting and eat it. Most nights when my husband travels, I also make dinner for myself again sitting at the table and maybe some candles. I buy myself flowers when I see pretty ones. Big splurge this last month was Spotify. I signed up and I love it. I do so much better mentally with music as my background soundtrack and this is perfect. Classical mornings, Robert Palmer drive in to work, all the music from Mr. Mercedes for the drive home, random pod casts for a road trip. Yeah, this was a very cool gift to me. And I am getting better about giving myself time. About saying, know what I’m not doing the weekly cleaning of the kitchen floor this week, and then give myself the 30 minutes and read. I still struggle with giving myself time as a gift but I am trying.

And that is what I want you to do, try. Try putting yourself first a wee bit more often. Try doing something for you each and every day. Even if it is an extra minute in the warm shower or taking the time to rub lotion into your hands (true story, walked around last week for two days with one hand of nails trimmed and the other not because I “didn’t have time”; yeah, feel free to eye roll me, I have). Or splurge bigger, favorite X you always decide is too expensive to get. Buy yourself flowers and celebrate the awesome that is you. But do something every day, just for you! You are worth it.