Naturally, I’m feeling a bit better today. A lot of it is because my friends and family have been so supportive and encouraging. Thanks to everyone who’s reminded me of my humanity and that there ARE plenty of folks not out there judging me (and that judgmental people’s judgments aren’t worth spending time on).
Today was productive in so many ways. I really enjoyed work today, though I have to say the interruptions were even better.
The first interruption was this guy here.
It was Brenham Iron Works coming to fix our gate, which has been beeping at us for over a year, then when we finally got it to shut, had a car push it open. Poor gate (and car). At the moment, it works!
It was fun watching the nice guy fix it, and the company got more business when the neighbor across the road got all excited that we actually got a repair person in that she came over and got their info. They have a similar nice gate just a year or two older than ours.
The next minor interruption was my Becker Vineyards wine delivery. I got two old favorites so I didn’t complain. A much more fun interruption was a visit from a guy who’s interested in growing some vegetables here. It sounds like a fun project, if it goes through. I’ll tell you more if it goes through. It’s just a possibility but it made me happy to just imagine it.
Lee even suggested that we use our gardener friend’s expertise to spruce up the pool area and such. He’d do way better than us! Now, this is my kind of gift. A gift of service. I was quite tickled at this development.
I love having something to look forward to, though I’ve learned not to count on anything until it happens. There are just so many sudden changes and pivots these days that it’s just the new normal. That’s fine! I’ll enjoy every day and see what happens! I feel so loved.
And it didn’t rain. The sun even shone for a while. For that reason I ended up just walking around and enjoying late afternoon light, flowers, and birds. I love it when the nighthawks come out. They’re so graceful. I’ll skip my bad bird photos, but do enjoy the other things I saw.
Thanks for bearing with me! I appreciate my community, both in person and online.
I have spent the past two days trying to get a chest x-ray, you know, because my chest is full of fluid and probably horrible fungal growth. I am concerned, you see. I am beginning to see why people just use the emergency room as their primary healthcare provider, because trying to AVOID such things and not go into debt over a cough is a pain (in my chest and brain).
So, I went to the nice little clinic in my home town that is not affiliated with the corporate mega-system I am not fond of. They said yep, my lungs are rattling and wheezing, so I needed a chest x-ray to help diagnose. I also got blood work, after two tries, because Worker A probably had never drawn blood out of a living human and left my arm looking like this:
Worker B then arrived and took the four endless vials of blood out of the other arm. Sigh. I won’t know if I have the fungal infection or other issue until the lab results come in. So, merrily I cough along.
I was so short of breath yesterday that I didn’t dare try to groom the horses or ride them, though I did sit and look at them while they ate, then spent a long time just hanging out with Apache and massaging his poll (top of head), since he asked for it.
Anyway, of course the nice little clinic doesn’t have its own radiology department, so I consented to go to the only place in town that has a machine, which is operated by the company I am not fond of. When I arrived with my paperwork in hand, they informed me that their x-ray machine is broken. I could go to another town to another of their facilities, but I declined.
This started me on a health care odyssey to get an x-ray elsewhere. By noon today, I’d made six phone calls, left numerous messages, got many corrected phone numbers, and lost my patience. Usually I’m a fairly patient patient, but I didn’t feel very well, as I soldiered along recording myself talk and pausing to breathe a lot.
Finally, after I’d gotten irritated enough to get in the car and drive back to the clinic to try to talk to someone in person, they called to say they’d faxed my orders to a place that was associated with my OLD doctors in Austin. Soon they actually called and said it had gotten through.
Did I make it to Temple, Texas in record time? Of course not. I got behind a very strange-looking semi-truck that plodded along at 60 in 70 mph zones, trailing up to twelve cars. Thankfully, they pulled over at a turn and let us all go free.
The place I went was clean, spacious, and NOT crowded. though a little hard to find. The facility did please me. How long did the x-ray take after spending 20 minutes filling out paperwork? I’d say 65 seconds. Now, let’s see if I get any results from all the testing and perhaps get treatment. That would be nice. I just do NOT want to get sick enough to go to a hospital. I really don’t like hospitals and all their germs.
I just wish we had our old local hospital back, where you could get an x-ray and labs, and get looked at quickly. However, it’s now the county office building. Rural health care in the US is sad. I can’t imagine how it would have been if I didn’t have insurance.
I was really looking forward to yesterday. Family members who don’t hate me were going to come stay with me for a few days. We were going to visit people, go out to eat, wander around to parts of the island I can’t go to (this place is crawling with gated communities), and talk about our respective difficult elderly family members.
I can’t believe I did this, but I allowed myself to get all excited about the fun we’d have. I tidied up the condo (not that it was untidy – I love to keep things clean and beautiful when I’m by myself), told everyone at work I was taking some time off, made sure I could get them a parking permit, and was all ready to welcome them.
