As the year nears to end, I welcome it. I want to put behind me 2008 and I am pretty sure that I am not alone in that one. Life has become harder for all of us. At Christmas time, there were fewer gifts under Christmas trees. They were less people traveling to visit loved ones for the holidays. Amidst our economic woes, we have so much to celebrate. We can celebrate our friendships, our good health and our families, and we can look forward to better days. We can also give our time, expertise and assistance to others in need.
The New Year will also bring with it a new president, one who also hopes and prays for better days ahead. 2008 brought with it some of the worst times for middle class America, including declining incomes, retirement accounts and real estate values. Our next president has plenty of work ahead of him, but it is estimated that by this time next year, the economy will be starting to get out of the current slump. Americans everywhere are optimistic.
The first half of 2009 is going to bring a lot of work with it for our leaders, our employers, our coworkers, our families and ourselves. After what this country been through the last eight years, optimism is on our side. So here is to better days, and welcome to a New Year.
Happy New Year to all of my friends, family, and all of you that read my blog. God Bless each of you and your loved ones and may the New Year give us so much more to celebrate.
Every year, I make a list of things I am going to change for the New Year and I never follow through. This year, I refuse to make a single resolution. Not that I don’t need to, I just know that my list will never be completed.
When I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, the world suddenly stood still for me. For the first time, in probably my entire life, I saw the world more clearly. At first, I was in a trance – a state of denial, I suppose. Then, I was angry at God and the world. Last, I accepted it. My anger or sadness wasn’t going to change anything and all it would do was make me miserable. I realized that despite having RA, I had a lot more in my life to be grateful for and RA couldn’t take that away from me.
My eight year old turns nine in a couple of weeks and turning in a great young man before my very eyes. My baby is almost 4 months and growing up so fast. Moreover, I finally got my wish. I have reconnected my three daughters after eight years of having no contact with them. I have a good husband, who despite all my flaws, loves me for who I am. I have a mother who thinks I am indispensable and sisters who would do anything for me. I have friends who would be there for me in a heartbeat. My life may be boring and sometimes, yes, I want more, but it is fulfilled. I have more than most people do.
Therefore, I have decided that setting New Years resolutions is for fools. Sure, I still need to rid myself of all that baby weight. Sure, I still need to minimize my debts. Sure, I really need to focus on completing my master’s degree. Sure, I have a list of things I should and would like to get too, but the only thing I want to do is enjoy life a little bit more. I want to enjoy the life I already have. “Cry a little less, laugh a little more” (I took that line from a Tim McGraw song). And I will get to all those other things. I am just not doing to dwell on them if I don’t nor am I going to make a list that I will never complete.
Life’s too short. I know, but for now, I just want to take that journey as slow as I possibly can. I am going to cherish every minute of every day and stop dwelling on the things I cannot change. And nothing, including RA, is going to stop me. As for the rest of you fools, feel free to continue making lists that you don’t have time for and will give up on by April 1st. Life is a blessing. Go out and enjoy it with the ones you love instead.
Nevertheless, I am in the Christmas spirit thanks to my boys Rascal Flatts. Here is my favorite verison of the song “I’ll be Home for Christmas“.
Nevertheless, here is a history lesson I borrowed from Wikipedia. The first wind chill tables and formulas were developed by Paul Sniple and Charles Passel while working in the Antarctic before World War II. They were made available to the National Weather Service sometime in the 1970s. Sniple and Passel based their research on the cooling rate of a small plastic bottle as its contents turned to ice while suspended in the wind on their hut roof, at the same level as the anemometer (An instrument for measuring wind force and velocity). In conclusion, the wind-chill index is said to provide a good indication of the severity of the weather.
Moreover, in 2001, the National Weather Service implemented a new wind chill index. The newer version is only used in the U.S. and Canada and it is determined by looking at skin temperature under various wind speeds and temperatures. The model is based on correlations of wind speed and heat transfer rates. Heat transfer is calculated for a bare face in wind, facing wind and while walking into it. Also, the wind chill only applies to temperatures at or below 50 °F and wind speeds above 3mph. Additionally, the method for calculation has been controversial (shocker, anyone?) because experts disagree on whether the model should be based on exposed skin versus covered skin. Also, resistance to cold varies from person to person and/or exposure levels. Frostbite can also be applied, but that is a whole other matter that I am not prepared to research. If you ask me, it’s a bunch a woobla for someone else to worry about since I plan on staying inside.
So, if you are one of those people wishing for a White Christmas this winter, I am sending a bah humbug your way. Next year, I will enjoy my Christmas some where sunny and warm, but in the meantime, I will be wondering what kind of idiot moves to back to Cleveland or wishes for this kind of weather.
Kyle works in our IST department. Kyle came by earlier and took my computer processor for updates thus forcing me to do the unspeakable. What is that you ask? Well, after a week of living in the piles on my messy desk, I cleaned it. Yes, folks, you heard the exclusive here. I cleaned my desk and I have the pictures to prove it.
