Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday Thought...on a Friday

{From Happy Things, as usual.}

“Did they live happily ever after? They did not. No one ever does, in spite of what the stories may say. They had their good days, as you do, and they had their bad days, and you know about those. They had their victories, as you do, and they had their defeats, and you know about those, too. There were times when they felt ashamed of themselves, knowing they had not done their best, and there were times when they knew they had stood where their God had meant them to stand. All I’m trying to say is that they lived as well as they could.” -The Eyes of the Dragon, Steven King

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What's Sooo Funny, Nancy?

I'm not one to frequently talk politics, but the constant onslaught of politics that has been arriving in my mailbox twice daily has successfully worn me down. Politics really are a funny thing. This is because most of the time, they aren't really achieving anything.

Allow me to explain. See the postcard above? It's from some organization I've never heard of, mailed to our home in what I can only surmise is an attempt to convince me that I should attempt to stop Nancy from laughing at me so much. I should vote this way because Nancy Pelosi is laughing at ME. ME, of all people! Why would she do such a thing? Doesn't she know that I think her necklace is totally adorable? No one, of sane mind or of ability to accept proper compliments, would ever laugh at me. Then, as if Nancy laughing at me in a truly awful fashion wasn't enough, they dropped the bomb: I had a mission. My mission was simple: to wipe smiles off of faces. Or else. Or else the joke, as it were, is on me. So much for my old goal of bringing joy to the hearts of mankind.

You know, I can't help but laugh right along with Nancy Pelosi. Mostly because I hate to think she's laughing at me and not with me, but mostly because she's right: it's funny. Funny because this postcard, which is meant to persuade, is doing nothing of the sort. Telling me that someone is dumb, incompetent, laughing at me, or rolling over me doesn't convince me that you are smart. It insults my intelligence. Why? Because I deserve to be given an impartial glimpse into what each candidate believes. I want to know what you stand for. I want to know what you're going to do for me, regardless of my political affiliation. I don't care if your opponent is a witch. I'm not all that concerned that something is so funny that it should be spelled "Sooo" instead of its real spelling. Again, my intelligence is insulted.

But here's the other thing that has me laughing: by far, the subject matter of vast majority of political items received at our home? Guns. Bunches and bunches of guns. One flier even had a heaping pile of guns on display and encouraged us to tell the "gun grabbers" to leave us, our lifestyle and er, guns, alone. Yeah, that's right! Quit trying to grab my guns. No one likes a grabby pants. Oh, and perhaps grabbing things like guns is a bad idea anyway, no? Safety first, grabbing second!

That's great, right? People who will work to "preserve our way of life" and "let us wear our camouflage with some orange stuff so we don't get shot" and "give us permission to sit in a tree stand for hours" and "feed the deer and spread urine on the ground." Those things are all both fine and dandy. Really. However, we don't do any of those things. We don't own a gun. We don't hunt. Really, we do nothing involving guns ever. So, I'm curious as to how we got on the "Please send multiple fliers to our home on gun rights, concealed carry, hunting, guns and other guns. Please. Pretty, pretty please." Because in the end, what's sooooooo funny is that the joke, as it were, appears to be on them.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Zing and pep

{Sorry, Megyn, you're far too zing-y & peppy for severe weather.}

There was a very serious, incredibly powerful storm that passed through our area yesterday. There were words tossed around like "tornado" and "warning" and "take cover" and "go to safety." It was even suggested that I drive my car into a ditch to take cover. Ironically, I was home for lunch at the time that these words were delivered by an overly peppy weather lady with perfect hair, smart-looking glasses and flawless red lips. You know, to really drive home the point of severity with lots of zing and pep.

I think irony is a pretty neat concept. Except when it involves me forgetting my umbrella in the rain. Or, wearing open toed shoes in the snow. Then, well, it's just my own stupidity at work. Not some funny ironic concept presented by Alanis Morissette. But irony was actually alive and well at our house yesterday. Something funny happened as my eyes were glued to the peppy weather girl: she uttered the words "take cover" and then the satellite dish went out and the dog and I were left in total silence. Well, except for the intense winds and rain outside.

Our dog Rudi does this funny thing when there are weird sounds: she looks skeptical, meets my eyes and waits for me to give her permission to worry. Or freak out. Like, when something falls in the bathroom or someone pulls in the driveway. Yesterday, as the TV went silent and the tornado sirens began to blare, she gave me the look. I quickly confirmed that yes, it is suitable for us to freak out now. So, we went into the basement. To freak out. Together. Without television-based assistance to let us know that we didn't need to freak out. It was a lot of fun.