I was disappointed to learn that one of my guests hurt herself getting ready to load the car, so they weren’t coming after all. I know she’s had back issues, so I felt sad for her. It certainly wasn’t her fault at all! Wow, did I experience a letdown, though. As high as I’d felt anticipating a visit and not having to be all by myself, I felt equally low realizing I was going to spend the rest of my time in Hilton Head alone. (I LIKE being alone, but I have had enough to fill my tank now).
After a while, I was kicking myself (mentally) for allowing myself to get all hepped up before something actually happened. I put out a whiny post on Facebook and got some varied responses.
Many people empathized with how I felt. I’m not alone in letting myself get excited then feeling really down. Others had helpful advice that I appreciated, such as a reminder that Brene Brown would say this means I’m living wholeheartedly. Something else I found helpful was advice from a friend’s therapist: “Focus on what you CAN do not on what you Can’t when disappointed.” Yet another commenter talked about “post-event letdown,” which I remember experiencing when I was younger, but have gotten better about and now just wallow in memories.
And people ask why I still do Facebook…the community I’ve built is so supportive!
I’ve been pondering whether I’m doing the right thing in trying to squish down my anticipation. I have been doing it for the past few years when I was letting myself look forward to trips, the return of people to the ranch, projects to work on, and people to do things with me. For example, when the first two people I asked to join me this week decided not to come, I wasn’t upset at all, because I was prepared for things not to work out. I let this third one get by me. My squishing down has gotten quite good in the post-COVID era, where just about everything fun got canceled, but it’s not perfect.
But hey, isn’t anticipation fun? Doesn’t it make good vibes (or hormones or something) flow through you? Should I be trying another tactic besides not allowing myself to get happy about something until it actually happens? Maybe I should let myself dream about the fun I may have when I get to pick up my new car next week, rather than trying not to think about it in case something goes wrong?
I think I’m going to let myself feel my feelings a bit more but work on not getting so sad about what I can’t do. Like the friend said, I can concentrate on what I CAN do. I tried that out last night, so rather than mourn the fact that the promised dinner and drinks weren’t going to happen, I got myself a ridiculously expensive old fashioned and drank it while listening to the excellent guitar player entertaining at the resort cafe and ordered myself an impressive plate of sushi and edamame.
I ended up in the resort lobby waiting for the food having a fun conversation about football with the women at the reception area. One woman ended up showing me the football-themed tote bags and pajama sets she’d made for friends, then some of the outfits she designed for herself. How would I ever have realized that these women were so interesting and talented if I hadn’t rewarded myself and done what I could do after a disappointment? I win!
I enjoyed that sushi while watching King Richard, the movie about Venus and Serena Williams’s controversial father. I particularly enjoyed the portrayal of the sisters in this movie. They were so authentically happy, smart, and normal young girls. They weren’t overly made up or with fancy hair and clothing. They looked like the girls I knew at the time and played and bickered and loved each other so genuinely. What a great portrayal of a black family that looked real. (I also thoroughly enjoyed all the 1970s cars.)
In summary, I’m going to let myself anticipate fun things in the future, but if they don’t come to pass, I’ll remind myself of the options for fun that I still have. Sounds like a plan, doesn’t it? LOVE to all of you reading this, and healing vibes to my family member!
PS: the beach is so fun to watch. An osprey just flew right by my balcony with something in its talons! And I spent at least a half hour just before sunset watching large pods of dolphins very close to the shore here. There must have been a dozen! The photo shows how close they were (and some of those weird rectangles that are container ships). People enjoyed watching them.
Bummer. This was not the greatest travel day. It was really long, for one thing. We usually break trips like this up into 3 days, but powered through two 8-hour days instead. Poor Lee got both tired and hangry.
Second, there was a lot of work stuff that was hard to do in the car, but I did it! And there was family drama not worth going into. Let’s just say no good deed goes unpunished. And I appreciate people who are more patient than me. My mental health took a hit but I’m doing better already.
I enjoyed the weather again today, though. There were many beautiful cloud formations to enjoy, along with beautiful forests. We went through many hardwood forests and pine forests grown for lumber.
I like seeing what grows in different areas. One of the loveliest areas we drove through was in Georgia, where they grow pecans and peaches. The bare trees are striking. I wish I’d gotten a picture of the peach trees, because their newer branches are pinkish, but I was too busy looking at them.
I crocheted on my new project a lot of the time when not working or dealing with stuff. But after sunset I just hoped we’d hit the edge of the continent soon.
I’m glad we found the island. This is a really nice place. I’ve missed it since Anita and I were here a few years ago. I’m looking forward to a weekend on Hilton Head!
