Daily Prompt – “When was the last time you felt really, truly lonely?”

Okay, I’ll ‘fess up right away – some might think this is cheating.

And I will apologize and ask forgiveness (as I’m very new to this blogging thing and don’t yet know all the ‘rules’) if I am Completely breaking a Cardinal Rule in the name of recycling for the sake of sharing with more people.

The answer to this challenge can be found in my recent post “Dr. Rex Hoffman – Office Visit – October 22, 2012.”

I’m (re-)posting because, although I would not have described the word “lonely” when characterizing my feelings from this experience – that occurrence flashed visually through my mind the minute I read today’s Daily Prompt.  Funny how one thing doesn’t always lead to another, but the second can lead directly back to the first, eh?

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012 All rights Reserved.

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Weekly Writing Challenge – I Wish I Were…

. . . able to quit my job and be a full-time college student again.

Now, I doubt I’m pining for what you think I’m pining for.

Midway through my freshman year in college, the first love of my life died in a motorcycle accident.  I managed to stay in college another year before I realized I just couldn’t finish that just then in my life.  So I quit, became a baby nurse, and then a nanny, and after that, my life went another way.  The first part of my college “career” was pretty much the same as high school – cliques and not really feeling like I fit in – but with alcohol.  The second part is a blur, as I sleep-walked (is that a word?) through my life mostly (but not entirely – I’ve forgotten my roommate’s name, but will never forget the night she came into my room to find me crying in a heap on the floor, picked me up and held me until I stopped and when I finished, left the room, closing the door behind her – all without saying a single word) alone because people assumed at 17 years old I couldn’t possibly have loved my man as much as I did or been as affected by losing him as I actually was.  The truth is, his death changed the entire course of my life.

So, no, I’m not just wanting to throw off my adult responsibility to go back to some (for me, imagined) free time with no real responsibilities.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve taken the odd college class here and there – two online and one live and in person at a local community college.

I miss being able to focus on something (with a goal – somehow wandering around on the net isn’t quite as satisfying to me in the same way) that is so unlike my real life.  I’ll admit it, I’m bored with my work.  It requires a specialized knowledge base, and technology is infiltrating it too which is interesting for me to watch (being a bit of a tech geek), but I’ve been doing it for 14 years now (with a stint of something else tucked into the middle here and there).  In that time, any intrinsic pleasure I’ve gotten from it has long since faded away.

I will say that if I have to work, I’ve landed at a pretty great place to do it, so I am grateful for my employment, managers and colleagues.  It’s still not the same as wanting to come to work every day for the work itself.

I realize I’m making choices here, and I stand by them; that doesn’t mean I don’t wish some things were different.

Between a mortgage that’s upside down, a year or so of un/under-employment that ended about a year ago but we’re still digging out from, and being in primary breast cancer treatment which my budget did not have room to accommodate four months ago when I was diagnosed and still doesn’t have room for, I doubt (unless I win a big lottery) that my ‘wish’ will ever come true.

I was 38 years old when I bought my first house and survived keeping it despite Hubby having an accident 3 months (yes, not a typo) after moving in, breaking his back and having his own year-long healing hurdle to overcome, and despite being un/under-employed for a year quite recently.

When I was looking for work that would financially replace what had been lost, Hubby (last love of my life) wanted, more than anything, for me to find work that would make me happy.  He explicitly told me that he would be willing to change our housing situation to meet that goal, for which (among other reasons) I will love him always – but I wasn’t – I’d worked too hard to get it and keep it through one hardship already, so this is the choice I’ve made, and some days it’s harder to remember why I made it than others.  I do the best I can at this, and lots of other things, every day.

Bottom line – I wish I were able to quit my job to go be a full-time student, have that intellectual excitement and stimulation again and finish my degree . . . but not enough to give up my house.

I’ll have to keep looking for ways within the structure of my current life, or find something else I’m willing to change, to get that need met.

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012 All rights Reserved.

Daily Prompt – “National Bathrobe Day”

National Bathrobe Day is a Holiday that pops up in my life on an irregular basis.

It has actually existed for a long time, long before I got the above name from an ex-boyfriend.

