On Hold

June 30, 2017

All of my organizational plans were put on hold this week when my husband went for a doctor’s appointment, and they admitted him to the hospital. He opted for surgery which went well, but when he got back to his room, he tanked. A MRT was called and about ten people ran into the room to assist the RN in taking whatever would be the next necessary steps. It looked for all the world like a left sided stroke. A CT revealed no stroke damage whatsoever. Turns out they are calling it Transient Global Amnesia.

It was a stressful week. I am thankful that my husband is home and recovering and okay.

I found that one way that I deal with stress is to clean and organize things. This tendency was quite helpful. I still have a lot to do. A Lot To Do.

God is very, very good to us.

Good night.

moving forward

June 21, 2017

breakthrough

So today I took everything off the counter where it has been stacked for months and spread it all out on the dining room table in just one level.

I got two things done.

One, I renewed my RN license before it would have cost me an extra $35.

Two, I can see what I need to do without feeling immediately overwhelmed.

I plan to actually get it all done in the next week or two.

And put together a system so this does not happen to me again anytime soon.

 

Seven Steps To An Organized Me

June 20, 2017

symmetrical.png

Okay, so I am reading the organizational book Very Attentively and taking notes. While daring to believe that I can somehow harness the paper mess that is fueled by inattention, denial, procrastination and sloth, the truth revealed is that the mess is in me.

Earlier this year, a plumbing problem meant that I did not have a washing machine or a laundry tub. Because I loathe sitting in laundromats, I had to make a change in my kitchen. I kept the dishes up to date constantly and kept a neurotically clean kitchen sink. I hand washed and rinsed my nurse scrubs and dried them in the dryer.

Before that time, dishes could sit around for two or three days. Suddenly, the sink had to be really clean because I did not want to get spaghetti grease on my working clothes. The funny thing is that although I am not currently as thorough as I was at that time, I started enjoying a cleaner kitchen sink, and it has not degenerated to its former state.

What am I behind on?

I am behind on things involving paper specifically (think retirement and health insurance receipts which I cannot even begin to understand) and on framing and hanging photos and on filing things and getting rid of filed things. I seem to have a fetish for old Cooking Light magazines. There is a huge stack of them hidden in my file cabinet which should have filed things. I have three checks that need to be cashed. It would be good and profitable to catch up.

The book has advised me to assign suffering and pain to the disorganized end of the continuum and pleasure and wonderfulness to the other end. This is a motivational tool. It shoots my state of denial to holy heck.

I am feeling the first world pain of a genuine Paper Sloth.

As you can see, I am only part of the way through the book.

I feel like this book is Draino for the yucky clog in my soul that keeps me from getting it together in this area of my life. I like it though. It is a fresh scent Draino. She is spending a lot time just convincing and persuading me that I want to do what I need to do. I like her. I would rather write her a thank you letter than actually take care of the mess, but eventually I will take care of the mess.

I highly recommend writing letters to people when you enjoy their books. I wrote a letter earlier this year to an author of a book about becoming a heart doc and the struggles involved in that in his life. Although he is a heart doc with a busy practice in New York, he sent me a hand written return note. I could not believe it.

I have to admit that as much fun as it is to get letters from authors, or pretty much anyone except for the jury duty or foreclosure folks, I really do eventually plan to organize my mess. Stay tuned, but do not hold your breath. Then, I can write a book about being a psych nurse and get letters from chronically disorganized paper freaks.

Disorganization Part #77

June 16, 2017

super book

Everything is still disorganized.

Just like previously.

Because it worked so well before (NOT), I bought another book on bringing some sort of organization to my life.

When I have read it, I will give you a review. Do not die holding your breath in anticipation.

The Funny Thing About Beauty and the Beast

June 15, 2017

beast

I finally made it to Beauty and the Beast tonight. First I attended a really fun backyard BBQ with work friends, and then I went to the late show. It was beautiful. It was glorious. It was grand. It far exceeded any expectations I had for it.

Here is the funny thing: I was the only person in the theater.

Okay, there is one more funny thing. It was so dark in there that as I walked down the aisle (I always like to sit in the first five rows.), I could hardly see. I had a beverage and a bag of corn. I could not find the cup holder. I thought I put the cup in the cup holder, but I missed and the cup ended up missing. Thankfully, there was no one there to see me feeling ridiculous. Eventually I had to climb on the floor in the dark behind the row because I thought the cup which I could not see had somehow ended up on the floor. Instead, all I could feel was the cold Diet Coke dripping from between the seats. Eventually I found the lidded cup upside down on top of the seat. I carefully extracted it and found a seat in another row.

Sometimes it is good to be the only one in the theater.

