Make a Ripple

Nevertheless,
She Persisted.

And so becomes the battle cry. And it certainly does feel like we are in a battle. A battle for our children and our children’s children. A battle for their eventual partners and spouses. A battle for our neighbors and a battle for those who don’t have the means or strength to battle themselves. A battle for our ancestors. A battle for our country.

These last 3 weeks have been painful. Painful to watch. Painful to explain to my children. Painful to realize that people you know have biases and prejudices and (sometimes) a blind willingness to only see an issue as black or white and seemingly ignore the grey in-betweens.

These last 3 weeks have also been enlightening. Enlightening to see so many people stand up for what is right. Enlightening to see that so many people are not concerned with “What’s In It For Me?”, but instead focused on what our duties are to to those less fortunate (whether from within our country or without).

These last 3 weeks have highlighted that it is not enough to sit back and let our politicians speak for us. We MUST be active and vocal. Or things go all to hell in a hand basket like they are now.

We are all to blame. For being complacent. For ignoring what we learned in political science class. For assuming that our voices and wishes aren’t enough to make a ripple in this political pond.

Because all it takes is a single voice, backed with enough strength and willpower, to create a disturbance. To shift the wave. To Make A Difference.

#RESISTANCE

takes

#PERSISTANCE

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Shades of Grey (a political post)

Yep. I’m about to get political up here in my blog.

With politics at the forefront of everything right now it’s clear to me that many people just can’t handle or understand the greys. Everything must either be black or white. Liberal or conservative. You must be either for or against something or you’ll get lambasted. And if you aren’t all for or all against, again, you just don’t fit in.

So I’ll open up and tell you a story about me and why I feel that many of the issues that are being fought about don’t have a clear cut answer. That the answer must be more nuanced. That the solutions aren’t as simple as implementing bans and preventing services.

So here’s my story:

My daughter was around 4 and a half and my son was almost 2 when we found out we were expecting again. Yay! We wanted another and were thrilled. Doctor visits confirmed and we were sent home with prenatal vitamins. Being my 3rd pregnancy, I knew the drill.

But at around 10 weeks I started having sharp pains in the left side down near my hip. At first I thought nothing of it, pregnancy comes with its own weird aches and pains, but it grew more pronounced so I called the doc who said to come on in and they’d take a look.

So met with the doc and went over the symptoms and he decided to order an ultrasound. As the technician moved the wand over that side I could tell something was off. You’ve probably read or heard (or experienced) the stories where the technician would go quiet, then slip from the room to call the physician. Those typically don’t end well.

So she came back in and said she had my doctor on the phone and handed it to me. He explained that the ultrasound showed that the pregnancy was ectopic. That means the baby was growing in the Fallopian tube – it hadn’t travelled on down to the uterus like is should have.

So for those who haven’t heard of this, imagine a grass snake. One of those tiny little ones. Imagine if it ate an egg. You’ve probably seen cartoons like that – the long slender snake body with a big round thing distending it in the middle. That’s what was happening. Except in this case, the reason I was feeling pain is because the baby was growing. And that fallopian tube will only stretch so much.

So I’ll stop the story here so you can ponder the options a woman in this predicament has:

  • Option A: If there is no indication of imminent rupture yet, get sent home with a prescription for Methotrexate which will ‘interrupt’ the pregnancy.
  • Option B: if there is a rupture or signs of imminent rupture, go to the hospital and undergo laparoscopic procedure to remove the baby from the Fallopian tube. (And no, it can’t just be moved to the right spot. I asked.)
  • Option C: Do nothing. Then when the growth of the baby does rupture your Fallopian tube, pray you get to a hospital in time to prevent infection, sepsis or even death.

Those are the options. I don’t know about you, but to me all of those options were pretty shitty ones. So for those hard-core pro-lifers out there what’s the solution?
Because if you wanna get technical about it, options A & B are technically abortions.

For us there wasn’t really a decision to be made. We had 2 kids at home that needed their mom and per my doctor’s advice we headed up to the hospital for laparoscopic surgery. And it sucked. And we had to fight with our insurance to cover it and have our doctor prove it was medically necessary before they would pay for it. (All while grieving the loss.)

Now back to the comments in my first paragraph. About how things aren’t always black and white. There are shades of grey everywhere. This is one.

And you can say that the abortion regulations aren’t for issues like this, but where is the line drawn?

And when the definition of medically necessary is something different to everyone how can that be defined or regulated?

All it takes is ONE PERSON in charge who decides that Option C is acceptable in our nation for the 1 in 50 ectopic pregnancies to end in maternal distress or death.

That’s why I’m frightened to leave issues like this in the hands of politicians. And honestly it’s even worse that it’s in the hands of mostly male politicians. Because they will never ever be able to understand or empathize with what that pregnant woman is going through.

