Sunday, July 25, 2010
Being an introvert, I seem to have a need to take time alone to assimilate all social things that happen... the conversations I have with people, the things I've done and said, the things done and said around me. For me, that means time alone.
Yesterday was a really, really intense social day. And I have to wonder what I was thinking when I promised to help my sister clean up the party venue this afternoon. But I think I'll be OK with that because she's introverted, too... and just the two of us is quite different from a room full of people!
The social intensity yesterday? My niece was bat mitzvah'd. I went to the service, where I felt out of it, not knowing the prayers or understanding the Hebrew... but being so proud of my niece who has grown up in it and spoke with a clear sweet voice, reading her portion with confidence. I wept over the speeches her parents gave her, seeing my mom's face and my dad's pride in family reflected in my sister telling her daughter how proud she is. I had to giggle over the story of the tallit (prayer shawl)... which had been given to my sister as a conversion gift when she took up the study and practice of Judaism over a decade ago. She told the giver that she would not be using it... now that shawl has been ceremoniously wrapped around her daughter.
Now I know that here are Spark there are people of many faiths... and I'm not one to put mine out there. I'm more a believer in "show your faith by your works"... I had to put a few of these words out there to describe what I saw and felt yesterday. I'm not Jewish. But some of my family are. Anti-semites need not visit my blog today!
If you know your Bible you would have been totally at home with what was read... the Torah is the first five books of the Christian Bible, too. My niece's portion came from around the ten commandments. Not a one of us grew up in Christian Sunday School without being exposed to those... and seriously, any faith of substance teaches similar principles.
And verses from the Psalms are the same once translated to English. And my sister read them with feeling. They brought echoes of my Dad or Mom as readers in the church of our youth. And my niece's brief sermon was wise beyond her years, celebrating her coming of age.
I think at times, we drown out the young people with adult conversations at family gatherings, and it's important to take time to listen to them. I now know that there are things my nieces and nephews know that I do not (like a whole other language - Hebrew, for one thing)... and if I can get past my fear that they might think less of me for not knowing... and listen to their youthful wisdom and idealism, I can be a better person for it, and the world might be a better place, too.
There was lunch following, and an evening bring a dish and ice cream social. A huge, long day of partying after the service, in short. I'm pleased with how I planned and followed the plan, as far as food and activity are concerned. I focused on people, rather than food. This morning I find myself wondering how much of my historic food focus has been trying to gain energy to deal with people, or trying to avoid dealing with people.
The young people? Full of springs! They danced, they did the limbo (my niece is actually pretty good at it) and the adults reminisced over being young and limber enough but were not foolish enough to try it!
I left the day yesterday feeling good about the generation who will next take charge. These are good people becoming adults, despite us and because of us, and taking their places beside us.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
People have been blogging their photo walks, and I had not taken my camera to work, so didn't post my urban walk before. Here are some of the things I see as I do my break walks throughout the work day. I start with a view of our State's Capitol building, as a general rule.
Around the corner and down the block, we see the first of three churches.
As I walk beside the capitol, I could look back over my shoulder and see the building that more tourists stop me to ask about than the public ones. For the curious, this was the Woodmen Insurance company's building and their logo. The figures are (gasp) nude... or rather they were, until some public sensitivities made the company go back and retrofit "clothes" onto them.
When I get to the far corner of my short walk, I can see the start of what's called the Near South neighborhood, an area of stately old homes. Some of them are landmarks and open to public tours. When I have time to take longer walks, I sometimes walk in that neighborhood and enjoy flowers in season.
Next corner, I'm in the shadow of the tower of the prairie.
Then we get the other two churches.
And close out the break walk with the landscaping around where I work: flowers, and native grasses... this is, after all, the great plains.
I generally do this tour a couple of times in a day, it takes about 12 - 15 minutes, depending on traffic, pace, and tourists.
Friday, July 23, 2010
I lied, it's not different... I've written about this before, just today's pondering on it.
The past week or so I've been pondering about body size and identity. Again. Still. Off and on. When I was a child, I was generally considered small. When I was seven, I was under the mistaken impression that I hadn't changed size since I was two. Silly things like that.
My adult life has been rife with changes in body size, varying from what used to be 12's (probably 8's these days... in fact, I'm in 8's now... which I never was as a teenager!) up to 24's that were getting tight. Nowadays they put "X" on things: 1X, 2X, 3X, etc. but we all know what those X's mean.
Size goes far beyond what shows up on a clothing label. It's in your head. As when you drive a compact versus a full sized vehicle: what kind of parking space do you look for? You pull in with pride to the one that won't fit the bigger car and grin, like you won some kind of contest!
At the ER last Friday I became conscious of the beds, the wheel chairs, the various things that had to be "bigger" for patients of size. They came and took my bed away! Because someone else needed one with its features, and swapped me out with another that was softer and more comfy, actually, but not as heavy-duty.
Then I started pondering: I used to be "this big" and now I'm "this small"... where DID that volume go? So that got me thinking about how amazing the human body is, that it can change the shape and size it takes up on the planet! How many other things in nature do that? Trees? No. Animals, OK, yes, but you don't see them deliberately attempting to change their size and shape!
That leads to this question: why do we identify ourselves so much with our body size and shape? Does it feel uncomfortable to become thinner? Have we been classifying those around us by THEIR body size, or just judging ourselves?
No answers, mind you, just questions rattling around in the head. And a resolution: to adjust to the size I have become, and not be startled quite so often by the "parking space" I now fit into.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
not yet in. BUT... the big scary potential diagnoses have been ruled out:
I do not have MS - the MRI showed that.
I do not have diabetes - the blood tests show that.
I did not have a stroke that they can detect, not even one of the little ones, but "just in case" I did and it's not showing up, they put me on that low dose aspirin.
The carotid arteries look fine.
Calcium levels in the blood look good... which makes me smile... means that parathyroid surgery last autumn did what it was supposed to do.
So, doctor, what's making me numb-y, tingly? Nerve pinched, maybe? He play the physical therapist range of motion "does this hurt" kind of assessment... nothing hurts. OK. Went through my list of things, including the numb finger thing from last winter.
One thing they did NOT test at the ER was my TSH, T3 and T4 levels... and since I've lost a rather significant amount of weight in the last year, he had them tested yesterday. Results to come. Apparently, if the dosage on my thyroid meds is "off" it could show up as tingling.
Beyond that, monitor, record, and come see him next month. Keep taking the baby aspirin. That's ALMOST "go live your life", right?
This morning, I'm all tingly again. Yesterday it seemed to lessen as the day wore on. My sister is volunteering a referral to her chiropractor for evaluation. I'll see how those blood tests come back and maybe consider that... because a pinched nerve in the back (even one I don't feel as pain) can do all kinds of weird stuff to the nervous system!
In the meantime... one foot in front of the other!
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