Still Recovering

June 12, 2017

rainy day

Today I went on a walk and had time to think. I try not to take a phone on a walk unless the purpose of the walk is a phone call.  I was feeling tired, heavy inside and overwhelmed. It was raining, so I had my big ancient blue silky umbrella with a wooden handle. The umbrella felt like an old friend that I had ignored for far too long.

There is something therapeutic about walking in the rain with your favorite umbrella and thinking.

I am doing much better.

worth mentioning

June 11, 2017

never too late

I saw this on a face book post. It is in the home of a a creative director for face book, Rachel Gogel. I just wanted to point out the sign which struck me as incredibly encouraging since I graduated from college late. And I need to go back and get another degree, but I am admittedly dragging my feet this time.

The Week in Review: Dead Peonies

June 11, 2017

peony

I can sum up my week in just a few words: it was awful.

I am used to working nights. Night shift is a world unto itself. If you have ever worked nights, you understand that it has a different rhythm than days. This week, I worked Friday and Saturday night. I only slept about 3 hours on Saturday before going in for the night shift. I was shot. I had Sunday off, but had to sleep instead of going to church.

Did I mention that the basement flooded again on Saturday night while I was at work? And on Sunday we had 50 mph winds and a huge branch fell in our backyard.

I worked evenings from Monday through Thursday. I saw my husband early on Monday and not again until Friday evening. Changing shifts felt like starting an entirely new job. Here is how I spell new job: STRESS.

Sometime during Monday to Thursday, my dryer broke. The repairman did not show up when he said he would and my husband did not have time to wait for him.

I dried my scrubs by hanging them on the rack and aiming a fan at them. By the end of the week, I had worked six shifts (2 noc and 4 evening) in seven days. I was weary.

I cannot tell you anything else about work because that is all private info. I will say it was a difficult week for a whole lot of reasons.

My new peony bush died.

The thing that made everything worse was that I could not seem to quit complaining about it, about working evenings. Everything I know about Bible history tells me that if there is one thing that God really, really does not like, it is complaining. So, on top of having a really yucky week, I knew that I was pretty much disobeying God in the Promised Land.

I want to start this week over differently. I am going to list some good things from the week.

  1. My husband fixed the dryer himself. By the end of the week, I had a real working dryer.
  2. I had leftover homemade mac n cheese in the freezer to heat up for lunch.
  3. I was extremely worried about my husband’s physical health, and I got an encouraging report on Friday.
  4. I had the opportunity to babysit for my grand kids on Friday night. They were adorable.
  5. Our grandson came over to see us again on Saturday morning.
  6. I got in a lot of morning walks this last week which I wanted to do to help me get in shape.
  7. I have a job.
  8. I have great coworkers.
  9. I love what I do.
  10. I am paid generously.
  11. My work is a short drive from my home.
  12. I didn’t get sick. (Although I had a headache just about all day today despite Ibuprofen.)
  13. The branch did not hit and kill anyone when it fell. I got it moved to the patio, and my husband was able to cut the grass.
  14. I am physically healthy.
  15. I got invited to a cook out this week with a friend I have not seen for a few weeks. It should be loads of fun.
  16. My tomato plants are doing really well and have blooms already. I do not usually plant seeds. I planted seeds this year, and lots of things are coming up in little green rows. My roses look better than they have ever looked.
  17. Both the washer and dryer work.
  18. My dishwasher works.
  19. I have hot running water and a comfortable bed and my refrigerator and stove work.
  20. I got a letter from Aunt Charlotte this week. She is over 90 and lives alone on a farm in Minnesota.
  21. Bible study books that I really wanted showed up in the mail this week. I started a study on Genesis with Nav Press.
  22. The dishes are caught up…pretty much.
  23. I had time, energy, funds and inclination to grocery shop today.
  24. I am thankful that I have this weekend off.
  25. I am thankful for a loving Father who hears and answers prayer even when I feel overwhelmed.

 

Life: Favorite Things

June 5, 2017

oceanOne of my very favorite things about my life is that I get to live in the city. When we were looking at houses over twenty years ago, I tried to get us right downtown in an old dilapidated fraternity house, but the financing was no go.

We ended up in an older home up on what is called the Bench, or the New North End, as realtors like to call it now. The old North End is an area with tiny cottages and postage stamp yards that are uber expensive. It was once the yucky part of town. Then someone decided it was the trendy wonderful “historic” part of town, and now it is expensive.

It is a mecca for the political left. One of my conservative friends was stopped at a light and a man who objected to her bumper sticker got out of his car and forcibly removed it from her bumper. She was an elderly non-confrontational type of person, but it was upsetting for her.

I would have responded and, it would not have been one of my best What Would Jesus Do? type of moments.

I write tangentially. If it is driving you to distraction, my recommendation is to read just the first paragraph and the summary sentence of the last paragraph, or as an alternative, you could read the blog of someone more mentally balanced.

