July 30, 2012

What I've Learned

I want to say thank you to those of you who left encouraging comments after my last post.  I love you all.  And I've taken what you wrote to heart.

I've been thinking more about that pull to entertain, to bring joy.  I don't think entertainment is inherently valuable.  It's fun.  It passes the time.  But let's face it, it's not feeding the world or healing the sick.

What is valuable is how entertainment can elevate us.  Can pull us up out of our daily grind.  The worries and stresses and messes.  Even the tragedies.  And for a minute or an hour or a day, life is more than these.  We can escape harsh reality and live in pure feeling.  In our perceptions and in everything those perceptions evoke in us. 

The joy that entertainment can bring reminds us that we are more than survivors.  That there's more to life than meeting basic needs or producing or consuming.  We're more than workers or thinkers or decision makers or givers or takers. 

Joy connects us to the essence of what it means to be human.  And I believe there's value in that.

I also believe that being able to recognize joy is contingent upon having known suffering.  And this is the crux of why joy is so important to me.  I have known suffering.  So joy is sweeter.

From the loss of my younger brother to suicide, I learned that life is precious.  (And people are fragile.)

From my work in nursing homes, I learned that people of all ages need connection.  (And the lonely give love freely.) 

From my struggle with infertility, I learned to appreciate the gift of motherhood all the more.

From my struggle with mental illness, I learned that crazy can be funny.  (But only after the fact!)

From my struggles with physical illness, I learned that there are people suffering everywhere.  (And most of us have no idea.)

From my hospitalizations, I learned that a normal, boring day at home is something to be cherished.

From the loss of my grandparents, I learned that sometimes all we can do is help those we love have a good end.

Because suffering is universal, so is the need for joy.


July 21, 2012

Deep thoughts

Now that I've obsessively analyzed the crap out of my blog statistics, I have the sneaky suspicion that the only folks visiting my blog of late are a trio o' fellow bloggers (Mama, Erin, & Shell), people I know in real life, and people who accidentally stumble across my blog while searching for AWESOME NOSTRIL pics on Google Images. 

Which is fine.  I'm grateful anyone reads my mad ramblings.  And it's a lot of fun to entertain folks you know. 

But on the other hand...

Bloggers live for comments.  (Or maybe that's just me.)  Otherwise blogging is a monologue. 

And I can talk to myself any old time!  (It's one of the perks of being nuts.)

I like making people laugh.  I always have.  When Nature Boy was a baby, I went to a New Age-y retreat where I discovered that my "essence" is joy.  Bringing joy to other people (preferably through Joy's crazier twin, Mirth) is one of my "life purposes".  Deep stuff, that.  (*Insert eye roll here.*)

Anyhoo, I like blogging, but I wish it was more interactive.  Like Facebook.  Does this make me a self-absorbed attention hound? 

Mayhap.  But no more so than any other blogger

There are lots of reasons that folks blog.  Some of us are just extroverts who need a platform.  Some of us are all angsty and need a blog to work out all the complicated feelings squished up in our heads.  Some of us are aspiring writers and blogs are great practice grounds.  Some of us are lonely and find connection through the blogging community.  Some of us just want to keep a record of our days for ourselves and our loved ones.

I want to entertain.  To bring people joy.  To do my little part to balance out the stress and the crap we shovel every day.

But I also want to write. 

Really write.  A book, even.  People have been telling me I should write a book for years, but I've never had the confidence.  I have a title and an outline, but that's as far as I got before I freaked out and put my spiral notebook away. 

I freaked out because I am afraid to fail. 

If I don't write a book, I can always think, "I could've written a book."  If I do write one and it's a flop, I will have to say, "I tried and failed."

Why is failure so threatening?  It's not even my greatest fear.  It's nothing compared to loss, and I've survived that.

Has there been a time in your life when you took a deep breath and stepped out in faith to follow a dream?  How did you get over your fear?

