A very talented musician and artist died this week. Glenn Frey died of complications for RA/Crohns/Pneumonia. When I heard what the cause of death was, I stopped one thought about the fact that… he was like me. He struggled with … Continue reading
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Good grief, it is already/only half over. I’m exhausted this year by the sheer weight of January. It’s been a long few weeks… but it is high time to start getting back to the me I need to be. SO… … Continue reading
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So, I’m sitting here with WWSW playing Christmas Carols on my computer (IHeart is awesome… it has been a favorite radio station for years… especially this time of year), candles dancing, dog and cat happily chewing on each other. Thanksgiving … Continue reading
Okay, There comes a point where I have to remember to shut up and listen. I know I realize this periodically. Life has been reminding me of that quite a bit lately.
This morning, I sat waiting for the lift bridge and for not one but two freighters to go through the Cuyahoga river. I realized that I live in a city replete with lift bridges and drawbridges… and with a river like this there comes the necessity of occasional pauses in the day’s hurry scurry, helter skelter bull…$%^&… There are times where a pause is just a pause and the pause is exactly what is needed. Time enough to watch the smoke stacks of the boats make the bend… to hear the birds and the metal on metal screech whine toot of the trains… to see the bright yellow canary in a bright yellow flower… to take a slow deep breath (or twenty or thirty) and relax. Was I late? Yep. Was it all good? Yep.
It’s funny… I had just gotten off the phone with my mom when I got stuck in traffic. We were talking about being where you need to be… where you are supposed to be… and… thoink… duh…
I was hired at US Steel because Ida Flynn told me that I was GOING to go test for the Internship at US Steel the ONLY semester I could actually qualify the ONLY week I could actually test (given that we went on vacation) in a college career that was end to end in 2 years and 4 months. Yes it is possible. Yes, I regret not doing it slower because my QPA would have been better. I swore I would never work in a big city. I worked in downtown Pittsburgh. I was department lead for the Y2K project with 12 contractors and I had an incredible implementation. It was such a good job that I was “rewarded” with being transferred to the iron range of Norther Minnesota. Which is beautiful and where I saw eagles and heard loons and I watched the northern lights.
I was told when I left US Steel that I would regret it. I don’t. It’s ironic.. .the boats that fascinate the crap out of me now are the ones that left the port of Duluth carrying Ore… the pellets we made that came from the dirt we blew up. I don’t regret it. I miss the northern lights and listening to the lakes freeze in November, but I don’t regret either going to MN or moving from MN. I learned how to be an Oracle DBA in Mt Iron and that backup and recovery are the most important parts of the job.
I left there for Amarillo. SMALL company… friendly town. I was hired as a DBA despite having no REAL DBA experience, because I was trainable. Turns out Trisha was right. I am trainable. I learned to be a good DBA and I learned (in 900 hours in 3 months) to be an Apps DBA. It meant I lived my dream of publishing a book and it laid the groundwork for the next steps. The company was acquired by a huge company in Chicago and I went looking for not Chicago.
Poof… Austin… BAD company to start out with… then Oracle… then another company where I lost myself. Where I learned that I have the ability despite RA to bust a move and walk a half marathon or four. My first I hurt so bad I almost quit yards from the finish line. My second, my son medaled me despite the flu. My third bear and squirrel girl did with me… and I thought I was going to not make it… and I walked in with my son and (even though I still don’t think I’m anything special) I became his hero. And because I understood what forever conditions mean, I was able to cope when my daughter got Epilepsy, when my son got epilepsy and when my son got Sjogrens… and when friends ended up with RA, I was able to be there, to tell them that it is not the end of all normal and to get their butts into the doctors. It took some time for me to get my head around the fact that Autism isn’t the end of normal, it is just a different normal and that sometimes when you get answers to all of the hard questions in your life you can take a deep breath and relax and be your own beautiful self. I’m incredibly proud of my little boy who just took a deep breath and became himself.
And now, here I am. Because I was incredibly frustrated with being told how worthless I was I started looking for elsewhere to be. Because I was scared that the 412 area code on my phone meant that something was wrong with the family I answered the call… and despite not believing that I was in any way qualified I took the chance. Despite getting horribly mixed up in the first phone screen with contact information, I made it through that. Despite feeling like I blew it by not knowing current technology in my first technical screen, I made it through. Despite throwing up all over town my all day interview went remarkably well. And despite being terrified of leaving my baby behind in Texas and moving half way back across the country and not knowing if I would let myself and my family down, here I am. I am in the Cleveland Clinic medical system. I am back near “home”. I have found a house that was waiting for me. I am settling into a job that I really enjoy.
I am where I need to be to help family understand. I am where I need to be to allow my little girl to find her wings and to allow my little boy find his feet and his wings. I’m so very proud of my babies.
Looking back… looking around… looking at everything… I realize that I am right where I am meant to be. everything is working exactly as it should. My job is to breathe… to be kind to myself and to quietly do the needful.
