Thursday, June 23, 2011

Who Wears Short Shorts?

Oh my gosh…Saturday is coming up so fast. I have two days to get myself into shape to run the Warrior Dash. It’s a “3.02 hellish mile race.” I don’t think I’ve ever run more than a mile at a time in my life and that was in 19…something or other.

Fighting asthma and just no desire to go out and run for pleasure (well, I do have to say that I’ve been enjoying running barefoot on the beach lately…), I don’t know what I was thinking signing up for this thing.

Well, I was thinking warrior medal, t-shirt, fuzzy hat with horns and a beer at the end included in the entry fee. Yea, I’m mostly in it for the hat and the beer. I figured that the 3.02 hellish miles would be broken up with fun distractions such as climbing through mud under barbed wire, going up a muddy slope, sliding down a muddy slope, climbing a wooden wall, going through hundreds of tires, jumping over old cars and trucks, fighting my way through a tangle of ropes and leaping over fire. Then, I get the beer and the hat.

The other thing is that so many people just do it for the fun of it. To me, that sounds like fun. Yea, if you want to win a better quality fuzzy hat with horns, you can go all out. I’m doing it for fun with friends.

One friend and I decided last night that we were going to dress in crazy outfits (you can win prizes for that). We were thinking tube socks, old 70s gym shorts, tight t-shirts and head bands. As a last minute thing, I couldn’t find 70s shorts…but I found some short shorts that have a similar look. Not as cheesy as my 70s kid days, but reminiscent. The shirts turned into white tank tops that we are thinking of painting something on them.

I tried the outfit on today. It looks very Juno to me…you know the boys running in the movie? And the shorts are…well, very short. I’m not so sure I can pull them off as well as my fit and younger counter-part. But, I’m going to give it a try. I’m going to take the risk and wear something crazy in public.

Obviously I added this picture after the fact. Taken towards the end of the course.
We are still smiling.
If you get a chance to run the Warrior Dash, I highly suggest it.
Just be sure to wear short shorts.
The mud will weigh you down. 

Wow! Maybe this is my alter ego? Whatever it is, it’s daring, it’s fun. It’s good to break out every now and then from who we are (or who we’ve gotten comfortable being) and just go out and wear some short shorts.

Please share something about yourself that was totally unlike you.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Having Faith...But With a Backup Plan

I had surgery today. A D&C and an endometrial ablation. To help with women stuff…basically to lighten or eliminate my periods.

When I discussed the procedure with my ob/gyn, she told me that I’d be knocked out – put under general anesthesia. I said I didn’t want that. I was under general anesthesia years ago for a laparoscopy and I hated how long it took to come out of it and then the hours and hours of nausea that followed it. I knew I could do this procedure with only local anesthesia. I didn’t know how I knew it, but I knew it.

In the past few weeks, there were many phone calls back and forth between us. She consulted with the anesthesiologist who would be at my surgery. No one has ever had the procedure done with just a local, she said, including herself.

I kept saying I was different. I don’t do Novocaine at the dentist. I have a high pain tolerance level. Won’t they just let me try? It was finally decided that they’d let me try the procedure my way if I agreed to sign papers that said if they thought I looked like I was in too much pain and would compromise the surgery that they could put me out. I agreed to that.

So, I changed and got wheeled into the surgical room. I had my headphones on with Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach. I did end up listening to it quietly with only one ear covered so that I could still hear the doctors talking to me and so I could also give them feedback.

The weirdest part of the surgery was being strapped up in stirrups with four people around me. They said they thought nothing of that. Okay. I got a shot of lidocaine and then the four shots for the local block in my uterus. I felt a slight pressure poke. She did end up giving me a fifth shot in my upper left side because I felt a little bit more when she went in to test my tolerance. My doctor thought it was interesting how I described things. Some things felt “wiggly.” The D & C part was “tickly.” I thought the coolest part was when they put a camera inside me and I got to see the inside of my uterus including where my fallopian tubes opened up into it. I wouldn’t have been able to experience that if I wasn’t awake.

Next came the balloon that got attached inside me and filled up with boiling water. That circulated inside me for ten minutes. Didn’t really feel it until they drained the water back out. That was a bit warm then.

And, then, that was it. My doctor took credit for her awesome block. The anesthesiologist told me that I was just “wired differently” than most other people. He didn’t think most people could do what I just did. I felt like some super hero. I don’t know how I did what I did. I just knew that I could do what I did.

