Taking Punches

road-sign-940644_1280Someone said something to me a few weeks ago and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. It just pops up every now and then. I can hear the voice and everything.

I was sitting at my desk at the beginning of a long shift at work when one of my co-workers, several desks down, looked up and said: “I want to be Tammi.” I remember my surprise and the way I replayed her words to make sure I heard what I thought I heard. My clever reply, of course, was “What?”

So she said it again. “I want to be Tammi. Nothing ever seems to bother you.”

I blinked for a moment as all of my current struggles flashed before my mind’s eye. “No, you don’t. You really really don’t.”

Looking back I am still surprised at her words. I don’t know if I will ever get over the surprise. It isn’t that I have a bad life. I am actually pretty blessed. However, it is not all roses and sunshine. This person knows this. She has been there to see when life sucker punched me over and over. It has taken a while but I think I understand what she meant now. I guess I have rolled with those punches and gotten back up. That is what she was expressing envy for.

I still don’t think it is that big of a deal. I think I do a crappy job at this whole existing as a responsible adult thing. It is hard. Every day is hard. It feels like life is just one big constant fight.

I fight to wake up in the morning. I fight to get Toby to school on time. I fight to get to boxing-415394_1920.jpgwork. I fight the school when they can’t understand Toby’s Autism. I fight to pay bills, to write, to have groceries, to walk the dog, to feed the cats, to wash the laundry and the dishes…every single day is pushing against the wind. It may not seem like it on the outside. Many of these are things everyone has to do.

Simple things take so much energy. I am tired all the time. Which is why I guess I don’t react as much as others when life throws me those sucker punches. I am already fighting. It doesn’t make sense to stop just because I got decked with a harder blow than normal. That doesn’t mean I like it and that doesn’t mean I don’t loudly express my exasperation and frustration. Sometimes I throw myself a toddler style fit until I cry and have to take a nap. I am not unaffected by life’s punches. I just don’t know how to stay down for the count. I don’t wish those punches on anyone else either, because I know how much they hurt. boxing-984174_1920

(I am honestly a little afraid to post this because the universe might see it as a challenge. Please Universe, don’t see my words as a challenge. Life punches hard enough already.)

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Cookies, Coffee, and Contentment

There is something about baking cookies just because that brings me a sense of peace. It has been a tough week. My son has been sick since last Thursday. First, he had a stomach virus. That lasted Thursday and Friday. By Saturday he seemed to be over losing the contents of his stomach but he still wasn’t feeling well.

cold-1947995_1920.jpgOn Sunday he started running a fever. By the wee hours of Monday morning, the fever was up to 102 and he was laying in the floor crying because his ear hurt. He wouldn’t say much else. (Toby has ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder.) Not sure what else to do and with hours until the doctor opened I took him down to the emergency room of the children’s hospital.

The doctors there were fantastic as always. They took their time with him and explained everything they were doing. He was diagnosed with an ear infection, we were given a prescription for antibiotics, and released. I continued to alternate ibuprofen and Tylenol to help with the pain and the fever.

Fast forward to this Thursday. The fever still hadn’t gone away and despite three days of antibiotics, his ear was still hurting. So we went to the doctor to follow up and found out he had both an outer and an inner ear infection. The Doc prescribed some ear drops to go along with the antibiotics. The fever is finally gone and my son is on the mend.

Friday a sweet friend gave me a tub of cookie dough he had bought to support a fundraiser. Today, with Toby feeling better and with the sun shining after a week of rain, it seemed like the perfect time to bake some cookies. I didn’t even have to tell my son I was baking. The cookies had been in the oven less than two minutes before he followed his nose into the kitchen. Now the discs of deliciousness are cooling and I have a fresh cup of coffee in hand. Soon Toby will have a glass of milk and we will sit down with a couple of chocolate chocolate-chip cookies. For this moment, life is good. cookies-933191_1920.jpg

Baking Failures and Family Reunions

granny and papaw
Papaw, Granny, and Aunt Dixie

Today was my family reunion. I still feel drained from the interaction. Don’t get me wrong, my family is awesome and I love them, but I am an introvert by nature and being around a lot of people can be fatiguing.

