C what I mean?

by stevendepolo via creative commons

This post is brought to you by the LETTER C as in codeine, which stops the hacking long enough for me to talk and to sleep a bit and which wraps my world in a warm, fuzzy of blanket of calm.
C also stands for Christmas, the day on which my robot battery pack failed. After nearly two weeks of scrambling to shop, clean, keep up with everyday stuff, shop, attend holiday concerts and events, wrap, stress, shop, cook and stress some more, I gave in on the 25th.
C also stands for clammy sweating and chills. I faked it through the 23rd and 24th. I went roller skating on aching legs and ignored the creeping malaise. I pushed one of those ridiculous wonky carts through IKEA, past all those inviting couches and beds, whose siren songs had an almost irresistible pull. I sang Christmas carols at a candle light service on the 24th in spite of a raw throat and watery eyes. I skipped sleep one night to scrub my guest bathroom clean.
On the 25th we hosted dinner. So I downed some NyQuil, used some nasal spray and throat spray, put on extra makeup and a big smile and carried on.

“Are you sick?” one of my relatives asked post-dinner, when we were sipping tea and munching on home-baked cookies.

“Me? Oh, no… allergies, I think.”

Denial. Why the denial? There’s a family history.

By the 26th I was flat on my back. No more faking or denying. I missed two holiday parties. I missed an opportunity to go ice skating and sledding and to get together with friends over coffee.

C also stands for common sense, which is in short supply around here. I finally realized that practicing medicine without a license never ends well.  So I went to my awesome doctor, the one who treated me two years ago after I mixed the NyQuil/Benadryl/nasal spray/throat spray denial cocktail — along with real cocktails and outdoor swimming — on a trip to Las Vegas. I didn’t come home with a hangover. I came home with pneumonia in my left lung. My doctor is a swell guy, and he spared me a lecture this time around because this time I came in before I started coughing up blood. He just gave me the much-needed pills and cough medicine. He also gave me a copy of my chest X-ray on CD.

The good new is that my X-ray is clear. No scary dark spots. Just a bacterial infection of the respiratory system. That does not begin with C.

Cheers.

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Thirteen questions

Life is moving at warp speed. I find myself with very little free time to do anything that requires deep concentration. It’s a phase. This September, I lost my Wednesday free day to myself. It has profoundly affected my weekly routine. In three months’ time, I’ve watched my home office and my somewhat organized life scatter like autumn leaves in an updraft. Also, Girl from the East turned five this week. What does this mean? Next September I get some of my life back again. I’ll also relinquish my last child to the public education system. Many, many mixed feelings.  Meanwhile, my drafts folder is stretched to the seams with unfinished posts. TeacherMommy, who also finds herself in similar blogging straits, passed this meme to me. Thank you, TM. Here we go:

1. The best investment you ever made:

Any gym membership I’ve ever had. The physical and mental health benefits totally justify the cost.  The gym is the one place where I can truly hide and relax.

2.  If you could’ve written any book, directed any movie, and composed any song, which three would you pick:
OK. I hate this question and it’s the reason I’ve procrastinated posting this meme. But, if I must produce an answer, here it is:

  • Book: “The Blind Assassin” by Margaret Atwood. I could name any number of her other works, including “Alias Grace” and “Oryx and Crake” as well. Atwood’s storytelling craft leaves me breathless.
  • Movie: “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” I never tire of this movie or its message.
  • Song: “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division. Or, any of these 10 by Radiohead, because someone bothered to make  a list.

3. Weirdest quirk:

I am a chronic lock checker, which is a manifestation of my mild OCD. Everything that should be closed/locked needs to be closed and/or locked — doors, windows, car doors, closets, and cabinets. I’ll check and check again and then check just one more time just to make sure I wasn’t imagining the previous checks. Get it?

4. One wish immediately granted:

I wish that humans came with a built-in kill switch that could fully disarm them before anger, frustration, sadness, some real or perceived shortcoming, or the need for revenge compelled them to hurt a child.

5. Most expensive hobby:

A tie between camping and cycling. I love riding my bike. I always want to do more off-path, long-distance riding, but the cost of things such as bike racks for my car, ride fees, tune-ups and all that gear get in the way for now. Same goes with camping. I need a new tent.  Oh, and I want all that rugged mountain gear, too. Someday …

6. An inexhaustible gift card at which store:

IKEA, so that I could redecorate my house from top to bottom with cool, funky stuff. Of particular interest is my kitchen.  IKEA has such great ideas for small spaces.

7. In another lifetime, you’d be:

Tall and thin and super smart and rich. Or maybe a giraffe.

8. The most famous/interesting member of your family tree:

I am a descendent of the surgeon who traveled from France with Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, the founder of Detroit. I know, right? So exciting. All that means is my family has been stuck here for more than 300 years. It also means they’ve helped form and influence this area in countless small ways. Not that it’s anything to brag about outside our inner circle.  Also, there are a few former TV personalities/anchors in the clan.

9.What would you say to your teenaged self?

Today’s mountains are tomorrow’s mole hills.

10.What do you want to be when you grow up?

I don’t think I’ll ever grow up.

11. Proudest moment?

The day I decided to pick myself up, dust myself off, and start a new life outside of my toxic first marriage. I don’t know where I gathered such strength and determination, but I did it. I need some of that mojo back to find a new career.

12. Best decision ever made?

See above.  Also, going to China to get daughter No. 2 rather than continue the legal battle with my former employer.

13. What is the one thing you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t (yet) summoned the courage?

Skydive. Just once. I have it on schedule for my 50th birthday. I know the first jump is a tandem one, which is just enough information to give me the guts (I think) to do it. I’m also recruiting anyone else who wants to do this, too. Are you in?

The rules for this meme:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.

2. Paste these rules on your blog post.

3. Respond to the following prompts (in bold).

4. Add a prompt of your own and answer it.

5. Tag a few other bloggers at the bottom of the post.*

6. Leave “Tagged You” notices on their blog/Facebook.

7. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve written the post.

*Are you short on time? Feeling a bit constipated in the blog? Holiday stress getting to you? Grab this meme and use it as a post. Think of it as the Chia Pet of blog posts. You’re welcome.

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