The threat quickly passed and we were left unharmed. Crisis averted. However, this confirms my belief that zing, pep and red lipstick have no place in the severe weather warnings department.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Crying, much like a wolf

{Smirking, blue-eyed wolf from here}

In my mind, every single thing that is "wrong" with me is an emergency. Like, my head pounds when I stand up too quickly and I probably have a brain tumor. Or, my elbow is acting funny and I think I have a hairline fracture from all those kettlebell throws I've been doing lately. I'm so worried about all the nothing that I'm sure when the something comes along, no one will believe me. I really have been crying wolf just about every moment of my life, really.

I'm a whiny baby. I complain. A lot. Sure, there are "real" and "actual" things that are medically wrong with me that have been confirmed by medical professionals. Like, my crazy and broken thyroid gland. Or, my too-high-for-their-own-good hormone levels. Or, my jacked up uterus. Real stuff. Not life-threatening stuff, just stuff. Stuff that is really and actually wrong, but will not likely cause my death prior to the age of 94.

So in the interest of living to said ripe old age, I elected to get a flu shot yesterday. Miracle of miracles, it was painless! I didn't feel a thing! The stick of the needle was just fine, as was its removal. Fine. I was both footloose AND fancy-free yesterday. Others complained, had to sit down, looked away and almost passed out. But me? ME! I did none of the aforementioned behaviors. I made jokes and appreciated that I only had to get one shot for THREE vaccines. Even H1N1! But not Bieber Fever, unfortunately. I even went for a jaunty 6 mile run afterwards, that was how fantastic and wonderful I was feeling and looking.

But that was yesterday. That was before I reached for the cinnamon in the cabinet above the oven to sprinkle on my delicious oatmeal this morning and thought perhaps someone had shot me in the upper arm. It's probably just a flesh wound, but still. Because I'm telling you, that easy and breezy flu shot from yesterday is aching and breaking something fierce today. I even have a bruise. A bruise! Oh, and I think that I'm dying. Because lifting my arm above my shoulder makes me think that my muscles are rotting from the inside out from that flu shot. Can it rot my muscles? Was it inserted into the wrong portion of my smaller than average arm? Maybe there was an air bubble? Perhaps the medicine is just sitting in my muscles, rendering it completely useless.

There's a lot of worry about, really. Except the threat of Influenza Types A, B and H1N1. No worries there.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday Thought

{Photo from here}

“I believe in the Sun even when it is not shining. I believe in Love even when I do not feel it. I believe in God even when He is silent.”

— Lines scrawled on a cellar wall in Cologne, which was destroyed by bombing in WWII

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A mouse, a frog and a roach walk into a bar...

Actually, I'm just going to admit this up front: that's a lie. The mouse, the frog and the roach actually did not walk into a bar. They didn't order drinks. There weren't any stools for them to sit on. There wasn't a bartender with a towel. There were no top shelf or well options. Or, draft beer.

So, what was there? Well, there was my garage. And an assortment of glue traps. Remember the last time I set up glue traps? Yeah, you do. This happened. For the record, I still maintain that I wouldn't poop my pants if I was stuck in a glue trap. You know, because I buy the variety that features soothing anesthetic. For a less painful and more peaceful ease into Kingdom Come. It's worth the investment, if you ask me.

But, that last foray into disturbing sights in my garage was months ago. Just a distant memory, really. Until it all came crashing back into my brain yesterday when I beheld a most disturbing sight: it was a virtual cornucopia of dead or dying animals stuck into a glue trap. After a few moments of wondering whether I should cry, vomit or run away, I took a closer look. The glue trap had trapped the following creatures:

1. A small, dead frog
2. An incredibly large, dead cockroach
3. A screaming mouse (that had not, in fact, sh*t itself)

I suppose you could say my trap, yet again, did its job. But that's doesn't negate the fact that I do (seriously!) have feelings and felt great sorrow in the death and destruction occurring in the home for our vehicles. None of those things really did anything to deserve my glue traps, but alas their days were numbered.

While I might be 27 years old, I more closely resemble a 7 year-old in the majority of situations and penned the following e-mail to my husband:

Subject: R.I.P.

