n is for … nice

Day 28:365 Gratitude Challenge and April 16th A to Z Challenge

Today I am grateful for all the nice people who have come into my life since I embarked upon my blogging journey.

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Yes, you!

Dear Nice People,

Hey, it’s just little old me, the one who started blogging in earnest only a few short months ago. The one who has so much to say but lacks the confidence to say it. The one who is passionate about writing but doesn’t think she is talented enough to do it. The one who thinks everyone else is creative but herself. The one who has that little voice going off in her head whispering “you’re just not good enough”.

Yeah, that’s me. My insecurities for all the world to see. But thanks to you nice people I am getting better. I am getting stronger, braver and more confident. I am beginning to believe in myself, my abilities, my creativity, my passion. I am beginning to learn that there is a whole other side to me whom I am just beginning to let out of her shell.

You nice people are just the best. You have embraced little old me without even knowing who the real me is. You have encouraged me with your comments, your cyber hugs and your love. You have laughed along with me and not at me, something that is foreign to me. When I gave you a little peak into my world (“L is for Laughter“), you didn’t start running the other way; instead, you stood up and cheered me on. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! I know this because I felt it; I felt it in my heart with every flitter it took upon reading your comments.

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I will never forget how you have made me feel. <3

In the world where I come from, I never felt I was good enough. I always felt like I was the problem and, if I could just do better and be better, maybe the madness would stop. Maybe the mental illness would stop. Maybe the drinking would stop. Maybe they would notice that who stood before them was a really good little girl who just wanted to be loved. That’s all. Pure, simple and unconditional love.

il_214x170.897710863_im8yThat said, I have learned and continue to learn that my definition of family is what I create for myself. Family isn’t always biological. Family comes from those I choose to be in my life. And I choose you nice people. Hopefully, that works for you because it sure does work for me. Thank you for that.

Thanks to my husband and my sons and now you nice people, I am truly becoming me. And I don’t think that little old me is all that bad. I think that I am kind of starting to like myself. Who knew that was even possible? But here I am, proof that it is possible. All things are possible with the right kind of nice people.

So, thank you nice people for coming along and helping me feel so darned good about myself and for making me need my dammit doll less and less each day. Also, thank you for cancelling out all the assholes in my life with your niceness, not an easy feat, let me tell you. You will be happy to know that I find myself having less and less inside thoughts about the said assholes in my life. So, thank you for that, too.

And, just so you know, the next round of jelly beans is on me. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Linda xx

Nice People:  1
Assholes:  0

PS.:  Don’t forget to wear your clean knickers just in case you are in an accident on the way to the Jelly Bean Party. Just sayin’.

PSS:  And to all the assholes out there ….

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Just sayin’

 

m is for … mammogram

Day 27:365 Gratitude Challenge and April 15th A to Z Challenge

Today I am grateful for mammograms. I was going to write about being grateful for my (m)edications but, given that you have read the previous twelve cant waitposts of mine, you have already figured out that I must be medicated to write like that, so basically it would be redundant for me to talk about it. But I know that you have never heard my mammogram story so ‘grateful for mammograms’ it is. Aren’t you excited?

When I turned the magical milestone age of 50, suddenly the magical milestone tests that come along with it were ordered. The highlights of the tests were the screening for colorectal cancer and the squishing of the boobs mammogram. Yay! How can a middle aged woman not get excited by that? The screening test for colorectal cancer wasn’t too bad because the only humiliation of the test was my own. No one else had to help me perform it. But the mammogram? Nope. For that I had to see a professional.

The evening before the mammogram, Sauerkraut was standing at the stove stirring some soup when I came in from work. After the normal chit chat of the day, I mentioned that the next day was my mammogram appointment.

Sauerkraut:  How exactly do they perform a mammogram?

Me:  Well, a technician will place one boob at a time in a sandwhich maker-type press, squish the living daylights out of it so that the boob will flatten the most it possibly can, and then she will take an 8 x 10 glossy of the boob from a couple of different angles.

Sauerkraut: You mean flatter than they already are?

Me:

deer-in-headlights

The silence was defeaning. Sauerkraut didn’t even realize what he had just said and he continued stirring the soup. How is it possible that the only piece of information he extracted from that explaination was that my boobs couldn’t be flattened any more than they already were?

Me:

deer-in-headlights

I cleared my throat and walked over to him.

Me:  Are you saying that my boobs are flat?

Sauerkraut:  Oh, shit.

That’s right. Oh, shit. The rest, as they say, is history.

The next day I showed up bright and early with bells on (no, not tassles on my nipples like you are probably thinking) but bells on as a figure of speech. I have never been nor will I

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This is not my bra but, if I had it, I would totally wear it to my next mammogram.

ever be a stripper. I do not know where you get these ideas of yours. Anyhoo, I have never been one to get worked up about tests or surgeries because I am always of the thinking that “it has to be done so I may as well just get it over with”. I bounced in, announced my arrival and was told to change into a dressing gown which was a pretty little pink half gown. It was quite the fashionable look with my blue jeans and sneakers, let me tell you.

When it was my turn, the technician called me in and explained the procedure to me. I nodded along, making the odd wisecrack here and there. She called me over to the boob sandwich press and proceeded to pick my flat saggy boob from off the floor to place it between the press. While making sure that my flat boob was properly placed, she remarked how calm I was about the whole thing given that this was my first mammogram. I explained my philosophy about tests and how there was no point getting worked up about them. I also added that since I had given birth three times previously, I did not have any humility left. We began to chit chat while she was setting everything up.

Nice Technician:  I wish more women were like you. It would make the mammogram run much more smoothly for everyone.

dfd899e57a3ee12bb086e7ef350aa9c9Me: Well, I figure that you have already seen a million boobs by now so my flat saggy boobs are not going to be that much of a shock. Since you haven’t run screaming from the room, I figure we’re okay.

