winter sun

This one time, at band camp –

Whenever I have a thought that begins “remember that one time…” I immediately think of the immortal words from American Pie.  Which usually makes me laugh, remember high school and completely forget about the original thought.

Today, John Mayer’s “Comfortable” popped on Pandora.  It is my ultimate favorite John Mayer song.  My roommate from my last year in college gave me a burned CD of John Mayer songs — one of which was “Comfortable”.  My parents had just moved to their newest house and I played that CD the entire drive back to Penn State after a weekend at home.  Which ended up taking a long time, because I got a little lost in Amish country.

And when the music begins, the mournful, nostalgic guitar — every time, to this very day — I think of driving through Amish country, the sun a cool white in the late days of winter, just on the cusp of the world coming alive again.  I think of my little Honda Civic named Beau.  I think of finally finding Starbucks and knowing where I was.  I think of how long ago it was, before all the darkness and sadness and confusion of my twenties.  I think of the poignancy of the lyrics, and that instead of truly understanding them, I merely yearned for the feeling the music evoked.

The wonderful simplicity of those lyrics — my mental images of grocery shopping and gray sweatpants, and swearing like a sailor ….  I’d never known any of those things with another person the way I ached to.

Anyway, life takes us so many places, both physically and mentally.  Sitting in my office in the last days of February, for just a moment I was faraway, in a time long gone.  The power of music is eery and crazy like that.

here I am

I love days when I feel productive and as though I made good decisions.

Those days don’t happen all the time.  And when I have one, I am very inspired to continue the trend.  But inevitably, I get tired, or distracted and again make less good decisions.

Yesterday was a semi-good day — which I feel can be marked as progress. I didn’t have a green smoothie to start the day (I never — despite all intentions when I fall asleep) get up early enough to make one and also make my train.  So I rely on the kindness and thoughtfulness of my hubs.  Yesterday he also deserved to sleep in a little (what exactly is ‘sleeping in’ when it occurs before 6am…?  Ah, I know.  It’s called ‘Lucy didn’t wake up at 5.35a’).  But I got a green juice at Starbucks (which was actually nearly frozen through and hadn’t defrosted by the time I left the office at 4pm).  But I did buy it with the best of intentions.

I managed to drink a fair amount of water.  I have a system — more like a schedule — that I try to stick to, but it has proven challenging when my days are crazy … as more of them tend to be as the business begins to grow exponentially.  I try — valiently, i might add — to drink a full 32 ounces before noon, another before 2pm and then I can ride the train home without worrying about having to use the bathroom.  That leaves another 20 ounces to be consumed prior to bed and I try to get that done before 7pm so I’m not up every 2 hours throughout the night.  MS, folks.  She’s no joke.

I did a lot of work — I usually do a lot of work, but yesterday’s was quantifiable work & I like having evidence of productivity.  Then I got on the stationary bike when I got home and rode six miles — my longest workout yet.  (As a sidetone, it’s only my third ride on our stationary bike).  I only had two (albeit rather full) glasses of wine.  And we had salmon sashimi and dumplings for dinner.  Not so bad.

But … I had one of the worst night’s sleep ever.  I get really bad headaches behind my left eye and last night’s was a doozy.  Have you ever taken pain pills and visualized how they are going to alleviate the pain?  Well, I do it a lot, because these headaches wreck me.  In my fitful, painful, sweaty half-sleep, all I kept thinking about after downing the Excedrin, was how the pills were progressing through my system, to my blood, to the spot of unendurable pain in my brain.  Thankfully, when John got up to head out to the Outdoorsman show with his buds, the pain seemed to have significantly lessened.  But I am always so cautious after a headache.  Nothing is worth doing that could trigger it to come back.  It is just absolutely the most excruciating pain.  And it always seems to last forever — as though I can no longer remember what it is like to not be crippled by it.

Anyway.

Right now Lucy and I are in my office while Dora cleans.  The paper seems to have multiplied again and it’s so depressing.  Paper on this desk, paper on my desk at work  …. so much paper needing to be read, dealt with, filed.  Sometimes I wistfully think back to simpler times … but then I remember that this is what I dreamed of, this house and my career.  And I can’t be too frustrated.

John and I leave for Italy on Wednesday.  It still feels very surreal that we are going.  There were times when I thought I’d never travel again.  First because of money, then because of MS.  And now, a little over a year into Tysabri and six years slogging away at the restaurant … dreams are coming true left and right.  I’m spoiled and I’m so grateful.

Because right now, in this moment, despite the challenges, despite the unfairness of life — right now, I am happy.  And that is a great feeling.

 

 

back to earth

I’ve been mildly obnoxious lately. Floating on the high that follows the lowest of lows. When you climb from the dark and everything seems beautiful and miraculous and better than it ever seemed before. And emboldened by this new outlook, this new perspective, a swagger emerges. A completely unnecessary and ridiculous swagger. And yet – essential to getting on with life after a devastating blow.

I drove to the train station, feeling fine, happy with my newly done hair, my outfit choice for the day. Feeling motivated and organized for what is usually my busiest day of the week.

And I promptly fell in amazing glory the minute I stepped out of my car.

Not a stumble or a trip. And complete wipe out.

And I knew that God – or whatever force shapes the minutiae of our days – was not-so-subtley bringing me back to Earth. Now, as the train slogs down the track – an estimated 20 minutes late for our arrival in Center City, my butt aches, my hands burn and the only thing I can do is laugh and nod and admit that yes, I needed that.

K.K. & E

It’s absolutely bananas that it’s February already. Bananas.

To celebrate the second month of the year I met up with two of my favorite women for dinner. It served two purposes – seeing my friends but also, I dragged them to my company’s newest restaurant to check out the food. (They’ve both been but luckily, they were up for a re-visit!).

It’s funny, because we saw each other in December and so much has changed in such a short time that it feels like eons since we last were together. Life is wild like that. Seriously.

I was in a state yesterday – puffed up and frustrated and indignant.

How often we diminish ourselves – how often we roll out the red carpet for others to treat us poorly. Tonight at dinner, Kate exhibited the most confidence I’ve seen her espouse in years. Erin and I had to pick our jaws up off the floor. And then we all began to laugh and Erin and I declared with enthusiasm our love and appreciation for this new Kate. It was glorious. Because this Kate that she was finally seeing and endorsing – that’s the Kate Erin and I have always seen, always believed in.

That’s true friendship.

When we sit together and vomit our woes all over the table and complain and whine — and just enjoy and love each other so much.  That’s real.

I look at my friends and am in awe of both of them. I think they are both so fabulous and funny and insightful and wonderful. That is friendship.

Anyway. I wanted to make an effort to document my gratitude and today, I am insanely grateful for these two women. I am grateful for their place in my life, for the time they share with me and for their love, support and patience. It isn’t easy to find time to nurture relationships when work, and family and partners and pets take up so much time. And I am so deeply grateful that we have found the time to keep our friendships alive.