Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kind of weird how far I have come in only 106 days, or 15 weeks, or 3 months ago or so ago. Not that I am counting at all, really I just did the math today and thought how you can measure it in numbers. I also can measure it in feeling. I have a new attitude, some new friends, really kind of a new life.
When you put a number on it, it doesn't look that far removed but it feels like a lifetime ago. It's just strange how this light bulb can come on and really make you a different person.
I have been enjoying my life so much more over these past 3 months than I really did over the past 3 years. There have been bad days but I think I am getting close to the top of this hill where the bad days will really just be a hazy memory. They still happen but nothing like they use to to.
Days where I have this wave of reality wash over me in a second. Like that sick hot feeling you get when you have the flu, or the feeling you get when you trip and for a split second think you are really going to hurt yourself (what can I say I am really clumsy). There is this physical response your body does as a reaction, only with these moments my body is reacting to my mind.

It is really interesting the moments I have that involve my big D lately. One is that every single patient I have taken care of for the last 3 months (and I am not exaggerating) asks me, "Sweetie are you married?" "Honey, what does your old man do?" "Why aren't you married?" or my favorite just because it digs the knife in a little deeper, "Do you have kids?"
All are innocent, actually caring questions from sincere sweet people. Not meant to be malicious or hurtful, which makes me wonder if it is part of the recovery. Maybe this is a daily therapy for me from God. He has decided to push me with these little blink of a second conversations. He makes me think about it, respond to it, and then usually hear something back from one of these random people I just met for the first time.
So how do I respond?
Sometimes with a joke: "I'm too smart and young to be married" and for the little old men "are you offering? Or do you have a grandson?"
Sometimes with a insightful optimistic comment: "I guess I just haven't found Mr. Right yet"
Sometimes with pure ugly honesty: "I was and now I'm not. Still working through it"- this one usually leaves a silence in the room. Or "he didn't want to be married anymore" -that one really hurts and is usually my response when I am having a pity party moment....rare but occasional.
And sometimes I just let it role off like water and ignore it all together "Nope, not married"-which for some reason, even to a complete stranger I do not like lying (probably a quality I got from my mom)
I can say the more I have to say it, the easier it seems to get. And it has nothing to do with what people think about my answer or what they will think of me. It just has something to do with me thinking about it and not avoiding it. But like a shadow it seems to follow me. I feel like my shadow was biggest in June and now with October approaching here in the Northwest there is only a sliver of shadow left. Some sunny days it might be bigger but overall shadow days are getting shorter and shorter, smaller and smaller.
Until soon it will be completely gone...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I think some of the people in my life really do not understand what I do for a living. It's not their fault, it's just the way society has depicted nursing. And honestly, I had the some of the same thoughts about nursing in college when I started to think about changing my major sophomore year from Biology. "Who wants to clean people up all day? I don't want to hold babies and hands!" I remember actually thinking this. I had this "bandaid on your kitten" roommate, and I mean that in the most loving sense. She knew when she was a little girl she wanted to be a nurse. She was a nurse every halloween growing up and always was taking care of her little friends.
Looking back I shared the caring for others qualities, but it was mainly my little sister and brother:)
So if you were to tell me I would be a nurse I would have laughed and said absolutely not. I thought it was all happy 24-7 and co-dependent type people were into it who just wanted a life size doll (patient) to dote on. Sorry, just being honest...this is what I thought. Who knows where I got this idea, but it was there and it was solid concrete. Until.....
I had an amazing advisor who saw something in me that I didn't see. She encouraged me to just "try it out, I'll set up a shadow night for you and I know the perfect place." Very doubtful I agreed.