We had a terrible decision to make that day. I am a believer that life begins at conception. And I was faced with a lose/lose situation.

And I firmly believe that the ONLY people qualified to aid in that decision were my husband and my doctor.

Not my Senator.

Not my Governor.

Not my President.

It’s mine and my husband’s jobs to raise our children with our values.

It’s not the job of our Government to do that. Right?

So let’s let them stick to more important issues (like providing accessible health care and affordable birth control options to everyone) and we’ll stick to ours.

If everyone were to raise their kids right and support each other and provide accessible healthcare and prevention, there would never be a need for abortions unless medically necessary anyway.

Boom!

There you go.

So I guess that’s why I get frustrated when I see all this back and forth about pro-life and pro-choice and anti-abortion.

I fall into that “I’m all of them and none of them” category because of my own experiences and beliefs.

And I don’t understand why anyone would want a bunch of politicians making these types of decisions.

You don’t want them to regulate or take your guns, because you are responsible enough to handle them properly yourself.

I don’t want them making these decisions for me for the same reason. I’m responsible enough to make those decisions myself.

If you want to make me take a class first, great. But if you have enough faith in me that you’ll let me walk around with a loaded weapon at my hip, then have enough faith in me to let me be responsible for making these decisions.

I AM NOT going to debate any of you on this topic. My feelings are very clearly written above and I’ve done so to provide a glimpse as to why someone might not have such black and white or clear cut views on this issue.

And how someone can be pro-life but pro-choice all at the same time.

And that we might want to think long and hard about those people up there in Washington and where we should draw the line between governing and interfering.

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Frayed

Hear them calling
Frayed ends of sanity
Hear them calling
Hear them calling me
– Metallica, The Frayed Ends of Sanity, 1988

Nine months today.

I never anticipated that we would still be in a state of flux nine months after that damn tornado!

And this week will likely be one of the most difficult since those initial days after the storm. I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced this much anxiety. Here’s the current scoop:

  • Tomorrow we have one of the final inspections scheduled. The final mechanical, electrical and plumbing inspection (MEP). If it fails anything then we have to fix issues and reschedule.
  • When the final MEP inspection passes, we can call for the Certificate of Occupancy (CO) inspection. Which at the earliest would happen on Wednesday, if the city is quick about turning it around and getting it scheduled.
  • We’ve got furniture scheduled to deliver on Thursday. If we don’t have that CO yet, they can deliver but not unwrap/unpack. It cannot look like anyone is potentially living there without the CO.
  • Our lease is up and keys are due Friday. Apartment has already got someone lined up to move in and won’t extend anymore.
  • We can’t move anything from the apartment into the house until we have the CO. So we’ve got movers on standby for Friday. If we get the CO we’ll move stuff in. If not we’ll probably park a uhaul behind the house and move stuff from the apartment into the uhaul.
  • If we don’t get the CO by Friday we’ll be hotel-ing it over the weekend and until that CO can be obtained.
  • I leave for San Francisco for a week on Monday for a conference. I’m scheduled to speak at 4 different sessions so it’s not something I can cancel.

It’s all like a set of dominoes stacked up in a line. If they are spaced correctly and fall as expected we’ll get to where we need to be. If not, the process comes to a halt.

I’m not exactly what you would call a control freak, but I am a planner. I’m habitually early when I need to be somewhere and like to have my ducks in a row. So this ‘not knowing’ is a huge challenge for me. Not knowing whether we’ll have a place to move our things. Not knowing where we’ll lay our heads Friday night. Not knowing if when I leave on my business trip that Don and the kids will be settled in our home.

Needless to say the rope holding my sanity has been on a slow burn for the past few weeks.

lose-my-mind

If you see me over the next few days and I look or act like a rabid, snarling dog, now you know why. I’ll apologize in advance. There’s only so much a girl can take. I feel like these nine months have aged me by at least a decade.

Sorry for the downer post – hopefully the next post will be filled with joy at finally getting our home back!

 

 

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Mischief Managed

So I wrote this post yesterday about Adjusting Expectations and how I am realizing that it’s ok not to be able to do what I used to be able to do and that the best thing would be to adjust my own personal expectations.