There are crazy things happening in our garage: I caught a mouse, a frog and what I believe to be the world's largest cockroach (it was the same size as the mouse) in a glue trap today.

His response was simple and to the point:
I guess I'm impressed, but I can't help but wonder something haunting about this scenario. What did that poor frog do to deserve such savagery?

Monday, October 18, 2010

The last ride

After some serious whining convincing, my husband headed out on a bike ride with me yesterday afternoon. I said things like, "Aww c'mon" and "One last time for old time's sake." It worked. We dropped our obligations and football games and headed out on a familiar ride together. It was a lengthy 17-mile ride and it was worth the effort of every whiny word that came out of my mouth. The weather was perfect, the ride was enjoyable and the scenery? Ah yes, the scenery. It was breathtaking: the leaves are right at that point where they are gorgeous and still clinging to the trees.

I love to run, but there's just something about riding a bicycle that makes me feel alive. I don't know if it's the danger, the speed or the wind in my face, but it just has a way of pulling me in. At our house, bike rides are a staple in the summer months. We head out for hours together on our road bikes, discovering new rural routes, tiny little forgotten towns and fending off strange dogs. It's our thing. So yesterday, I decided we needed to end outdoor bike season on a picture-perfect fall day. It seemed fitting.

We headed out on familiar routes, breezed through our local park and admired the changing leaves. It was the perfect ending to our summer of bicycle rides. But, there is always a moment in every ride where I'm convinced that I'm going to die. You know, like when I am oogling some pretty house and my bike almost goes off the road and into a ditch or the weird rock that throws my front wheel into a tailspin or that car of teenagers gets just a bit too close.  It happens a lot. Luckily, I've never been seriously injured on my bike.

The thing I love most about riding a bicycle isn't the exercise (though my rear and thighs would tell you differently today) it's the tiny moments that make me feel completely free. They usually occur in the midst of a free-fall down some outlandishly large hill at 23-ish MPH. There are a few of these hills on our usual routes, and they always cause the same rush of emotions: complete fear of death and disaster, followed by complete peace and freedom. You know the feeling: the moment when you're free falling and you think you're going to crash and burn, but you will yourself into the freedom of the moment instead. I often close my eyes, if only for a moment, just to soak in that feeling. It's just a few moments, really. But it makes pushing through that "certain death" feeling worth it. Because it's so amazing.

We've now hung our bikes away in the garage. Until next year. But it sure was nice to go out on a high note.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Today's Feeling on Yesterday's Thoughts

{An amazing view from the back porch this morning}

“The only way to get what you really want, is to know what you really want. And the only way to know what you really want, is to know yourself. And the only way to know yourself, is to be yourself. And the only way to be yourself is to listen to your heart.” -Mike Dooley

I have always been the girl who knows exactly what she wants. I don't mince words, avoid conversation or dance around what I want. Even as a child, I always made sure that my opinion was heard--even when no one asked for it. I've always been outspoken when it comes to the things I yearn to have in my life.

Growing up, my family was typical. My parents have been married for over 30 years. I am one of four children. I went to Catholic school. I went to college. I carefully thought out my every move, for every moment of my life. There was no major trauma in our lives, no big problem, no life-altering issues. We were very vanilla.

My adult life has been no different; my life has abounded with more blessings that I can count. Things have worked out perfectly. I lay in bed each night, thankful. Grateful. Wondering what I did to deserve all of this.

So, the moment I realized I couldn't have everything I wanted, I panicked. Things have always been typical. Life has always been pretty easy. The blessings of life have come naturally, almost. So why now? Why, in the middle of perfection, was something I wanted whisked away?

Like most things, it took time to understand. Dedicated moments of thought to come to one important conclusion: why not now? Why not, in the midst of a bunch of hunky and dory, be handed a game changer? It's not as though there's a good time for anything awful, anyway.

But, when awful things happen to us, we like to say, "Why me?" But I believe it's not about that--it's about saying why not me--or you, or anyone else who has led a blessed, typical life? Why are we more deserving of a blessing that you?

I thought I wanted to be a mother. I thought I wanted to have biological children. With an epidural, of course. I thought I wanted to be a parent, like my parents were to me. Being told this wouldn't happen made me question what I wanted, because I remembered something funny: I didn't always want to be a mother. As a child, I wasn't interested in babies. I wasn't good with children. I wasn't motherly. I didn't have a maternal bone in my body. If you had asked me 10 years ago if I wanted children, I would have said no. Because I didn't.

