Little Miracles, Part 1

We see them everywhere. Every day. But so many times we don’t realize it.

We keep looking for our own miracles. And most of the time we don’t notice them.

Why? Because we expect miracles to be big. Really big events that stop us in our tracks. That cause us to say “WOW”! And “I never expected THAT!” Or “That was truly a miracle because it just couldn’t have happened otherwise.”

But consider all the little things that we experience on a daily basis that just seem to happen naturally, and we never stop to think about all the parts that had to come together to make that one thing happen.

They can be in the form of unexpected encounters. Meeting someone who told you something that resonated deep within you, an answer to something that you’d been searching for, and didn’t even realize it.

Or maybe you were the one who made a comment to someone strictly by chance, and that comment was something they really needed to hear at just that time.

How about the time you were cleaning out a drawer or a closet, perhaps in a loved one’s home, or even a box you’d packed up long ago, and discovered something so precious to you that you sat down and cried over it. Maybe a letter or a journal you’d never seen before, telling you something you’d always wondered about, and never knew; or something you’d long forgotten but really needed to be reminded of.

These are not necessarily what we traditionally think of as miracles, but they are that, nonetheless. 

We associate the Christmas season with miracles, because Christmas began with the miracle of the birth in the stable. But miracles happen daily and all around us. We just tend to notice them more because Christmas is such a special and almost magical time of year.

This is the first of several writings on this subject for this holiday season. How many there will be I cannot say, because I never know what I’m actually going to write until I start writing. Yes, I have ideas, but many times those ideas take me in directions I didn’t expect.

Another form of miracle, perhaps?

More to come. Keep watching.

Do You Like Jigsaw Puzzles?

A book I read recently by Sarah Morgan had this quote which I absolutely love: “A relationship is like a jigsaw. Made up of tiny pieces. Whether it’s with a partner, with friends, with children…it’s made up of hundreds of tiny pieces. Some perfect, some imperfect. Those characteristics unique to each of us, the genes we inherit, our life experiences, the way we behave. Tiny misshapen little pieces that make us who we are….”

Personally, I really enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles. Actually I do them on my iPad. No lost pieces to contend with. And once you complete it, you don’t have to try to figure what to do with it, because who really wants to take it all apart after you’ve spent all that time working on it?

If you look at the pieces, they’re all slightly different. They may be a similar shape, but there’s only one piece that will fit exactly where it’s supposed to go. And unlike a conventional puzzle, on an iPad you sure can’t force that piece to fit where it’s not supposed to go.

But this piece isn’t about actually putting together a jigsaw puzzle.

Unless you stop to consider all the tiny pieces of your life that go into what makes you unique. Like a completed jigsaw made up of thousands and thousands of pieces that are put together to form who we are.

But there’s a difference between the pieces of our lives and a jigsaw puzzle. 

Because a jigsaw puzzle has a finite number of pieces that can only go together one way to make one particular picture. Now the puzzle program on my iPad allows me to change the number of pieces I can use, from a mere 16 which is way too easy, to 1400 which I can’t even imagine trying. 

So just imagine a jigsaw puzzle with thousands and thousands of pieces which can be rearranged at any time as new pieces are added. All of our experiences, good or bad, become part of that jigsaw puzzle that is us. 

Like the jigsaws on my iPad, we can view the pieces as a combination of major events in our lives (the bigger pieces) or the minor events that become parts of the larger pieces of the puzzle that makes up our lives.

How we view our circumstances, how we make our life decisions, is determined by the way those jigsaw pieces are put together. But unlike the puzzles on my iPad we can add pieces, and rearrange those pieces we already have to make room for the new ones.

Our lives are a complicated puzzle, which is why no two of us are alike. Nor will we ever be. No one else has exactly the same circumstances in their life that anyone else does. And everyone’s puzzle pieces are put together in different patterns.

And our puzzles are 3-D rather than the flat puzzles we normally associate with jigsaw puzzles. Can you imagine the work that goes into the puzzle that is our life?