The best celebrations of National Bathrobe Day take some preparation…

– a market run is made to ensure all possibly desired foods/libations are at hand in the house

– it used to be a run to the video store (yes, that’s how old – and beyond – this holiday is) had to be done to rent videos for falling asleep to and other forms of time wasting

– one’s coziest pajama’s or other night/loungewear has to be freshly cleaned

. . . because here are the rules:

1.  There is no answering the phone.

2. There is no answering the door.

3. There is no leaving the house.

4. One must relax, whatever that means to the practitioner, for a whole day.

5. If one has made an error of epic proportions and forgotten some essential item for proper celebration (which item and its essentialness is Completely determined by the practitioner, in her sole discretion) – one May slink out the door to acquire said item, But one May Not actually wear outside clothes to do so (sweats/loungewear and slippers permitted Only – no jeans, real shoes, female upper undergarments, etc.).  Hence the pre-planning.

Why do I think we need National Bathrobe Day?

Because sometimes we all need to give ourselves permission to deliberately, consciously, (temporarily) crawl into a cave of our own devising . . .

. . . to stop the constant doing . . .

. . . to allow for some deep breaths . . .

. . . to give ourselves a chance to get bored once in a while . . .

. . . to allow ourselves a space where we answer to Nobody but ourselves for just a little while . . .

. . . to occasionally take a fucking nap . . .

. . . to allow ourselves just to Be, without a purpose or goal . . .

. . . just because.

I’ll Take Red Please

My favorite color is Navy Blue (seen the background color of this blog, for instance?  Guess how I chose my theme.).  I was born in May, so my birthstone is Emerald.  But (other than diamonds, of course) my favorite gemstone is the Sapphire because . . . it is navy blue.

All of a sudden, about 3 months or so ago, I started wanting to wear a lot of red, literally all the time.  I was diagnosed on July 5, 2012 with Breast Cancer.

What does being diagnosed with breast cancer have to do with wearing red?

And why red, as opposed to any other color?

The Chinese culture contains the belief that the color red signifies: good luck, power, strength, long life, vitality, happiness, good fortune, joy, power to ward off evil spirits, energy, determination, vigor, willpower, courage, and triumph, among other things.

Don’t take my word for it.  This information is available all over the internet.  Here are just a few:

Nationsonline.org
Wikipedia.org
WeirdAsiaNews.com
BillionDollarIncome.com

Personally, with what I’m up against, I’ll take all of that stuff I can get.

When I said above that I wanted to wear red all the time, I meant 24 hours a day/7 days a week.  That meant I could put red jewelry a couple of places –

My navel (it was already pierced, so this was just a matter of hitting the nearest mall cart and buying the color I wanted, especially since I never take this completely out, only change them from time to time); and

My thumb – where I could simply look down, see the red and tap into that positive vibe anytime I wanted.

I decided, almost upon diagnosis, that this breast cancer thing was Not going to steamroll me.  Hence, I’ve been making trouble all over town.  🙂  But I digress.

Much of what I have to do to fight cancer is, essentially, out of my control.  Not doing it, or not doing some part of it, or not doing something like it, is simply not an option – not if I want the other 40 years my genes promise me (despite various cancers all over my family, my grandparents and great-grandparents on both sides have lived into their late-eighties and nineties with full mental faculties and most physical faculties – so that’s what I’ve grown up to expect I get too), and the alternative sucks.

To balance that feeling of being out of control, I take control and deliberately make decisions about cancer-related things where doing so does not put myself at medical risk, or is not otherwise unreasonable or stupid.  Notice that someone else’s convenience does not enter into my equation.  I do not visit Any of my medical professionals for their convenience, and I find myself often (politely, when I can) reminding them of that.  One thing I can control is what color gauze is used on me when necessary (which is fairly often given my extreme allergy to tape – yes, even Tegaderm), so I choose red.

I figure I’ll use everything I can to sway this fight in my direction, as long as it does not harm anyone.

The other thing I love about my red self-adherent gauze is I can wear it when I can’t wear any of my red jewelry, or in fact, any jewelry at all – when I have surgery.  And to make damn sure I get my red gauze, and to make it as easy on my caregivers as possible (so I prevent even the possibility of a conflict, since I have the means to do so), I bring my own.  I’ve had two surgeries already, and I may be having more on the other side of my radiation therapy.  So far, everybody’s been perfectly happy to use the gauze I bring, particularly after they ask me why red only, and I tell them.  It’s a win-win situation!  🙂  There are only those few minutes between taking All my jewelry off and having that first IV tied down with my red gauze that I don’t have any red on my body (well, except for my red toenail polish of course! – there’s always a way!), and by the time they do anything really serious, like make me unconscious or cut me open…I know I’m covered.

In fact, I’ve found a few items, in addition to red self-adherent gauze, that have so far made my journey easier.  As soon as I can source and price the components, I plan to offer a “You’ll Get Through This” Pack on a new page: “ToLiveWithByJ”