No one realized how ashamed of the mess I was but I had no control over the situation. I am a Type A personality, meaning, well as my husband quite often tells me, I am nuts. Because I am a Type A person, I hate waiting in lines, to me life is about rush and last, I am always aware of the time and how little of it I have. (My poor children!) Type A personalities also are highly competitive and strong achievers. Of course, Type A natured persons may have problems such as hypertension, heart disease, stress and social isolation. (Really, my poor children.) Guilt is also another problem for Type A’s (poor me).
Unfortunately for this Type A, my husband has a Type B personality – one which I often times find very infuriating. The man was born relaxed and the last thing on his mind is time. He never rushes, never worries and never seems to care about a darn thing – must be nice.
Well, enough about my Type A nature and additional items on the list of ways my husband makes my blood boil. Right now, my biggest achievement is cleaning my desk and hey, I am proud. So again, thank you Kyle from IST for inadvertently rescuing me from the monster I call my desk. I believe a nice thank you note is in order here.
I haven’t figured out what has me bored with my job…well more than the usual. I take that back. I am not only bored with my job, but I am bored with my life. Boredom, is that what happened when you suddenly realize that, well, you are turning into your mother? Or Lynnette Scavio from Desperate Housewives?
Whatever it is, it is making me wish I had a more meaningful life. Yes, I love being a mom (well…sometimes, I don’t) and I have a wonderful husband (well, wonderful is probably an overstatment– he is like a child, but with a job), a highly entertaining mother and siblings (dysfunctional is more like it), and a few close friends (who I should call more often), but when did my life become so uninspiring? The only person I would probably (with emphasis) inspire is an old woman in a nursing home with dementia or probably one of my deceased grandmothers. I am so tired of my boring, uninteresting, tedious, dull, dreary, mind-numbing, tiresome, lackluster, unexciting, monotonous, wearisome, humdrum and uninspiring life (I ran out of synonyms for boring and these are the only ones Word suggested) that is has come down to defining my boredom and taking pictures of my messy desk.
I guess I will be off looking for some inspiration. If you have any, please lend it my way. In the meantime, I hope your desk isn’t as messy as mine. I will, however, not take this to heart. After all, Albert Einstein’s desk was messier.
I finally did it! I told my husband to get off his butt and start helping out around the house. (Well, I haven’t done that in about a month.) Of course, it did no good, but I was stressed out and I wanted to take it out on someone and better him than the kids. You know how some days being supermom is overrated? Well, today was one of those days. I long for some peace and quiet. I want to remember what silence sounds like. I actually want to hear myself think for a change. But granted, the only place I “hear” silence (I guess technically speaking, you can’t hear silence) is on my way to work every morning after the chaos of the morning rush in my home. And yes, my husband sleeps through the morning rush chaos and sometimes, I think he sleeps through our marriage.
I would trade every piece of jewelry in my jewelry box for some peace and quiet – not that it would buy me much time. 63 minutes – that is what the average person gets of peace and quiet every day. The average person, huh? Apparently, Supermom isn’t the average person because even when the kids are put to bed or dropped off to school and daycare and while driving into work, my mind is constantly full of more chaos (the same kind that keeps me up at night), and contemplating about the things I need to do or should have done today. And a media researcher says the average person gets 63 minutes of peace and quiet? I am still dumbfounded on that. That research, first of all, must have been by a man and second, he never bothered to ask a mom, a supermom to be exact. Maybe some of those researchers that did the survey could come to my home and give me 63 minutes of peace and quiet, not everyday, but just for one day.
If someone in Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don’t work there, you live in Cleveland.
If you’ve worn shorts and parka at the same time, you live in Cleveland.
If you’ve had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you live in Cleveland.
If “Vacation” means going anywhere south of 1-80 for the weekend, you live in Cleveland.
If you measure distance in hours, you live in Cleveland.
If you have switched from “Heat” to “A/C” in the same day and back again you live in Cleveland.
If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard with flinching, you live in Cleveland.
If you carry jumpers in the car and your wife knows how to use them, you live in Cleveland.
If you design you kid’s Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you live in Cleveland.
If the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph– you’re going 80 and everybody is passing you, you live in Cleveland.
If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you live in Cleveland.
If you know all 4 seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter and Road Construction, you live in Cleveland.
If you have more miles on your snow blower than your car, you live in Cleveland.
A week before Thanksgiving, I found out that I have Rheumatoid arthritis. I was relieved to find out what was causing all my pain, but that was also the day I felt more alone than I had ever felt in my life. The worse the pain got, the more alone I felt. Therefore, I am starting a group at Twitter.com for moms living with RA.
So if you are an RA sufferer or have a loved one with the condition, please join us at www.twittermoms.com/group/momswithrheumatoidarthritis. We are here to support each other and share experiences and resources.
Please note that you will need to join twitter.com to be a part of the RA group. Twitter was started by Megan Calhoun for moms to connect on various issues. If you are interested, please join us.
Since I was a kid, I hated to wait despite my mother frantically (yes, frantically) telling me that the best things come to those who wait. Mom’s advice never stopped me from locating the Christmas (or my birthday) gifts early nor did it keep me from spoiling a surprise, even one I worked hard to plan. I, as an adult, of course, have gotten better at waiting, but my eight year old has, much to my dismay, inherited the horrible quality I once and still deep inside possess.