We must also remember we are all a continual work in progress. On a daily basis. And our puzzle pieces continue to change and rearrange themselves until there are finally no more pieces to be added.

I picture my personal Jigsaw puzzle as a collage of  bright colors, with lots of flamingos, Yorkies, books, and of course an abundance of family. Being 3-D it also shifts its shape, constantly moving as pieces are added and rearranged.

Think about it. What does YOUR personal jigsaw puzzle look like? What pieces will you add today?

Fear

Fear can immobilize us. It can make us incapable of putting one foot in front of the other.

Fear can keep us from sleeping. It can tell us we’re not going to survive what we’re facing, and scare us out of taking the correct actions.

Fear can cause us to step away from a correct decision because that decision involves stepping into the unknown. 

Fear can prevent us from stepping out into something we’ve worked for, dreamed about, and prayed for, because we can’t make ourselves take a chance and risk failure.

Fear holds us back when we should be running ahead.

Fear is the voice we hear that says “no you can’t,” and outweighs the voice that says, “yes you can.”

Fear is what stops us from being successful.

Fear prevents us from relationships because we’ve had such bad luck in the past, and we’re afraid to take another chance.

Fear prevents us from going forward and holds us back, because fear doesn’t want us to succeed.

Fear is what prevents us from becoming the person we’re destined to be.

Fear chains us to a wall that we cannot escape from until we realize that fear is the only thing holding us back.

Fear can be overcome when we realize we’re stronger than our fears.

Fear goes away when we decide to take hold of our lives and become who we’re meant to be.

Fear becomes but a distant memory when we achieve what we’ve been purposed to do from the beginning.

And then fear becomes a voice we can no longer hear. Because fear has been put out of our lives forever.

Pumpkins and Craziness Are Here Again!

It’s that time of year once again. The time when there’s that little nip of coolness in the air, especially the first thing in the morning. Even the sunlight seems crisper, giving us a hint of the chill that’s soon to follow. Yes, it’s that time of year that shuffles in the true end of summer. And shuffle is a good term, because I always go into it dragging my feet, kicking and screaming, because as I’ve said many times, I’m a spring/summer/flip flop type of girl!

And yes, I’m complaining about it again! Just like I do every year.

We can feel the chill in the air every morning, even though it sometimes warms up in the afternoon. The trees turn into a palette of new colors; bright oranges and yellows and vibrant reds. And all those leaves begin to fall all over the yard, getting raked into piles of crisp color that we adults are just a bit tempted to jump into it when no one is looking, like we did when we were children! Or, in our case, they fall in the pool and my husband has to keep scooping them out.

fall-leaves

Yes, I will admit, the colors are really pretty, and can be breathtaking, depending on where you go to see them. My husband likes to drive over to the mountains and enjoy the spectacular views. And they are pretty. But if it’s up to me, I’ll look at other people’s pictures online and think how pretty they are, and then dream about how long it’ll be until it gets warm again.

Then there are the pumpkins. Everywhere. In store and even restaurant displays, and piled along those roadside stands. Some even have carved faces already, and yes, I’ve been tempted to buy a couple of them to carve, but our son-in-law does that for the grandkids now, so we let him have all the fun.  But you can also buy craft pumpkins now that you can carve as well. No mess. But not nearly as fun. I remember when I was growing up and my uncle making the most beautiful jack-o’-lanterns. Over fifty years ago, he was painting faces and other designs on the pumpkins rather than carving them, because they’d last longer. He was certainly ahead of his time, and if he were still here today, I’m sure he’d still be doing it, only much more elaborate.

