A random assortment of lessons from the roller coaster that has been 2016:
When a 64lb dog is running at you at 30mph, stand still. Do not shift to the right thinking he’ll run past you, leaving your body intact. He will not.
Friendship at my age is exactly the same as friendship when I was first in school.
Some ‘friends’ will only play with you if you play the game exactly the way they want you to. Those people are not friends you can rely on. They never were, they never will be.
People can and will always surprise you. Not always in a good way.
I - a light skinned, mixed race female, raised in one of the wealthiest areas in the USA - am some people’s only ‘black’ friend.
Regardless of my age, I will always need my mom. And even though I’ve prepped myself for her eventual end, I will be shattered.
Everyone wears a mask. It is rare and lucky to find people who will show you their real self. Treasure them.
Eggplant emojis are not just about eggplants. Taco emojis are not just about tacos. And Eggplant Fridays is a thing that can make me, a person who’s seen everything, blush. I’d put links but I’m scared to.
I will put this link to things people have put in their bodies because I find it fascinating. Especially those who tell the doctors and nurses that they “fell” onto them with a straight face.
Sometimes, sitting on the couch is the best medicine for the blues. Sometimes it’s the worst. No matter how old I get, I don’t make the right choice.
No one couple’s marriage is like yours. No ones. So when people share advice, or get divorced or their partners do something crazy good – like fly you to Kenya for a safari for your birthday - or crazy bad – like dump you over the phone - it is not your marriage. Don’t treat it as if it were.
I don’t like strawberries. I have never liked strawberries. But for most of my life, I’ve eaten the strawberries because someone gave them to me or they’re in the damn fruit cup and I know I should eat fruit. But am old now. I am big enough and ugly enough to not eat the stupid strawberries.
A Gnome on someone’s front lawn is apparently a symbol that Swingers live there. Yup. Don’t ask me how I know. I’m not ready to talk about it yet.
I bet your grandparent’s love of gnomes taking on new meaning?
Some people keep score. If you forget an event or say the wrong thing or don't answer a flipping text message, they will put you on the 'dead to me' list. Forever.
If someone is a scorekeeper, they will always keep score. Always.
You cannot win against scorekeeper. Ever. So don’t even try.
No matter how healthy I try to be, a bag of potato chips can tempt me into that dark place where I don’t breathe between mouthfuls and will bite the fingers off anyone who tries to take one.
A bad day can be warmed up with a giggle and three dogs can irritate anyone into a giggle.
No matter how intelligent Husband might be, he cannot load the dishwasher in the most logical way. In fact, not one of my very intelligent family members – by marriage or by blood – can load the sucker in the most commonsense way. And if you want the damn dishes to be stacked in the cupboard in color order, load the dishwasher in that color order. Especially since that someone isn’t the one to UN-load the dishwasher.
Sometimes dishwashers mean more than just dishes. Sometimes, not.
If someone tells you they are not judgmental. They are.
If someone tells you they aren’t sexist. They are.
If someone tells you they’re not racist. They are.
Life is full of do-overs. The clock is the same time twice a day, every day. A diet can start whenever - or in my case, after almost every meal. I can decide on a plan, change my mind and then change it back. That’s what makes me me. Life is not an absolute so I need to do my best to keep on moving forward and not getting stuck in the mess that is my past, appreciate the present and not eat the effing strawberries.
Bring it on 2017. I am ready for whatever lessons you have to teach me - though I would prefer to ace the year so be gentle and make it an easy one, please. Not all of me is held together with Titanium.
This spectacular art - which expresses my brain/heart/soul - is by Ingo Maurer. This is a great article about him/it here and the product page should you wish to go shopping, here.
No idea who took the photo - I snagged it off Facebook - but love the light and imperfections of the shot. Wabi Sabi, people!
Yesterday was my day of birth. Again. Birthdays, for those of us lucky to be born before, on or after a major holiday usually suck. Like “Here’s your birthday Christmas card/present/wish” suck. Like, would love to celebrate with you but I’ve got way more awesome stuff to do. Like on my 5th birthday, when I invited all my classmates - and not one person showed up. Granted, this was in Kenya and everyone one of them went home to the UK for the holidays but whatever.
I'm still working that through in therapy.
Only slightly kidding.
As I've gotten older - and my expectations have gotten WAY lower - my day of birth has become more of a reflection of the year behind me and a convoluted plan about what the year before me will look like. This year - a year that has seen a lot of people I love go through some pretty rough times - my day of birth was full of gratitude. I have good people in my life and their humor and common sense can soothe me even the darkest days.
And, while I did break some pretty substantial bones and put myself flat on my back and deep in medical debt, I did NOT lose a parent in a horrific accident, have my husband demand a divorce in the most callus way ever, get committed to a mental institution, get dumped in a five minute phone call, have a heart attack, lose a sibling, abandon a friend, end a long term relationship three days before Christmas, get diagnosed with cancer, get fired two days before Christmas, have to put my parent in a home…
And those are just the ‘highlights’ of the 2016: Things That Have Gone Wrong List. I didn't even cover the death of Prince and Alan Rickman and George Michael and Carrie Fisher and, and, and, all the other people who shaped my world.
My mom’s birthday ‘wish’ to me sums it all up: “Perhaps you shouldn’t answer the phone or check your email or go online until the year is over.” My mom is wicked smart and usually her advice irritates the poop out of me but I will be taking her up on this. Four more days left.
This is a Worry Tree I made for a friend. Worries are written on the ‘leaves’ and become part of the tree. In theory, once they’re written down, they’re out of your head. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out regardless of its effectiveness. Because at the root of it, we all need to work on getting the ick out of our heads and hearts and moving forward into 2017 with hope and health and happiness.