So I’ve pulled out my marauder’s map and evaluated life as it is currently and here are the adjustments I am vowing to make:

  1. I’m going to skip school events that aren’t totally necessary. Now this doesn’t mean I won’t be involved. I’ll still read all the papers that come home and get the Remind101 Notifications and fill out all the forms (so. many. forms.) But, while it would be nice to attend back to school night and book fair night and even meet the teacher night <gasp>, these nights are typically chaotic, provide you with a few distracted minutes maximum with teachers and throw off the evening routines for everyone. Once we get back into the house and settled, we can start them up again, but I’m giving myself leave to just say no for a little while.
  2. I’m going to stop ‘expecting’ stuff to happen on the house and start being pleased with everything I see that has changed. Too many times our contractor says, “this and this are going to start on x day” and when it doesn’t happen I get disappointed and sad. It seeps into the rest of the day and my relationships. At this point I can see the light at the end of the tunnel so I’m just gonna hang on and try to be Suzy Sunshine until we get approved to move back in!
  3. I’m vowing to not sweat the small stuff at work. With the acquisition we’re going through, decisions don’t get made quickly and just finding out who needs to be involved in said decisions has been difficult. I’m used to a quick pace with lots of leeway and easy access to decision makers so this is a change for me. Things will work themselves out as they need to! Meanwhile I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and spend a little time on documentation and cleanup in my org! I’ll take advantage of the time for that!
  4. Some adjustments are harder than others and this one is a big one. I’m leaving the band. No, it’s not to strike out on my own and it’s not due to irreconcilable differences with my band mates. It’s just the perfect storm right now – the band is ramping up for Dreamforce with songs and videos and rehearsals and these next few weeks between work and the kids and the house I just don’t feel like I’m able to put in 100%. And that’s not fair to the others who are organizing and participating and giving it their all! When we started out the band it was just for a single live performance, which turned into a few laid back videos, but has evolved into this much larger thing. I love writing the parodies and have a ton of fun singing with the group, but if I can’t go all in, then I am short-changing them and I don’t want to do that. So I’m stepping back and am looking forward to being a Groupie!
  5. Another adjustment that is long overdue is a health-check. I’ve never exactly been a health nut (just a regular old nut), but my eating habits have gone downhill, I drink too many beers at night and don’t exercise to speak of. I know if I ate better, drank less and worked out more I’d ultimately create some more balance in my life so I’m challenging myself to do better! And if doing better helps me feel better then it is a win/win!

So there are my adjustments for now – I can officially say “Mischief Managed” and put away that map.

After Dreamforce and after we are in the house and settled again I can re-evaluate my evaluations. For now this shall do! 

Picture8

 

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Adjusting Expectations

So as we all know this year has been quite the doozy. I’ll be honest in saying that getting through this year has really been me telling myself to suck it up and keep moving. Like that point in a marathon when you have hit a wall – you just keep putting one foot in front of the other and eventually you get to the end of the race. Or you collapse. Either way, the race is over!

roller-coasterI feel like we’ve sort of come to the pinnacle of the roller coaster ride. The house is so close to being done I can finally believe we’ll be back home soon. Dust is finally settling on our acquisition so we can begin to work through the necessary system changes and needs. And Dreamforce is almost upon us!

I’ve always been the type of person to jump in with both feet for everything I commit to. I’m excited and passionate about learning and doing and being. And typically that works well. My personal expectations are that I will get things done, and learn during that process.

This year my personal expectations and personal reality have taken two different directions. I think that is what has caused a lot of stress this year. I’m used to and expect myself to do certain things. But this year it has been harder and harder to meet those expectations. When you are accustomed to doing something, it is incredibly frustrating to not be able to reach that anymore. You question yourself and might even push yourself harder, but that doesn’t always work. In fact sometimes it backfires on you pushing you into an even deeper pit of frustration.

School starting really made it hit home that I needed to re-evaluate my personal expectations. Between work changes, trying to manage our rebuild, my outside commitments like the Nerdforce podcast, Apex and the Limits, my usual blogging and community involvement, and then add on getting the kids to/from 3 different schools (because they can’t figure out the bussing for us tornado folks), trying to be an involved parent and ensuring they get homework done and where they need to be, I finally hit the wall of my reality and have realized that the only way to stay healthy and emotionally get through it all, something has got to give.

And that something is really my own personal expectation of what I can and can’t do as well as what I should and should not be focusing energy on.

expectations

I’ve come to realize that just because my expectations don’t match reality, doesn’t mean I have to lower my expectations. Just that I need to make adjustments.

I need to give myself grace and acceptance and not make myself feel as if I’m failing at life.

I need to understand that my expectations were perfectly ok for this time last year. But that this year, circumstances and reality have changed, so I must change my expectations to more adequately align with that changing reality.

It’s hard for me to accept that I need to make adjustments. I’m my own worst critic when it comes to life and I tend to judge myself harshly.

By writing this all down and publishing it, I hope to serve as my own reminder that it is OK to not meet my own expectations. Recognizing the need and adjusting them is the healthy and right thing to do.

And as I reach the peak of the hill on this roller coaster, I hope that by adjusting my expectations and making a few tweaks, I can enjoy that rush downhill with my hands in the air and a smile on my face.

Have you evaluated your own expectations lately? Are they in line with your reality? Do you make regular changes or beat yourself up and pile on the internal pressure when they seem out of reach? What advice would you give?

 

 

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