I shadowed a nurse on the night shift at Emmanuel Hospital in the Emergency room ( a level 1 trauma center). The night was electric and full of adrenaline. We had teenager come in with a broken arm from a car accident, a toddler with a high fever, and a little old lady that decided she was "over" taking her medications because she didn't think she needed them anymore. We had all these pots on the stove just trying to make sure they didn't boil over. I loved the chaos and the constant busyness.
Then the icing on the cake arrived (I know I am one sick puppy). A guy in his 40's came in having a heart attack. He was scared and knew just enough to be apprehensive of the 20 people shuffling around him trying to save his heart muscle. I was a student, no skills yet, not even a license to cover my crappy student skills. But I played a part in probably one of the most horrible scary moments in his entire life. I held his hand.
The one thing I had said I would not be doing....I just held his hand. And then and there I think I realized how much you can do with nursing. You can really be there for people. Not in a fake way, you can't fake it or you fail. You just have to have it in you to be there, at that moment and not think about it.

So back to some of my friends and family. They have ideas of back rubs, and handing out pills. But really I think I am so blessed to get to be part of someone else's life. Yes I give them pills, but I have to know exactly how that pill I hand them will affect them.
I meet them at 7am and by 8 I really know everything about them. They let you in without you even having to do any asking, it's a given .....they come to you for help.
And so I think I am biased, but I have one of the best jobs in the department of rewarding. Sometimes it's easy for me to take that for granted when I hear my friends or family talk about their jobs. I forget not everyone landed a job that gives you this kind of feeling....I am sooo lucky:)

Monday, September 27, 2010

A couple of my friends and I keep discussing: Are you a glass half full or half empty kind of person? And how every situation can be interpreted one of two ways....positively or negatively. Your response to these situations are kind of built on a pro/con system....I mean usually you are thinking "If I open door 1, this will happen" or "But if I open door 2 this could happen." Back and forth like a ping pong match, at least if you are in my mind.....

I like to think that I have the more positive point of view a majority of the time, not all the time but a majority of it. That I like to give things the benefit of the doubt and let them unfold into whatever they will be...not forcing anything.

But lately I have the worst case scenario bug and the glass half empty chiming in my head. It's really like this battle of one talking to the other ( I guess at least they are not avoiding one another passive aggressively, its actually a fully debate like conversation in there sometimes).

My point about this is that it has become really exhausting.....I am tired from it and of it. So I am going to just let it all be and tell them to take a truce for a little while.
I am going to go with my gut and heart, and stop my mind from forming pro/con lists right now!

I don't see anything negative to actively deciding to not over think for awhile....wait.. I think I am pro listing this decision right now? This may be harder than I think....wish me luck.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I know I may start sounding like a Sara stalker but I love the girl:) One of my besties and I went to see her tonight and she was fabulous.
We got downtown early and found what we thought was "lucky" parking. It was 5.00 and just a block away from the venue. We pulled in and jumped out. Then gas station attendant/parking lot guy insisted we move the car not once, not twice, but three times. I was thinking, "oh well it's 5.00 who cares." Then he wanted our keys. Hmmm, it is a legit gas station...but why does he need our keys? I didn't have anything of value in the car so I handed him the keys. I mean I have witnesses, this is downtown Portland, what is the worst thing that could happen with giving my keys to this guy (who by the way had a very realistic glass eye)?

Keys to guy, off to show.

The show was great and we were there at a good time where we got awesome seats and were able to get a drink and something to eat:)
Sara played a lot of her new album and some good old stuff too.
I just think its amazing when someone makes it as far as she had with her singing career from a little small start in Eureka, California. She shows you how bad she wanted it with every part of her performance.
One of my favorite songs she sang tonight was many the's just really get you out of your seat happy.....which is why I like here so much. Greg Laswell also opened for her, you can tell he's going to be a big name really quick:)

So after the show we headed to our car, remember the 5.00 "lucky" parking? We walk into the gas station store section and asked for our keys back.
The same man who made me re-park three times did not remember me from Adam. And I like to think I am a somewhat memorable person:) "Keys? Keys?" You would have thought we were asking for the cure to cancer. He acted like he didn't even know what keys were. So now I am starting to freak a little bit ( I mean worst case, because that's how I think, I would call someone somewhere to help me get my extra set from my house right?) was this guy having a stroke? So now I am laughing, my girlfriend is laughing and this guy decides...and actually says this out loud, "All I got is a Honda key....maybe it will work.......I really hope this key is your car...but if not.....I uh don't know what to tell you..." No joke, he said this as he handed me my Nissan Xterra key...MY KEY:)