And speaking of pumpkins, don’t you think the pumpkin craze is getting a bit out of hand now? I do like pumpkin pie, but pumpkin spiced coffee? Pumpkin glazed donuts? Pumpkin flavored pop tarts? Pumpkin flavored Oreos? Please, no……I like pumpkin pie, but all the different pumpkin flavored stuff…no. Pumpkin ice cream is making its appearance now, and pumpkin flavored potato chips and pretzels. Then there are pumpkin dipped dog biscuits… Just please. No. I just can’t. And now I just heard that a local restaurant has created a pumpkin pizza! I’m not going there.

However. There are a few things that I can appreciate about this time of year.

candy_0For one, there is a LOT of candy on sale right now. And I do like to keep my candy bowl on my desk filled with all kinds of wonderful chocolate candy bars, miniature ones of course, just in case I get an urge during the day for a quick pick-me-up! Even though I’m now working from home, I still have that bowl. Chocolate can give you a pick-me-up, thank goodness, and on certain days I really need that. And I’m sure many of you reading this are like us, and buy your supply of Halloween candy based on what YOU like to eat, and not necessarily what the kids are going to want, so you can enjoy the leftovers! Is there any other way to buy it?

And I have to admit I did enjoy seeing the costumes the kids were wearing when they came to our door to get their candy. The little ones were always adorable, but now we’re not home on Halloween night, because we go to our daughter and son-in-law’s neighborhood with the grandkids and help them collect the candy! Their development goes all out, with almost everyone decorating their yards, with many of the families sitting out in their driveways with portable firepits and candy, and yes, some adult beverages. It’s one big party. Almost everyone rents a golf cart and drives around the neighborhood (they live on a golf course), and of course the golf carts are always decorated for the occasion.

And this year, our daughter will actually be wearing a Halloween costume, or her version of one. Here she is modeling it with our granddaughters who are looking forward to becoming big sisters in early January!!Expecting Halloween Costume

pauline-and-fowler-halloween1951When I was growing up, most of us dressed up for Halloween, but very seldom in anything scary or spooky. My hometown had an annual Halloween parade, with several of the main streets blocked off so the participants could march around our little business district and the county courthouse. Children and adults paraded around streets in costumes and competed for prizes, and the streets were filled with onlookers. My aunt and uncle actually won first prize in the adult division one year, dressed as Raggedy Ann and Andy. Weren’t they looking sharp? (How many of you know who Raggedy Ann and Andy are?) And if memory serves me correctly, I think some of the local churches sponsored the parade and contributed the prizes!

I can’t remember the last time I saw a Halloween parade. But they were a lot of fun! At least to us kids, and the adults who still acted like kids. It was just a fun time to enjoy ourselves, and get candy, of course!

So once again I guess I’m sort of stuck with it being fall. I can’t change it, so I have to make the most of it. I can wear my jeans and sweaters with my boots, enjoy our toasty fireplace with a glass of wine, and count the days until Thanksgiving and Christmas.

And I can remember that spring is, sort of, just around the corner!

José Guadalupe Posada

You May Plan Every Step of Your Life

But sometimes life happens. And you have to let life happen. Your plans don’t always happen the way you planned.

And change can be unsettling, sometimes scary. 

But once in awhile you have to let go. And take a risk.

Because if you don’t take that risk, don’t try to see what you can accomplish, you’ll never know what could have been.

Think about it. 

What if you’d ignored that phone call you didn’t really want to answer…you know, the one asking you to come in for an interview for a job you really didn’t think you wanted. But you were desperate.

And although it wasn’t what you’d planned, it turned out to be one of the best decisions of your life.

What if you’d turned down the person too many times who kept asking you to go out because every relationship you’d had turned out to be a disaster? What if that person had given up before you gave in and said yes?

And that person turned out to be the one you’d been waiting for all along and didn’t even realize it. And twenty years later you’re still together enjoying a wonderful life. Maybe not who you’d planned it with, but so much better.

What if you’d decided to give up on your dream to become a teacher, a lawyer, a doctor, or an author, and spent decades of your life doing something you really didn’t enjoy, while dreaming about what could have been.