My lack of coffee probably hasn’t helped. I haven’t had a single cup today, by accident not by plan. I woke up early around 4 A.M. for no apparent reason. Unable to go back to sleep, I read a book for a while, then it was time to get up. I had pumpkin bread to make and brownies to bake.

Normally I am good at baking. It is my thing. I usually stress back over the holidays. Today baking was not my thing. I tried. I really did. I also forgot to add one of the key ingredients to the bread, dropped an egg down the sink, splattered brownie batter all over my face, and then mixed the ingredients for the type of brownie I was trying to make in the wrong order; effectively making them look unedible. They actually tasted okay, they just looked bad. And I forgot to grease the pan so they stuck to the bottom and I ended up with brownie crumbs while trying to get them out.

I ended up taking store-bought lemon aid and a big bowl of grapes. I thought it was probably safer for all involved, considering I also absent-mindedly sat an oven mitt down on a hot stove burner and nearly caused a fire. Honestly, I am not usually so bad in the kitchen.

I did get to see many of my cousins and my Aunt Patsy. I have a ton of cousins. Some I haven’t seen in over a decade, others it has been a month or two. I enjoyed getting a chance to visit with them. I wish I could have stayed longer. However, my son decided to brave the reunion as well and quickly used up all of his socializing reserves. (He is high functioning autistic so his reserves run out even faster than mine.) Still, I had a good time. I hope to be able to visit with everyone again next year.

 

Back to School and Bad Days

road-sign-940644_1280I’ve had a couple of unpleasant days in a row.  An inability to sleep at night has caused me to oversleep the past couple of days. Which means I have woken up late and the dog didn’t get to go out to do her business on time. So I have quite literally woken up to shit for two days.

As you can imagine cleaning up such a mess isn’t something I want to do before coffee. However, it is necessary. It isn’t the dog’s fault.

I am not sure if it is this unpleasant chore that sets my mood for the day or the lack of Exhaustedproper sleep but I have definitely been a grouch. Fighting the crowds to get the kids ready for school hasn’t helped. My youngest is in middle school and on the autism spectrum. He is high functioning so when he is having a good day you can hardly tell. But he is always very particular about things

For example, he will only wear khakis and shirts with Sonic the Hedgehog on them to school. It is his self-imposed uniform. Finding Sonic the Hedgehog shirts, until recently, has been an issue all on its own. Finding them in his size is an even greater challenge. Fortunately, he has a grandmother on his dad’s side with an embroidery machine.

doomSchool starts tomorrow. I am as prepared as I can be. I will be up by five in the morning because I know that if I want him to school on time that is when I must begin the day. I had nightmares all last night about being late and losing things.

Today I am trying to relax. There is a Native American thing going on at a local park that I want to go to but I am honestly peopled out. I also don’t have money to spare. School supplies and fees took more than I was expecting and I have to come up with a new way to juggle bills.

Right now I am watching a documentary series called Underworld At War. It is all about crime in Britain during World War II. The second episode was an account of Neville Heath; a conman and killer. It also covered the thoughts and challenges facing a school girl named Daphne, who fought to get an education during the turbulent times and realize her dream of becoming a teacher.

The now-retired Headmistress read excerpts from the diary she

vintage_childrens_reading_collection_poster-re1e1e6aba9b4490db9a80226b548ae57_26gc_400

kept during 1940. She spoke of doing homework during air raids and by oil lamp. She mentioned the time a bomb went off just as her father opened a door and how the blast blew him back onto the stove.

It made me think about how valuable that once school girl’s diary is to history and how it now gives us a more complete picture of the era. Of course, that wasn’t why she kept her journal. She just used it to record her thoughts. She probably never intended to share those thoughts with anyone else.

Today we write blogs and share them with the world. We keep online journals that are accessible to people in countries we will probably never see. It is an immediate transfer of information on daily life.

My ramblings of a couple of bad days don’t hold a candle to watching your father get blown back by an enemy’s explosive device. The information I am sharing isn’t all that useful from my current standpoint. I share it anyway because it allows me to get thoughts and worries out of my own head. I doubt they will even be of any use to future generations, but it does make you pause to think. Daphne didn’t expect her words to hold much value either.

o'connor