Monthly Archives: March 2014

So Long, 2013. Don’t Let the Door Hit You on Your Way Out.

December 31, 2013

The past couple of days have been rough.  I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy time for me.  My mom said she really didn’t expect New Year’s to be more difficult than Christmas, but I did.  I was pregnant a year ago.  I didn’t know it yet, but I was.

On Sunday, the blog post about my meeting with the hospital went live.  Rereading it was tough.  And I didn’t think to add a reminder to people that the post had been written almost two months ago.  Even though the first line of each post is the date on which I wrote, people still treat some of my posts like current news.  This led to some unsolicited advice about going over the autopsy results.  FYI, people, don’t do that.  That falls into the realm of “things not to say” or “grief: you’re doing it wrong”.  Well-meaning advice from well-meaning friends can still be the wrong thing.  I can tell you, I’m going to be much more conscious of everything I say in the future.

And then I did something on Facebook that I avoid doing.  As opinionated as I am, I’m still a good Midwestern girl.  I hate conflict.  I really don’t care to argue with people.  But I waded in on a friend’s post.  I wasn’t going to, but there was something that I couldn’t let pass.  She’d shared a post about vaccines.  One of her other friends commented about how vaccines are worse than the diseases they treat, especially since most people don’t get these diseases anyway.  And besides, “whooping cough… it’s just a cough”.  Yeah…  That would be why I had to step in.  Because pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is not just a cough.  My brother and one of my nieces had been sick for weeks.  They had trouble breathing accompanied by a bad cough.  I was on the phone with my brother.

“I coughed so hard that I cracked a rib,” he told me.  (Yes, our mother has heard this story.  But, yes, he also told me this before he told our parents.)  Yes, they were both finally diagnosed with pertussis.  It is well known to cause adults to cough so hard that break ribs.  It can easily kill infants who are too young to be vaccinated.  It’s the very success of vaccines that allow people to falsely believe they aren’t necessary.  Unless and/or until these diseases are fully eliminated, the best way to prevent them is vaccines that have been proven over decades to be safe.

I had tried to avoid reading the comments on the post because I knew someone was going to comment with anti-vaxxer propaganda.  I’m very sorry for the person who posted who believes her son’s autism was caused by a vaccine.  The science will tell her that it wasn’t.  And, believe me, I know how much you want a cause for what’s wrong with your child.  (Speaking of which, don’t even try to play a “woe-is-me” game with me.  I hold the trump card.  Not that she was trying to.  But if she had…)

Needless to say, the whole thing made me mad.  And it also made me wish that I could sic Smita on the anti-vaxxer commenters.  I didn’t have the energy to argue, and she would have done it so well.

I’m trying to look on the bright side.  I’m more regular than I ever was (being on the pill excepted).  My period was supposed to start today, and le voila!  I’m sure my hormones weren’t helping.

But, yes, here I am.  Reliving the painful episode of the hospital meeting.  Missing my daughter.  Definitely not pregnant.  Crying in the middle of the night.  2013 started with such promise.  I won’t be sorry to see it go.


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Friday Happiness

December 27, 2013

What’s Making Me Happy This Week:

  1. Christmas.  Christmas was lovely this year.  Quiet.  Simple.  Peaceful.  It was very nice.  It was a good day.
  2. This.  As much as I object to seeing what NPR personalities look like (wait, that’s what David Greene looks like?), I’ll forgive them for showing their faces in the creation of this.  I laughed out loud when I first watched it.  Each subsequent watch still makes me chuckle.  (For the record, I like Love Actually.  I don’t love it, but I do like it.)
  3. Snowshoeing.  My mom and I are having a blast snowshoeing.  It’s warming up today.  Supposed to be even warmer tomorrow.  We’re hoping there’s still enough snow left on the trail for us to snowshoe there tomorrow!
  4. Friends.  Courtney and I ate lunch together (thanks, Dr Z!) today, and I met Lisa for coffee after work.  Nice, normal conversation.  As Lisa rightly put it, life goes on.  And as I added, oh-blah-dee oh-blah-dah.

