Welcome to 2017

 

So far, I am not impressed.

Let me refocus.

So far, 2017 has been a tough year.

Someone asked me recently how I was doing. I hesitated. I had just finished a pretty intense workout. It wasn’t particularly difficult, but for me it was. I felt like garbage. I hadn’t been to the gym for about three weeks. I’d worked out in that time, but only running. No strength training. No high intensity intervals. So getting back to fast-paced circuits with moves that I’ve never done before (weighted mountain climbers. Seriously, go fuck yourself), it was tough.

It was also particularly difficult because I’m fighting off a cold. This reality seriously upsets me. I normally don’t get sick too often. Maybe once a year. But I’ve been getting sick frequently lately. I got sick in October. It wasn’t too bad. I did a decent job of fighting it off and getting over it within a few days. Then in December, I got sick again. I think I’ve blocked that round of illness out of my head for the most part. I just remember that the recovery part sucked. The few days after not really being sick anymore were filled with being gross and snotty and lethargic.

Two colds in three months. Not great. But now, new year, I was fighting off a cold again. I was almost concerned. Had my immune system plummeted so low because there’s something seriously wrong with me? Despite my homebody tendencies (or maybe because of them?!?), had I somehow weakened my immune system? Should I be concerned?

No. You’re fine, Yvonne. Here’s what (most likely) happened:

You’ve been traveling more.

You’re around young people more.

That’s it.

Okay, I’ll add stress to the list. You’ve been more stressed out lately, and that isn’t helping anything or anyone. It’s okay. I think we all are.

Last week, I traveled to San Francisco. I now do that from time to time. With my (amazing) new job, I get to head up to our National Headquarters (it’s seriously, like, ten people, but it sounds cool) and touch base with my coworkers IRL. It’s great because I like the people I work with, I get to see everyone, and I get to check out a little bit of the Bay Area each time. This trip, I stayed in an Airbnb with not-so-subtle gay erotica peppered through the place.

On my flight, there was someone coughing behind me. I was immediately infuriated, then I got over it. My flight was also delayed, so I got to spend more time in a stuffy airport. And, when I arrived at SFO, it was pouring rain. Like the smarty-pants that I am, I decided to walk a half-mile to this hella hippy grocery store so that I could at least have something fresh and green and leafy during my stay.

Maybe because of the sick person on the plane, or the stressful delay, or the weather, or all of the above, I was then fighting off a cold.

It could also be the super stressful 24 hours that preceded the trip…

 

I flew up to SFO on Sunday morning. Instead of the relaxing day of doing laundry and packing and hanging out with my Johnny Lovely before my trip, I spent three stressful hours making pureed soup for my poor father who won’t be able to solid food for at least another week. Why? Because he nearly bit off his tongue!

That feels weird writing that. It’s weirder saying it out loud. It’s even worse, I imagine, experiencing it for one’s self.

Here’s how I experienced it:

On Saturday, Johnny Lovely, Betty Jane Grace (my puppers), and I went for a walk. We went through our neighborhood to the base of a hill where there is a nice trail. We took that trail around to our neighborhood and back home. It was beautiful. Great weather. So on and so on.

When we got home, I noticed I had a ton of missed text messaged and a few missed calls from my sister. Reading through the texts, a few words stood out: ER, blood everywhere, awful.

I called my sister to learn that during a bike ride, my dad had an accident. His bike lost traction in a puddle of water, he fell, and he bit through his tongue. At the time, they also thought that he may have broken his thumb and cracked a bunch of teeth. Thankfully, it was only a bad bruise on his hand, and he only chipped one tooth.

But his tongue you guys! It was bad. Thanks to my super gross brother, I got to see a picture of my dad, in shock, with his tongue dangling out of his mouth, held together by a small piece of tissue. It reminded me of how some people cut their tongue in two so that it looks like a lizard tongue, but somehow in the process the person sneezed or the guy cutting the tongue tripped, and instead of a nice clean cut it was a fucking disaster.

Talking with my sister and the many texts later, I learned that my dad would probably be okay. A plastic surgeon was called, and he stitched my dad up real nice. I wanted to be there, but I had to get ready for my trip the next day (laundry, pack, and so on). I felt terrible. So I did the one thing that I knew would be helpful: I made my pops a ton of soup.

Since his mouth was a nightmare, my dad couldn’t eat. He couldn’t even talk. Everything hurt. So I made sure that he would have something to eat with veggies and beans and grains, all pureed so that his nightmare mouth could handle it. Tomato and white bean. Roasted and potato butternut squash. Black bean, corn, and quinoa.

