Friday, August 31, 2012

My dear sweet precious children

My dear sweet precious children.  Before you were born I had such dreams, such fantasies of what our life would be like.  Reading and snuggling, long walks while holding hands.  Hugs and kisses and joy and laughter.  If only I had known how limited my imagination was!  You, my lovelies, take me to such heights.

This morning for instance.  I came home after working all night with one thought on my mind.  Coffee.  But you, oh you precious souls, you knew I needed more.  Craved more.  Demanded more.

What I needed was an obstacle course. And you, sweet things,  gave it to me. The coffee pot tucked away -- so far out of reach behind dried rice, soy sauce, peanut butter, crusty tortillas and that unidentifiable sticky substance. How did you know that what I wanted most in the world was to come home to a filthy kitchen?  I do believe every dish had been pulled from the shelves.  The aftermath a congealed crusty sticky mess.  There's nothing like several loads of dishes to get the blood flowing after a long night's work!

And then the living room.  The pillows and blankets tossed carelessly on the floor.  Even more dishes (who knew we had so many) piled on the table.  Fur and feathers swirling about. My favorite sweater no longer in the drier but on the floor and stomped on to boot.

No.  I didn't really want to sit down and relax.  I had no interest in putting my feet up.  Perhaps reading or knitting. No, What I really wanted, secretly, deep down was to clean the living room.  I mean what  better follow-up to the kitchen?  Oh how you spoil me!   I feel all warm inside and something is bubbling up from within.  This *must* be love.

And when you wake, hours from now, after sleeping the whole night through.  When you wake and complain of fatigue and tiredness oh how I will sympathize.  After all I know what it feels like to be tired.

And when you list your daily demands, telling me the places I need to take you and the things I need to buy for you I'm sure I'll hup right to it.   After all we need more clothing to hide the floor and more makeup to disguise the bathroom counters.  And who is more deserving than you?

So thank you, dear sweet children, for all these gifts today.  My only hope is that your children are as generous as you.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Que Sera Sera

The weather has cooled, finally, and I've had some days off (three in a row!) Thus I've gotten back out to the garden.  Our yard is one of those areas that has been horrifically neglected this summer.  I've not had the time and Mr. Peculiar would really rather do anything but work in the yard.  Me?  I like it.  I like the bending and digging and pulling and trimming.  I like being outside.  I like chatting with neighbors as they walk by.  I like the good sore that comes with hard work. And, of course,  I like the satisfaction of a job well done.

Though it would be easy (minus the expense) to have a gardener,  I would not enjoy it.  What's there to feel good about if someone else has done all the work?

I managed today despite having vertigo and balance issues on and off.  The beauty of being home is that I can accomplish things despite my bothersome ear.  Then, if need be, I can lie down and ride out the rougher periods.  Not so at my paying job.  First off there's no room to be incapacitated.  Second off I can't help but to feel guilty when out of commission.

Alas there's not much to be done (shy of rest and fluids and a healthy diet and exercise).

I did make it through a very busy work weekend without falling over (though did feel off balance at 4:00 am).   I keep reminding myself whatever will be will be.  Things may be get better or they may get worse.  I don't have a crystal ball and I don't have a whole lot of control.  Instead I need to appreciate the good moments and survive the bad ones.

All in all today was quiet good.  Sleeping in.  Cool breezes.  Hanging with the chickens and new flowers for the yard.   And now a long hot shower.  Doesn't that sound just fabulous?  


Saturday, August 25, 2012

New Beginnings

I'm sitting in the backyard.  The chickens are out and scratching about.  The dogs are running to and fro -- checking the action back here and then running to the front to make sure all is well in the neighborhood.  A scrub jay scolds us from above.  My coffee is hot and aromatic with a splash of vanilla.  A light breeze jangles the neighbor's wind chimes. The temperature is perfect.

I'm sitting here contemplating life and work and stress and pressure.  This summer was the summer that wasn't.  I picked up several relief shifts over in the valley - working on my days off.  Both to supplement our income and to help offset the costs of an upcoming (and much needed) vacation.  I'm done with those shifts now and am grateful they are behind me.  I missed writing and sitting with the chickens and crafting and puttering around the house.  I missed days at the pool, walks downtown and nights snuggled on the couch.

At the tail end of my work spree I began to have vertigo again.  Periods of dizziness and nausea are not new in my world but they are an indication I've pushed too far. It's time to step back and spend more moments like this -- relaxing and contemplating.  Even now, if I get up to check the chickens,  the world spins just a bit.  This is unfortunate as I have to work tonight.  Mild dizziness I can handle.  Severe vertigo and nausea I can not.  If I had sick pay I'd likely use it and not go in to work.  Unfortunately I do not have illness benefits.  As such if I do not work I do not get paid.   Thus I will be going in and hope that this dizziness does not progress.

If it does progress a relief doctor will have to be called in and I'll have to come home.  This happened last week and it wasn't pretty. This illness is mortifying and embarrassing and, for the most part, out of my control.  I am very much hoping that latest bout of vertigo was simply the result of over working and not from a natural progression of my disease.

I remain grateful for long-term disability insurance.  Something I've reluctantly paid into for the past ten years.  However I can't help but worry that if the time comes for me to make a claim I will be denied.  After all insurance is a business and it is in their best interest to reduce the number of persons "on the dole".

I also worry about the short term implications of not being able to work.  The long term is covered (potentially).  The short term not so much.  Three months without income would be tough.  In my state (Oregon) there are no governmental programs for short term disability. I doubt, now, that I would qualify for private short term plans given my current diagnosis.

Deep in my heart I know worrying is useless.  There is little point to these anxieties.  Life will be what it will be with or without worry.  And yet it's hard to stop that wheel; especially once it's set in motion.

At any rate it's nearly fall.  There is a delicious crispness in the air that signals renewal. Fall has always felt like a time of new beginnings; a new school year and a fresh start.  Time to reorganize and categorize and begin again.  And so I will begin again.  Each and every day.  And I vow to take notice of the little things.  The serene moments that bring joy to each day. Today that moment was sitting in the backyard.

And now, if I can herd those chickens back into their coop, I need to shower and ready myself for another night.  Here's hoping I stay on my feet.