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What I’m Not Doing Today

December 26, 2013

There’s a CYT reunion today.  (That’s the Civic Youth Theatre to those of you who are uninitiated.)  I’m not going.  I wanted to go.  At first.  I really did.  Most of my friends growing up were either from CYT or KAMSC.  Or both.  There was a lot of overlap.  But I have spent vast quantities of today feeling incredibly stressed.  And I think the reunion is a big part of that emotion.  The group is the wrong size and composed of the wrong people.  Which sounds horrible because that’s not really what I mean.  They are lovely people.  But they aren’t the right people.

You see, most of us started doing CYT when we were in the fourth grade and continued until we graduated from high school.  So when you’re nine, you’re a little kid who looks up to the big kids who are in high school.  And then after a few years, you become one of the big kids whom the little kids look up to.  Most of the people who’ve said they’re going?  Yeah, they’d be the big kids.  I know them, but they weren’t in my CYT “class”.  They weren’t big kids when I was a big kid; they’d all graduated by then.  I’d have been out of my comfort zone if this had been planned for a year ago.  I probably would have gone a year ago, but as you know, things are really different now.  I don’t respond to the stress of being out of my comfort zone that well anymore.

So I’m not going.  And I’m kind of sad about it.  There are people going whom I haven’t seen in years.  But they were my brother’s peers, not mine.  I’ll be happier at home.

The pizza did sound good, though.  I may have to do something about that this weekend…

P.S. Christmas was indeed very nice and quiet.  We did not see Saving Mr Banks.  We watched Clue at my parents’ house instead.  They had never seen it.  This lapse in my daughtering of them has been remedied.  Yes, they thought it was very funny, as they should.  And if you have not seen it… Well, I don’t even know where to begin.  To make a long story short…

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Happy Christmas!

December 25, 2013

It’s early.  Very early.  I remember one early Christmas morning that my brother and I were awake early.

“Are you awake?” he whispered to me from his bedroom.

“Yes,” I whispered back from my own*.  “Should we get up?”

“No,” he whispered in reply.  “Let’s let them sleep a bit longer.”

It’s probably about the same amount of early this morning as it was that Christmas.  I really do love early Christmas morning.  I turn on the lights on the tree and sit and stare.  It’s a simple, beautiful moment.  It is quiet and still.

The rest of the day will be fairly simple, too.  My parents and I simplified Christmas several years ago.  They’ll come over around 10.  We’ll go snowshoeing on the trail.  We’ll have lunch.  We’ll open presents.  We’re thinking of going to see Saving Mr. Banks.  We will do these things in some order.  Unlike Thanksgiving, I think today will be okay.  The stakes are much, much lower.

And now I’m going to close my computer so that the only light will be the Christmas tree.  I hope you all have (or, as this won’t be online until March, had) a day of peace, friends, family, love.  Happy Christmas, everyone!

*An architectural note:  Our bedrooms were in the attic.  To get to his, one walks through mine.  No hallway separates the two rooms.  There’s just a door.  It’s really easy to have a conversation between the two rooms.

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A Little Bit of This…

December 23, 2013

The weather turned this weekend.  First it warmed up.  Then it returned to winter.  This does mean that I got the tree decorated and put all of the Christmas boxes back in the storage room.  It also means that we canceled knitting group on Sunday. 

So in answer to the question: What did you do this weekend?  Well.  I decorated the tree.  That’s something.  And I knit on my sweater.  A lot.  And while I was knitting, I was watching Doctor Who.  Pretty much what I did this weekend was watch Doctor Who.  I watched a lot of Doctor Who this weekend.  And I would have been content to spend today doing more of the same.  Knit.  Watch Doctor Who.  It’s all good.  Except for the needing to go to work thing.

But because the weather returned to winter, two things happened.  Thing One: We had an ice storm.  Thing Two: It snowed.  Ice storms can be brutal.  When I was five, we had an ice storm that knocked out power for a week.  This, of course, means that my five-year-old self equates ice storms with getting a week off school, which rocks.  But then, that ice storm also destroyed our swing set, so…

But ice storms are also beautiful.  The danger comes from the way the ice coats the trees.  But so does the beauty.  Everything sparkles after an ice storm.  And when my mom and I were out snowshoeing this evening, the setting sun, partially shrouded in clouds, caught the trees.  And they glowed.  The ice not only sparkled, it turned golden.  It was a truly magnificent sight.  And we stopped in our tracks.  And we watched as the sun caught the trees.  We watched as those ice covered branches glowed with the golden light of the evening.  In that moment, all was right and all was good.  It was nature at its best.  It was, quite truly, breathtaking.