My heart changed since then and perhaps, it had been harboring those motherly feelings all along. It can be difficult to understand the origin of a seed buried deep within our hearts, waiting to sprout. But when life happens, it has a way of changing our hearts. Re-prioritizing our souls. God has a way of calling us home, whispering His plans for us softly in our ear.

Did I always want to adopt? Did I feel an intense calling to adoption? No, no I did not. Neither of us did. Adoption was not something we had dreamed of doing or a place we had ever planned to travel. We weren't even going to visit for the weekend. It was not, as they say, on our radar. We said things like, "Good for them" or "That's great" about adoption, but that was it. But, that was then.

That was before we listened to our hearts, sitting side by side in the waiting room of a doctor's office. We realized they were telling us that God was calling us to another home. He was whispering his plans for us louder than any doctor or nurse could scream; it was an epiphany in the cold, awful room of a doctor's office. Some of life's best dreams are created in the most unexpected places.

I remember that moment, when the nurse with mousy brown hair cropped into an awful bobbed haircut stopped, midway through a speech she had likely made hundreds of times, and looked at us. She had packets of information on her lap and vials of drugs in her hands, describing IVF in a monotonous tone. She stopped mid-sentence, stared at our faces and said, "Oh. You aren't ready for this." 

She was right; it was like she just knew. We weren't ready. We were never going to be ready. It was as though she could see our hearts were leading us in another direction. They were. And as luck would have it, they led us to adoption. The path was not the one we had chosen and it was not conventional. It sometimes felt as though we had chosen adoption because it was just one of two options left. But, I believe it was there all along. I believe this path had been carved out for us already, just waiting for us to arrive, hearts in our hands.

As it turns out, knowing what you really want doesn't always come easily. It takes time to process, time to understand. And it means you have to realize that what you wanted isn't always what you want. Life is about evolution, not refusing to let go of your old dreams.

Today, I stand waiting to be a mother. Waiting for what seems like an eternity for an opportunity to prove that I am a mother. Because I know that I will be a mother. I will have children. I will be a parent, like my parents were to me. It might not look like I imagined and it won't happen the way I thought, but I know in my heart that this is what I want. This is what we wanted all along.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thursday Thought

“The only way to get what you really want, is to know what you really want. And the only way to know what you really want, is to know yourself. And the only way to know yourself, is to be yourself. And the only way to be yourself is to listen to your heart.” -Mike Dooley

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The enemy

There is a saying: great is the enemy of good. I've seen it spun in many directions, but I believe it serves as a reminder. A reminder that sometimes, good enough is good enough. Sometimes, we don't have to shoot for perfection. It's OK to spend a lazy day on the couch. It's not the end of the world if you wait one more day to clean the toilets. And those dishes? They aren't hurting anyone by staying in the sink. We sometimes feel that being great is a requirement; as though everyone who depends upon us won't survive otherwise.

Your spouse, your children, your family, your boss, your toilets---do they know when you aren't willing to sacrifice yourself in the pursuit of great? Are they satisfied with good instead? Are you?

We tell ourselves we aren't enough this or a good enough that, but what does it really mean? I sometimes wonder if Martha Stewart ever says, "Well, this is good enough. I'll stop here." Or, does she kill herself in a constant pursuit of greatness? Does she ever stay in her sweatpants and watch TV, or is she always being perfect? Isn't she tired? When does she sleep?

What I have come to understand is that great--or the constant pursuit of great--is exhausting. It's exhausting because we can't be all great, all the time. We can't be a stupendous cook, a perfect spouse, a great housekeeper, a model parent, a spectacular employee and still have time to just be us. You are those things, true, but that's not all you have to offer the world. There has to be room for you in there somewhere.

Your heart pulls you in another direction or your soul reminds you that some things just aren't meant to be that way every moment of every day. Some days, it feels like we're just barely balancing everything and other days, we excell at each of the tasks we are called to complete. Admitting that you aren't great at something is painful, because it feels like you're admitting defeat. Or, you fear that someone you love will be hurt in the process. But those who love you--those who depend upon your good and your great--will still survive and love you anyway.

