Thursday, January 31, 2008


I have no specific focus for writing today. Just a bit of this, and a bit of that.

I'm starting to feel comfortable in my job. Many days but not all. It's a steep learning curve. My goal is to leave this job not necessarily enjoying it, but feeling like I know what I'm doing. I want to feel like I did it well, even if it wasn't fun. I'm gaining confidence. The clerk I work with is a charm - I don't think I would have made it this far without her.

It's bitterly cold. My poor puppy has had 10 minutes here and there of exercise while I throw the ball down the street for him. I pick up the ball and it freezes to my mitts. Stupid cold. It's a whole other category. Tonight the Husband is taking him for a real walk. I was invited. But I'm tired and pregnant and my back hurts. And darn it, I just don't feel like it. I just want to be in bed early. Thankfully, he obliges with no complaints.

This weekend we're getting together with a couple we met at church stuff. We often feel like we don't really have young couple friends to hang out with. Most likely we just don't initiate friendships either. We're looking forward to getting to know another young, married couple. Appetizers and a movie are on the menu. And I think they'll bring their dog.

*yawn* Is it bed time yet?

Monday, January 28, 2008

I Meant To...

I meant to on the weekend. I meant to blog. I meant to make monster cookies - like my Mum's. I meant to clean more. I meant to exercise. I meant to go to the gym and hit the cardio machines. I meant to be more patient. I meant to listen.

Instead, I didn't visit the computer. I made cookies, but from a pre-made batter (and yes, today I took the credit. Um yes, I BAKED them myself). I went to the park for a leisurely stroll with my Love and my Dog. I had a therapeutic (translation - painful) massage. I hugged my brother.

I also got cozy with my heating pad. I nursed my muscle spasm. For 6 hours. I complained and wanted to be alone. I worried. I rested so that my body could heal itself.

And then, I went to see Blue Rodeo live in concert. My mind lifted above the pain in my back. My spirit soared. My heart sang familiar words. I fell more in love with the Husband. Songs and memories united, bitter and sweet at the same time. For having been in the business for almost a quarter of a century, those boys can still rock out. I confessed to the Husband that I would probably marry the lead singer if he proposed, for his voice alone. Glad to get that one out.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I met her today. The patient I've spoken to on the phone multiple times but put off meeting. I've left her chart for the other nurse time and time again. She's my age, you see. She's my age and she shouldn't have cancer.

I decided to meet her today. I put her in a room and she says "I'm feeling quite a bit better." And I smile a fake one. Because I know what she doesn't. I know that after we talk, the doctor will come in. And he will have the results of her CT scan. Although she's feeling better, she's not getting better. The doctor comes to me and requests palliative care papers. She won't live to see next Christmas. And she's alone today. Where is her husband? Today of all days.

The doctor comes back into the room, shoulders slumped. He tells me he thinks she took it better than he did. And I am encouraged to see this strong physician be torn up for his young patient. It means he cares.

I'd like to sit with her. I'd like to, and I'd hate to. But I don't sit in on doctor's conversations with patients. By the time I get back to the room, it's empty and waiting for the next victim.

I get home and just want quiet. I want a hot bath and some food. I don't want to be talked to and I don't want to have to talk. My mind has work to do. Before I can fall asleep tonight I'll ponder the very definitions of mortality. I'll feel guilty when my Baby kicks, knowing that some people never have a chance to start a family. I'll grapple with the unfairness of a child who had cancer, treatment, and remission only to be told as an adult that there is another cancer. And this time it's been caused by the treatment of the last. It's going to kill her. I"ll see her face in my mind - dark eyes under a baby blue toque.

And I'll realize that life isn't fair. That's just how it is. I'm not invincible. I could die today, tomorrow, in a year. It happens. My mind struggles to make some kind of sense of things, but it doesn't work. It's just how life is. Here. On Earth.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Brain Freeze

I don't know if it's the -40 something degree weather lately or what, but my brain is frozen. Nothing new. Nothing exciting. Nothing profound. Just the same old.