You can plan your life. You can plan every step of it, and refuse to change one thing, but what if there was something more that you wanted, but were afraid to take a chance?

And what happens when the life you have is suddenly not there, or suddenly changes, and you have no idea what to do? 

You make another plan.

Life happens, and change comes knocking on your door when you least expect it. Sometimes it gives up and goes away to give that opportunity to someone else, and sometimes it breaks your door down and forces you to make changes you don’t think you’re ready for.

But life knows better than you do; better than we do. And in the end, the life you thought you wanted and needed, becomes the past, and a new life opens up for you.

Life had another plan other than the one you’d planned.

And you discover it’s the one you wanted all along.

Wanting Something

…doesn’t make it happen.

You have to work for it to make it happen. It’s not going to come to you by thinking about it and dreaming about it. You can’t just wait for it to happen. You have to do something.

Yes, I’ve heard the saying good things come to those who wait. But I know people who’ve been waiting for years for that good thing to happen and it hasn’t. Because sitting back and waiting doesn’t make it happen, does it?

You have to take a first step in order to make it happen; to accomplish your goal. 

But first you need to define that goal. I don’t mean just saying you want a new job, or start a business, or find a new place to live, maybe lose weight, or find a new relationship.

Those are goals, but a goal can’t begin to succeed unless you have a plan.

Just wanting something, dreaming about something, don’t make it happen. Telling all your friends what you want to do won’t make it happen either.

You actually have to do something to make it happen. Step out of your comfort zone. I know it’s not easy, but if you want something bad enough, that’s what you have to do.

You won’t know what can happen unless you try.

And that first step isn’t easy. But the second is a little easier. 

And by the third and the fourth…you’ve got this!

When Your Memories Are Different from the Actual Events

It happens all the time; more often than you think.

Why? Because it’s easier than remembering the heartache, the pain, the disappointment. It’s easier to shift the blame on someone else to justify things that happened in the past that we still don’t understand. Or make us feel embarrassed because we did something dumb that we’re ashamed of.

Sometimes we make memories happier than they actually were because the actual memories are too painful to recount. Or we want others to think our lives were happier than they really were.

Sometimes we make up memories in an attempt to either justify something we did, or should have done, because we think it will make us look better in other people’s eyes. Or to make people think we’ve accomplished more than we have.

Or we make up memories in order to hurt others, to make them look bad, usually because we’ve been hurt so badly by them, we want to hurt them even more than they hurt us.

Sometimes the memories start to blur until we have difficulty discerning what was true and what we made up.

Memories can be that way. And as we get older, it’s worse, because our memories slowly begin to decline over the years. But that’s another story altogether.

I’ll admit that my memories of my earlier years aren’t nearly as vivid as I’d like. And it seems the ones I really remember most clearly are ones associated with unhappy events, such as the days surrounding the death of my father, which memories are far more vivid than my few memories of the good times I had with him. Why? Most likely because I was so young, and at those young ages the traumatic times sometimes take over the happy memories.

If I really stop and think about it, there are lots of memories I can conjour up from the past, but they’re ones I don’t dwell on. Yes, many are happy, like my wedding to Ben, and the joy of finding out we were having a daughter, and the happiness when I gave birth to her, but many others are not.

Like the day I walked into my mother’s room at the rehab center and seeing her body  lying there, lifeless, my aunt in a state of shock and crying. I will forever see that picture in my mind’s eye. It’s not something you can forget.

Or the time my husband coded in the ER right before my eyes, as I sat there helpless, watching the staff work their miracles to bring him back. And thankfully they did.

Each and every one of us have such memories. They’re a part of us, and even though they may become distorted over time, we still remember.

Even though we may not want to admit them to others. Because they’re so painful and embarrassing we change them around somewhat to make them less hurtful.

And even while I’m writing this, many of those are coming back to me.

It’s ok, though, because most of us have finally put the hurt behind us and moved on.