It's OK to let your guard down. It's just super fine and really quite dandy to let go of the great so you don't miss out on the good. Because you and I both know that sometimes, forcing the great means you lose out on the good. And good isn't so bad.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pa pa pa Poker Face

I have a lot of things. Like, a way with words. Or, a lack of gracefulness. And, overabundance of affection for my dog. But the things that I do not have, well, I just don't have them in any sense of the word. High atop this list is my lack of ability to hide my emotions. It's like I'm Jim Carrey. My mouth and body can attempt to fool you, but my face? My face never lies. It always tells the truth, even when the truth hurts.

My face is always giving me away. I can't stop smiling. Or, my face turns red. Or, I roll my eyes. Sometimes, I just exude dirty looks. I just can't help it--I think they just come right out of my pores. My face has a mind of its own. It's as though the muscles in my face move in time with some foreign body that is not, well, my body. I think it, I sometimes say it, but I always tell you with my face. It's my thing.

Most people fail to understand this important fact about me. They think I'm being bitchy or judgemental. They don't understand that it's completely out of my control. My husband is no exception. He's usually the object of my uncontrollable facial expressions. Like, when he makes suggestions. My face lights up like a Christmas tree that was decorated with discontent, disapproval and disgust. Even the simplest of suggestions are met with my very opinionated face, usually before I have a chance to find something nice to say. It's as though my face grasps the opportunity to speak before my tongue even understands what has happened.

Sometimes, it's like a horror movie. My husband talks and says something and then pauses and says, "What was that look for?" or "You could at least listen to what I have to say first." or even, "If you don't like it, then why don't you just say so?"

I'm left grasping at my face, feeling all around to understand what it has just done to me. Typically, it's betrayed my trust. I was still processing the information! I had not yet had time to draw upon a really judgemental conclusion and my face already gave my hand away. It was a royal flush. And I stink at bluffing.

So, yesterday I had this epiphany that had my face in quite the tailspin. We have been invited to a Halloween party and I have spent great lengths of time trying to decide on the most hilarious, outlandish costume my face and I can conjure. We've been trying hard with a furrowed brow. I thought I wanted to be America's Sweetheart, Snooki from the Jersey Shore, but that was until yesterday. Until I realized that I could be something far superior: Lady Gaga in a meat dress.

You remember how excited I was about the dress made of meat, right? If you don't remember, I'll just tell you: it was exciting. My face and I realized, though, that we couldn't wear a dress made of real meat. It just wasn't a realistic goal. So, we came up with a far superior idea. It was equally exciting. My face was filled with excitement and I began dancing around, singing well-known chart topper, "Poker Face."

But, ironically, you CAN read my poker face. And it's filled with excitement about a faux meat dress.

Monday, October 11, 2010


{Photo from here}

Yesterday, in baseball talk, was game 3. Or, the last opportunity to come THIS close to taking a time machine back to the wonderful year of 1995. Oh, what a wonderful year it was, that 1995. Ah yes, to be 12 years old again and having your main mode of transportation be a bike with a large pink banana seat. Those, as they say, were the days.

But alas, it did not happen. Not even a Cuban Missle on the Launching Pad could save the Redlegs from hopping into a time machine. But that's OK. At least we were able to put our mystery tickets to good use, after all that waiting in a virtual waiting room I did for last night's game. I didn't attend said game, though I did sit patiently in the waiting room, virtually speaking. Without a paper gown and the promise of cold metal instruments invading my body. Phew.

The funny thing about this game is that my husband did attend the game. Which was a two-hour drive. And began at 8:00 p.m. EST. And meant he didn't get home until 1:30 a.m. And the dog barked like a strange man was intruding our home when he arrived. OK, maybe I cared about that. That was loud. And potentially gave me a coronary.

But here's the thing about me: I don't care about things like this. I'm not the wife who gets upset that my husband left me alone all day. You know, because the 5 hours he spent conjuring up a defensive strategy for this week's football game wasn't "together time." It was him watching and re-watching football games and making funny diagrams with x's and o's and me catching up on the latest episodes of 48 Hours Mystery, Dateline and shoving my face with candy corn. (There are only a few weeks remaining of mass availability of this stuff, I need to eat as much as humanly possible, OK??)

So, by the time he finished up the defense (which he proudly held above his head like Simba from Lion King and proclaimed they were going to win) it was time for him to depart for game 3. And I wasn't bothered. Because every good football widow knows that football season is time to sit on the couch, eat candy corn and not having anyone judge you for eating candy corn (and almonds, OK?) for dinner. Because that's what I did. Oh, and green tea. And some crackers. I'm a grazer, what can I say?

