Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014....Thank You

So here I sit on this last day of 2014 and I am reflecting. Of course I cannot reflect properly without being in my pajamas with my hair uncombed and a cup of really good pumpkin flavored coffee. Check! Check! AND check!

It is not lost on me that at this exact time last year, Z and I were sitting in the surgical waiting room at St. Louis Children's Hospital, praying that David would be undergoing his last hip surgery and that 2014 would be the year he walked. He has walked. He is doing well and hopefully, our prayers of that day will continue to be answered.

This last year has presented my family with a lot of hard times running the gamete from physical to emotional. We have upped our ER/hospital frequent flyer miles, I have had to use my "outside" voice on a few people in several situations and I have had to spend a great deal of time fighting against the machine. There have been tears, frustration and at times I have even wished for those little kid days where I could just pull the covers over my head and hibernate until.........

Yes, this has been a really tough year and in some ways it has remained that way right up until this very minute. I posted on facebook the other day that I was kicking 2014 to the curb and never speaking of it again, because on that day.....that was all I could think to do to move forward. Then someone posted, but what about the good memories?! It stopped me in my tracks. There were good memories!!!! In fact, there were some amazing memories. More over that, once again.....I was put in the position to see the extraordinary kindness of others. While 2014 had some rather sucktacular moments, it also was filled with the generosity of others. That is what I choose to focus on.

In 2014, I literally had to beg for help. It was at one of the lowest points in my life. Amazingly though, people who had their own struggles came out of the woodwork to help my family. Some who helped knew me and were in fact, close to me, while others only knew me from fb and still others didn't even know me at all. Because of them, my family was able to survive. Then there were those who gave of their time and skills. The summer was filled with individuals who worked all day and then spent their evenings in my backyard so that David could have a pool to do his therapy in. It was no small task and there were several weeks where these individuals had 14-16 hour days because they went from work straight to my house and stayed until late digging, building and giving David the pool and deck of his dreams. It was a success all the way around, as in no time after starting his pool therapy......David was kicking and strengthening his legs and yes....walking with his walker. occurs to me as I sit here typing, that in retrospect, I have a great deal to be grateful for and that 2014 had many more bright spots than I originally gave it credit for. I think rather than dwell on the tears, I will just focus on the events and people that helped us, made me smile or flat out changed my/our lives for the better. To all of you who helped us, even in the smallest way......I thank you. For all the people who flooded our lives and made sure we didn't have to face the difficult times on our own.....thank you. To those that built us up, had a kind word or were just there to listen when all I had were tears and inaudible sobs......thank you. For those of you who laughed with me, sat around the fire with me and maybe even shared a drink with me......thank you. To all of you who prayed for us......thank you. To the doctors and nurses who fought for David, worked with David and helped to make sure that David had the best of medical care on each and every ER/hospital stay.....thank you. To the EMS who have earned their own frequent flyer miles coming to my home this past year and transporting......thank you. For those who labored in my yard, showed up at the drop of a hat to fix things and who helped me to save what little money I had......thank you. To all of you who helped us financially.....thank you. To my old friends who never left me, my new friends who this year has brought me and those that don't even know us but lended a hand anyway.......thank you. For my church family, my biological family and my hand picked family......thank you. To those who have bought cheesecakes and who continue to buy them knowing that is my income......thank you. For those who continue to be there for us and check up on us......thank you. You all know who you are and I hope you know that you have made 2014 a better place for my family and I because of your presence. Thank you!

I guess that 2014 held much more than just a few tears. After all.....I/we are still here and I am sitting in my pj's drinking pumpkin coffee and blogging about the positives. I would say that is a pretty good ending to any year.

Before I finish this final blog of 2014.........I would like to wish you all safety tonight and a wonderful.....peaceful......joyful, New Year! See you in 2015!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Little Ragey and My Inner Bitch

So I woke up this morning feeling rather ragey! According to my spell check, ragey is not a word, but since that is an emotion I am feeling.....Queen Lisa of Lisaland now proclaims it to be one. So, I woke up feeling ragey!This led me to think about the kind of day I was about to have and made me wonder if my inner bitch would be rearing it's ugly head. I then began to think about another time in my life when I was considered anything but a bitch. In fact, I was so anti-bitch that I had "people pleasing doormat" scrolled across my forehead. Yes.....I have a large forehead.

Believe it or not, there was a time in my life when I was so eager to make the rest of the world happy, that I never could say "No" or even express an opinion that hadn't already been given to me. Perhaps it was after a lifetime of being undervalued, walked on and taken advantage of (willingly of course....after all....I was a people pleaser), that my doormat self had a psychotic break and my inner bitch appeared.

Like all newly gained super powers, it took some getting used to. At first I was not just ragey, but in fact, a raging bitch 24/7. I had pleased people so long that I had no idea who I was or what I wanted. I didn't even know what I liked in this world. I had spent so many years liking what my parents liked, what my friends liked and what various boyfriends liked, I had developed no real likes of my own.

It also occurred to me that the sweet, always agreeable me had been a bit much for the rest of the world. Maybe this is why I became an ultra bitch overnight. Soon though, I realized that ultra bitch was a bit much too, so eventually I learned to dial her back. Trust me, that was a work in progress with the loss of people, jobs and a bit of self-esteem along the way.

Eventually, I found a happy medium of sorts and was able to keep the bitch at bay unless absolutely needed. As my kids were growing up, the nicer part of my personality prevailed and only on rare but necessary occasions did my inner bitch show her face. I do recall however that the couple of times my children were witness to this full on persona....they weren't sure whether to be proud or horrified that their usually affable mother could be so ummm....errrr....unpleasant. Usually after their witnessing of this slightly darker side of me, they were really well behaved for a period of time. I guess I will call that a bitch perk.

As my kids have gotten older, I have gotten older and the world has turned on its ear, my bitchy persona seems to be slipping out more and more. Don't get me wrong, I have complete control over it these days as it is a finely tuned weapon that I still try to reserve for only those I feel are most deserving. I have also learned that both the kinder, people pleaser me and my inner bitch me can co-exist and even work hand in hand in most cases.

The kinder me will give most people and situations one, maybe two chances to fix a situation. The less pleasant side however, draws the line there. If things haven't changed at this point, then likely they won't......without a little persuasion. I usually only bring out my persuasive attitude when I am dealing with people and situations having to do with David, telemarketers who refuse to respect the no-call list, insurance companies of any kind.....and the cable company. These are my nemesis and they must be made to pay for their evil doing. Yes, there is a reason that certain people will see me on the street and avoid eye contact and there is a reason that when I call the cable company I am immediately connected with a supervisor. Another bitch perk? You be the judge!

In retrospect neither doormat nor ultra bitch are very flattering descriptions of a persons character. Neither wins you true friends nor a very satisfying life. As time has gone on, I can't say I miss the doormat me very much. I did however try to hold onto the kindness that went with that period of my life. The inner bitch of me though, she has proved herself to be an asset in some crucial situations. She is an effective tool for showing people how deadly serious I am where my son and my internet, phone and tv service are concerned.

There is a happy medium there where I believe the best parts of the two personas can exist. I can be kind, easy going Lisa by day and in a moments notice....don the black cape, throw on the UB t-shirt and become Ultra Bitch when necessary. I am good with that.

So there you have it. A little more about me and a view into the strange and sometimes scary inner workings of my thoughts. And to think.....this all started because I woke up......a little ragey!