coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Friday, August 23, 2019

Will you forget the pain?

When I was in hospital giving birth to our daughter 47 years ago, we agreed to allow student nurses to observe my labor. Actually, I didn't agree. They never asked the writhing mass of agonizing humanity in the bed. Instead, they asked my 20 year old husband, who said "Sure."

The student nurses engaged with me before and after contractions, asking questions. I remember announcing (loudly) I was never having another child because it hurt like Hell. They giggled and knowingly assured me I would both forget the pain and have more children. Well, that pissed me off.

Seriously, they said that to a woman in hard labor. No sympathy, no drugs, just happy-crap jargon. As if that information would make everything okay. The present doesn't exist, only the future? Nah, if anyone knows  reality it is a woman in the throes of hard labor.

Right then and there I made up my mind NEVER, EVER to forget, and not to have more children. True story. I am my own worst enemy.

The first night home with the baby I slept as badly as she did. I kept dreaming famous patriarchal icons got me pregnant and I was going to be forced to deliver their baby against my will. One famous icon was John Wayne. The other was Pope John XXIII. Thankfully, I didn't dream about the sex.

My niece had a baby yesterday. Another niece had a baby last week. One of my granddaughters is due in a couple months. It's all so glorious and exciting I can hardly breathe.

When women I love are in labor I can recall my own labor and delivery crystal clear.  Except for the pain. I know it hurt, but I don't remember hurting. 

I kind of wish I had done it again.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Turning the Tables

Recently, two Jehovah's Witnesses came to my door. They gave me literature hoping they might save my soul.

Grrrr, invasive strangers knocking on doors to proselytize or sell something is one of my pet peeves. They usually catch me off guard, and I get "cranky." Afterwards I feel bad. This time I saw them coming. I was prepared. 

I gave them my shiniest whole-face Grandma smile. I listened politely and took their literature. As they turned to leave I asked if they were registered to vote. FYI: JV's are not allowed to vote. They looked at each other with some discomfort and silently kept moving. I yelled after them,"Ya know, sometimes God could use some help!"

Later that same day, a young salesman knocked. I saw him coming, too. I almost knocked my husband down trying to get to the door first. I have no shame.

Again, I listened politely. After I told him I wasn't interested, I asked him if he was registered to vote. He looked down, shamefaced, and said "No." I replied "You really need to vote, bad things are happening right now." He agreed and started to back away. I then said "Your generation needs to step up and help save the world."  He assured me he would, but didn't look me in the eye.

I'm making flyers with voter registration information. I'll give them to the invasive strangers who come, unwanted and uninvited, to my door. I'll refuse to take their literature unless they take mine.
It's not like they can slam the door in my face or say something rude.

Feel free to join me in this reverse political canvassing. You'll be surprised what you can get away with saying if you say it with a big smile on your face, and gray hair.

Turnabout IS fair play. Especially if you're saving souls.

The incomparable Maggie Kuhn!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Unconsciously in Control

Sometimes I simply shut down. This happens when I'm overwhelmed but I don't realize I need a break. Then my unconscious mind steps in and takes charge. My UC mind is my BFF.  She loves me.

I rarely relaxed during my working years. There was so much to do, and it all seemed earthshakingly important. Then UC mind would swoop in like the super hero she is. I would find myself forgetting appointments and meetings. It was wicked, sinful, glorious. Letting your unconscious "have at it" is a bit like having a personal assistant.

Over time I had more demanding jobs, with increasingly difficult people to accommodate. I became a supervisor and you know how that goes (hint: STRESS and confrontation). I was a manager of large academic and research departments. These jobs were ridiculous. Ick. 

I have said this before, but I'll say it again because it is key to who I am in my dotage: For most of my life I had minimal control over what problem happened next, and maximum responsibility for resolving it.

In retirement I've stopped answering my phone. What a joy it is to let that sucker ring! I procrastinate with gusto. I'm good at this retirement thing.

When it is not hotter than Hell, I might power garden for hours at a time. Gardening is hard work, but it is also like meditation. Get your hands in the dirt and the cares of the world fall away. 

Sometimes that's what I consciously want, for all the cares of the world to fall away.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Lego of your expectations

Our youngest granddaughter, E, is a talented actor. She is in many productions, and always steals every scene she's in. One of our biggest retirement joys is living close to her and enjoying her plays and musicals.

The youngest grandson, N, has been in a theater summer camp all week. His end-of-the camp production is this afternoon. We will, of course, be going.

Apparently he has noticed people give E flowers after they attend her shows, and that has made a big impression on him. Let me say there are certain expectations of fairness.

I picked him up from camp yesterday and brought him here to swim. On the ride home he asked if Grandpa and I were coming to his performance, and I replied yes. He then informed me that instead of flowers, perhaps I could get him a Lego kit to give him afterwards. 

I think you already know I am a huge sucker for this kid.  I am pretending to myself that if I get him an inexpensive Lego kit, I am rewarding creative thinking. I haven't quite fooled myself.  Still, I'm on my way to the store right now.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Outta commission

I have been out of commission for a couple of weeks, but not because I am ill or anything. I've just been busy with this and that, including a gloriously epic visit from T's daughter R (aka my fairy stepdaughter) and her son, A, (aka our oldest grandson). I have not been keeping up with blog world. I'm trying to catch up with your blogs today. 

Will be back in the saddle soon.  


Here's a picture of a bale of turtles, for no apparent reason. Did anyone else know that a group of turtles was called a "bale?" I just googled and found this out. This concludes the educational part of my day.