Monthly Archives: August 2007

AHHHHHH…

I did it.  I survived, but barely.  Working four 10-hour days is definitely not my bottle of beer.  cup of tea.  I couldn’t get to sleep at night and couldn’t wake up in the morning.  Driving to work in the dark with pea-soup fog is for the birds.  My body hurts.  And I now have a nasty chest cold.  But (and I say this with all the oomph this poor body can muster) I now have four, glorious free days off work to enjoy.  Whooppeeee.

Please forgive my less-than-infectious enthusiasm.  I guess I’m looking at the next few days as recuperation time more than anything.  Not how I wanted to spend the last holiday of the summer.  Yeah, I’m cranky.  You should be used to it by now.

Sister Hazel has posted about the tent prank at the family reunion.  They put the little wee tent in the bigger tent and …  well, you can go there and see for yourself.  :-D  There’s a lot going on over there.  She’s got some awesome pictures from her trip to Vegas and is pimping votes for her position on the writing staff of The Peevery.  She gets my vote,  family ties or not.  She’s cute, smart and wickedly funny.

I don’t have a lot planned for the weekend, as I said.  However PD and I will be making our annual pilgrimage to the Labor Day Celebration at a great park near our home which features an awesome flea market.  We both love looking at lots of useless junk which we do not need and cannot fit into our home.  Fear not, we’ll no doubt bring as much home as we can afford and fit into my car… all the while, the phrase “We really don’t need this  ___(fill in the blank)____” echoing over and over in each of our heads.  Mine more so than his.

As yet I haven’t had to face any further anxiety,  but I’ve also not been in an unfamiliar situation since the “thing” happened.  I’m praying The Prayer, counting my blessings, missing the kids (oops, did I write that???) and trying to get more sleep.

In case I don’t get back here, I wish you all a safe and happy holiday weekend.

HEY MR. MOON, WHERE ARE YOU?

I’m watching the lunar eclipse this morning. Off and on, of course, while getting ready for work.

I want to wish my good friend Matt a very Happy Birthday today. :-)

THE “THING”

Here’s the Thing

Last weekend on our way home from the family reunion, PD and I stopped for dinner at one of our favorite little places in a town called Punxsutawney. While we were dining, I felt a little spell of mild anxiety coming on. (something not entirely unusual for me after a few nights of not sleeping well.) PD knows to talk to me to give me something to concentrate on until it passes. It did.

Back up a second… A cousin of mine at the reunion had a really nice canopy (such that you would put over a table outside for shade or rain protection) that PD decided we must have. When PD inquired where my cousin had purchased the canopy, he was told (surprise!) Walmart.

So after dinner I drove up the road a bit and contrary to all that I stand for and abhor about the fucking place Walmart, we went there to look for a canopy. Walking back into the bowels of the store, something had caught my eye and I asked PD to hold up a second. I didn’t hear him say, “I’ll be in Sporting Goods.”

When I finished looking, I turned to see that PD was no longer standing in the aisle I was in. I walked to the main aisle. No PD. I looked down the aisle to my left. And to the right. No PD as far as my eyes could see. This is when the Thing occurred…

Instant, full-body panic set in and took up residence. For that matter, dug it’s heels in and ordered cable and new address labels. An overwhelming sense of non-reality kind of took over and the only thought in my head was Got. To. Find. PD. NOW. I quickly moved to the end of several of the side aisles and looked down them, hoping against hope that he would be standing there and I would be okay. After several of these it became more and more apparent to me that I would never see him again and I would die a slow, painful, torturous death right there in the middle of the place (only second to the dentist’s chair) I detest most in the world. I’m not sure how much time had passed. From what I’ve read, panic attacks only last (at the most) half an hour but to the sufferer, seem much longer.

I felt compelled to yell and run. I wasn’t aware of anyone near me noticing anything strange about my behavior. I say that in hindsight, as at the time, I doubt anything as trivial as that would have concerned me. I fought the urge to yell for PD. But only for a time. I did indeed, yell his name, at first mildly loud and when he didn’t answer, increasingly louder. And louder. Still not aware of drawing any undue attention. Which, had someone looked alarmed, I don’t know what my reaction would have been anyway. I do remember at some point hoping that no one would approach me and offer help because I couldn’t remember my name or why I was there or even what I needed help with.