We literally ran to the car and had an awesome laugh attack about how we would never be using LUCKY parking again....what do you expect for 5.00? But we really did have a priceless night:)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Mr. Big Dog's little dog Jay is staying with me for a couple of days while he is out of town. When I say little I am being sarcastic. He is the complete opposite of little, he is huge. Actually he is 135lbs of hugeness. Which outweighs me. When asked, being the dog lover I am, I promptly answered "no problem." I mean he seems to be a large teddy bear and what is one more dog to my pack for the weekend? Then I started to get intimidated. I mean...what if he's "too much" dog for me? What if I can't control him? What if I lose him or something happens this weekend to make me seem like an unfit dog sitter?

So after work I went to pick up Jay after a long 12 hours, I took my girlfriend with the thought that "if I can't handle him and get him in the car, she definitely will...or there will at least be two of us to trouble shoot whatever I have gotten myself into." So we pulled up and unlocked the garage door expecting a huge ball of energy to pounce on us. But instead, big teddy bear Jay just lifted his head like "can you turn that light back off I was trying to sleep here."

He seemed more bothered than shocked that two women were now in his garage trying to get him to go outside and get into their car. But none the less the got his mini pony sized body up and started for the door. He leaped in the back of my car like he had done this all before and promptly laid himself down. He could not have cared less. He would have left with anyone....which my girlfriend kept saying over and over.

We got home and after my littlest dog Vince tried to show him who the real boss was he took his spot on his bed and just went back to sleep. It was like the whole trip over to my side of town was just an intermission in his nap time.

So I guess I was worried for nothing:) And he seems to fit in well with the pack, but I don't think Vince is anything close to thrilled....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Here in the northwest you can always find something to do. So when people say they are bored up here they are just really not trying. You can do anything from a hike to a pirate festival. I'm not staying I attend just anything I hear about but there are some really awesome events that I am starting to take more advantage of.
A friend of mind a couple years ago told me about the Swifts of Chapman Elementary. I tried to go see them shortly after hearing about them and unluckily went the day after they migrated:( So now a couple years later, I gave it another shot.

One thing I love about the Portland is the over abundance of little grocery markets and shops you can just pop in and buy unique foods for a picnic. I bought some pesto pasta salad, cheese, pears, salami, and homemade cookies for our picnic. Grabbed a blanket and off we (me and Mr. Big Dog) went. The weather was perfect, clear and crisp. The people watching was very epic with Portland-ers from business folk to the true Oregon hippie scattered around on blankets waiting for the show. Mr. Big Dog and I made up the perfect scenario for this man and woman next to us, in true people watching fashion. Our story for them was that it was originally a work relationship turned romantic:)

We had a really nice time, and it was the perfect evening. I think the company you have for things like this can really make the whole experience so much more fun and enjoyable.

Anyways, back to the it was amazing to see something like 35,000 little swift birds flying above in circles with one another like they were on an amusement park ride together. They flew around for what seemed like forever until the sun really set, then they started to form this huge line to get into their chimney home for the night. As the line entered the chimney the birds would almost just fall in and when the line was getting too wide some would fly back around in this huge sky circle for a second chance the next loop around.
My description really doesn't do the experience justice. And you can only see this show in September in Portland before they migrate south for the winter so if you want to go it will have to be in the next week. But it was beautiful....

As well as maybe just a little bit, ummmm..... creepy. Maybe only to Mr. Big Dog and I but we started to think about Alfred Hitchcock's: The Birds film. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all, we began to think:( We watched in awe of how many birds there really were, and really how they could turn and attack us at any minute. While everyone else was thinking how benign the birds were, we were thinking little weapons of destruction...... We had a good laugh about this and decided they were just sweet little sparrows putting on a show just for us:) at least for now they are.....