I love you mom… I’m listening…
Now, judging by the title, it seems like this might be a little kvetching. It’s not. I am a firm believer that you can never have too many friends. I know I’m “that weird lady” and I gratefully accept the title, but I believe that we are all connected. We are all the same. Some have more, some have less, we all have struggles. We all cry.
I try desperately hard to not let people who are painfully mean (and by painfully, it can get to where their negative energy can physically hurt if you stress too much on it… it’s the stress, not them particularly I think… but hurt is hurt). And I let them anyway. Sometimes it is unavoidable… you have to deal with them. Sometimes I get caught in my Pollyanna ideals and try to help… to change… and it doesn’t work… but I try. It’s also why I don’t “hang out” in many of the RA groups on Facebook. Debbie Downer isn’t me and it isn’t something I deal well with. Yes it hurts… BELIEVE me I know it hurts. But… there are people who find their joy in DWELLING in the hurt… expounding and bitching endlessly about the hurt… I hurt. Some days I hurt an 86. And The sun is going to come up and I have to get through today. I can smile (okay, it LOOKS like a smile if you grit your teeth the right way) or I can bitch. Bitching pisses everyone off and adds to the stress. Stress sucks.
Too often I find out that my friends for other reasons (people I’ve worked with… friends for other reason on Facebook… complete strangers) are struggling with trying to get a diagnosis for the pain… or have gotten the diagnosis for the pain and are struggling with the new reality. It weighs on my heart that so many people are finding out that they are now dealing with this reality.
It’s funny. The day I found out about my diagnosis I sat at my desk at work and cried and cried and cried. I thought of the hands… the ones I remember from my childhood… the ones that terrified me then and still do now.
Don’t google them and look. It’s not good. It’s scary. I know it is reality still. I’ve seen them when I’m out and about. But it doesn’t help to dwell.
I don’t want other people to sit at their desks and cry and cry and cry. I know they will. Even if you DESPERATELY want to know why you hurt like there is ground glass in your body and every movement grates it into the nerves… even if you NEED to know so you can start to fight back… still… hearing the words is like getting kicked in the knees.
I’m glad I went through my own steps of dealing with it so I can help. I can be the go to guy who has lived. Who has cried hot tears because some times you just have to push through the pain because you have to and that is the only reason you have. But I can listen. And I can be that shoulder, real or virtual, who understands…
Too many of my friends are hearing the same words I heard. And it sucks. And I hope that, maybe, I can help.
The last few days I’ve come to realize that my whole life I’ve been some kind of label. Sometimes at first glance the labels were put there to encourage. Usually they were kind of derogatory in flavor though. I’ve been … Continue reading
So… today I’ve been thinking… a lot… Yesterday was our first soccer game (Squirrel Girl and I are coaching 3 and 4 year olds with a couple 5 year olds thrown in accidentally) and the kiddos had fun. They laughed. … Continue reading
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I don’t think it was a Kaitlin’s Cauze snowball, but I guess it could have been. Regardless, this morning I was hit by a snowball, and it was great. I woke up this morning totally not feeling the fact that … Continue reading
Do you have someone in your life that people tend to take one look at and make snap judgments about? Someone who is one of the most amazing people… but who put people off because he looks just a little different and walks to his own drummer…? I hesitate to call him a black sheep because 1. that is cliche and he is SO not cliche… 2… heck I’m one of the family black sheep, woooo… 3… he TOTALLY is not a sheep… that is an incredibly big thing with him.
He is such a good kid. He is an incredible person. He is artsy fartsy. He reads and plays the violin and this is him with his favorite ‘thing’ in the whole world. People tend to look at least twice when he is dressed in his big long duster, his black fireman boots, his black hat… looking morose and withdrawn and the dog (peanut) comes running up to him and his face transforms into the most beautiful smile!
He is getting up at 4 am to haul his butt into ‘town’ with me for the half marathon. He isn’t going just to cheer me on. He has figured out that he loves to volunteer at the event. This year he is handing out half marathon medals. I have a goal… to make my best time quickly enough to have him hand me my medal. I won’t make it… but it means a lot that he wants to be there with me.
He looks out for his sister. He is the first one to make fun of her when she deserves it (and lord knows sometimes she deserves it) but he is the most viscous in her defense when it matters… and it matters.
I also have, in my family, at least one person… actually more than one… who tend to dwell a lot on appearances.
I’m pretty sure that I’m not really high on the list of at least one of them. I get birthday phone calls (sometimes actually on my birthday) and the first words are either about them or about wishing them happy birthday… When I get a phone call it is usually to tell me about the wonderful things that they are doing for their charity or in their lives. When I get an email it is to ask for me to support…. this or that… never ever to just say hi.
Today I found out today that they actually are impressed with my kid. I’m proud of him… he really is a good kid… but to know that they think he is a good kid is such a wonderful bounce to my heart… it gives me hope…
He shrugs it off… but it wonderful to know that there are people who live by appearances who think he is a good thing.
I’ve been watching Everest: Beyond the Limit lately on Planet Green. It fascinates me. It irritates me. It is amazing. Don’t get me wrong… I have the utmost respect for the people who train for months and years to be … Continue reading