Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Note of Encouragement

It light of my last post, I just wanted to give you a little encouragement... 

You may be powerless to change many things, but remember the things you can control: 

- Your attitude
How you choose feel about something can litterally change the situation. If you are negative, negativity will follow. Don't self-fufill negativity. Choose to rise above the situation, and make things better.

- Your style
Wear those pumps. Put on those cute pjs. Wear the wristband. Put on the extra eye makeup. Put the flower in your hair (or if your a guy, do all the manly versions of these things). Especially on the bad days. Choose to radiate beauty and joy.

- Your mouth
Smiling, even through tears, laughing amidst pain, it does make things better. "Smile, though your heart is aching, smile though your heart is breaking. When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by" - Michael Jackson

- Your inner life
Dwell on those positive ideas that will make things better, those small things that will make people smile, those baby steps in the right direction. Don't stop growing, just keep going. 

When Your Mind Begins To Bend

My mother has been chronically ill for almost 17 years. She is often covered in wounds and abrasions, and has so many things wrong with her insides, its a miracle she's still here. Even though I wish I didn't have to say it, I've grown used to it. Yet, no matter how acclimated you are to a situation, life will still throw something at your to make your head spin. You will suddenly experience something that is out of the ordinary, something that wrenches your thoughts and emotions from their usually fixed places, and cause them to morph and adapt in ways you didn't think were possible.

Last night was one of those nights. I received a text while teaching dance classes, and I quickly looked at my phone while my students began filing in for Jazz class. These words jumped out at me; "mamma, hospital." My stomach dropped for a moment, but didn't settle there. The hospital is a joke in my family. My mom's illness is so severe, the hospitals have turned her away. Then again, the hospital is where you go when all hope is lost... so what was going on? Was tonight the night? Was death knocking on our door? I wouldn't think about it. I taught class, and resumed my happy instructor face as normal.

As soon as classes were over, I called. Mom was ok. She didn't even want me to come to the hospital. The pain had been crippling a few hours before, but she was much better now. They almost called the ambulance, but things would be alright. They were giving her pain meds. It was manageable now.

This has always been the problem, the pendulum swinging back and forth between all sirens blazing to a relative calm. The instability is incredibly difficult to deal with. I may come home between jobs and enjoy a few minutes of conversation and a snack with my mom, or I might end up with my hands covered in blood from cleaning out my mom's wounds, listening to her moan and moan and moan. Its maddening.

Last night, after she came home, we attacked her wounds with all the effort of old fashion surgeons. I am there, with my mother, scraping and pulling on bio-tissue that has attached itself to her skin. She swears intermittently, and I curse myself inwardly for wishing this would all go away. I am tired from working all day, but this is my real job, helping my patient. My dad is out to lunch in other room, nursing his stupid cold, and I am with my mom. The hours tick by. Its 10:00 pm. At least I don't have to go anywhere tomorrow. Its 12:00 am. I can't believe this tissue is so stubborn!

Its 1:00 am. Finally, my mom tells me to go to sleep. I feel guilty for leaving her, but I am so exhausted. Why do I ever complain about getting sick? Oh my gosh, is this my life? How am I ever going to get out of this?? Who else suffers from this disease? What if we lived in a third world country where we didn't even have a roof over our head, and clean bandages, and ointment? I feel sick inside. I can't cut out the tissue that bothers her so much... I wish I were a doctor with endless resources. I wish I were a surgeon! I wish I had more energy and time to help! I wish she didn't have to suffer like this...

And my mind bends, and bends, and bends, until I can't recognize my thoughts anymore and I fall asleep. At least I know what love is, and I will take no substitution. I am lucky to see and experience so much pain, because I am really hurting, really living. I feel the purpose of life so keenly, and I will stop at nothing to make myself stronger and able to abate the pain.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Why Not?

Why not?
Why don't you just do it?
Why don't you just try?

I'm caught.
Like a fish in the net.
But... what if I die? 

What gives?
What's stopping you?
What's holding you back?

Faced with the truth.
I fear what I lack. 

Go for the gold!
Get creative!
Give yourself the freedom to chase success!