Friday, September 17, 2010

I am totally my mother's daughter. I always try to cram too much into one day and end up pulling late nighters just to finish the bare minimum of what I was trying to get accomplished.
With a deadline lurking in the very near distance causing me to push on through and always seem to get it done:) A couple nights ago was one of those nights. I had about 12 people coming over for a chili feed/cupcake feast in exchange for helping me with some long overdue projects.
These projects I have, have been overwhelming me lately. And when you are overwhelmed (at least for me) you stress and vent to work buddies and friends. SOOOOOO I think they just got sick of hearing my complain and a couple of them offered labor in exchange for my homemade chili and some cupcakes (doesn't that sound like a gastric nightmare).

Anyways, they seem to love my chili.
I got the recipe off the food network a couple years ago. And it' even kind of should try it out. I use turkey instead of chicken. I just love chili in the fall:)
I think it's a maturity thing or maybe I just have good luck. But I have the best friends. They are truly caring, awesome, giving people that are always willing to help each other out.
I decided a couple years back to only have friendships with good people. I know, I know, we all say this but I really don't like superficial relationships of any kind. I don't like spending time with people out of obligation. And I have definitely figured out that if someone does not share the same moral values as me, we probably are not going to cliche:)
Life is too short. And they say you are the company you keep right? Well I would keep company with everyone I had over today again in a heartbeat.

And life is all about ups and downs, and give and take:) I have been there for a couple of these people when they need it too. Maybe not putting in a fence or pulling their weeds, but in cupcakes, lasagna, and sometimes just listening.....

My friends are soooo awesome! It looks great:) Thanks everybody!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I had an epiphany today while mowing the lawn.

First of all, my yard is a 1/4 acre and I have been busy and out of town so I think it's been about 2 weeks since I last mowed it. Thanks to Portland, it still needed to be mowed because the fall rain made it grow:) Anyways, I HATE my mower. It's probably user error but I can't get the bag to stay on and then when it is on it sprays grass on me. And for some reason when I think I have it on correctly, under the right tire doesn't seem to cut. So I am out there, with my three dogs watching me, thinking "seriously, give me a break and just let me get this done. Why god does this have to be so difficult?" I am sweaty, hungry, tired, and really I am mowing twice since under the right tire is not cutting.....And then I start to get mad. I start to think about how this was his job. This was not my responsibility in my past life...or I should say as of 3 months ago. It was his. And I get upset. Upset with him, upset with me for being upset with him, and really upset with the stupid mower.

Back to the epiphany. Here I am about to cry about the stupid mower (probably just a little hormonally related or maybe sleep deprivation induced) with the three sets of little dog eyes staring at me like "mom just keep it together....and by the way you missed a spot over there."

And then it happened.......
I realized.....I would rather be alone forever than ever be with him again. Really I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I don't mean it hatefully or with anger. I just mean I am coming more and more to understand that this is the best thing I could, we could have ever done. We were totally wrong for one another and we made the worst come out in each other. Yes he did mowed the lawn but he was not a good partner for me.
Upon realizing this I felt free and grateful for a fresh start. Grateful that I get to have somewhat of a second life. And grateful I can mow my own lawn even if I am a mess at the end of it and it looks amateur:(
I think a majority of people live two lives in their lifetime. Nowadays, most are due to divorce. But still none the less, they live two lives. Divorce, drinking, death all can cause this second life. I recently have met all three types of "second lifers" and we are all so different, yet so similar in our situations of trying to figure it all out and not make the same "mistakes" as last time...
I am on to, or I should my second life, but that does not mean the first didn't shape me and was for nothing. I am not trying to act like I am through it and it's all easy breezy. I don't
mean to come across cold or detached like it meant nothing to me. But I am glad it is over.

I just didn't realize how much I was living for someone else. How I was constantly putting someone else's needs above my own. And how most of all, I was not getting what I needed at all when I was really honest with myself.

It still hurts. And tonight after not crying for what seemed like forever, I cried. I had a good cry and thought about how even though this epiphany is can really feel like failure. Failure to have really not known myself, failure to have not been my own best friend, and failure to not be able to tap out when it really started to hurt and be bad for me.

