Thursday, December 31, 2009

Welcome 2010

Good-bye 2009. I'm kind of glad to be done with it. It wasn't a horrible year. There were some good things (halloween cruise), and some bad times (spending frantic hours in the ER when Bruce got sick). But mostly it was just mundane, uneventful things that I have already forgotten. In fact, I can barely remember what all happened this past year it was so average.

But 2010? I hope you are fabulous. I hope I can sit down here on this same day next year and blog about how wonderful it all was. But until then, I suppose I have to do the obligatory setting of intentions for the year ahead. So here it goes:

Intentions for 2010:

1. First and foremost, if I don't follow through with one other thing on this list, I want to make good on my promise to see things less negatively. I am a lucky woman with a wonderful family, good friends, a job, a is impossible to list all of the things that I have been blessed with. Instead of freaking out, or stressing out, I am going to work on just going with the flow....with grace and gratitude.

2. I need to work a little harder to be healthy. You know, I don't really worry all that much about weight or numbers on a scale anymore (well, a little but nothing like I used to). But the fact is that my blood pressure is way up and my time at the gym is way down. I'm having to go to the doc every couple of weeks, trying one med and then another just to see if we can get my blood pressure down to anything even close to normal. The med switching has left me feeling worse than the high blood pressure (although not nearly as dangerous). I keep feeling that if I just made more of an effort to eat healthy and exercise more, I could get more control of the situation.

3. Get organized. I'm not the worst person that I know in this department, but I could definitely use improvement. I am a genius at the "getting organized" part. Its the "staying organized" thing that always gets me. If I get busy, and slack off just a little, like say not sorting through the mail right away, not cleaning out closets frequently enough, or letting things sit in the fridge for too long...everything just builds up and starts to feel daunting. I intend to stay on top of all that just a little better.

4. More play, Less work. 'Nuff said.

5. Make a serious effort to learn at least one thing (well) this year. My #1 choice is to learn Spanish. I've been working with the Rosetta Stone computer program for a while now, but its going to take a whole lot more than that. I need to check out my resources and see whats available. Simple reading, like children's books would help. CD's in the car would probably be good too. Maybe a class at our community college? I need to make the time to check all of these things out.

6. Be greener! We recycle, and use eco-friendly light bulbs. I have reusable shopping bags, and try to make informed decisions when it comes to shopping. But is that really enough? I am sure there are many more things that we could do, I just need to research it and figure out how to make that happen.

And while I really do have a million other things I would like to work on, and make some progress with, these are my most important ones. And since I probably won't talk to most of you until "next year", I am going to leave you with a little prayer of intention that my yoga instructor, Diana, sends us off with after class:

"May we be safe.
May we be healthy.
May we be joyous.
May we be free."

Seriously, what more could we ask for?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Belated Christmas Present

I got the phone pictured above today as sort of a belated Christmas present. I have wanted/needed a new phone for a while now. This one is the HTC Touch Pro 2, or...the Windows version of the Iphone. I THINK I am going to like it. If I ever figure it out. I THINK I can make/receive calls on it at this point. But the rest? All of the fancified gadgets and browsers and apps and functions? Um, yeah...not so much. I will figure it out eventually. But it may take a while. Still...its pretty, and I like to play with it, LOL.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Upside Down

Well, it was the most upside down Christmas I have EVER had. We missed the trip to Jamaica because Bruce got really sick with an infection called "C Diff". It's caused by antibiotics that can cause the bad bacteria in your intestines to produce toxins which then attack the intestinal lining. He was taking amoxicillin to clear up a sinus/ear infection. We drove down to Raleigh on Tuesday afternoon, preparing for an early morning flight out of RDU on Wed. But he got so sick and was in so much pain later that evening that we drove him to the nearest ER at Wake Med. We SHOULD have gone to Duke, but we were scared and not thinking clearly and the hotel directed us to Wake Med because it was the closest. We sat there in that ER for hours and hours, in the midst of people who sounded like they had swine flu. It felt a little dirty, and I kept going up to the front desk to plead, beg, and beseech them to do something for Bruce. Anything. At least find him a place to lie down or something. He was in so much pain we thought he was going to pass out. We even sat through a change of personnel at the front desk.
All that either one of them could say was, "I can't help you." Somehow not sounding the least bit apologetic. Remember that hospital in NY that made the news because this poor woman died on the floor and laid there for something like 12 hours before anybody noticed her? That could have been this place. Do NOT go to Wake Med if you can help it.We finally left because Bruce just got so exhausted from having to sit there. We went back to the hotel and let him have a few hours of sleep.