Resolution time? No. I’ll keep doing my best to learn, grow, be kind, promote love and peace among my neighbors. I guess I resolve to keep going.
I think the way 2022 differs from the last couple years is that the lows were lower and the highs higher. The family stuff has been particularly scary, between all the various sicknesses of many types and mental health challenges. But there’s been great growth and opportunities, too.
As for me, I experienced so much personal growth that I even impress myself! But I did hit rock bottom for a few weeks — like I said the lows were very low. Working with the horses has been so good for me. I’m so much better at trying new things, which I’ve been working on for years.
And my job has been great for me, too. I feel respected and empowered. And I enjoy what I do. Everyone deserves that kind of job at some point.
And finally, I’ve gotten the hang of letting go of things outside of my control or letting the opinions of people outside my inner circle get to me. (Mostly) I’m still working on not letting people I care deeply about hurt my feelings, but we all need something to work on, right?
Let another year start. I’m not worried or excited. Years are arbitrary markers, anyway.
The arbitrary last day of 2022 was lovely, though. The weather was great for all activities and I got lots done. The only negative thing is that the stitch I’m joining the rug I’m trying to finish is so tight and twisty that my arm hurts. I’ll have to sacrifice for beauty, then rest a lot.
While horsing, I visited with Mandi the neighbor for a while. We need to visit more. Darn work messing with my visiting. Still, all day was pleasant. Here’s to a pleasant and peaceful future.
My gift to you for the new year is sunset and animal photos. Enjoy.
Literally. Today was long. I kept working and learning all day. I was in the tack room learning until well after dark, but when I’m learning horse stuff, it’s invigorating. I just soak it in.
Tarrin took some photos of me riding Drew at my lesson, which was late in the day, thanks to a crowded schedule (all that rain messed things up for everyone). The sunset was pretty, though.
The photos are useful, though, because they help me see where I’m doing well and where my techniques could use some work. Drew and I both are leaning too much sometimes! No wonder the saddle slipped at one point!
That’s the thing, though. Even if I keep bringing up my age (the autumnal years, riding into the sunset), I know I’m staying younger and more mentally astute by keeping on a learning path. We all need to have something that keeps us engaged and active, right? Studies have shown…and all that.
I’m glad Tarrin and all my horse-loving friends share their knowledge so we can all learn from each other. Off we go looking for the next sunrise.
Sunsets. Tonight’s even featured some rain in the distance. And a cute dog.
I got to enjoy this sunset because I had a nice dinner with my friends Mike and Martha. I got so used to not doing things with friends that it’s been hard to get back in the habit. The last two weeks have helped!
The other thing I’ve done for the last couple of days is look at horse hooves. Nope, I’m not tired of that, either. I’m learning a lot by watching Sara learn farrier skills for her own horses. As the above picture hints, I found Soltara and all her mane a bit distracting.
Yesterday I learned a lot about Apache’s foot journey, and I’m glad it’s good now! Lots more some got scraped off even though he’d just been trimmed a couple of weeks ago! Interesting.
And wow, Aragorn’s therapeutic shoes are complex. I’m in awe of both Tarrin and Sara for knowing how to do this work. Still, glad I can pay Trixie for my farrier work when possible! Who knew I’d learn so much about this stuff!
I’m pretty good with bugs, though. I never get tired of taking pictures of them. Too bad disaster has befallen my naturalist friends. The iNaturalist site went down! Oh no. Thus. Here are two red and black insects.
I’ll be back tomorrow. Maybe I’ll be more interesting.
What a beautiful day it was. I think we needed a reminder that Mother Nature is still doling out the beauty to at least briefly distract us from the things humans do to each other.
As a reward for doing my least favorite thing about work (Agile stuff, not vital to this story), I tidied up the pool area and gave my back some more hot water love. I heart the hot tub.
Later, after feeding the precious horses, we checked out the trailer lights. Ooh. There’s even an interior light for night loading and unloading!
I’m pretty excited to use the trailer. I was glad they checked out the lights and other safety features. So shiny.
It was a good evening to rest on our laurels and tell each other we appreciate our efforts. I think Lee even set up the auto-fill system on the pool! We’re really enjoying it. What else do we enjoy? Sunsets, of course. Tonight’s was cherry red at times. Thanks, Mother Nature.
All was well until I opened the monthly Bark Box. I handed out really cute chew toys, then opened a box of dog treats. I handed them out to each dog, which got them all excited. I realized Alfred hadn’t gotten one, so I reached over to give him one and Harvey jumped up to steal it. Unfortunately, he also got my thumb. Ow. It was an accident.
May the sun warm all our brothers and sisters who are afraid, worried, or suffering.