So Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions – I’ve written about that before – but it is a reflective time of year, and lately I’ve been thinking.  A lot.  Some would say overthinking.  The end result of all this thinking?

A want list.  A very personal, very selfish want list.

I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want.

1.  Health, or the semblance thereof.  Many of my Bikram Yoga teachers will say, as we are in savasana, to “visualize yourself in perfect health”.  I want that.

2.  Staying with a theme…I have noticed that almost all my Bikram teachers compliment the same things about my practice every time I see them (and I basically see the same teachers every week).   And for whatever reason, those things are the ones that come a bit more easily to me.  In the meantime, I’m over here all like “hey, did you notice I didn’t fall over even ONCE in the balancing series?”  Or “I stayed in Rabbit despite being so far into it that my cleavage inhibited my breathing”!  Crazy, I know.  I want them to notice the things that are so hard for me that I am surprised.

3.  I’ve been thinking a lot about love.  I would like to know that there is someone – maybe more than one – that loves me (whatever love means, anyway) without it being an assumed condition of our relationship.  (For example, I love my family, even when I don’t like them.  Would I love them if they weren’t my family?  Well, some of them, sure.  Would they love me if I weren’t family?  Well, some of them, I think.)  Love, offered with no conditions, is something I want and want to give.  And I think everyone deserves it.  (And before you say it, no, I am not talking about a romance.  Sigh.)

4.  One thing I want I completely control.  2016 will be the year I get the weight back off.  I won’t say “get back to my goal weight” as I’m not sure what that is anymore, but I will be at the right weight for me in the new year.

5.  I also completely control my reactions to the bad behavior of others, and I want to stop letting others’ bad behavior get to me.  Both friends and strangers, in fact.  I may want to talk about it, but it is not going to upset me any more.

6.  I want to remember to be nicer to my cats.  And myself.

And, oh, World Peace.

May your 2016 be the year of getting just what you want.

Not (necessarily) what you deserve. 

 

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Bad Mommy! BAD, BAD, BAD!

I travel.  A lot.  Most of it for work, but sometimes, for myself.  When I came home from my most recent trip, my Jane was clearly ill.  And it turns out that her issue would have been completely preventable if I had been home more…and perhaps paid better attention when I was.

See, Jane is polydactyl, and the claws on one paw had grown into her pad, necessitating stitches.  And a big ugly bandage.  And meds.  Lots of meds.    poorJaneBad mommy missed it.  Bad mommy thought everything was fine because whenever she was home, Jane came over purring and wanted to cuddle.

And bad mommy was wrong.  Once it was clear that Jane would recover, I spiraled into a major funk, wondering how it could possibly be fair for me to have not one, but two, cats, when I am out of town part of almost every week most months.  Plus, even when I am here, I am out of the apartment a minimum of 13 hours most days.  So what right do I have to have pets?  Clearly, I can’t take care of them properly.  And so on – you get the picture.

Yes, I got over it.  Both Jane and Nutley are rescues, and I know, in my heart, that I take great care of them, and that they are happy with me.  I remembered that these things happen to all parents, of human and of animal children.

So, what’s the big lesson?   You can decide for yourself.  I’m just going to keep a closer eye on Jane’s paws.

September 11, 2001

Yes, before you say it, I do know it is not yet September 11; not yet the anniversary of that day we all remember with such sadness.  But today, for whatever reason, I was thinking about that day, and musing on something I learned.  74651d1315288532-twin-towers-twin-towers-img

We all have stories, many of them tragic.  This story is just a small part of my day, but one that changed me for the better, though I did not see that for a long time.

After we saw the towers fall, after I reached those most important to me (or they reached me), after our office closed, and while I was making the long trek home (a story of its own, for another time), I spoke to a friend on the phone.  Someone who, at the time, I would have called a close friend.   She asked me what I was doing, and I told her I was headed home.  She then told me that she and a number of others were going to a mutual friend’s house, and to get home safe.  She said good-bye, and ended the call.

I went home.  Alone.  I spoke to a few people on the phone, cuddled my cats, dealt with work calls (what a day to be on the emergency beeper…), and after a while, stopped watching news coverage in favor of bad movies.   And wondered why my friend had not said “come join us”.

It was a long time before I asked her that question, and her answer was basically that I should have asked to come, or just showed up.  I was deeply hurt, and said so – and she did not understand why.  And that she did not know me well enough to know that neither of those were options for me, especially that day, told me a lot.  About her, but eventually about myself.

How could I have someone I considered a close friend with whom I had shared so little that she did not have any idea that I needed to be invited?  That I always wonder if I’m welcome?  And how could I could I consider myself a friend if I was withholding those trusts?

So, now, at least to close friends, I tell all.  I mean, after all, what do I have to hide?  I am the person I am, and if you’re sharing your life with me, the least I can do is the same.

But still, I like to be invited.

Some Days…

Some days…

I feel like I have so much to say, but I don’t know how to say it. Or who will listen.

Some days…

I think I just need to be with me and the cats. But then it’s not enough.

Some days…

Everything seems out of sync and wrong. And I am not Wonder Woman anymore.