That night, after three hours of cooking, two loads of laundry, packing, walking around the house making sure I had everything, and writing myself notes of things I needed to pack the next morning, I got to bed late. I was a nervous wreck. I needed many hugs from Johnny to make me feel better. I felt guilty for not going to see my dad. I felt bad that he was in so much pain. I felt anxious about my flight the next morning. But I knew that I had done something valuable for my dad by making him a whole week’s worth of food.

The next day was my flight. I left the house in a rush. I remember vaguely that I got frustrated with John for something (probably stupid since I don’t even remember it).

I left the house later that I wanted and decided that I could make it on time if I speed the whole way there. No big deal, but I rarely speed, so this was a commitment.

But then, I got a flat tire on the way to my parents’ house (where I park and get a ride to the airport so that I don’t have to pay for parking). I BARELY made it to their house with my flat. The light came on not even half way. I pulled over to check on my tires. They seemed fine. I kept driving. I decided to drive slowly the rest of the way, but after a while my nerves kicked in and I started to speed again. I figured the light was a signal for something else—change your oil…eventually!

When I got off the freeway in Ontario, I began to hear the vibrating noise of a flat tire. I went slowly the rest of the way. I parked. Got out. And saw that the rear driver’s-side tire was flat. This marks the third time that I’ve gotten a flat, and it’s always that same damn tire!

Oh well. I could deal with this later.

I grabbed a ride to the airport, just making it on time!

That’s when the nice man behind the United counter told me that my flight wasn’t for another 12 hours. I booked the PM flight on accident.

BUT I was in luck! There was one seat left on the AM flight, a flight that is normally over booked. He switched my flight, and I rushed through security. I got to my gate safe and sound to learn that the flight was going to be delayed four hours due to maintenance. FUUUUGH!

You know what. It was okay. I can wait four hours. I’ve done that before. I’ve had nearly every single flight I’ve taken out of Ontario on United delayed. I can relax, grab a coffee, and settle in with a book.

So I did that.

About an hour into my four-hour delay, United had an announcement: they had a new plane we could take! It would be there in 10 minutes. And so, I got on a plane, flew to San Francisco, and landed (without difficulty) in under an hour.

The without difficulty note is important. At the time, San Francisco was experiencing a BUNCH of rain, enough to pull them out of the historic drought. Half of the airport runways were shut down. So many flights were delayed because of the weather. But I was able to get in just fine. I was able to get a ride to a Burmese restaurant, eat some awesome Burmese food, and get to my Airbnb without much difficulty. I was okay.

It was difficult with my frantic morning and my nightmare-by-proxy Saturday, but I was fine.

Here’s what’s up you guys: I started writing this post, like, three weeks ago. For one, it was difficult to write about my dad’s accident. It was pretty traumatic for me, and I didn’t really experience it.

But then, I experienced fairly debilitating depression. Donald F. *rump was sworn in as #notmypresident. I couldn’t sleep. I had difficultly doing work. I felt like screaming and crying all of the time. And I did cry about a week into his presidency, after he signed the not-a-Muslim ban.

Writing became something that I wanted to do, but I didn’t have the energy for. I wanted to write about the Women’s March that I attended. Maybe I still will.

I want to write about the trip to Portland, OR that I just took with Johnny Lovely. I went to Portland guys! It was great.

Three weeks ago, it was just too much. It was too difficult to write. It was too difficult to think clearly. It was too difficult to do anything really.

But, I do want to reflect back on my trip to San Francisco. A lot went wrong. A delayed flight. A flat tire. Booking the wrong flight because my ADHD makes it really difficult to pay attention to details. My dad’s tongue!!

But I was okay. I somehow managed to make it through everything. I held it together. At the time at least, I didn’t let the situation drag me down. I refocused. I gained better perspective.

It’s hard to do that a lot of the time. Most of the time.

I didn’t let those difficulties drag me down in San Francisco, but I did when I got back. Fighting off a cold (and a new president) was overwhelming (debilitating).

This is me fighting through. This is me fighting for perspective. 2017 still isn’t great, but I can make it better. We’ve all heard the phrase “we create our own reality.” I kinda hate this phrase because we don’t always have control. We can’t just change our jobs or have enough money to pay our bills. Some things are shitty (like a lot of what I wrote above), but we can change the way we perceive them, and we can work to make them better.

I think it was Buddha who said: “What you dwell upon you become.”

So let’s refocus. Let’s not dwell on the negative. Let’s try to find some of the positive, like how the United guy helped me get on the right flight or how my dad’s tongue is doing better!

It’s going to be difficult. But there’s another phrase I like. Maybe it was Jesus. Or it could have been Mae West: “I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.”

Let’s get to work.

 

 

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