Archive for August, 2012

Muzak on a Monday


Ear-worm ahead, consider yourself warned.

I’m walking out the door of our local coffee shop this Monday morning, gripping my mug like a life-preserver, and I hear this: I won’t be made useless, I won’t be idle with dispair.  Jewel on the freaking Muzak made me cry. In my defense, I hadn’t really heard the song since my Lilith Fair days, a carefree time in which I had no real idea what dispair might be.

A long weekend is the perfect balm to the pain my work causes: four desk-free days, the absence of the 6 am alarm and the distraction that two little girls bring by the bucket load. This weekend we celebrated my daughter’s first birthday with the people we love (she found the cake terrifying, but adored ripping wrapping paper), we hit the State Fair for the cheese curds and horse barn, and we took Lucy, the American Girl doll, in for a hair fix ($10 well spent, the curly-haired ones should NOT be brushed by a 6-year-old). It was so easy to leap out of bed, who wants to be idle when there is cake to be eaten and there are cheeks to be kissed. I admittedly spend an afternoon watching a brainless Girls Scout movie on the Hallmark channel, nursing an over-done body, but that is what weekends are for.

Mondays after a long weekend are the hardest for me. My pain intensifies and you are likely to find me batting away the tears in front of the coffee shop. I wonder if I don’t close down a bit, shut-off some of the sensitive parts of my brain during the week, just to get through. Then I get a few awake days in a row and everything in me fights going under again. It is such a polar way to live. On one hand, not being made useless means I get up and go to work to support my family with home, groceries and health insurance. On the other, I find myself fighting the dispair my work week brings. I feel like I am at a cross-roads with this because, unfortunately for those of us with chronic illness, this just might be my ever-after.

I haven’t conjured a work-around yet, but I am not satisfied with living on the weekend.



Happy Trails

My almost-one-year-old daughter is on a mission to wrap everyone around her little finger. We are twelve hours into a fourteen hour travel day and we are boarding our last flight. I know my fellow passengers are not thrilled to see a baby lining up for their evening trip. Stroller stowed, I’m lugging my daughter down the tight aisle, waiting impatiently for the crowd in front of us to shove their carry-ons overhead, bouncing to keep her content. As I grimly swap her from hip to hip, she catches the eye of a woman across the way, her eyes go wide, she holds up her little fingers and says “H-i!” as if she is greeting her best friend after a long, heartbreaking absence. The stranger melts right there in front of us. My little diplomat then repeats this greeting to everyone she can beguile. By the time we get to our seat, every passenger on the plane is our friend, fawning over her for the rest of the flight.

My online signature quotes “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” And most days I succeed at remembering to treat people as such. I know that chronic pain has given me a unique perspective on personal battles, one I should use in all of my daily interactions. However, had anyone given me a reason to, I would have turned bitchy fast on that last flight of a very long day. It was amazing to see how quickly road-tired people warmed to the genuine greeting of a baby, inspiring even. To be seen by anyone, really seen, can make every difference in the world.

In honor of my miracle girl’s first birthday this month, take a minute or two to see and sincerely greet each other. Forget your pain, recognize the struggle and strength of the people around you. I promise, it will make your trip all the sweeter.

The Littlest Rabbit

Just another weblog

National Pain Report

What You Don't Know Can Hurt You


Today is Better Than Yesterday

These Next 6 Months

It's all about perspective...

The New Melissa

Finding the new "normal" and creating a new life with migraine disease

Tissue Tales

My journey, navigating through life with a Connective Tissue Disorder.

Chronically Inspired

Rising Above Pain Creatively

'The Contra-Connoisseur’s Guide to Wine, Beer, Spirits And Other Stuff The World Got Right'.

Living Life As I See Fit

Because There is More To Me Than Just Rheumatoid Arthritis & Fibromyalgia

The Diary of a Happy Mom: 40 and Beyond

The trials and tribulations of an adventurous modern mom

Pain In The Mom

...trying to keep sane while in chronic pelvic pain

Graceful Agony

Living your best life in spite of having chronic illness and pain


Health, Fitness, Experience, and Adventure

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

Not From Around Here

Adventures as a Stranger in a Strange Land

Tea Time with Mandy

Only in Canada? Pity.