July 14, 2012

Ode to my left nostril

It is with great pride (and a little WTH?!) that I tell you that my Nostril o' Awesomeness photo is on page 8 of Google images under the search "people with big nostrils". 

Pride that my fabulous left nostril is included in the Google images Hall of Nostril-Related Fame along with these folks:

And WTH?! because the size of my nostrils is surely the Standard of Normal.  Yet some abnormally small-nostriled Google henchman tagged my nostril art with "people with big nostrils".  The nerve!

What kind of person Googles "people with big nostrils" anyway?  (Besides me, I mean.)

Ooh!!!  I just Googled "people with awesome nostrils" and I'm on the first page!!!!!

(I forgive you, Google henchman.)

Now that my nostrils are famous, I'm sure that you will appreciate this nostril art.  Featuring my awesome, amazing, perfectly-sized nostrils (hear that, Google henchman?), and my similarly-nostriled mini-me. 

You're welcome.

July 09, 2012


I'm a week and a half out from sinus surgery and things are going well.  Not quite as well as they were going when I was blissed out on Lortab every 4 hours, but still--I can't complain.

According to that sage font (or is it fount?) of wisdom (my mom), sinus surgery used to hurt like a mofo.  Apparently, back in the Olden Days they packed all manner of crap up in there before corking one's schnoz with splints the size of milk jug handles.  (My mom cried when her doc removed her splints.)

But I didn't know all that before my own surgery.  When my doctor told me there would be no packing, I just assumed he meant that I should leave my Glock at home. 

Now I know how fortunate I am to be living in these modern times.  I was completely out during the surgery.  No wallet biting or chloroform necessary.

And my wonderful recovery room nurse was generous with the morphine, so I didn't even feel bad immediately post-op.

There has been some swelling, however.  I had a W.C. Fields moment.  Check it.

As I mentioned before, I've always been partial to my left nostril.  Its superiority seemed even more pronounced after surgery.  So much so that I brought it up to my surgeon at my first post-op visit. 

When he realized that I wasn't joking, he told me there was still too much swelling to evaluate nostril balance and I'd need to wait a few more weeks before passing judgment.


Patience is not a virtue that I possess, so I decided to compare post-op photos with pre-op pics.  I discovered that my nostrils have always been misaligned. 

DUH.  If they were perfectly symmetrical, I wouldn't have a favorite, right?

My nostrils are like fraternal twins.  My left nostril is the pretty one, content to get by on looks alone.  My right nostril is the homely, dependable one.  I've always been able to breathe better out of my right nostril.  Most of my nasal FUBAR (and therefore, surgery) was on the left.

And now you know more than you wanted to know about my whiffer.

But since I've already tabled my dignity, I might as well add that yesterday I blew out some giant globs of coagulated black blood.  (From my overachieving right nostril, of course.)

It was really cool.

I chased Nature Boy and Shrinky Dink's kids around the house with my glob-coated Kleenex.

Then I dropped the bloody, globby Kleenex on the floor.

(Yeah, I didn't really think that through.)

FUN FACT:  After sinus surgery, the doctor uses a scope and a suction device to go all up in your sinuses and clean out "crusts".  It's not as fun as it sounds. 

P.S.  Shrinky Dink and Co. made me some fake mustaches to help disguise my bandage.  Behold.

July 06, 2012

Of boxers and bathtubs

Our boxer, Tank, has a weird bathtub fetish.

He loves his baths, yes.  But it's more than that. 

He is a dedicated bathtub licker, eagerly lapping up our shower leftovers.  He also partakes of my bathwater--while the tub is still occupied.  He has even been known to crash a few showers.

Tank climbs in and out of the bathtub several times a day with a purpose and at a schedule known only to him.  It's as if he needs to reassure himself that our tub is still there. 

He is the Shower Sentinel. 

The Tub Tender.

The Boxer of Bath.

It is his holy mission to be ever vigilant in protecting and defending the bathtubs of mankind.

Or at least, those in his own household.