Friday, April 27, 2012

Frankentoe.



I don’t cope with gore very well. I don’t mind blood in movies such as The Godfather and Gladiator, but anything that’s icky gives me a prickly feeling in my sternum that threatens to move to my stomach. If I’m ever struck by curiosity over a medical issue and turn to Wikipedia, I load the page with my right hand hovering in front of the screen, ready to block any gross pictures intent on implanting themselves in my brain.

Unfortunately, disaster struck almost two weeks ago, and it’s not possible to hover my right hand over the offending image at all times.

It was as innocent as a Saturday night can be for a 22-year-old. Clark was in town, and I had spent the evening cleaning and doing laundry while he was at a fraternity dinner. When he came back we talked while I folded clean clothes and put them away. My antique dresser, which stands on legs rather than resting on the floor, is a solid oak hunk of furniture, and the warmer and more humid weather has caused the wood to swell ever so slightly. I had folded some shorts, but couldn’t get the bottom dresser open with one hand. Still talking to Clark, I set the shorts on my bed and gave the drawer a two-handed tug. It still stuck, so I tried again.

This time, the drawer came flying out and landed squarely on the nail of my big toe. I yelped, mostly from surprise, and then I started hopping around my room, trying to ascertain just how much pain I was in.

“Maybe you should sit down,” Clark offered. I did, and playing part of damsel in distress, I asked him if he would get me an ice pack. In the short time he was gone, the magnitude of the pain set in, and by the time he got back I had big, juicy tears rolling down my cheeks.

I managed to fall asleep, but the feeling of my heartbeat in my big toe woke me up around 3am. I hobbled upstairs to get another ice pack, which I then shoved down at the bottom of my bed.  I woke up again around 6, again unable to control the tears. I laid awake and tried to distract myself, imagining how someday, in the midst of childbirth, I’ll look back on this night and chuckle.

When that didn’t work, I finally got up and took off my turquoise nail polish, mildly annoyed at how badly it had stained my nail. Then I realized it wasn’t stained—that blueish gray was the actual color of my nailbed. I remembered hearing a family legend about an uncle smashing a finger, and an aunt sticking a hot needle through the nail to relieve the pressure. In my crazed agony, I became convinced that this was the only course of action open to me.

And by me, I mean Clark. I went and roused him, and he didn’t even flinch, much less question me, when I told him my plan. In the end, it was a hot thumbtack, and while not that much blood came out, it relieved enough pressure that I could go to sleep.

I hobbled around the next day, to church and the grocery store, and then Clark came to my rescue once more with a giant pot of warm water and Epsom salts. Soaking my toe helped some—at any rate, the water was hot enough to take my mind off the pain.

Below the jump lie the rest of the gory details, in bullet form.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Priorities.

A couple weeks ago I read something that has firmly planted itself in my brain. For the life of me, I now can’t remember where I read it, so if you read the same thing, let me know.


Here’s the gist of it.

Humanity’s favorite excuse is I don’t have time. I don’t have time to clean my room. I don’t have time to cook. I don’t have time to call my family. For some reason, we take pride in appearing busy. It’s as though we think others will commend our hectic schedules, and condemn anything else as laziness.
This thing I read (wherever it was) called this line of reasoning a total cop-out. It has nothing to do with not having time and everything to do with what we deem priorities. Regardless of how we want others to perceive us, our days are exactly as long as everyone else’s. The only thing that differentiates my schedule from yours is how I choose to spend those hours. The writer of the original article I read suggested this tactic for breaking out of the mental habit:
Instead of saying I don’t have time for XYZ,say to yourself,XYZ is not a priority.
How does that sit with you?
Going to the gym is not a priority. Having a sit-down meal with my family is not a priority. Searching and applying for a better job is not a priority.
Kind of makes you cringe, right?
I’ve been trying to make this phrase a permanent tool in my mental arsenal, but it’s still tough. I’ve been avoiding grocery shopping for a while because I don’t have time, so I’ve been eating weird combinations of foods I already had in my pantry. But the truth I’m actually operating under is Eating well and taking care of my body is not a priority. Eek. Yesterday I found a new recipe I wanted to try, but it was going to take a trip to the grocery store and then an hour or so of prep time. I was tempted to eat the can of beans that was already sitting on my pantry shelf, but then I caught myself. Eating well and taking care of my body is a priority. It should be one of the highest. So right after work I made myself drive to Whole Foods, pick up the ingredients, make the dish, and clean the kitchen. It felt good, and I had enough food left over for lunch today, saving me time this morning to do all the other things I didn’t do last night.
A similar mantra is one I saw on Pinterest: If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.
What’s your experience with making time for priorities? Have you had to make any tough decisions in cutting out activities or habits to make room for more important things?




[update! Thanks to Karen, I've found the original thing I read. It was this post on Cup of Jo, one of my favorite blogs, and it was about this article from the Wall Street Journal. Both excellent reads.]

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Sabbatical


It’s been quite the month. Actually, I think this is the first time I’ve sat down on my couch in all that time.

Let’s hit the highlights.

-Towards the end of February, I visited my widdle seester at Baylor University.
-We ate delicious barbecue.
-We watched Sing, an intense, musical-revue-like competition between Greek organizations. The talent, costumes, and sets were incredible. I kept having to remind myself that the people I was watching were all younger than me.
-Meagan kept me up past my bedtime to go tortilla tossing. Which is exactly what it sounds like. But way more fun than it sounds like.
-We ate pancakes the size of plates. I had a Gingerbread Pecan pancake that was particularly scrumptious, along with a chocolate chip pancake. Spring break!
-Dressed in striped jerseys that mark members of the Bear Pit, we made our way to the Baylor v. Oklahoma game. Thanks to one of Meagan’s hallmates, I had a student ID that got me into the game for free and a seat practically right under the basket. I got to learn the traditional cheers, and embarrassed Meagan with a few improvisations aimed at the referees. Baylor won.
-That night we played cards with our grandparents. I did not win.
-After two and a half days back in KC, I got on another plane—this time to London.
-I spent an amazing week in Oxford, reuniting with dear friends and revisiting some of my favorite places.
-Except for The Perch. My favorite pub. Which was closed. When we walked miles (lit’rally) to get there. If I’m honest, I felt a little teary.
-I drank lots and lots of tea.
-And ate lots and lots and LOTS of good food. Whoever said England isn’t known for its cuisine clearly has never eaten a meal in Wheeler 5 with Abbie and Fran.
-After forty-five minutes of deliberation, I bought a Cath Kidston bag. I love it.
-I played tourist and got to take lots of pictures with my new camera. I’m still working on uploading and editing all of them. Stay tuned.
-I got back to KC with exactly $1.35 in my bank account. I still can’t decide if that was a brilliant or bone-headed move.
-Jet lag and Daylight Savings Time hit me hard, and at the same time, so I was exhausted for another week after getting back.
-That didn’t stop me, though, from having an incredible time on the front row at the Avett Brothers’ concert in Wichita.
-Since then, I’ve been trying to get back into the swing of things.
-But then, one of my favorite professors from Jewell emailed me with an ad for a Public Relations internship at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Google it—the building is astounding.
-I submitted my cover letter and resume last Friday.
-Within five minutes, they responded and asked when I could interview.
-I interviewed on Tuesday. I wore a suit and pearls.
-On Wednesday, they called and offered me the position.
-I start tomorrow! It’s unpaid, so I’ll be at the Kauffman from noon to 6 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and then I’ll continue to work at the law office the rest of the time. I’m so excited for everything I’m going to learn, and for all the writing I’ll get to do.
-And now, I promise I’ll never, ever leave this blog again for so long. Thanks for sticking with me.