Be well, people. Be well.
Six months ago I went out the front door with the dogs for a quick walk about the yard.
Six (ish) hours later, Husband brought me back in the front door in a splint with three broken bones in my ankle, a prescription for heavy drugs, an appointment with a surgeon for the next morning and a new appreciation for my Husband.
Seven weeks ago, that surgeon pronounced me healed – though Broken Ankle and I dispute that every day. Sure the bones are healed, my plates and screws are settled in to their new home, the scars beginning to soften. But my muscles, my ligaments, they would disagree. And disagree they do – loudly and frequently. Add to that my lack of mobility and his cheerful "You're healed." couldn't be further from the truth. I’m so dang slow that when I walk with Husband, we can't hold hands because even at his slowest pace, he ends up dragging me, shuffling along.
My new normal is random mystery shooting pains that bring about sudden limping that I’m sure to others look like I’m putting my acting training to use. I promise, I’m not. It really is the only way I can walk these days – "good step, good step, ah fuck, limp, limp..."
Sure I can walk downstairs now alternating feet but only if I’m holding onto a rail for dear life. I can move things about the garden while wearing my steel toed work boots but only if I stop after an hour, mainline pain killers and put my foot up for three. I still can’t get Broken Ankle to bend enough to put on a boot but I’ve added one more pair of shoes to my rotating outfit - bringing my total to three. My very un-fancy twelve-year-old Keen’s are still my mainstay shoe of choice. Winter is going to suck.
Tomorrow is my last day my beloved red temporary handicap placard is valid. I will now have to limp from parking slots much further away from any shop. With the coming ice and snow, I dread each step. On the other hand, I’ll be less likely to be judged by the blue handicap placard folks who scan my body for injury to determine if I’m worthy of the spot. Which is funny because I’m the dumbass who will pull off my sock to show you my scars at anytime. Consider yourself warned. I’ll show you my scars without asking. I need you to know I’m still broken despite my outward health. Just be thankful I didn't feel the need to do this with my hysterectomy scar.
I’m officially that person that can feel a storm coming on and will tell you about it in the aisle of the grocery store. Broken Ankle aches with the cold, a deep throbbing ache that radiates up the calf and cannot seem to be soothed. Not even with my constant whining and tears. I baby it constantly, rubbing oils on it to break up the scaring and ease the pain, covering it in decorative socks that make me look like a pirate. Heck, I even found a tattoo sleeve and wore it to a party as an impromptu Broken Ankle warmer with my fancy dress. I’m sure I came off as way cooler than I am in real life. I’m totally considering a full leg tattoo when it all stops being tender. Surprisingly, Husband is on board with this.
Speaking of Husband, as wonderful has he has been during this ordeal – and it has been an ordeal - he still can’t touch Broken Ankle. He has never liked feet and the gnarly scar isn’t tempting him to change his mind about them. He might like to force hug me when I’m fighting with him but I can shut him down by pulling Broken Ankle and shoving it in his face.
If I’m looking for a sliver lining, that will have to be it. Three broken bones, one plate, eight screws, six months of angst, a foot that will never be the same size or color again and I have an automatic out of any fight for the rest of my marriage.
Going to call that a win.
Since I don't feel like/want to post old gross pics, here are a few Broken Ankle posts with pictures. The titles are unintentionally connected. I mean, that I was on heavy drugs and came up with that kind of throughline, well, that's just awesome. It's the little things...
My. Right. Foot.
So. Dang. Gross.
Yesterday was… all the feelings. At once, on top of each other, fighting to be felt. Which made me nauseous and sad and dizzy and … well, feel all the feelings.
But yesterday I was with two of the people I love. And Brother called and made Mom and I laugh. And Husband and Mom and I went out to lunch. And the sun was shining and the sky was blue and the birds were singing. And I have a new Jack Reacher book and a warm house and comfy couch and time to read it.
AND it was five months to the day since I Broke Ankle and I spent time in the garden moving mulch and Broken Ankle hurt but ache/sore/muscle/swollen hurt not stabbing/must inhale lots of drugs broken pain.
And then there was Joseph.
Joseph has a peculated mass on his elbow that keeps catching on things and bleeding - usually all over the white couch or rug. Earlier in the week I tried one of my butchered socks but he kept licking it down his leg, getting it caught on his foot and doing this wonky walk to get it off. So I tried the vet’s suggestion of a t-shirt. I went with one of Husband’s long sleeved one because of where the mass is on the elbow. It was not the best choice.
Because, as you can see, Joseph was not in the least impressed with my ingenuity.
Even after I rolled up the sleeves a bit, he shot me that look of disappointment that makes you want to hug him, even when he is covered in drool and smells like poop.
And while I was trying to take this picture of Joseph, I spotted a Coyote in the backyard which Tigger the Dog also spotted. So, I took this picture and sent it to Husband. The Coyote is at the back of the cement pad trying to win a starring contest with a doesn't know any better dog.
And while I was sending the picture of TTD threatening the Coyote through the window, Joseph suddenly decided the t-shirt was some sort of creature attacking him and FREAKED OUT.
Like did this massive hop-shimmy-wriggle-jump thing, with eyes bulging and weird groan-moan noises freak-out thing all over the den to get the evil t-shirt beast off. In the process knocking over a large plant pot, slamming into the TV and causing Mom and I to laugh so hard that we cried.
My quick solution to keep the blood off the carpet resulted in dirt ground into the carpet, a slimy TV, a traumatized dog and a reality check. Life keeps on going. And life can still be funny. All you need is a batshit crazy dog and a t-shirt.
Get on that. It really makes the pukey dizzy feelings go away.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me