Nice Technician:  Exactly. I once had a woman come in for her appointment and she had not slept the entire night before because she was so nervous about it. She also wasn’t able eat breakfast because she was so worked up about it.

Me: Oh, no, that’s terrible!

Nice Technician: Her appointment was late morning and she was so jacked up on coffee by the time she got here that she could hardly see straight.

Me: I can’t even imagine.

Nice Technician: After I explained the procedure and reassured her that there was nothing to worry about, I asked her to stand up and come over to the machine. The poor woman stood up too quickly and proceeded to faint. I caught her just as her knees began to buckle!

 Me:

images

Nice Technician:  I gave her some orange juice and waited until she regained her strength before continuing on with the mammogram. After that everything went smoothly and we got some good images.

Me (ever the visual one): It’s a good thing that her boob wasn’t already in the machine before she fainted. Can you imagine fainting and then dangling there by your boob????

Nice Technician:

deer-in-headlights

Then the nice technician burst out laughing. And, yes, my left boob was still in the press and I was letting on that I was flailing about with just my arm movements because, well, nothing else could move because my boob was in the press, silly goose, so get your mind back on track.

You’ll be happy to know that the rest of my mammogram was uneventful and that the girls were good and no abnormalities were found. Piece of cake. Seriously.

So, yes, I am grateful for mammograms not only because they are a diagnostic tool used to diagnose or rule out a breast problem (such as a lump or suspicious area) but because, if approached with the right attitude, it can result in a really good story. Honestly. I can’t possibly make this shit up.

The girls: 1
Fainting:  0

 

 

 

 

 

 

An X-ray of the breast that is taken with a device that compresses and flattens the breast. A mammogram can help a health professional decide whether a lump in the breast is a gland, a harmless cyst, or a tumor.

an image obtained by mammography.

 

 

 

 

 

Me:  Are you saying my boobs are flat?

 

Mark:  Oh shit.

 

The rest is,as they say, history.

L is for … laughter

Day 27:365 Gratitude Challenge and April 14th A to Z Challenge

Today I am grateful for the gift of laughter that is in my life; whether it is my own, my language-of-the-soulhusband’s or my three sons. Laughter is the yin to my yang, the bee’s knees, the cat’s meow, and the fireworks in my soul. It is one of the best coping mechanisms I have in my arsenol of coping tricks and I can honestly say that there is never a day that goes by when I am not thankful for this beautiful gift.

For a post about laughter, it is about to go all serious on you, so please bear with me. Why I am driven to write this kind of a post today, I cannot honestly say. All I know is that it has to be said becase it is sitting in my heart clawing to get out. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I was just on #TheBloggessTribe’s Twitter lists and I noticed how many Bloggessians are dealing with depression and anxiety. It got me wondering, how can I help? Is there any possible way that I can help just one person smile or even laugh today?better

So here it is. I need people to know that no matter what, there is always, ALWAYS something to be grateful for and to laugh about. Some days may be so dark that you think you are never going to laugh again but I need you to know that you will. It is going to get better and you are going to crawl up and out of that deep dark hole. I know because I have been where you are and it does get better.

I have been through some dark times. When you grow up as the only child to a father who was both a paranoid schizophrenic and an alcoholic and to a mother who battled debilitating anxiety and depression to boot, you are bound to grow up with some sort of scars to say the least. You are also going to grow up seeing some things that no child should ever have to see. You may even become a little bat shit crazy yourself. But that does not mean it has to define you. While I could not change my past, I did change how I reacted to it.

Laughter, sarcasm and a twisted sense of humour are just three of several coping mechanisms I use to get through each and every day. Still. I used them then and I continue to use them now and I will continue to use them for how ever many days I have left on this earth. I make fun of myself, I try to write funny posts on my blog and I use my humour and

Fiddlin' Jim 002
Me and my Dad xo

laughter to mask great pain because it is the only way that I can make sense of my life. Soooooo, where did this gift of laughter come from?

My dad had the best laugh. It was real and genuine and came straight from his heart. He loved to tell stories and jokes and he revelled in making other people laugh as well. As long as he was being compliant with his medications and wasn’t off haluciating under that big ole maple tree in our front yard, life was not too bad. Even then, when he was hallucinating and talking to himself, he still had the best laugh. I would often watch him from the window trying to imagine what great story the inside voices were telling him to make him laugh so heartily. Was he laughing at them? With them? Was he laughing at himself?

I will never know and, frankly, I do not want to know. What I choose to remember is the good that was my dad and all that is good that he passed on to me: a contagious laugh, a knack for writing and story telling, a love of reading, and an eye for seeing things in this life that others may not see. It is about seeing how our knickers can actually teach us life lessons, how a cross dressing rabbit named Bugs Bunny can be a great role model,532139.JPEG how a dammit doll is one of the best stress relievers out there, and how the assholes in our life are really here for our amusement.

Even though my dad went through his own dark times, he never lost the ability to laugh. He embraced it and it embraced him. Laughter is how he made sense of his world. In that light, I am a chip off the old block, only slightly less medicated.

Dad was always concerned about the legacy he was going to leave behind. Sadly, his schizophrenia robbed him of his ability to see that his legacy was right in front of him. It is in my laughter and in my sons’ laughter and in our ability to make others laugh as well.

My main goal for each and every day is to make at least one person laugh or smile. When I told my friend, Reba, that I was feeling baldy because this post about laughter wasn’t even going to be funny, she replied in typical Reba fashion:

“Keep in might that laughter is not always the best medicine.
Sometimes you need a shot of tequila.”

And that sums things up perfectly. Cheers to a happy, laughter-filled day!

Tequila:  1
Competition:  0

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