And we’ve changed the memories enough so that we can live with them, knowing how far we’ve come, and sensing the good memories that still lie ahead to be made with the people we love.

Pinteresting in my Mind…at 3 AM

Well, what else can I do at that time when I can’t sleep? I don’t want to get up because then I KNOW I won’t go back to sleep. At least if I stay in bed, there’s still a chance. Not always a good one, but still a chance.

The other night, though…that chance flew out the window when my eyes opened. Both Yorkies were curled up beside me, one against my hip and the other at my feet. And I didn’t dare move because I didn’t want to wake THEM up!

My husband was sleeping soundly as well. And yes, I was jealous! I knew waking him up wasn’t a good idea either.

So what to do? I refuse to pick up my phone that late because the light would disturb the husband and the dogs, well, I’m actually more concerned with the dogs. And it would definitely prevent me from having even a remote chance of more shut-eye.

That’s when it happened.

I’m in the process of planning a baby shower for our daughter. Yes, I have several friends helping me, but I like to collect a lot of ideas and then share them to decide what to do.

And suddenly all the ideas and pictures I’d seen and pinned to my Pinterest baby shower board started running through my mind.  Buffet table displays, cute food ideas, cupcakes and cakes, decorating ideas (including more diaper craft creations), even baby shower games. It wouldn’t stop….

Then it was party food. Although we’d planned most of the menu already, my mind continued to go crazy adding things, and going as far as making a shopping list with store names for each item. In my mind, of course!

Even stranger, I actually remembered all of what I was thinking and was able to write it all down when I finally got up. Boy, do I have a long list of more things to do now!

Anyone else find themselves doing things like this? And I wonder what I’ll end up doing the next time?

Ideas for another book? Another blog or two? Maybe another Christmas tree? 

Personally, I’d rather just be able to sleep….

Ghosts and Catfish

I know you’re probably thinking what in the world do those two things have in common? Well, in today’s world, quite a bit.

If you’re talking about online dating, that is. There are actually a number of new terms that have come about to describe some of the actions of the users of these dating sites. I had no idea until I looked up a few to fill out this post. 

Fortunately I’m not in that particular world, but I have several friends who are right now. And I have to say, I’m glad I’m not in that situation for a lot of reasons!

First of all I’ve been happily married to my spouse for almost 38 years. That’s a long time, and we’ve gone through a lot. And we’re still together, which says a lot these days.

But for my friends who are not as fortunate as we are, life is a bit more complicated than you’d think it would be in the world of online dating.

First of all let me say that several of our friends have had good experiences with this, and are now happily married to the person they’ve always hoped for. It happens. But it isn’t always as quick, or as easy, as they’d like.

Some of our friends were fortunate enough to find the right one within a few months, and others, well, they’re still searching. 

There are a lot of dating sites out there now. Many offer free trial periods as well as paid subscriptions. Which one is the best? I don’t begin to have an answer because I’m not in that situation. But I sure hear a lot of stories from friends.

It sounds as though most (being at least 51%) of the people on these dating sites are on the up and up, that is, being honest about who they are, what they look like, age, occupation, and what they’re looking for in a relationship. 

There are others, though, who try to make themselves more than they are by, shall we say stretching the truth a bit, or posting photos of themselves that are either a bit outdated, or not even them to make themselves more desirable to others. Or, even worse, “borrowing” or stealing someone else’s identity and posing as someone they’re not. That’s called catfishing, and please don’t ask me why because I have no clue. It’s just a pitfall of online dating. 

Actually I heard a story about a guy who presented himself as a doctor in his profile. He talked about all the good work he was doing, the long hours, and even describing the hospital where he worked. He described his first date with a woman he met online as fantastic, they had so much in common, etc. but she wouldn’t return his calls. The reason: as she said, “you told me you’re a doctor, and then I find out you’re a food service worker in the hospital cafeteria!”

“Well, I figured you wouldn’t want to go out with me if I told you the truth! Can we try again?” Uhh, no. I think there’s an honesty problem here?