After what seemed like an eternity, I saw a man way, way far away who (Please, please, please, God! kept running through my head) appeared to be PD. I took off in that direction and God help anyone who would have gotten in my way. I walked and walked faster and faster and it seemed ages before it seemed that I was making any headway. So I ran for awhile. Yeah, really.

When I finally reached PD, judging by the look of alarm on his face, I must have appeared quite a sight. I started crying at some point, not sure when. When he saw me, he reached out his arms and held me until I got settled down and choked out an explanation for my behavior. Needless to say, we left the store shortly thereafter. PD, who should not drive, insisted on driving home. We were about an hour from home.

Okay, I’m tired typing now and not all that comfortable relaying and reliving this experience. But I wanted you to know the Thing that prompted this upheaval of sorts that you’ve been reading this past week. Later I will tell you about my trip to the doctor.

ONE STEP IN A SERIES

It’s a pretty morning, not yet unbearably hot.  Had the required coffee on the porch with the birds and my out-of-control wild flowers.  Happy to find some quiet Think Time.  Sorted out some issues; what I do and don’t have control over.  What I can change and what I can’t.  Sadly found that the list of things I can/do is much shorter than the list of things I can’t/don’t.  And this godforsaken hormone pill that I’m on is narrowing my options down quite a bit.  One more week and I’ll be off it.  Thank you God.

I can’t get control of my sleeping life when I’m waking up a thousand freakin’ several times a night drenched in sweat, feeling like my skin is about to combust.  It can be quite a challenge, rolling all over the bed trying to find a cool spot that my body hasn’t cooked.  Then you wake up in the morning needing another shower which severely cuts into the pared-down-to-the-minute, absolute-minimum amount of time needed to get ready for work. When you lose sleep all night it becomes very important to sleep every possible minute you can.  See why I’m feeling I have no control?  As a courtesy to PD and his sleep time, I’m bunking in the guest room.  Do I miss the snoring?  Well, um… No.

My waking life.  Eight hours of that is job.  If you count getting ready, road time and recovery after, it amounts to 11 hours.  That’s just me.  The part of that that I control?  Not a lot.  You see I work in a clean room, a controlled (ironic, huh) environment.  You know, that big white room that’s all sterile-looking, temperature-controlled, full of microscopes, computers, cameras and a bunch of people in white suits with hair covers and gloves and shoe covers… It’s not claustrophobia-inducing or anything…  yeah, right.  And I’m Oprah Winfrey.

Anyway…

Lots of restrictions when you work in a clean room.  No make-up, no nail polish, limited jewelry, (only a wedding band, smooth with no grooves or stones, only earring studs, no hoops, etc.) no hairspray, no cologne, yadda yadda yadda. You suit up in a change room in a neck-to-ankle suit made from polyester and carbon but seems like just nylon.  It’s the absolute best material to hold in heat when you experience a hot flash.  And sticks to your skin perfectly.  Holds moisture? Sure!  And in a 66 degree room, the after-flash chill factor is the most comfortable state a body can attain.  Add a gauze hair net, safety goggles, latex gloves and vinyl shoe covers.  Oh my Lord.  How do I do this? When our company switched to making the product that we do, in this new environment, a lot of people quit.  A lot of other people went on anti-anxiety medication.  Honestly.

Ok, I think I’ve established that I feel a little out of control in that aspect.  Follow with the fact that, on any given day I will show up at work and be told that “today we need you to fill in in this other job/department…”  Okay, I really don’t have a problem with that at all, it’s just that, now with all this upheaval I have going on, a little predictability would go a long way.  It’s not that I don’t like my job.  It’s close to home, I’ve got 11 years there (only the last one in the clean room and that was not by choice…) a terrific benefit package and little or no weekend hours.  To leave there with my experience and skills (or, rather lack of) would be foolish.  I would have to start all over earning what I make and the vacation hours I’ve got.  So no, I’m not going to include my job under the heading of Things I Can Change.  Not at this point anyway…

Okay, enough spilling my guts for today.  Stay tuned for future episodes.

I’ll leave you now with a little funny story.

