Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sick Days

I'm re-surfacing after 4 days of sleeping, lounging around the house, and generally being sick. It's been literally YEARS since I've been sick. It was a weird thing.

Time takes on an entirely new quality when you are sick. Hours stretch out before you with absolutely nothing to fill them. Sometimes you're lucky enough to doze off, sometimes unlucky enough to retire to the bathroom for an uncomfortably long time. But mostly, there is just a slowly ticking day of mild discomfort and mild boredom. It's been literally YEARS since I've been bored.

Bored time is good time, I've come to learn these past few days. Bored time is devoid of the ever-rushing, gotta-check-off-one-more-item-on-the-to-do-list, frantic, busyness that consumes my life. Bored time allows you to take a step back from the busyness and analyze it. Is the busyness actually getting me anywhere? Or just keeping me from being bored? Is boredom the preferable state?

I remember being 7 years old and out of school for 2 and a half weeks with the chicken pox. I remember that same frantic feeling that I was going to fall behind (stressed out at the age of 7!) Then again, I remember my teachers sending my new reading book home (my reading group had just finished book F and started book G!) along with a packet of work. I read then entire reading book in one week and whipped off the work packet in record time. I remember finding it actually quite easy, and not nearly as difficult as I seemed to find the work when I was as school.

I also remember baking cookies with my mom and after the pox dried up to the gross, scabby stage, she took me to a matinee to see The Rescuers as a get well treat. I remember those two weeks of second grade better than just about anything else in elementary school.

Similarly, over the past few days, I've been thinking about how things don't need to be nearly as difficult as they seem to be. Just like book G, neither work or life seemed too hard; not as hard as it has been.

Tomorrow I'm back to work, back to "slay the dragons" as my dad always says. The fever has broken, the nausea and headaches are gone. But I'm hoping that the bored-sick-detatched way of looking at things sticks around for a while

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


If you breakfast choice is between a piece of peanut butter toast or the slightly questionable rice pudding, ALWAYS go with the toast. 

or anything that does not have the qualifier "questionable" in front of it.

Trust me.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

WInter Wonderland Walk

Today I decided to do some exploring near home. I drove to a fire access road in the conservation land close by, threw on my boots, and headed out for a couple hours. The access road lead to some biking trails, to some hiking trails, to some small overgrown paths, and finally out into a little road that I had never seen before. I walked along a road near some farmland, enjoying the Christmas decorations, looking at the horses out in the fields, and wondering if I could find this road without first going through the woods!

There's just no bad time of the year to be outdoors!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Second Chances


So, we didn't all die yesterday in a fiery blast. That's good.

Which makes today the first day in "second-chance-at-life." 

What are you going to do with yours?

Friday, December 21, 2012



This time of year, it seems like there are so many "beginnings". So many times to re-invent yourself, so many times to vow to be a better person, lead a better life, make a bigger difference. It starts for me with my birthday, which is in December, followed by solstice, Christmas, and then new years. The shortest day of the year seems to be the greatest of the transitions, to me.

I always try to take some time to reflect upon the past year on December 21st, maybe light a candle, do some journaling, drink some tea, and sit and reflect some more. Not a bad ritual to do weekly, on Sunday morning; but even more so on the shortest day of the year.

End-of-Days hype aside (though it was kind of fun to bring aluminum foil hats to my coworkers) 2012 really did feel like the end of an era to me. I did a lot of house cleaning, both literally and figuratively this year. I made some decisions, set some goals, wrote out some plans. And, of course, made my beloved lists. 

Now, I am sitting in anticipation. So many things I want to be doing RIGHT NOW. So many things I wish to begin. Yet so many things I still have to take care of before it's time to begin. 

On solstice, I sit here and drink my tea with my big plans for the future, my reflections of the recent past, and I try to enjoy the now on the shortest day of the year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas decorations

After school lets out, though, it's difficult to muster up Christmas cheer. You no longer have the end of the semester and the oh-so-wonderful vacation. And unless you happen to work IN a school, or maybe a florist shop, those seasonal changes just don't exist in the workplace.

