Monday, February 28, 2005

I must admit that Mondays are my least favorite days. I think that I need to figure out how to adjust my attitude. Most Mondays, I feel as if I didn’t get quite enough sleep to make up for the past week’s work. I delay getting out of bed and then have to rush to get out the door. I dread the commute because it reminds me that I have nine more to go before the next time I get to sleep in and try to catch up on my fatigue.

I need to come up with a good reason to look forward to Mondays…

Any suggestions?

Of course, I could always make it the day I walk across the street at work to get a bacon, egg, and cheese on a sun-dried bagel sandwich. NOTHING is a better way to start the day…unless you add a Dr. Pepper to the mix.

Still, even I recognize that food should not be the answer.

Any better ideas?

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Sometimes I feel as if I live for the weekends…to sleep…to rest.

Of course, soon Spring will be coming and I will be spending a few weekends in the yard.

I love the smell of mulch and wet soil. I enjoy puttering around the yard and setting out flowers in the pots on my deck. I actually like mowing, although doing so in mid Summer is usually difficult because of the heat.

I like mowing because when you are done, you see immediate and impressive results from your labors. No delayed gratification from there.

But…today…there is no mulch to be spread nor flowers to plant. Today there is lagging on the couch recovering from working all week.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I had a revelation of sorts...

Some nights I wake up extremely ill, trembling and nauseous. It is usually around 2:00 in the morning. I stumble to the bathroom and lie on the cold tile, hoping the feeling will pass. Sometimes it does and sometimes I end up vomiting for a while before I feel better.

I have asked several doctors about this, but no reason has come to mind. It does not always happen. What I eat does not seem to have an effect...neither does exercise or relaxing before I go to sleep.

Now, there is also this spot on the back of my head that if I have a barrette resting against it causes me to grow nauseous and weak. Most of the time I forget that happens and fail to take care where I place my barrette. I am usually quite ill before I put 2 and 2 together and yank the barrette from my head. The spot is not different from any other on my head except for the fact that pressure against it causes me to fall ill.

2 and 2...

Yes, you might have figured out my revelation.

I believe the reason I grow ill at night sometimes is because the way I am lying on the pillow presses against that same spot. Sounds plausible, eh?

Now, when I lie down to sleep, I make sure that none of the six pillows that I sleep with are behind my head in any fashion. I also sleep with that particular sort of hanging off the back of the pillow.

Ever since my revelation, I have only been ill at night one time. And that time I had a pillow against the bed frame that was pressing against the back of my head.

Weird, eh?

Still I wonder...why would even the slighted bit of continued pressure against my skull make me so ill?

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Yesterday was a good day. It was a good day because the FDA, after three days of hearings, decided against pulling the drug Celebrex.

I have been truly frightened that I would no longer have access to the one pain reliever that helps with my arthritis.

I have worried so much that my best friend chastised me that I was not trusting God with my pain and with my fears. She was absolutely right.

How very often I fall back into the belief that I must somehow work something out on my own when I am a child of Christ and only need to trust that He will provide for my needs.

I am thankful I have a friend loves me enough to admonish me in the Lord. I am equally thankful that Celebrex will still be at the pharmacy next month when I pick up my prescription.

It was a good day.

Friday, February 18, 2005

My car was blocked in at work last night when I went to leave. The person was at a meeting until 8:45. When he returned he said that he hoped he hadn’t ruined my evening. What is the proper response to such a situation?

I was incredibly angry. I think it was incredibly thoughtless to leave for a late night meeting with his car blocking another. I found his attitude when he returned rude and demeaning.

I wish that I were gracious, that I looked at the opportunity to catch up on more work. But all I could think about was that I would never have left my car blocking another. And I was exhausted. And I still had a long commute home. And I would surely find a mess from my poor dog who was trapped inside my house.

What should I have said? I just stared at him and then gathered my things and left.

I am fairly sure that past his comment about not ruining my evening the person has not given the matter another thought. I have stewed a bit. Been pessimistic that it will surely happen again. Vowed never to park in the two spots where that can happen again (even though I had taken the spot because I know other people hate parking in them). And sorrowed over my own anger.

I have been so angry lately. I do not know why. And that bothers me.

While I would like to say mine is a righteous anger because it has been at people walking into meetings quite late without saying a word in apology… at people who ask others to pull work together at the last minute because they cannot plan adequately for their own jobs… at employees in customer service who act as if it is a great imposition that you need help...surely you might be angry too?

I would like to think so, but I know the better response would be the gracious one that so eludes me.

Monday, February 14, 2005

How do you say “I love you”?