Then there’s breadcrumbing. A person  seems interested and will carry on conversations for days. Then stop. Then come back a few days later and start talking again. Talk about getting together. Then nothing. Then it happens again. He/she just wants to keep that person interested in case he/she decides their current relationship isn’t working. Sort of like dating insurance? Or maybe plans to cheat? I’ve had that happen to several of my friends. It’s actually kind of creepy. Time to block them, I say!

And ghosting. Which is just what it implies. The other person starts a conversation that goes on for awhile and may even result in a date or two. Things seem to be going good and then suddenly nothing. No text responses, no return phone calls, just silence. To me that’s not only rude, it’s a lack of manners; a lack of common courtesy. 

If you’re not interested anymore, have the guts to tell the other person, instead of hiding behind your phone or computer. Be honest enough to tell the other person why you’ve lost interest. It may be a simple misunderstanding rather than a perceived problem that can be rectified.

How about orbiting? When someone is constantly checking you out on your social media pages, but not contacting you any more. Talk about weird…and unsettling….

There’s actually a feature program on a local radio station called “Second Date Update” which has people call in who’ve been ghosted and can’t figure out why. They tell their story, and then the hosts contact the other person to see what happened. Now I’d never have the nerve to do that, but some of the stories are quite interesting.

Like the guy who took his first date to his family barbecue. They admittedly both had a great time, but he didn’t call her back. Why? Because his dad took him aside to tell him she was a stripper, and he’d seen her perform at a local club! That was a bit strange. His mom didn’t know about either…

Or the girl who went to the guy’s house for dinner on a first date and found ladies’ underwear in his bathroom cabinet when she was searching for TP. He said it was his sister’s?

Hmmmm….

My advice? If you’re looking to meet someone, try it out. But be careful. And be smart. Meet the person in a public place. Let someone know where you’re going to be, and arrange a way to let your contact know you’re safe. And then let them know when you’re home safely.

And if you’re ghosted, then that person obviously wasn’t worthy of your time! 

There’s always another one.

Walking While Sleeping

And I don’t mean sleepwalking. That’s an actual condition which involves actually getting up and walking around while still sleeping. More common in children and teens, this may involve brief walks around the house, or sometimes even opening cabinets or making something to eat, then suddenly waking up disoriented and confused as to where they are.

But this isn’t what I’m referring to at all. This is something else.

Lately I’ve noticed there seem to be a lot of people walking around, going through their daily activities at work or at home, and at the same time being oblivious to what’s going on around them.

They either have no idea of what’s going on in the country, or in the world, or even sometimes, in their own immediate circle of friends and family.

They either claim they don’t have time to think about such things; they don’t want to know because it’s usually depressing or uncomfortable; or they figure why care, because they can’t do anything about what’s going on, and it isn’t affecting them anyway.

Sure, they’re tuned in to social media, but only to the point of seeing what other people are doing, where they’re going, what they’re eating, etc. World events? Can’t be bothered. Political and economic issues in the U.S.? They don’t want to know. Don’t care. It’s someone else being affected.

Or so they think. And they continue on until something happens that affects them directly, and they have no idea what caused it or what they should do about it.

We see this happening in those “man in the street” type interviews we see from time to time. People who can’t name the Vice President; don’t know the true meaning of certain laws; don’t know about the war going on in Ukraine; don’t know what the Supreme Court actually does, etc.

And these aren’t actors playing a part. They’re real people, going through their daily lives, walking around while sleeping through the world around them. Oblivious or ambivalent to events that could play a significant part in their futures. Living their lives like actors in a movie, playing a part that isn’t real.

Why is this so bad? Because if you don’t know what’s going on, or don’t care what’s going on, you’ll have no say in what goes on in your city, your state, or your country. They may think they’re happy in their own private world, until that world comes crashing down around them.

And they don’t know where to turn. Or what to do.

How do we wake them up?