Wednesday morning he woke up feeling a little better and decided to try to go ahead with our flight. We started packing up to go, but within a few minutes of having a sip of coffee he had another attack that left him writhing on the bed in pain. So the kids stayed behind to check out of the hotel, try to figure out how to cancel our flights, etc....and I drove Bruce straight back to Greenville and to Pitt Memorial. He just wanted to be on familiar ground. We tried to get the kids to go ahead and take the trip without us.They are adults, after all, but no one was comfortable going on without knowing what was wrong with Bruce. At this point, we were all kind of thinking it was possibly appendicitis and that he might require surgery. ?

Pitt Memorial took us right back, ran numerous tests, including a ct scan....and they were friendly and helpful. They diagnosed him but the whole event took forever. We were there from about 8am until well after 6 that evening. Whew...we were both exhausted, and our nerves were wracked, and we felt extreme disappointment that our Christmas trip was ruined. Still...we were grateful that none of this happened in a foreign country. The doctor stressed how lucky we were that we hadn't left for Jamaica already because C Diff can be life-threatening, cause internal bleeding, and intestinal ruptures and sometimes requires emergency surgery. We came home feeling blessed that he was going to be ok and we tried to figure out how to salvage Christmas as best we could.

Erica did a huge holiday food shopping trip while we were in the ER. She cooked 2 big on Christmas Eve (pork bbq, homemade mac n cheese, etc). Hannia made a delicious pinto soup, and Stephen baked chocolate chip cookies. The Chocolate chip cookies are a Christmas tradition with this family. And then on Christmas Day Erica cooked the whole turkey dinner that we generally have. Well, I actually cooked the turkey, but she took care of the rest. I managed to snag a couple of Nintendo Wii's at the very last minute on a frantic Christmas Eve shopping trip so there was at least something under the tree for the kids. That was a big bonus to me. Huge, really. I wanted to give them something, and they had talked about wanting a Wii just the night before.

And after dinner we took off to go see Sherlock Holmes. Erica had been waiting for it to be released for a long time. She really loves Robert Downey, Jr. And in case you didn't know, our favorite tv show "House, MD" is loosely based on the Sherlock Holmes stories. Holmes - House. House lives at 221B. Wilson is House's Watson....and the whole tv series is about solving mysteries (only medical instead of criminal). Anyway, the movie was good and we enjoyed it. We spent the rest of the night playing a scrabble-based board game called Banana-gram. (I think). Erica had given it to Stephen for his birthday. Its addictive, and a lot of fun. We played until the wee hours of the morning.

Erica and I braved the crowds to do a little shopping yesterday. We didn't find all that much, not that we really needed anything. But we snagged a few things on really good sale, so it made the crowds almost worth it.

And then we ended our holiday weekend today. With another upside-down twist. I went out to get something out of the trunk of Erica's car, as she was inside packing to leave. And....wait for it.....I LOCKED her only set of keys IN THE TRUNK!!! I was so upset with myself. It made me shed a few tears in frustration. It made me want to say that this was the worst Christmas ever. But it really wasn't that awful. There were a lot of things that didn't go as planned. But in the end, it all worked out OK. Bruce survived and we are all healthy. I was really touched at the concern that our children had for him. And for the selfless way that they wanted to stick together as a family instead of taking off on the trip. And the keys? Thank God for AAA. I called and they had a locksmith out in about 30 minutes.
It took him less than 2 minutes to resolve the whole disaster, and it didn't cost us a penny.

I think the whole holiday has given me food for thought. Why do I instinctively focus on what went wrong (ie the missed trip, the illness, the hours in the ER, the lack of gifts, the unfortunate key incident), instead of giving credit to all the things that went RIGHT!! Like Bruce recovering, good insurance and health care, the love of our children and the family being together. The laughs, the good food, the Wii's that were miraculously in stock. The man who unlocked the car for us with such a short waiting time!! It could have all been so much worse.
And this coming year, after really contemplating my reactions, I am going to work on my perception of things and try to see more of the good and less of the bad. I think its a healthy, worthy goal to achieve.

But still, with a grateful heart for how much this family has been blessed, I am going to do Christmas up in a major way next year. We have decided that holiday travel is OUT! Too stressful, too crowded, too much potential for weather delays, cancelled flights, and winter illness. We are going to stay home next year. And decorate like nobody's business because that makes me happy. And have mountains of gifts. And bake cookies and make candy and hang stockings. (I would say that we might even congregate and sing carols by the tree, but that would probably be taking things just a wee bit too far. My family is NOT the singing type.) We can vacation in spring, summer and fall when things are less crazy. In fact, we are tentatively planning a spring vacation with the kids to make up for this one that was lost. My family rocks, ya'll. Seriously. They were so supportive and understanding and helpful. I love you guys.