But I am thankful that this is the foundation for my second life:) And I will be looking at a new mower for this new life this weekend:)....Do they come in pink? I would totally buy a pink mower....maybe I just came up with a new business idea.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I have had a lot of stuff going on in my personal life (like I even need to say that) over the past 4 or so months. But I know so many other people having much more difficult times and things happening in their lives. I know I have said this before but when you hear about or see someone else going through something you automatically compare yourself.

Today I saved someones life:) She was is only 35 and has a one year old! It was horrible and stressful, but oh so rewarding when it all fell together and worked out. And I am happy to say she is fine and doing well thank goodness:)

She must have come along today to show me how different life can be in one single second. How you take for guaranteed the small things or the large for that matter. Your health, your friends, your dogs, you name it. And when you think you are having a bad day, sometimes you get a good old smack down from something higher just to show you how great you have it.

And sometimes you just get reassurance of why you are here, doing what you are doing at the moment....which is what I experienced today;) I love my job:)

Monday, September 13, 2010

I found these adorable collars at Crate and Barrel of all places! My dogs are going to look so sharp:) I might just need to walk them on the water front while wearing a black pea coat just because we would all match so nicely. And I might need mom to do a photo shoot of the dogs:)
Fall is setting in and even though I will miss summer and shorts, I am excited for warm coats and hats. I plan on taking full advantage of my northwest neighborhood this fall. On my do list.....

2. Attend at least one haunted house
3. Decorate my porch with pumpkins
4. Carve a pumpkin with my nephew:)
5. Hike Multnomah Falls again
6. Bake pumpkin bread
7. And continue my list making:)

I am a strong believer that when you verbalize something, like my list, you have a better chance of making whatever it is happen. I think when I tell someone I am going to do something then I feel more of a push to do it. I guess am pretty serious about holding myself to my word.....which for me is a good thing.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My Vegas weekend was a blast! We did the pool, the spa, shopped, saw an awesome show, and laughed so much my stomach muscles hurt:) I always have the best time with my sister and her hubs. A couple of things we really noticed with our people watching this weekend....

Kids really don't like Vegas and don't really fit in but so many people bring them!

People should not text and walk or really do anything on their phone while walking it's dangerous and annoying.

Burts beeswax lip balm is bad for your pores:(

Men design hotel rooms, we know this because the only full length mirror was behind a desk;) and the lighting was not great:(

Security guards at hotels are cute little old men who unlock your room as many times as your key doesn't work:)

And beautiful weather, fun people, and lack of responsibility make for a fun trip:) this may need to be an annual event...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I have been working hard and playing even harder. My days are filled with work or something fun and then I am always on the phone with somebody lately. One of my besties is going thru a hard time so I am on the phone with her, or I'm on the phone with my pals from near and far catching up (they like living vicariously though my single fun life)....or I am on the phone with someone else:)
I, as usual, am always trying to do everything. ALL THE TIME. Until I pretty much drop. My body usually gives me the yellow signal light that I ignore, or it's actually more like the gas light in your car turning on...but I continue to drive. And the other night was one of those nights, I was running on empty and sooo tired but restless. This has now become my norm. So I took ambien to try encourage some much needed sleep.
Which would have been great...but then I ended up getting on the phone thinking I would only chat a little while because the ambien would most likely make me hit the wall.
The conversation must have been good because this caller never disappoints. But..... it is kind of hazy cloudy. The next thing I knew I was on my way to work probably, um....8ish hours later..... realizing I don't remember getting off the phone:(
People had told me, I should say WARNED me about ambien but I just thought they had issues honestly. One of my girlfriends said she pruned her trees on it, another said she woke up naked in her family room, and the list goes on. I just thought they were crazy and not in the right mind frame when they took the little pink pill, but now I am a believer.
So a little word of advice, if you don't want a panic attack the next morning thinking "I hope I wasn't slurring my words" (but I probably was) then definitely no talking on the phone after taking an ambein.....