But then something funny happened: he said thank you. Thank you? For what? For the fact that taking the dog for a walk was the only productive thing I did yesterday? For OD-ing on coffee and murder mystery shows that cause me to be paranoid about people giving me the side eye in public places? For trying to find the matches to all of your socks piled up in a sock pile in the laundry room next to the un-intentional pile of black Labrador hair?

No, for letting him go to game 3. I quickly reminded him that I'm not that wife. I'm not the wife that you have to ask for permission to go somewhere with your friends. I'm not the wife that makes you feel guilty for leaving and then coming home at 1:30 a.m. so the loud dog barking wakes me up from my slumber. No, that's not me. I'm the wife who hates to see you go, but loves to know that she can eat candy corn (and almonds) for dinner and continue with a judgement-free existence. Seems like an even trade to me.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

{Photo from Happy Things, as usual}
 I have a lot on my mind today, which means I need to word vomit my thoughts all over you. You don't mind do you?

Grab a bucket:

I'm obsessed with Happy Things on Tumblr. It's totally awesome. And it makes me happy. That's the point, right?

I sometimes like to think about my life as a large collection of boiling pots. I find that when one pot begins to boil over, it affects the rest and creates a mess. And it makes it difficult for me to write. And be funny. I'm having a boiling pot moment today, which is why I'm just vomiting random thoughts instead of forming coherent ones.

My husband and I ran a 10K together on Sunday. It was 45 degrees outside and windy. And when I say "together" it's what I mean--we ran the entire 6.2 miles side by side. It was a rare sight, because my better half typically accuses me of things like "slowing him down." It was also hilarious, mostly because our running style is the polar opposite of our living life style. I'm intense and crazy in real life; my husband is laid-back and calm. When we run, we turn into one another. Needless to say, he "encouraged" us to run the 10K in 52 minutes and I "encouraged" us not to run so hard that we vomited on the finish line. You culd say it worked out nicely.

I want to eat, drink and make everything pumpkin-related. I'm obsessed. My most recent obsession: the world's easiest pumpkin muffins. Seriously, it's just one box of spice cake mix and one large (or two 'regular' cans) can of pumpkin. Mix. Put in muffin pan. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Then, try not to eat them all in one sitting. If you're crazy like I am, you can melt down candy corn and use it as frosting.

I just recently stopped getting expensive salon highlights and starting dying my hair at home instead. It's easier, faster and less scary than I could have imagined. Oh, and cheaper. Much cheaper. I used this and it's seriously the best hair color for blondes I have ever used. My hair actually looks and feels better and I have a strong interest in giving the fine people at L'Oreal an award or a high five for their awesomeness. Either way works.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I dream of intruders

Everyone, I have decided, thinks that they own the "best dog." Despite the fact that they sometimes do some obnoxious things, most of us forgive our dogs and continue living in our lives in such a way that we believe our dog is awesome.

I am no exception. I believe that our AKC Certified Purebred Labrador Retriever with papers that prove such lab mix, Rudi, is the best dog. She's well-mannered. She knows how to sit. And shake! She likes giving tongue baths (don't ask). She barks at strangers who step foot on our property. She asks nicely for a sample of cheese. She likes cucumbers. And watermelon. She's potty trained. And polite.

Despite her shortcomings (like chasing wild animals in the backyard and a now-infamous bout with explosive diarrhea after invading a nest of baby bunnies) we love her anyway. We really do think she's the best dog ever. But, she's not without her quirks.

Take her sleeping patterns, for example. I invested a semi-large sum of money in purchasing a delightfully rugged and comfortable bed for Rudi from L.L. Bean. It's canvas. And sage green with khaki piping. And sitting at the foot of our bed. She enjoys this bed, but only when we're looking.

When we aren't looking (or after we fall asleep, either way) she sneakily heads from this semi-expensive bed and sleeps on her other bed: the couch. The couch, she has decided is a far superior "bed" and being told not to use the couch as a bed only adds to the excitement. It's as though doing something forbidden makes the couch that much more comfortable!

