Sunday, July 30, 2006

Returning friends

My best friend returns home Monday after a month away. I expect her trip to Europe wasn't long enough for her (from the contact we had, it sounds like she's had a fabulous time) but it was plenty long enough for ME.

(We've been best friends for 29 years and I miss her when she's not around. I'm very lucky to have her in my life. And I'm glad she managed to get online in brief moments throughout the trip to touch base. I look forward to the stories and gazillion pics she'll have to share.)

Another friend I've missed will be back in touch this coming week.

Co-workers are returning from various vacations and conferences and I'm hoping things will settle a bit at work.

I'm feeling worn out, between work and some personal stuff, and I'm hoping this will be an easier week all the way around.

*yawn* Nighty-night all! Don't mind the snorin'. Zzzzzzzzzzzz......

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

With thanks to Willis Haviland Carrier

If he were still alive and still capable I'd want to have his baby.

HE is the inventor of air conditioning. Thanks to my two sons and an assist from my ex-husband, I finally have a couple of a/c units (units I'd bought on sale at a ridiculously low price a while ago, something I was kicking myself for doing as they sat there in their boxes for too long, reminding me of the stupidity of purchasing things on the spur of the moment) installed in two key places in my home so I now work and sleep in blissful coolness. What the hell took me so long???!!!

Okay, so I could never before justify the even minimal cost of these units because, living in the northwest, there are often only a couple of weeks a year which are unbearable. But that's been changing the last few years. And this year, after a long cold spring, the blasting heat hit earlier than usual and enough was enough.

So now I spend time smugly gloating to others about my new coolness.

Thank you, Mr. Carrier!

(You just KNOW the units are gonna conk out soon now, right? I think I just jinxed 'em.)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Attitude is everything

After another tough week I'm back to my old motto. It's how I've handled FM and other things in my life, because it really is all about attitude. My life is pretty damn good compared to that of so many others in the world and I'm sorry I lost that perspective for a while.

Nothing much to report..... my best friend and her family continue to have a fabulous time in Europe. Some simple kindness from a couple of friends touched my heart. I've spent a fair amount of time with both my sons this week. Sleep remains elusive but, thankfully, not entirely out of reach, and pain is constant. I'm ignoring those who would choose to pull me down. And I'm heading to Seattle for a day at the zoo with friends, in a heat wave with no a/c in my car, but I know it'll be a good day anyway.

Oh, and I snagged my son's digital camera for the day. *grin*

Some more sobering news....

Three months to the day my grandmother died, my uncle has died. (My mother's mother and her younger brother.) His death was a long and painful one and this is a blessing for him. Even though my uncle and my mother no longer got along, this is still a more difficult loss for her as they were once very close. So she's mourning the loss of who he once was, what they once had and it's a difficult time for her, a difficult year. And I'm trying to be there for her.

The example set for me by my parents and their families keeps me on my toes in always endeavoring to break away from their dysfunction. Times like these foster self-examination and I wonder and doubt how successful I've been.

Oops. Better not go down that road.

I'm glad we all have a happy wedding to look forward to this year, something positive in all our lives. :-)

And, if I'm really lucky, I'll get to see some penguins tomorrow.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Coming up for air

Two nights of reasonable sleep can really clear out the cobwebs. I can actually think clearly today.

The new sleep med was a bust. Made things worse, not better. As a result, the last week especially was horrible. Not surprisingly, the FM pain worsened even more and so it became hard to tell what was keeping me awake at night - the sleep disorder or the pain. I'd fall into exhausted sleep now and then for half an hour only to be awakened by the pain. I'd be crying or moaning and whimpering (and not the fun kind of moaning or whimpering, darn) as I came awake. Fun way to start my days and made me ill-equipped to handle some other curveballs in my life so they sent me reeling.

SO, am trying a new approach, a combination of a few different things so as not to rely on just one. Two nights of decent sleep is two more nights than I've had in a very long time. I know it's ridiculously obvious, but it always amazes me what a difference that can make in one's perspective. And while the pain is still bad, I can at least handle it when I've had some sleep.

All that has meant I've managed to get a lot accomplished the last couple of days, beyond work (which has been bussssssy for weeks and will continue to be). Bills paid, chores getting done, found a dress to wear to my son's wedding which is a miracle in and of itself. (I generally hate clothes shopping for many reasons - okay, unless it's lingerie.) First store, only thing I tried on that seemed right and voila. On sale, too. Waaaaaay more than enough money left over to spend a few dollars and order a couple of books a friend (thanks Denise!) recommended as a gift to myself. As frugal as I am and need to be, it's been a long time since I bought a book for myself so this was a treat. Now I just have to get shoes and clutch purse (I have nothing that matches). Not sure what I'll do about jewelry as some of my favorite pieces have gone missing the last few months but oh well.

I think I'm finally at a place of acceptance re Michael's death. His birthdate was this past week and it was okay, and I thought only of how his sons and his parents might be handling it. I can look at pics, listen to music, read letters, watch some of shared favorite movies without falling apart. And smile at the memories and be grateful.

In the midst of writing this my best friend came on messenger from Europe to say hello. She's having a FABULOUS time. Latest highlight (after Paris, Salzburg, Vienna): turns out she's a natural at kayaking. A relative of hers is an Olympic-caliber kayaker and showed her the ropes so there she was, kayaking on the Danube, making good time. How cool is that?

Anyway, here's hoping I'm on a roll and sleep again tonight. If this keeps up I may even find the energy and focus to get back to the home-movies-transferred-to-dvd project I began months ago and never got back to. Maybe.