Your guess is as good as mine. First of all, they have to change their attitude toward life, and that’s easier said than done. It’s easier to just say “I don’t care” and leave it at that. 

Til they are suddenly forced to care. 

And then they don’t know how to begin or what to do. Because the world is continually changing, and we need to be aware of those changes in order to know how to deal with them.

The Truth About Cataract Surgery

From a true surgical scaredy-cat “chicken”…

I’ve been told for several years (at least five) that I had cataracts and needed to get them taken care of.

I ignored those suggestions. I wasn’t ready. They weren’t that bad. But most importantly, the idea of operating on my eyes absolutely terrified me. Totally.

I’ve been very fortunate not to have had but a few surgeries in my life. Tonsils and adenoids when I was only 6, and I barely remember. Wisdom teeth out when I was 25. Several laparoscopies in my thirties when I was trying to conceive. A C-Section to have my daughter. And a broken wrist repair about 6 years ago.

For someone my age, that’s really not many. As those of you who follow this blog know, my husband has lost count of all the surgeries he’s had, including cataract removal in one diseased eye and a partial cornea transplant.

But still…I wasn’t having any part of eye surgery until absolutely necessary. And that was that!

A few years ago I even switched eye doctors to another group I liked more than where I’d been going, and as much as I really really liked this new doctor I was still totally hesitant, and told him so.

But unlike the other doctors I’d seen he told me that while the cataracts were ready to be removed, he totally understood how I felt. And when I replied that when the time came, I’d only want him to do it, his answer confirmed that he’d be the one. “I can promise you when you’re ready, if I’m still upright, I’ll do it, and you’ll be pleased!”

Actually it took me three more years to come to that conclusion. After Ben was diagnosed with the beginning stages of glaucoma.

And I knew I had to go ahead and take care of my eyesight now. Although he’s having no problems with his vision other than the glare from LED headlights at night, which are not good for anyone, I decided I needed to go ahead and get the surgery.

Plus I was starting to notice words on the computer were getting harder to read and a little fuzzy, even with my contacts. A lot of my friends were encouraging (sometimes lovingly nagging) me to do it as well.

So I reluctantly told my eye doctor at my regular annual visit I was going to do it. He told me that was a great decision, and I’d definitely be happy afterwards. So we made the pre-cataract 3-hour appointment for the end of August.

I stopped wearing my contacts August 1 because my eyes needed to adjust back to their normal shape, since contacts change the shape of your cornea somewhat. And I’d been wearing contacts for 50 years, so I’m sure mine were totally out of normal shape.

Adjusting from contacts to glasses wasn’t the easiest thing. The first two days even through the first couple of weeks were difficult. Wearing them walking down steps was tricky because they tended to distort my vision either concave or convex, and for someone like me who has vertigo off and on, it was somewhat of a challenge.

But I survived that appointment, even though I had to watch a video about the procedure, which I really didn’t want to know. Making the actual surgical appointments afterward even stressed me out! Then I had to have a retina clearance from their retina specialist prior to surgery. Since dilating my eyes takes some 12+ hours to wear off, I had to make a deal that unless they couldn’t get good pictures of my retina they wouldn’t dilate me. I won that bet!

And of course I got more apprehensive the closer surgery day got. The day before I had to start using special drops in the surgical eye, and I was nervous even putting them in, knowing why I was doing it. (I did say I was a “chicken.”) We went to bed early that Sunday night since we had to be at the surgery center at 6:30 AM.

I didn’t sleep well at all, and was obviously scared to death. I had to put a dilating drop in that eye an hour before I had to be there, and within 15 minutes it took effect. As Ben drove all I could see were colored lights that resembled fireworks. Why did I agree to this?

I was more scared as we walked into the surgery center, which was already filled with people waiting their turn. I couldn’t even bring myself to talk I was so nervous. And when they called me back I’m surprised I could even walk in a straight line.