Take, for instance, my job. From season to season, Christmas or not, I see an endless stream of patients and all their petty problems: "I can't walk!", "I can't sit up by myself!", "I can't get to the bathroom alone!", "Wooga wooga, wooga!" (that guy has receptive aphasia and is pissed that he can't talk). He's the most annoying of the entire annoying bunch. Jeez! How the heck am I supposed to generate an iota of Christmas cheer with this pack of characters monopolizing all my time?

The answer, my friends, is no further away than my drive home. See, on my drive home, I pass no fewer than 5 houses festooned with Christmas lights decorations. Christmas lights and decorations make me happy. And the more lights and decorations there are, the happier I am.

Sometimes I hear people throwing around insane expressions like "tasteful Christmas decorations." To that I say: "Bah, humbug!" Moderation has its time and its place. However, the time is not Christmastime. And the place is not a box of ornaments. Don't even think about trying to be "tasteful" when decorating for the holidays. Just keep putting stuff up wherever you can reach. How do you when you are done? Ask yourself: "Does it look like Christmas threw up all over my house?" If the answer is yes, then put up 2 or maybe 3 more glittery items. Then you are done. 

Another ridiculous notion: "White lights are so much classier than colored. Colored lights are tacky." I always respond in turn: "You are absolutely right. Thank goodness Clark Griswold used only white lights. Otherwise it would have looked tacky!"Other than his bland palette, though, Clark was definitely right on target.

I especially love those neighborhoods where every house on the block is overloaded with Christmas lights. You know those streets. Every town has one! The streets that look like ol' Griswold and Buddy the elf were hired as consultants. No matter how Grinchy you may be feeling, drive down one of these streets.I challenge you to do it and NOT smile. It's impossible! Because Christmas lights and decorations make people happy. 

Wooga, wooga, wooga.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bad Dates at Work

It's been a while since we've had a Tuesday's Bad Date. Probably because I've been a bit of a hermit when it comes to anything to do with dating.

This TBD selection illustrates that point very well.

A couple months ago, a new doc started at the place I work. We'll call him Dr. Tam. I'm not sure what Dr. Tam's specialty is; physiatry? Whatever. That's not really relevant to the story. What is relevant is that every day since he started, I have smashed into him in the hallway at least once.

I'm not sure why this is so. Probably because he walks really fast and doesn't always look where he is going. Add to that: I walk really fast and don't always look where I am going. Not a good combination. Oftentimes ends up in a *** smash! *** collision in the hallway.

The collisions usually happen outside the waiting area when we are both going to get our respective patients. But I have smashed into him outside the bathroom, in medical records, and in the cafeteria. I spilled his soup all over the place. Luckily, he had an extra lab jacket with "Dr. Lee Tam" (not his real name) emblazoned on the lapel.

"Why do I keep smashing into you?" I said after the soup incident.

He very wisely said "I don't know" before he scuttled off for his clean lab coat.

In the staff office, I started bemoaning my klutziness. "OMG! I smash into that guy every. single. day! Sometimes two or three times a day! What is wrong with me?"

About four co-workers stared fixedly at me.


"Is he single?" one of them asked.

"I don't know."

"Well, is he wearing a wedding ring?"

"I don't know."

"You have to notice these things! If you smash into a guy, you should look to see if he is wearing a wedding ring! Didn't you read Cosmo in college?"

"Well, let's see. If I'm unobservant enough to collide with this guy every day, doesn't it stand to reason that I'm unobservant enough to NOT notice his fingers? Besides, this is not a movie. This is real life! In real life, you don't run into somebody every day and then spill soup all over him like you are being THROWN in his direction and it turns into a romantic relationship. In real life, he thinks I'm a spaz!"

Then something I said made me stop.

"OMG! What if the universe is literally THROWING me into this guy and I'm too unobservant to even notice? What if I'm so stupid that the universe upped the anti and made me spill soup on him!"