Recently while grocery shopping, I was walking past the ice cream section in the store.   There was a tall, normal-looking guy who appeared to be in his mid-thirties standing in front of the freezer doors, intently looking in at the enticing array of ice cream brands and flavors.  Right hand up to God, he was naming flavor after flavor out loud and I swear if it was humanly possible to make love to ice cream in the middle of a grocery store aisle, he’d have been going at it.  Was quite amusing.  As I approached him, I said “Wow, you really like ice cream…”  It was when he turned his head to look at me that I noticed the Bluetooth stuck to the side of his head.  As I skulked away, face reddening, I heard him laughing and saying “Some chick just walked by and said…”

WHELMED, BUT NOT OVERLY

Been praying a lot. Been hiding (figuratively) a lot. Went to bed at 7pm last night. Work was trying today. Not so much the work, just being there. I wanted to be home and comfortable and, you know. Just Home.

My basic personality is that of a true Pisces. While I am not an astrology freak by any means, I can’t argue with the description of my Piscean personality. We swim in two directions at once. Maybe when I finally figure out how to do that without drowning, I will find my true peace. My daily life is a series of conflicts, one after another. Most never get resolved. At times I’m comfortable with this, as it’s been the way I’ve lived most of my life. But now, it’s just disconcerting and making me anxious. Struggling with what’s in my heart and what makes sense (to whom?) is a constant for me. I know the difference between right and wrong. I know what’s acceptable and what isn’t by society’s standards. I know my place and what is expected of me. I know rules are implemented for reasons. I know speed limits are enforced for the safety of you and me. I know what is considered good and bad etiquette. I know smoking is bad for me. I know lots of things. Some I just take for granted. But some things just plain do not make sense to me and I spend my life walking that thin line between what I’ve been told and what I believe. Tell me the sky is blue. I’ll say yeah, it is, but I’ll be thinking that it’s an awesome shade of cerulean or azure. When you see me crying and remind me that it’s “only a McDonald’s commercial,” I’m thinking, why did it touch my heart so much harder than yours? And yet, how many times a day have I hurt someone because I was too busy to pick up the phone or rushed by with a quick “hi” instead of a “how are you today?” I get caught up in things and my perception fades to black. Other times, my compassion goes unnoticed. It’s all the time, back and forth. The only constant seems to be the struggle.

I remember once in my early forties, I was feeling like the Queen of Bad Luck. It was then that I had one of those light bulb moments (I think Oprah coined that phrase…) when it came to me like a bolt of lightning, “Linda, this is Life.” I was not special or being picked on or anything else. I was just experiencing Life. It was then that I learned not to feel sorry for myself, that I was just another sucker participating in the game.

I talked to you before about the (shhhh…) procrastination. I gotta learn to erase that from my list of coping strategies. I’m knee-deep in one now. Things pile up, I get overwhelmed, I shut down. If I haven’t been on your blog lately, that’s my excuse. I got so far behind, I couldn’t catch up. So I gave up.

…to change the things I can…

But I’m working on it. One day, I’m gonna be a force to be reckoned with. A stellar human being.

But for now, I’m going to go eat some Breyer’s Butter Almond icecream. Yep, before dinner!

KEEPIN’ WITH THE PLAN

The Serenity Prayer. I gave a copy of it to my dad when he found out he was dying with cancer. Yesterday my doctor told me to pray it when I started to feel anxious. He absolutely did not strike me as a particularly religious kind of guy. It surprised me a little when he suggested it…

After having done a little reading on the prayer, I’m finding it’s meaning (although I always thought it was awesome to ask these favors) is a bit deeper and even has different versions. If you click on the link, scroll about half-way down the page and read all the places you can find allusions to the prayer.

Not a lot of people seem to pray any more and don’t believe their prayers are heard. If nothing else, when I say these words and send them out into the cosmos with my best intentions, I’ll be reinforcing my own wish to change what I can about the world. I’m not real keen on accepting it the way it is, so I guess it’s pretty important that I figure out what is and isn’t mine to mess with.