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What’s Making Me Happy This Week

December 20, 2013

  1. I don’t have to write blog posts every day unless I want to.  Okay, I didn’t have to before, either, but I wanted to bank enough posts to get three months ahead.  On the 13th, I hit that point.  If I post every other day, the post I wrote on 12/13 will go live on 3/13.  So now if I’m really busy or just don’t feel like there’s much to say, I can skip a day.  And the weekends.  I can skip the weekends, too.  I can focus on other writing projects on the weekends.  Well, one writing project in particular, which relates to…
  2. Kazoo Books.  They’re definitely making me happy.  I’ve put them on a quest to fill out my Cherry Ames collection.  I want to reread them as I work on the above-mentioned project, but my collection is incomplete.  And it’s incomplete in the most inconvenient way.  I have the first two.  And then I’m missing books 3-8.  And those are the ones I really want to reread.  And sadly, these books have been purged from both the Parchment and the Kalamazoo libraries.  I’m sorry I missed that happening because my collection would be much more complete.  But Kazoo Books is on the case for me.
  3. Snowshoes.  Alas, it warmed up this week.  But my mom and I had two days of great snowshoeing.  And it’s supposed to snow again on Sunday, so we’ll get a lot more snowshoeing in.
  4. Red Dwarf.  Or rather the discovery that Hulu has Red Dwarf.  Our local PBS affiliate used to show it.  Don’t know if they still do.  They might.  I don’t exactly have a TV on which I could watch it.  But I am thrilled that I’ll be able to watch the whole series from the beginning.

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December 18, 2013

Today has been not so great.  I’m trying to decide how much is cyclical.  Last night’s insomnia I’m sure hasn’t helped me today.  (And I know that was related to where I am in my cycle.)  I just couldn’t focus today.  I had one small (ish) goal:  To get the department’s holiday cards addressed and in the mail.  I got one sheet of labels printed.  Yep…

I just didn’t want to today.  Fill in the blank.  I didn’t want to go to work.  I didn’t want to pack a lunch.  But I didn’t want to order in.  So I packed a lunch.  Not that I wanted to eat what I packed.  (But I did.  Mainly because there were no leftovers in our kitchen following any lunch meetings that might have been had.)  I didn’t want to deal with email.  I didn’t want to deal with voice mail.  I just didn’t want to do anything, except maybe curl up on the floor, and I didn’t particularly want to do that either.  I feel like crying, but I don’t really want to do that.

For whatever reason, I’m just sad today.  Grief.  Exhaustion.  Menstrual cycle. (I was sad the same day of my last cycle.  Yes, I do have that recorded.)  Any combination thereof.  Something I haven’t even thought of.  And I know that’s okay.  I don’t have to feel anything particular.  I know I can feel happy or sad.  I know that it’s all right to cry.  Crying gets the sad out of you, right?  Isn’t that what Free to Be You and Me taught us as kids?  It’s just one of those days where there’s just so much sad that I’m not sure I’ll be able to stop once I start.  (Okay, who am I kidding?  I have started.)

I know this is just today.  Tomorrow I can focus on the cards.  Get them done.  Take a break to go to Julie’s concert at lunchtime.  It will all be okay.  For now?  Well, I suppose there is one thing I want to do.  I just want to curl up on the sofa and watch Doctor Who.  I finished all of the Amazing Race episodes Hulu had to offer, so now I’m rewatching Doctor Who.  Christopher Eccelston, my first Doctor.  I swear I sat next to his doppelgänger on an airplane once.  Sneaked a peak at his landing card.  Neither a capital C nor a capital E to be seen.  Whoever he was, he was charming.  But my mom will be over soon, and we’ll go snowshoeing again.  And then we’ll have dinner.  And then I can curl up on the sofa with Doctor Who.  Like I said.  It will all be okay.

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