"See? That's what I'm talking about!" my friend said. "You have to check this guy out the next time you see him. He's not just a guy in a lab coat, he could be your future husband!"

Just then, another therapist walked into the staff room. "Who are you talking about?"

"Dr. Tam."

"Why? Who's future husband is he supposed to be?"

A slew of hands pointed in my direction.

She walked over and put her hand on my shoulder. "Sweetie, Dr. Tam is gay."


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December Musings

Today has been one of those days. One of those days around holiday time when you just feel drained -- physically, emotionally, mentally. I feel used up.

I've been going through my days, doing the things I've set out to do: making my green smoothies, filling my water bottles and drinking them down, doing my best to get through all the things I need to do at work and leaving on time (whether I'm done or not), going to the gym, meditating before bed. I can't help feeling that I should be feeling BETTER. I should be feeling healthy and energized and unstoppable. Instead, I feel spent.

I feel like I move through my days like I'm moving through a to-do list. As much as I love lists, they are not a substitute for a life.

Is it the holidays that make me feel this way? The ebbing daylight? Or just the end of a rather trying year? I ponder these questions, hoping that if I can find an answer, then I can find a solution.

Hoping that 2012's musings will become 2013's muse.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December Goals

December arrived cloudy and cold with the hint of snow in the air. Yes, I guess that's what December is all about.

 It's nice to have the first day of the month on the weekend, when you have as much time to do things right. I woke up, had some green tea, a green smoothie, and a big glass of water while I journaled. Then, I cleaned up in the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom, added a couple things to the ever-present donation bag, and went to the gym.

 I met my brother and sister in law at the mall for lunch and idea shopping for the kids (probably the biggest mistake of the day - going to the mall in December!) and met my best bud, J, for dinner and a movie at her place (second biggest mistake of the day, letting her Dad make the selection from Redbox. Bad movie!)

Couldn't ask for a better first day of the month.

And now, I get to set goals and make a list. Two of my greatest joys in life! (That's a rather sad truth)

November Goals:

1) Get all financial online accounts set into one spot. Done. It's nice to not have to keep clicking into different folders stored all over the place.

2) Have Xmas Shopping 3/4 done. I'm gonna say success on this one. I'm not certain if I'm half way or 2/4 done, but close enough! (Plus, I just free-cycled a trade with a friend for a gift tonite.)

3) 7 or more servings of veggies per day. Half credit. I'm really either ON or OFF. Either totally good with eating and then I swing to junk food junkie. Then totally healthy. Huh.

4) Begin training program for next big adventure. Check! Can't wait to unveil this one.

5) Pare down 4 more books. Done!

6) Plan craft activity for kids on Thanksgiving. Change of T-day no. Maybe for Xmas.

7) Clean out storage area: Half done.

8) Girls' nite out with J and Shell: Done! Shell is such a Twi-hard that we had to go see Twilight.

9) 1 new recipe a week: Done. Perhaps someday I'll actually comment on new recipes here!

10) Get car winterized: Fail. Not yet. Gotta make that appointment tomorrow.

And now onto December Goals:

1) Journal and Meditate Daily 

2) Green it up: green smoothie, green juice, and green tea daily

3) Exercise 31 times in 31 days

4) Make a kick ass vegan entree for the Xmas pot luck at work I'm thinking of roasted brussel sprouts and kale with cranberry. Not 100% sure yet, though

5) Replace my lunch plate for work My old one was swept up in a gust of wind and smashed on the ground. Which is weird, because it's plastic. But I've been bad and using styrofoam of late

6) Go in to see the Xmas lights in Boston and in New York!

7) Pare down 5 books from shelf

8) Decorate this little apartment like I had a visit from Elf!

9) 3 group runs (all bundled up!)

10) Take lots of pictures. And organize the ones I have on the computer. 

Today's Joy:
Hanging with my niece and nephews who are just about the cutest things in the universe!