The Bench is not nearly as expensive, but boasts older, usually but not always, larger homes with old trees.

Another of my favorite things is just taking walks around my neighborhood. I have a favorite route that is three miles. I know because I drove it in my car for the purpose of measuring it. Sometimes when I am extra ambitious, I also take in the Capitol Blvd. hill which if you return behind the Anniversary Inn is about ninety nine steps pretty much straight up, or as straight up as you can be without having to actually climb.

There are a lot of beautiful gardens in the front yards of the houses in my area. They probably have some eye popping floral spectacles in the back as well, but I don’t want to be found trespassing to find out.

I was going to say that people are really friendly, but the truth is that I would not like it if they were overly friendly. I like the level of friendliness that lands somewhere between nodding and/or smiling as you pass one another or for the other end of the parameter, the extreme of bold, saying something inanely rhetorical such as, “Isn’t it a beautiful day?”

I don’t want political comments or satire or investigative questions. I don’t want to have the burden of having to remember the name of someone who lives one and a half miles from my house. Life is just too darn short for that. An exception would be that I don’t mind knowing your dog’s name. I like petting other people’s dogs since I don’t have one and won’t anytime soon in the future.

Have you ever thought about volunteering to walk someone else’s dog for them? I have, but then I thought it would involve a lot of interaction and actually getting to know other people, and I just felt all tired inside.

I was reading a book the other night in which someone expressed my thoughts about people so brilliantly, so succinctly that I noted it in the margin and indexed it in the back of the book.

I will be quoting from Furiously Happy, A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson. Remember in my review a few days back, I said it was incredibly funny, encouraging to mentally ill people and completely profane. You have been warned.

“I believe it was Sartre who said, “Hell is other people,” and I suspect he wrote that after spending an hour with over-involved parents who won’t stop yelling at coaches, instructors, or crying four-year-olds who really just want a snow cone.”

I love my family and friends, some of my neighbors and co-workers, but people are exhausting. Let’s be honest. Part of walking is intentionally leaving the cell phone, the internet, and people behind, so that I can recover whatever emotional equilibrium is left to me in this life. Why would I want to talk to people while I am doing it?

Well, there you have it. Two of my favorite things. I was going to do three, but I don’t know what the third one is. It is probably seeing the ocean, if I had to guess. If I don’t know what my third favorite thing is, I don’t know how to find out. I will got out on a limb here and say that my third favorite thing is the Oregon Coast/Pacific Ocean/any ocean. The only bad thing about seeing the ocean is that when it time to leave, I always feel incredibly grieved with my whole heart to the point of actual tears. Yes, it feels like a death to drive away from the Oregon Coast. That is why it is number three and not number one. If I could stay there always, it would be number one.

I like to take walks there and be comfortably distant with people and friendly to their dogs. Lots of people bring their dogs to the Oregon Coast. It’s the thing. The ocean always make me think of the Lord and how He is big beyond anything we can really grasp with our minds or senses. He is just as big when I am in Boise, Idaho, walking around, but I don’t think about Him that way when I am here.

That is probably why I usually carry around a little card with a Bible verse on it when I take my three mile walk. It just turns my heart that way spiritually. I don’t need any cards on the Oregon Coast. It is like the difference between skyping someone or actually being with them.

My last paragraph was no doubt filled with heresy or scriptural inconsistencies or both. I meant that is how it feels.

My three favorite things are living in the city, walking in the city, and chaining myself to something immoveable at the ocean.

The End

 

 

 

Bad Decision

June 2, 2017

bikeDid I ever tell you that I worked in  a Traumatic Brain Injury Unit for over two years? It made me dictatorial about bike and motorcycle helmets. If I saw a biker at a stoplight with no helmet, I would roll down my car window and confront them.

Not many people that you know confront stranger bikers when they are stuck in traffic.

Today I was going bike riding and got about half a block down the street when I remembered that I did not have a helmet on, just a baseball cap. I was in a hurry so I didn’t go back. After all, I reasoned, I never wreck on my bike. Just once will not matter.

I went on a long ride, quite safely, until I got within a few blocks of home. I was making a turn and also going up an incline from the street to the sidewalk and lost my balance. I tumbled right over and landed on one elbow, one knee and the side of my head bounced on the concrete.

A kind man in a pickup truck stopped and assisted me in picking up all of the things that fell out of my bike basket and into the street. He told me that his wife had fallen recently and had torn her ACL, so he waited to see that I was able to get up and get out of the street before he left.

When I got home, nothing was broken. My head is sore, my elbow was scraped but not really bleeding and my pants did not even get a hole in them. I am really grateful; it could have turned out much differently.

I am going back to being a safety dictator, but I will be starting with my own behavior.