As soon as I got back to the pre-op area I was immediately told to get on the gurney and they started hooking up the blood pressure cuff, oxygen reader, EKG patches, and even an oxygen cannula.  My blood pressure was up to 157 over something, and I had to explain it was stress. I’m normally around 113.

So far so good.

Until it was time for the IV. My seriously huge phobia. And even though I cautioned the nurse putting it in, it didn’t help. Usually once the needle is in I’m fine, but this time…evidently she did something wrong and kept playing with needle, telling me she had to “fix” it. I thought she’d never stop. (And yes it’s in my chart that she won’t do the next one!) Fortunately the anesthesiologist had already given me something to calm me down and luckily I wasn’t my normal “witchy” self which I’d normally have been.

It seemed like forever that I had to wait, laying there with my mind going in too many directions. Then it was my turn, and I was quickly wheeled into the OR. I remember seeing a large machine lowered over my eye and a metal bar placed in front of me, and the next thing I knew, I was seeing balls of colors swimming around in front of me. I didn’t feel a thing. And then the next thing I knew, the machine was gone, and I was back in the holding area; tired but surviving, and ready to get that IV out!

My doctor came in and told me I did great; the anesthesiologist was there and agreed, and as soon as I was (sort of) awake I was in a chair being wheeled out with my instructions and ready to go home.

I barely remember the ride home, but I do recall actually being able to read well enough to read a few text messages. Then we were back home where I slept for several hours, ate a little something, and went back to sleep.

I have to say the experience, except for the IV, wasn’t nearly what I’d feared. Plus the anesthesia didn’t get out of my system til the next afternoon so I did get a lot of rest, which I probably needed. (Anesthesia does that to me.)

What’s really great is that now, with only one eye done, I’m able to work on the computer without glasses! Before the surgery I was having trouble reading some of my leases and spreadsheets WITH my glasses. Colors are brighter and more vibrant, and since I make jewelry as one of my hobbies, that’s a really big deal!

I will say, for me though, one of the most difficult parts right now is that I can’t wear makeup for at least a week, and that’s tough! Thank goodness I work remotely! (And if my husband says one more time “just put on blusher and lipstick and you’ll be fine” I won’t be responsible for the outcome!)

So let me say now to any of you contemplating cataract surgery, find a doctor you totally trust, and go for it! For those of you who know me personally, you know that’s something I’d never say unless I truly meant it.

I’m even looking forward to the next eye being done so my vision will be even again, and I don’t feel like I’m halfway still looking through fog.

It’s not bad. At all. I’m glad I finally did it. Just like everyone said I would be! 

I just didn’t want to believe them,

It’s Sad When Someone You Knew

Becomes someone you knew.

How often does that happen? Too many times as far as I’m concerned.

There are many reasons. People relocate to new places and meet new people. Interests change. Spouses change, making once close relationships uncomfortable.

It’s tough maintaining relationships today. But as we get older, we learn to appreciate those who stay with us, and those we reconnect with after several years.

Facebook and Instagram have helped me reconnect with people I’d sadly lost contact with over the years, which I’m delighted about. I may not see some of these friends often, because they aren’t living close to me. But we’ve rekindled friendships, which are important.

The sad thing is, many people I used to know who are living here locally are no longer people I know.

Oh, I know them. And we used to be close. But life changes, and we don’t even realize it until it’s too late and those friendships disappear, lost in a sea of being too busy or not really caring any more, or having such strong viewpoints on subjects we can’t even agree to disagree on. And the friendship is gone as quickly as it began.

And they become someone  that we used to know.

Fortunately, in my case, many friends who moved away are still close, and we see each other a few times a year, but talk or text regularly. Friendships that are still strong and growing.

It’s sad when people we used to know become just that. People we used to know. Maybe we were friends, but maybe we really weren’t. 

Maybe we never really knew them, because we now hear them say things we could never imagine them saying or even thinking!

Sort of hard to tell sometimes, isn’t it?