Next weekend, I am heading to Seattle for the day to meet some friends who will be in town from Illinois. (She's a long-time friend of Michael's and we're the only ones in each other's lives we can talk to who knew and miss him.) Her family and I are going to go to the zoo! (I love a good zoo and it's been many many years since I've been. I've been fortunate enough to have witnessed or experienced some magical moments with animals over the years, in the wild usually but sometimes at a zoo.)

Well, back to chores and some dawdling in WoW.

P.S. I knew the day would come sooner or later.... my son took his digital camera back (how dare he!) so I'm now camera-less once again. So pics may be few and far between for a while unless I manage to steal it back from him. ;-)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

A good omen?

When we arrived at the river park for the engagement 'party'/get-together, look who was there waiting for us?

All these months I've been going to the blue heron refuge not too far from here to catch sight of them but never got this close.

Later he flew off, flying low over the river, looking lovely.

The party was a success, I think. Relaxing and warm, lots of joking as we all got to know each other, celebrating the uniting of two wonderful people and two families.

It was a peaceful setting on a warm night, a little oasis in the chaos still to come as we prepare for a wedding less than three months away.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Bravery.... a rare commodity out there. (With kindness running a close second.) Wish it wasn't.

And I've realized it's easier to be brave when you're not alone. Difficult to face the physical pain with dignity and grace when there's no one around to witness you're not whimpering in the corner.

For me at least, physical pain sometimes leads to emotional vulnerability. Thanks to some people in my life, feeling a bit like a dog being kicked while she's down.

So, fighting my way back yet again, reminding myself of the plentiful good things in my life once again:

  • Back to warm sunshine after a bit of cool rain to make everything shiny again.
  • Small casual engagement party tonight for my son and his bride-to-be. We're having it outside in a park by a river and it should be lovely. Everything's all set for it. And I'll have a full day tomorrow to recuperate before going back to work.
  • Finding the strength to do the right thing this time. Maybe now I can start forgiving myself. Maybe.
  • My future daughter-in-law found her dress! First shopping outing, first shop, second dress (I think). Called me up on Monday and said I HAD to come and see, so I met her and her mother, sister and friend at the bridal shop for a quick look. (They'd invited me along earlier, but Monday was a busy day, covering for others at work.) It was soooooo nice for them to include me. She, of course, looked beautiful. And very very happy.
  • My best friend and her family will have seen the sites of Paris and should be in Austria now. Miss her LOTS but smile whenever I think of them there.
  • My sons.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Redemption Sucks

Doing the right thing..... sucks.

I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Pursuing that half full cup

Note re the previous meltdown.... any acting out I do doesn't include any mind-altering substances, drugs or otherwise. I never did drugs and rarely drink and if I drink it's not much. Hell, even when I WANT to get drunk I end up reacting so badly due to allergies or FM that I only manage a glass or two before giving up. *laugh*

Alllllllrighty then.

The thwap upside the head I gave myself seemed to have done the trick; I'm doing better.

So I thought I'd share some good things in my life as a reminder to myself that they're there; that they're always there, even on the darkest days.

  • My sons. Procrastinators? Yes. But still really great young men, both with kind hearts and great senses of humor.
  • Music. Yup, got it back in my life. Been listening to it constantly since yesterday evening. So far, to name just a few..... The Prayer Cycle album, Led Zeppelin, Norah Jones, Alicia Keyes, Nirvana, Paul Simon, some zydeco, Tracy Chapman, Eurythmics.
  • Sunny days with a nice breeze.
  • Good day yesterday with a friend checking out another beautiful area she's moving to. Country roads, gorgeous scenery and time with her.
  • My best friend and her family are leaving for a 4-week trip to Europe today. That sounds like it shouldn't be on this list because I am gonna miss her a lot, BUT I'm so dang happy for her and her family. It's taken years of saving, months and months of planning during a VERY stressful time for her. And it's all going to pay off. (She originally comes from Europe and has had opportunity to return now and then over the years, but this is a first time for her husband and their two teenaged kids. It's going to be fabulous and I can't wait to hear all about it.)
  • Friends, new and old, coworkers and otherwise. I'm very blessed.
  • There's a CHANCE that my sleep issues will improve. After half a year of no regular sleep meds for the sleep disorder that is part of FM, I finally gave in and we're trying a new med. I could handle the physical exhaustion but didn't like how emotionally vulnerable that exhaustion made me. So maybe this is a turning point. I'm experiencing some unpleasant side effects but will perservere for a couple of weeks hoping they'll go away and I'll start sleeping better. (Right now a GOOD night's sleep without additional help which I rarely resort to is 4 hours - usually in two separate two-hour stints - of sleep. If I could get to the point of having that on a regular basis, I'll be happy.)
  • My older son's fiance and her mother have invited me to go along with them when they go wedding dress shopping. I was VERY touched that they would include me in something that traditionally is a mother/daughter thing, and I tried to decline believing the gesture was enough, but nope, they seem to really want me. Not having any daughters of my own this may be my only chance and should be a good bonding experience for all.
  • Engagement party coming up this Friday. Casual, small, outside by a river and under trees. Lots to do for it but it should be fun.
  • I've got a nice home in a nice neighborhood and a job I love which allows me to keep that home (keeping it was a real struggle for many years).
  • I've come in to a small inheritance which has been specified to be used against my mortgage which is being renewed later this month. With interest rates going up and my income continuing to go down, this is good.
  • My son and his fiance finally have an official date: September 23rd! Woohoo!
  • The second season of Deadwood on dvd. I'm a sick girl for liking this show so much though the 2nd season isn't living up to the 1st so far.

Long list, huh? I'll keep reminding myself.