Another thing she does at random is awake in the dead of night, run to the large 3-paneled glass doors on the back of the house and bark furiously. At 2:45 a.m. At nothing. Nothing at all. The thing about Rudi is that she only barks for a purpose. That purpose is usually a stranger at the door. So, naturally one would think that at such a time a random a scary, creepy man was on our property. Being creepy. And our guard dog caught him in the act, right? Wrong. Trust me, she's wrong. I've canvased the property with my mace. I've let the dog outside to attack whomever is hiding in the shadows. There's no one hiding. And there are no shadows.

So, one can only conclude that Rudi is dreaming. And like any good dog, she's dreaming of strange men in our yard. At 2:45 a.m. Naturally.

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's like they know what I'm thinking

I just got around to watching the season premeire of Grey's Anatomy, which first aired a week ago. Truthfully, it was mostly because watching that show has begun to feel like an unpleasant task. I'm less than enamored with the story lines, which have been played out, and completely annoyed with the characters.

This is the last episode I'm going to watch, I told myself. If it stinks, yet again, I'm not watching this stupid show anymore. Then, the show concluded with this. And I realized that the love wasn't lost just yet:

"Every cell in the human body regenerates on average every seven years. Like snakes, in our own way we shed our skin. Biologically we are brand new people. We may look the same, we probably do, the change isn't visible at least in most of us, but we are all changed completely forever.

When we say things like 'people don't change' it drives scientists crazy because change is literally the only constant in all of science. Energy. Matter. It's always changing, morphing, merging, growing, dying. It's the way people try not to change that's unnatural. The way we cling to what things were instead of letting things be what they are. The way we cling to old memories instead of forming new ones. The way we insist on believing despite every scientific indication that anything in this lifetime is permanent. Change is constant. How we experience change that's up to us. It can feel like death or it can feel like a second chance at life. If we open our fingers, loosen our grips, go with it, it can feel like pure adrenaline. Like at any moment we can have another chance at life. Like at any moment, we can be born all over again."

And I was reminded, again, of how I feel. Not how I want to feel or how I think I feel or even how I tell people I feel, but truly and genuinely how I actually feel. You know, like when the makeup is wiped from your face at the end of the day and you stare in the mirror at all of your little imperfections? We spend our lives covering up the blemishes and masking the wrinkles with make up and our words. But after each day is done, we are left knowing what truly lies beneath. And it aint always pretty.

 It's funny, isn't it? How some stupid television show can become that voice in your head, reminding you to take a closer look at who you have become. I sometimes believe that the experience of infertility, the horror of hearing someone with 5 college degrees explain in non-logical terms we probably won't have children, has changed me for the worse. Like somehow seeing the worst that life and science has to offer us has caused something inside of me to break loose, loudly rattling around as I walk, but never really repairing itself.

The truth is, it has changed me. It would be harder for you to believe that it has not, right? But being changed doesn't always mean being changed for the worse. It doesn't have to be that way, not if you see change as an opportunity for a fresh start. A chance to let your voice be heard. Or, the opportunity to enjoy life through a new perspective. To drink in every moment as it comes. When something changes you and alters your perspective, it evolves into something greater than you could have imagined.

More importantly, I remembered that I have always resisted change. I have fought, kicking and screaming, against every single moment in my life that has changed things. Because I was scared. Because I liked the familiar better than the foreign. Because it was just easier that way. I. Hate. Change. Oh, and waiting. I hate that, too.

But, I can still put my finger on that piece of me that wants to understand. Wants to make perfect sense of everything. I still want someone to explain why it's me, and not someone else. Someone who I think is less deserving, perhaps. I still talk about events that happened "before" and "after" we found out. As if it was a war and things are so traumatic that everything else is eclipsed by this event. Those words. The way I felt then and how I feel now. As much as it feels like I'm whining, it's truly how I feel.

And being truly honest about how you feel is opening a door. And that door lets in just as much as it lets out. You know, like those doors at a restaurant that swing both directions. And the door smacked me in the face a few weeks ago when someone told me the one thing on this earth I didn't want to hear: that I was bitter.

It was crushing. Because of all the things on this earth I am willing to be, bitter is not one of those things. In fact, it is the one thing I try constantly not to be. But sometimes, we need the people we love to tell us the truth--even when it hurts. Unfortunately, they were right. It made me realize though, that I wasn't allowing the change to happen; I was fighting it. And it was burning me every step of the way, as if I was being dragged behind a moving vehicle. And it was that--the resistance--that was making me bitter.

Here's the thing about change, though: it only works if you're willing to actually let it change you. And you'd be suprised how good it can feel.


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