I will be bold.
Until I have made it I will not rest.

Monday, May 9, 2016

White Keds on Black Pavement

Life is white keds on black pavement
That fight to keep them clean
Among dust and debris
Keeping off the stains
and remains of the day
By wiping them clean
and putting them away.
One mark may be sufficient
to discourage their owner.
What's the use?
They say
The shoes will only
Get dirty again!
But the one who is dedicated,
Will have a clean sole,
Solely because of the way
They control
the mess,
daily erasing the grime
from the

Friday, May 6, 2016

Life Happens... Like Stalled Vehicles and Tow Trucks...

Life happens.

For example...
I was driving on a very hot Monday to afternoon dance classes. Things were going just swimmingly, until I came to a stop light, pushed on the gas pedal and found that my car would not move forward. My poor little car (Tasha is her name), had overheated and died in the middle of the road, quite literally the middle lane of the road.

A kind lady helped me push my car into the safety of the left hand turning lane. I've had my fair share of car troubles over the past few months, so I was hoping that my car trouble card had already been played for awhile. No such luck! Thankfully, this past year has given me a head for emergencies, and I was able to make all the necessary checklists:

1) Contact mom (who contacted father)
2) Contact work
3) Contact sister
4) Contact insurance company for roadside assistance

It was hot. REALLY hot. So, I'm half-in, half-out of the car, beginning to drip with sweat, and the insurance company says its going to take a couple hours just to get a tow truck out to my area. Well, there goes work for tonight...

My sister, Rachel, kindly came to pick me up. I was nervous about leaving the car in the road, but there was nothing else to do. We went to get a snack (bought protein bars, bad choice...), came back, and waited for the tow truck across the road, my eyes watching nervously over my little car. Dad showed up (unnecessarily, as I told him the car was safe), then left. Rachel and I proceeded to wait on this hot, sunny Monday afternoon in the car in a gravel parking lot of, ironically, an obscure mechanic repair shop.

Finally, an officer came along. I ran up to the car, explained what happened, and the officer called a tow truck for me which was (also ironically) right across the street. The guy who came was very sweet, and a little boyish. I think its so funny how things never change from the playground all through life. I could tell that he was working deftly and showing off his expertise because there was a pretty girl in need of assistance, just the way little boys show off their scars and monkey bar skills. I do not look down upon this, I applaud this, I love this, but I am not caught up in it. Maybe there is too much philosopher in me. Instead of enjoying male attentions, I find myself too often observing them from the outside, wondering about them, marveling at them, intrigued with them, protective of them, but somehow floating on their surface, face down watching them. My sister just laughs when I tell her stuff like this...

The towing company gave me a discount on the tow, and hopefully I will be reimbursed by my insurance company. A rousing way to start the week wouldn't you say?

Note: In case you find yourself broken down in the middle of the road, here are a few safety tips:

0) TURN ON YOUR EMERGENCY FLASHERS (that is the red, triangle marked button usually in the middle of your radio area). This gives people the chance to know you're having car trouble, and to get around you safely.

1) Assess the situation to see if it is safe. If you can safely and easily move your car off the road, proceed to do so. If this is not possible, it is ok to leave your car, just be sure to lock it up and remove any visible valuables.

2) If you feel unsure about the safety of your call, call 911, and they will send officers to direct traffic around you. If you feel the car is fairly safe, it is ok not to notify police, especially if your car is off-road. If you choose to leave your car in the middle of the road or if it can not be moved, its best to notify police.

3) Call or contact your insurance company online for roadside assistance. Be sure to ask the following questions (they should provide you with this info, but just in case) -
- what am I responsible for paying for?
- how far will you tow me?
- how many tows are covered by my insurance? (as you may need to be towed to one place, and then to another)
- what can I be reimbursed for in regards to towing and repair?

4) Remain in the vicinity of (nearby) your vehicle if possible until the towing company arrives on the scene.

5) Remember to be safe when crossing roads! Be careful when crossing into traffic, and wait until things are clear enough or slow enough for you to pass through safely :)

So, there's another adventure to add to my file! If you have car trouble stories, or safety tips, by all means share them with me!

Be safe!!

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