Sad-Woman-Silhouette

This is one of those days. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

On Gorillas

So, over the last several months, I’ve been running from pillar to post dealing with health issues that started in December.  The good news is that the 800-pound gorilla of a diagnosis was ruled out.  thCAN8DMN5The bad news (which is really not so bad) is that I still feel like hell.  However, I’ve decided to give myself a doctor break for a bit, and see if rest, yoga, quality cat time, and good companionship help me feel better.  You’ll understand more in a bit.

Yesterday, (the same day the gorilla left the room), there was a young man in my Bikram Yoga class who has no use of his legs.  He gets around in a wheelchair, and apparently has been practicing Bikram frequently for about seven years.   I was awestruck.  (By the way, if you’re wondering, because I would, he does not practice in the chair, but on the floor.)

And damn, did he put my situation in perspective.  Instead of looking at my challenges in a way that magnifies them to the size of (yes, again) 800-pound gorillas, I realized they really are microscopic in the big picture.   I’m a lucky girl.  And I’m going to try harder to remember that every. damn. day.

P.S.  Mystery of the day is why this Sambo image came up on a search for “800-pound gorilla”…oh, Google!thCAJ8IOTU

Fear

There’s been a lot going on in my life lately.  Some things have been ironed out – yay! – and are back on track.  But some medical issues are just going on… and on… and on…

I’m a good patient usually.  I come in with all the needed information; I am always on time for my appointments; I follow up appropriately; and I’m really, really, really nice to the staff.  But recently, the colossal incompetence of a particular radiology department has sent me over the edge.  Back story:  after a check-up, my doctor advised me to see a neurologist.  In order to rule out some very scary things – like, oh, cancer or a brain tumor – I then had an MRI.  So far, so good.  No cancer.  No brain tumor.  But not normal.   Okay…time for further MRIs.  Sure, I’ll go.  To make this long story short, I never had the tests.  I tried.  Twice.

So now what?  Well, it took several years for me to get a correct diagnosis for my Sjogren’s, given poor diagnostic skills at the major teaching hospital where I went to grad school.  It took a full year and every test known (it seemed) for the best gastroenterologist in New York to diagnose the cause of a severe abdominal pain.  Clearly, I’m stubborn enough to do the work that it will apparently take to find out what is going on now.1044343-Royalty-Free-RF-Clip-Art-Illustration-Of-A-Cartoon-Scared-Woman-Curled-Up-In-A-Fetal-Position

But in the meantime…I’m scared.  I don’t like uncertainty.  I am not bothered so much by change, but not knowing makes me crazy.  I just want to curl up under the covers with the cats and not come out until I have answers.  But we all know life is not like that.  There’s work to be done, cats to be entertained, yoga classes to attend, and drinks to drink.  Plus I’m just far too stubborn (yes, I said it again) to allow fear to immobilize me.  And stubborn will beat incompetent every. damn. time.

Never Enough

I struggle with money.  It’s not that I don’t get paid appropriately – though if we’re honest, no-one ever makes enough money – or that I spend outrageously.  Those of you who know my shoe addiction might snicker at that, but you would be surprised at how far money can go on such things if you do it well.  And shoes (and clothes) do wear out.

But hey, life is expensive.  Especially here in Manhattan.  I own my home – or more accurately, it owns me.  While my mortgage is totally manageable, my co-op had a major financial disaster soon after I moved in, and our maintenance costs have never really recovered.  (If you are wondering, our retaining wall collapsed on the Henry Hudson Parkway.  Thank God, it was only property damage.)  Plus, we have the worst. board. ever.  And don’t say I should run for the board – I don’t need to be paying a criminal defense attorney to clear assault charges on top of everything else.

Luckily, I bought a lifetime membership to my Bikram Yoga studio a few years ago, so that is no longer an ongoing expense.  The cats are pretty healthy, and since they stay indoors and don’t meet other animals, all the expensive vaccinations do not have to be done every year.  (If you didn’t know that, now you do!)  Despite the best efforts of the MTA, my commute remains practical, so I don’t have to worry about a car, parking, and so on.  I often get to go really cool places for work, so by staying a few days on my own, I have great travel experiences.

Still, there’s always something.  Most recently, a lot of unexpected medical costs.  stock-photo-beautiful-young-woman-throwing-mony-into-air-on-white-41084530And while I have amazing benefits, dental is a problem, because no affordable dental plan really pays what you need when you have that emergency root canal.  I’ve named the new crown “Vacation 2013”.  I do everything possible to be ready for such emergencies, but really, it feels like a swift kick to the stomach every time in happens, and I sit down to pay bills, already carefully scheduled to match up with my weekly paycheck, and I see that one more cost.

Whenever money is tight, I actually really freak out.  I did not grow up with a lot of money, though in so many more important ways, I was very privileged.  And I was fortunate to get scholarships, loans, and jobs, as well as family support, starting in elementary school, that allowed me to go to the schools of my choice.  The one thing I did not learn, apparently, was how to control my money panic.  So I try to pretend it’s not a problem, because mostly it isn’t.

If only my teeth would stop acting up!

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