I think by doing the surgery with just a local that it opened their eyes, too, to what the human body is capable of. I thanked the doctors for having faith in me. For letting me try it my way. They had faith in me and I had faith in me…even though we had a backup plan. Just in case. Not a bad way to go about anything in life.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Proof Pages

This week I got the proof pages of the interior of my book emailed to me from the publisher. It was my entire book in the layout of what I approved from a few sample pages less than 2 weeks ago. And, it’s the layout of what the final book will look like. Can I say that I am totally excited?

I have my own ISBN number! There is the blurb about this book being a work of fiction and anything similar to real persons or events is purely coincidental. Yea, we’ll go with that.

One part that makes me totally smile when I think about it, is seeing my name at the top of every other page and the name of the novel, Unexpectations, at the top of the other pages. I guess since I wrote this and had the thought of publishing it, I never thought of seeing that. It wasn’t something that even went through my head. Yea, my name on the cover, but not on every other page! Some books are formatted like that. Some aren’t. I’ll go with it.

There are still so many steps in getting this book out. I’m trying to be as patient as possible. I made it through the “quiet, anxious stage” as my contact at the publishing house described it. But, I’m still a bit anxious.

One of the things I’m most looking forward to seeing is the cover art. I gave them a photo to incorporate along with some ideas. My example looked like it would make for a great wedding invitation. I told them not to make it look like that. But, I want it to appeal to women (that’s the main audience this book is geared towards, but I’ll welcome any and all readers!). I also told them I wanted something unexpected on the cover. I hope it goes with what’s inside. I’m creative but not that creative to do the cover design myself.

This is the photo that I uploaded to use for the cover art.
It's one of my mom's orchids. Very Georgia O'Keefe.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that it is a real book in the making. I’m sure that as far as the excitement goes surrounding it, I’ll always have that. Because I have that about writing in general. Yea, I’ll go with it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

In Our Own Little Worlds

Life is so different for all of us. We tend to get caught up in our own little worlds and we don’t know what is happening to all those around us. Well, in a general sense, yes. But, on a more micro-scale, no.

As I drove to work today, I had my new (to me) Katie Herzig Apple Tree album cranking in the car. My windows were down. Temperatures were in the low 70s. I got a solid night’s sleep. All was good in my world.

I looked around at other drivers. I didn’t really see anyone looking as happy as I was (it was before 8 a.m….) I saw a lot of sleep- or caffeine- deprived people with blank stares. One man in a pickup truck took the longest, deepest drag from his cigarette that I had ever seen outside of the movies. As if it was his last ever. His eyes were looking off to the side, but not looking at anything physically around him. He had some serious thoughts going on in his head. But, of what?

Do we really want or need to know what everyone else is doing or thinking or going through? Sometimes, I find it fascinating to watch people. To create a life’s scenario for them in my own head. Can we really imagine what any particular person is going through at that very moment?

My mind goes to one person, one family, who is experiencing something I never would have imagined for them. My cousin’s son was brought to the hospital last week. Thirteen years old. Having a non-stop tic storm from his recent (only a few years) diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome.

I was going about my weekend. Happy as a clam. Yard saling. Finding my new bike. My cousin sat in the hospital 600 miles away with her son in intensive care. I soaked up the sun on a 17-mile bike ride and then at the beach where I went on my first swim of the season in the ocean that was at a balmy Maine 60 degrees and then I went to a neighbor’s for a cookout. My cousin’s son had a brain bleed. I snuggled into my bed with my newest book to read, Illusions by Richard Bach. My cousin’s son was being taken off the ventilator. I went to work with my tunes cranking. My cousin’s son had five brain bleeds and she was told he probably had a mini stroke. I’m feeling warmth, energy, vitality, love. My cousin is feeling pain, sadness, anxiety, anguish, worry. I’m getting ready for bed in the quiet comfort of my home as I write this. She’s worried sick about the outcome of her son, one of a set of twins. Spending countless hours in the hospital.

Every day, we are all truly on different journeys at the same time. I think it would help to be more compassionate and empathetic towards others and realize that not every journey or day is an easy one. When someone does something that ticks you off in traffic or perhaps they aren’t as friendly at work or in the store checkout line like you think they ought to be, think that maybe all isn’t right in their world. Maybe give them a smile and send good energy their way. And, in that moment, give thanks and appreciate all the good things that you have in yours.