Friday, April 26, 2013

Spring's Awakening

"Now is the winter of my discontent."

This is one of my favorite lines of Shakespeare from my favorite play, Richard III, and it's the phrase I repeated many tines over in the ICU, one of the things I did that reassured my family that all would be well.

I don't know about the rest of the world, but Michigan has had a verrrrry looooong winter this year and today spring sprang. As I manically cleaned the house today I thought about how much more invigorated I've been lately and how I'm kind of having a spring of my own.

There are many reasons I believe I've been feeling bett lately, here they are:

#1. I turned the TV off. Everyday after our morning routine, Charlotte and I would settle into the living room and I would turn the damn thing on and settle myself in front of it all. Day. Long.The other day, as I watched my little daughter gaze hypnotically at the bright flashing box, I thought to myself, "I watch too much TV, and so does she. So I decided to stop. For the past week After our morning family time, Charlotte and I settle into the living room and I turn on either Pandora or Spotify and we listen to music and play all day. This has improved my time in a lot of ways; I am more engaged and attentive when I'm interacting with her, so I notice more than I did befor, like, oh my God, I have got to clean that pack and play out! So I did! TV causes laziness and laziness begets laziness, so if I was considering cleaning something, I wouldn't if I sat down in front of that energy suck machine, in the past week I've cleaned Charlotte's room, the diningroom, the living room and the pack and Play. As a result of all of this I feel mor purposeful, more like the good mom I've been trying to be. I am also more clearheaded after a day of staring at Charlotte, rether than being all fdoggy after looking at the boob tubeall day. Because I'mmore willing to accomplish tasks throught the day, I feel mor purposeful and my days are less monotonous than they were.

#2 I'm becoming more comfortable with Liz 2.0. Sure Old Liz was a pretty cool chick, but, I decided this week that it's not worth my time and energy trying to be this person I'm not anymore and can't remember, it's like trying to behave like our 13 year-old selves, who can remember what that was like anymore? S I've arrived st this decision, anyone who doesn't like Liz2.0 can take her or leave her, because I think she's ok. She's mindful and present, always tries hard, is constantly trying to be the best person she can be, always does her best, perseveres and she's prwtty funny! The jokes are pretty bad, but that endearing, right?

#3The four Agreements.  If you are not familar with this book, read it! I've recently put this up on my computer desktop
 and I attempt to follow these rguidelines everyday, I actually read the book after I moved to CT, but I was for too into my own stuff at the time to be that mindfull, the kicker on thi is, Always do your best, I repeat that phrase to myself all day long and it pushes me to work harder, try harder, so I go to bed completely satisfied with my performance for the day, I have no regrets.

And at night when I askmyself, what was the vesst part of today? I have been saying, "all of it!"

Maybe she's found peace, finally!

Sunday, April 14, 2013


 "friendship, friendship,
Just a perfect blendship,
When other friendships have been forgot
Ours will still be hot!"

-Anything Goes

There is one universal truth I have learned over the years and it is this: you learn a lot about the people around you in an emergency situation, and you may be surprised. I have also learned that you learn who your true friends are when disaster strikesm you also learn who you van count on and who you can't

In 2004 when my non-functioning kidney(long story) got infected, I was in the worst possible pain of my life to date. I walked around, sick as a dog and in chronic pain for over a month. The day I finally dececided I should probably go to the hospital- I didn't have insurance at the time so I was terrified to seek  out medical care- I made the most telling decision of my life, instead of calling my live-in boyfriend, I called my friend Kyle. I knew my boyfriend had something going on that day that he wouldn't leave to take me to the ER, something deep in my gut told me Kyle was the right choice, and she was. Kyle was on lunch break at her job, about thirty minutes away, she got to me in 15 minutes after hearing my tearful plea for a ride. She then took me to the ER and wauted with me in the waiting room, she came into the back with me while I waited for my blood test results, the cat scan results and my boyfriend, who she called for me, finally after a couple hours my diagnosis came down, I had a "rip roarin'" kidney infection in my non-functional kidney, who I had named Harvey(yes, I like to nam e my subordinate body parts), the kidney had formed an absess and birst, so that guy had to come out.

Kyle stayed at the hospital til I was settled in my room, she proceeded to visit with me everyday, almost all day long for the week was there, once I was released, she became my nurse caring for the tubes, they had inserted to drain my kidney, a job, the boyfriend didn't want or offer to do. Truly, Kyle went above and beyond for me.
Then in 2011, I had a stroke, in childbirth, When I came to from surgery, I asked Matt to call some frinds to tell them what had just happened, Kyle, Dexter and Sheila.

Needless to say none of them knew what to do, since they were all in different states. So, Sheila took to the internet on my behalf, putting up a note on Facebook, informing all of those who loved me of what had just happened and giving ideas of how to cheer me on, thank goodness I didn't have to do that myself! The first time I signed onto Facebook I was greeted with an overwhelming amount of messages of support and encouagement, how uplifting. Then, Sheila contacted The Feminist Breeder, my favorite blogger, TFB ran a greeting card campaign for me, well, I recieved so many cards from all over the worl, women sharing their stories with me, giving me support and it couldn't have come at a better time, I stll pull those cards out when I'm feeling down, what a thpoughtful gift from a distsnt friend.

I feel lodt without Kyle here, some days

And then the most unexpected thing happened: I made a friend!A few years ago, Matt's mom got remarried, her husband ha a daughter, Amanda, Amands is a deeply empathetic and caring individual, even though she had never met me, she couldn' sleep until she heard I was OK the night everything happened. Once I was in rehab, she wanted to meet me, so I did. I don't remember much about the first time I met Amsnda, I was still in my post-stroke haze and tired from a full day of therapy, we didn't sau much to each other, Amanda being a little shy and me not knowing what to say to put her at ease.

When I was released from the hospital, Amsnda was staying at our house. this was the time she got to know me. Honestly, I have no idea why shr likes me so much, since this was the first time she spent any significant time with me, the first week home, was the darkest time of my life and I was a whiny, whimpering, wounded baby the whole time Amsanda was visitiing and now, I consider her the closest friend I have, the fact that she could overlook all of my issues during those early days to get to the good stuff that is inside me shows that I have found a true kindred spirit, someone who has seen me at my worst and still loves me what's the point, Liz?Your friend will show themselves to you when you need them most, keep them close and hold onto the good ones, they are like gold.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Liz 2.0

I know I've discussed the new version of myself before, but lately it's becoming apparent that Liz 2.0 is vastly different from the Liz I was pre-Stroke.

I get quite a bit of feedback on the differences in my personality and a lot of it is along the same lines, coming from different people, so I can no longer ignore it.

Matt's family is the most vocal abou the shifts in my personality, they feel I am warmer, more open and lees stand off-ish. Tonight, one of my close friends told me they feel closer to me since this has happened, when I asked her why, she explained that I am more authentic now, the walls I had up before are gone, I am more open than I was. When this feedback started coming in, I was shocked to find that people found I was stand off-ish. But, now that I've had time to think about it, yes, I am warmer, not shy to tell someone I lovem that I love them, never shy to give a big hug if that's what I wat to do. Why not? Life is too short to miss an opportunity to hug someone you care about and you should always tell peopl what you think.

I am more forthcoming in how I feel about things, I always speak my mind these days, why not? Whst do I have to lose? Nothing. I will speak my truth, no matter what.

So, I'm starting to see that Liz 2.0 ispretty damn cool and just as groovy as the original.