So as I type, and this is what I do for a living, might I add, I am reminded that taking life slowly and living for moment matters more than it ever did. Rheumatoid arthritis has now taken over my life. I am in pain everyday and, despite the pain, I manage to make it through everyday. My hands hurt as I type reminding me what RA is capable of and what a future with RA holds. Every morning I wake up with swollen feet that continue to hurt throughout the day, never easing up. When I get up in the night for the baby’s nightly feeding, I try to carefully carry him (so afraid to drop him) despite the painful twinge in my back. My RA seems to have evolved quickly in the last three months and the pain has become a daily part of my life. There isn’t a day that has gone by that I am not in pain. That is what is like living with RA.
I was diagnosed a few days before Thanksgiving despite being in constant pain for several months. For years, I had aches and pains that I ignored. The more recent pain started with a twinge in my lower back when I was about six months pregnant that I ignored assuming it had to do with my pregnancy. Now six months later, the pain is unbearable and no amount of pain medication totally diminishes the pain. I haven’t asked my doctor for any pain medications as I am not willing to take narcotic pain relievers. My first appointment with my rheumatologist is January 26 and a long time to wait, but according to my family physician, this doctor is the best and it is fine to wait. (I guess I should have told my doctor about the Christmas gifts.)
Unfortunately for me, RA won’t wait. It wants to eat me up alive along with my way of making a living. There is no question that my job as a legal assistant is contributing to my pain and perhaps, promoting the progression of the disease. This is where I want to scream, why me? What did I do to deserve this? Not only is RA not allowing me to enjoy life and to be the best mother that I can be, but it also plans on taking away my family’s needed income. Eventually, the pain will make it difficult for me to continue to work, but right now, I am not ready for any more changes in my life. Moreover, RA isn’t going to wait for me to get my act together nor is it going to allow me the time to figure out just how to I will accomplish that.
I am stepping back in time to a month ago when Dr. R informed me that my pain could be RA. I went home and prayed with all my heart that whatever was wrong with me had a cure. Regrettably, as I have quickly found out, there is no cure for RA and not only that, it is chronic and debilitating. It will not get worse before it gets better; it will only get worse. So I have decided since RA won’t wait, neither will I. I won’t dwell on my condition because RA is going to make me wait as it progresses. Dwelling won’t change the fact that I have RA nor will it change the development of the disease. Dwelling will only hurt the ones I love and as any cancer sufferer will tell you (my sister included), getting better is all about your attitude. Of course, I won’t get better, but on the other hand, I won’t allow RA to control my life. RA will just have to wait to destroy my life. And yes, Mom still says that the best things come to those who wait and even though I am older, I still don’t believe her.
I decided this morning that no one in this world could be more blessed than I am. I want to be angry and enraged, but what would that accomplish? The realization that I have RA has finally hit me. I already knew, but I was praying that it wasn’t true. I can continue to ramble, but I know that for everything in my life that has hurt, there was something better to replace it. Every test I have been given led to me here to the place I have been trying to find. My comfort zone so to speak.
I have been blessed with five children, three of whom I have tried desperately to reconnect with (emotionally and physically) after my ex-husband took them out of my life eight years ago. I thought this was the final blow, and after losing my daughters and struggling to gain my life back, raising my eight year old on my own for many years, struggling to find a meaning to my life, believing and trusting in love after how badly I had been hurt, and now, being blessed with another child, a child that I told myself I didn’t deserve, it had to be. A couple months ago, I found out my younger sister had cancer, and it tore me inside, and I wished that I could make the cancer go away or somehow, take on some of her pain, but as my favorite blogger often reminds herself and her readers that she “kicked cancer’s ass”, I too can live with this and not because I am strong, far from it, but because I am blessed.
I think about how fortunate I have been in my life and how lucky I have been. Yes, I have struggled, but I was resilient and I didn’t have time to give up. I had others who needed me to be strong. And yes, I can be weak. I can fall down and not want to get up, and there are days where the pain is so bad, I want to hide in my bed and wish it all away, but what would that accomplish? How can I teach my children to be strong and to always reach further and that giving up is not an option, if I do not practice what I am preaching?
Of course, I am blessed, and more than anything, I want to ramble about how cruel life can be, but it wouldn’t change a thing, good or bad. I just know that everything I have been through made me the person I am today and that person is stronger and wiser than I could have ever imagined. And the reason for my being all the wiser and stronger is that I have been truly blessed and in more ways than I can count. I could not ask for more.
Today’s advice: DREAM BIG. My eight year old asked me today if he, too, could be president of the United States just like his new idol, Barack Obama. I have never been more proud of my son. His past idol (probably, as of last week) was The Undertaker (Phew! Am I relieved!). This is the greatest country on earth when a man who comes from modest roots can grow up to be President of the United States. I am really glad that my son has a role model that he can look up that is the product of the American Dream. It sure makes me proud to be American. President-Elect Barack Obama’s mother told him he could grow up to be anything he wanted to be, and I give the same advice to my son – he can dream as big as the I can see.