Isn't it funny how as an adult your idea of a vacation changes so much? They use to involve amusement parks, driving a long distance and being so pumped that there was an indoor pool. Now I think vaca and thoughts of facials, turning the cell phone off, and always always shopping:) come to mind.
This trip just kind of snuck up on me:) I get to tag along with my sister and her hubs to Vegas this weekend. The weather is suppose to be in the 90's! I can hear the pool calling my name:)

It will be nice to just relax, not have anywhere to be or go, and just catch up with my sissy:)

Monday, September 6, 2010

I don't think I have ever really been up close to a Saint Bernard. I don't think I have ever even known someone who owned a dog larger than a lab or golden retriever. But now I do:) And the other day we took our dogs to the river.
I took Hoffa since the vet had recommended swimming to her new workout routine (you can barely see her on my right). The dogs could care less about one another. They were both so mellow together. Jay swam a little bit, but Hoffa would only wade in to her chest. I guess she didn't want to mess up her hair:)
I have to admit I had some idea, or I should say preconceived notion of a Saint Bernard being this huge uncontrollable slobbering horse. (Sorry Jay:( just being honest). That is just what I thought came with having such a huge dog, .....slobber and chaos.
Instead I was pleasantly surprised at his demeanor. He was such a gentle giant. Just a real laid back guy:) The picture is pretty much how he looked most of time.
But in my eyes he is still closer to the size of a horse than a dog.

In the beginning of my single journey I remember crying to one of my girlfriends about how I would "never go to a movie with him again, or ever take a walk with him again, or even kiss him again." It was quite dramatic and panic provoking....just the idea of being alone I guess? Or maybe just loosing someone you were so use to doing all of those things with. These old things has a certain degree of comfortable, and now I was very uncomfortable.
One of my girlfriends has been married for almost 10 years, she just had her second baby and she is loving life. She loves her life 110%, but she said something to me that is so true. She reminded me that even though that chapter was closed in my life and yes I would not be doing any of those things with him..... I was going to get to have new "firsts." She said how she remembers and still has the feelings of "firsts" with her husband, now they just involve babies teething or learning to talk:)

She just reminded me of how......
I get to have a first date with someone else. I get to have a first laugh with someone else. I even get to have a first kiss with someone else. I get to feel all teenage like (in a good way) and be excited to talk to this someone on the phone until 2 am:)

I do have a lot of "lasts" that sting once in awhile, but the "firsts" are starting to multiply and I am not complaining one bit about those:)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I turned thirty this past April. I am divorced. I have a great career. I have a house and a paid off car. I have my sister and my mom nearby. And loads of friends, who this weekend seem to all be doing fun things they would love me to partake in. I think I have been invited to 2 BBQ's, 1 Birthday party, caving at Mt. St. Helen's, and running a new trail with a one of my girlfriends all this weekend! I have been busy and I am having fun. And for all of this I feel blessed, even the divorce since I have survived and things could always be a lot worse.
So why am I saying all of this? Maybe it's my personality. Maybe it's society norms. But I feel this little bit of anxiety that wax and wains but never quite disappears. This little voice in my head saying "what are you going to do?" "You are a this fork in the road, so make it count and do what you really want!"
I have always thought I would go to graduate school. I applied last year and did not get in because it wasn't part of the plan for me at the time. It truly would have been a mess if I had gotten in, at the time it was disappointing but looking back I see it was good this path did not start quite yet. So is it time now?
Or I have always loved renovating the houses I live in. I love seeing potential in something and making it beautiful again. I love the DIY and HGTV channel. I love a challenge. I have been wanting to buy another house and renovate it. But it wasn't something I have been courageous enough to do as of yet. And I didn't have the support in my personal life to do so, until now. So is it time now?

Then there is the ultimate goal of a family:) I want to be a mom someday and I swear that clock does tick loud. Especially when you work with women in my same age group. Everyone is pregnant that I work with. All cute with their bellies and excited with their nursery planning....and I feel 40 steps behind with thinking about my lack of a husband.

So back to the clock of life ticking. I just wish I had a crystal ball or my own personal fortune teller to ease my mind. To tell me it will be just as I wish and it is going to take time that I can not fast forward. There is a reason I am suppose to work through all of this at this pace and I will continue to just take one day at a time...but it's hard to just LET that happen or at least acknowledge that I have no control.

But if I could buy that crystal ball I might just pay everything I had for it right now:)

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