My best friend is quite creative in doing so. My favorite two of late are the following:

I have reveled in the two visits I have had with my best friend and her new daughter. In November and last month, they took the train down for a four day weekend. We watch movies, play games, and play with the baby. My friend is generous enough to allow me to be the caretaker of her daughter while with me, dressing, diapering, soothing, and this last time feeding baby cereal. Simple tasks that are never a chore with her little butterball.

However, with the MS, I do not have the best control of my hands at times. So while snaps on baby clothing is meant to ease the dressing process, I find them rather difficult to use. I struggle and struggle to get them to snap, sighing with relief when I am finished. Only when I take a second look at her daughter, I discover that I have missed a snap and her clothing is all crooked.

In November, my friend had brought one outfit that was pants. Naturally, I was all for her daughter wearing the same outfit all four days. Her mother was quite against that idea, especially since babies grow out of their rather adorable clothing all too quickly.

So when my friend was packing for this last visit, I asked if she was going to bring some pants. Her answer was a bit evasive and I forced myself to drop the subject. Imagine my surprise when my friend called me to the guest room only to find all of her daughters clothing spread out on the bed. Every outfit was pants.

“I love you.”

The second way I hear “I love you” from my friend is seemingly thoughtless.

Those who know me know that I get exhausting working full time. I sleep until the latest possible moment in the mornings and I do not want phone calls on Saturdays before noon. The later is quite forbidden.

Forbidden that is except for my friend. She will call me early in the morning, even on workdays, to squeeze in a game of on-line Scrabble. Even with a new baby and a husband, she still finds time to satiate my unquenchable thirst for playing games. She beats me, too (though I like the competition, I HATE losing).

Though she had called on Saturday mornings a few times, it wasn’t until I had had a truly horrible day at work that she broke the weekday morning phone call taboo. I had cried on the phone the night before the whole way home from work. Life was hard. I finally fell asleep and had only had a few hours rest when the phone rang at 7:20. It was my friend asking me if I wanted to play Scrabble.

“I love you.”

Friday, February 11, 2005

I truly have been blessed by working with my boss. She is the epitome of professional grace. She certainly has a discerning spirit. And she is a talented communicator, be it in oral or written form. I am thankful for the opportunity to have worked with her for the past ten months.

This organization is remarkable in its mission. An affordable housing developer that is more interested in also developing the lives of the residents than making as great a profit as possible. In 1995, they were wiring affordable housing for broadband Internet access. In short, the program staff are visionaries and the real estate staff are creative masters at complex deals involving renovation-in-place.

But…I am worn down by the uphill battle this place is.

All I am trying to do is bring consistency, create marketing and promotional materials, and establish standards, boilerplate text, and policies that will help staff. Yet it seems as if I constantly have to defend my position, remind people of my responsibilities, and beg them to supply information about their work.

Everyone wants the webpage done, wants our contact list cleaned up, wants brochures to pass out, wants, wants, wants…but they do not really want to help with gathering the background information and reviewing the drafts for accuracy. I constantly learn about press requests after the fact. When I remind them that they should have funneled the request through me, I am viewed as egocentric.

A lot of what I do, by creating new materials or editing others sometimes ends up highlighting what someone else did not do or did without regard to quality. I do not speak the words, but the message is said simply by my labors.

When I ask to review material so that I can establish consistency and edit for grammar and spelling, I am viewed as judgmental. My emails are seen as rude. And I have the reputation of being unwilling to help other, expecting them to do my work for them.

I know that this is not true. It is not who I am. But I find myself second-guessing every thing I do and constantly asking for advice as if I were a child rather than a competent manager.

I do not like the person I have become here, and I worry that any witness I might have had has been destroyed by the tension my position has brought to the organization.

Monday, February 07, 2005

My friend emailed this to me and I couldn’t resist posting it! How often do we get have a good laugh over healthcare?

A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she lay her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest. After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said, "I'm so sorry, your pet has passed away."

The distressed owner wailed, "Are you sure?

"Yes, I'm sure. The duck is dead," he replied.

"How can you be so sure," she protested. "I mean, you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something."

The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room.

He returned a few moments later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head.

The vet patted the dog and took it out and returned a few moments later with a beautiful cat.

The cat jumped up on the table and also sniffed the bird from its beak to its tail and back again. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly, jumped down and strolled out of the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck."

Then the vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys, and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman.

The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill. "$150!" she cried. "$150 just to tell me my duck is dead?!!"

The vet shrugged. "If you'd taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20. But what with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it all adds up.”