God grant me the serenity to accept the
            things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Plan B

I had planned on sharing the family reunion with you, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that:

a) You really don’t know and can’t appreciate any of these people (except Hazel and JuJu and Ju wasn’t there.) and,

b) Most of the goings-on fell under the category of “You Had to Be There. “

So I’m sorry if you’re disappointed.  One happening that was hilarious either way, I want Hazel to share.  She can post pictures and everything…

If you’re a regular reader, you know that I’ve been struggling with some medication that I will be on for just two more weeks.  I’m sure it’s obvious that it’s contributed to my crankiness in any of several degrees and my blog probably has been reading much like  The Peevery.  Only not as entertaining…

A lot of things that have occurred in the past several months have been catching up with me and have made it necessary for me to turn introspective.  That’s not usually a good thing for me, but necessary, nonetheless.

I don’t have much spare time for journaling or sitting down and talking things out.  I’m going to use the blog to work through some issues.  Please don’t feel that you need comment.  Please don’t feel that I’m looking for answers.  But if you share any of the same feelings and wish to offer support, that’s great.  Being that this is likely going to take a very personal turn, if you’d rather not read, I’m fine with that.  Maybe it won’t seem all that different, being that I basically write about Me, Me, Me, anyway.  (Somewhere along the way, I learned that would-be writers are given the advice Write what you know about.  Me is all I know…)

As a little prelude, I will tell you that, since turning 50, I’ve gone through a ton of personal changes; a lot of them positive.  I feel, at times, like I’ve gone through so many changes that sometimes I barely recognize me.  I’m not handling stress the way I used to.  I’m experiencing some anxiety on levels that I’m not accustomed to dealing with.  In plain words, sometimes I just don’t know who I am or what I’m doing.  I spoke at length today with my new doctor and he made some suggestions.  I stressed to him that I’d like to deal with this without the “benefit” of medication.  He was sympathetic and suggested a ton of other ways to help me get back on track.  So that’s going to be my focus for a bit.  I’ve had a bad habit of blocking out things too painful to deal with but I knew sooner or later that would end up biting me in the butt.

One issue that’s causing me some distress is lack of sleep.  I’m going to go address that now.  Good night :-)

COMIN’ DOWN

The weekend was beyond great.  We rolled in later in the evening last night and unpacked the car and showered off 3 days of camping crud and pretty much died when our heads hit the pillows.  I’ll bring you details later.

Thought for the day:  I feel so very, very blessed to belong to the family I do.  They’re a little nuts, yeah, but God, I love ‘em!

JUST GIVE ME ONE MORE REASON…

Well, Internets (is that like K-marts???) you may not have recognized me over the weekend.  I got up Saturday morning, did my porch/coffee thing and came on here to read mail and blogs.  Only thing was, there was no mail, no blogs.  Our DSL was nowhere to be found.  I was really bummed because I’d been having some great commentary on YouTube on a Meat Loaf video Friday night and wanted to check in to see what else was said.  So poor PD checked every possible reason once and then twice and then called our IP and spent an ungodly amount of time talking to numerable numerous English-challenged technicians only to end up being told that the problem was in the system? not ours and that they would send someone out on Monday between 8AM and 7PM.  What the hell kind of window is that?  Not a bay window, not a picture window… that’s a whole damn glass house if you ask me!!!  And I know PD was getting irritated because at one point I overheard him say through clenched teeth, “Please stop calling me Mr. ——–, call me PD!” Or something quite like that.

Anyway, the reason you wouldn’t have recognized me was because I did not have a keyboard hanging off me and a monitor in front of my face for an entire 48 hours.  More, actually if you count today until I got home from work at 5pm.

I got two closets organized.  I got packing done for our camping trip/family reunion this coming weekend.  I got (real) mail opened, sorted, disposed of.  I got  things accomplished that I gave up on months ago.  I read books.  I took a nap.  I shined the bathroom faucets.  I tried on a bunch of clothes that don’t fit.  I got pissed off.

Don’t tell PD but it’s official… I would get more done around the house if I didn’t spend so much time reading and writing on the computer.  Sssshhhh.  It’s a secret.

But they say, the first step is admitting you have a problem.  I just can’t say it out loud.

I had lots more to tell you but I need to go to bed.  This is my week of working 4 10s and 4:30am comes at you mighty fast.

ANOTHER BEULAH VID (a nutherbue lavid)

beulah – gravity brings us down

A cool video from a band I really like.