I have 60-some days of work left. Does it sound like I'm not enjoying my job? It's true. It's not what or who I want to be as a nurse. I'm starting to feel more comfortable in the job, but enjoyment isn't there. At least not yet. I keep hoping it's coming.

The days are getting longer. The sunshine is good for my spirits. I can see the road when I'm walking home from the bus. And if I act quickly enough I can take Bentley outside and play with him and his ball before the darkness envelopes.

My body looks strong. My face has filled out, my belly is round. I'm not making it to the gym half as often as I'd like. My energy is gone by the end of the work day. I take Bentley for walks, but I miss the gym. Working full time doesn't leave enough time in a day.

I'm starting to think Baby. I'd love to find a used crib in good shape. A playpen is where the kid will sleep the first few months. That we'll buy new. Mom is making blankets like crazy. I'll need a good rocking chair. It's starting to feel real. Crazy.

And that's about it.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Since the Husband Left

You may not have noticed, but I've been husbandless this week. He went with his family to Disneyworld in Orlando. Today he's coming home.

Pleasures I've enjoyed while Single:
Leaving the bed unmade
No meal planning
The Pita Pit
Room on the bed for the dog
Unplanned trips to the farm
Living slightly on the messy side

Things I've missed while Single:
The Husband sleeping beside me
An extra dog walker (Thank God for the Cuz who helps!)
Muscles - there are some things I just can't do
His voice
A sounding board for my thoughts
A workout partner
Being picked up from work

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Judging the Judger

Is it wrong to judge someone who is being critical of someone else?

I take 2 buses on my way to work. The 37 picks me up in St Norbert and takes me down to Portage. There's a gaggle of women who always ride the 37 bus. About half a dozen of them. And they squawk all the way downtown while my foggy brain tries to remember how a sentence is supposed to be put together.

Well today a new person came on the bus. She looked disheveled. Hair hadn't been combed in days. Sweats were tattered. She wore one mitten. And her face looked worn. She made her way to a seat. A woman quickly moved her purse to that seat, hoping Newby would get the hint. She didn't. The lady took her purse back and sighed audibly. How dare someone take one of "their" seats?! The whole way downtown this woman complained in a loud whisper. I sat a few seats away, and I could hear most of what she said. She wrinkled her nose and complained about the woman's odor, her rudeness at taking the seat, and made other derogatory comments. She held a finger to her nose and said "maybe we should get off here and take the next bus". The new girl was either oblivious or pretending to be. She didn't react at all.

I did my best to shoot arrows at the pretentious woman with my eyes. Other seats in the bus were open. She could have moved. I wanted to remind of her of PUBLIC in the words Public Transportation. I wished she would get off the bus, like she threatened, be late for work, and be scolded for it. I could not believe that she could sit there obviously, audibly communicate how irritated she was at this inconvenience.

And if I could change one part of my day, I would have sat with the woman and offered her my mitts. My two mitts.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

People Pleasers Anonymous

Hi. I'm Val and I'm a people pleaser. Are there support groups for people like me??

One of my best and one of my worst qualities is that I like to make people happy. I'll bend over backwards to do things the way someone wants it done even if I think my way would be better. When it's obvious that someone doesn't like me, I become determined to make them change their mind. I want people to see that I'm capable, smart, and sometimes funny. I want people to say good things about me behind my back and miss me when I'm gone.

When this doesn't happen, it shakes me to my core. I question my entire being, my purpose, my worth. Between the tears come fits of anger and I become either useless, moping around the house, or incredibly productive. My stomach turns and I lose my appetite. I question my abilities and my thought processes. It knocks me back and shakes my confidence. I go to sleep thinking about it and wake up feeling "off" the next morning before I remember why.

Even when I don't like the person. Even when I don't need the stress. Even if it's really a blessing.

You'd think by now I would be strong enough in myself. I would know that my worth doesn't come from what other people think. I would know that it's impossible to have everyone like me. I would know that the best I can do is all I can do. And that I am a good and valuable person, no matter what anybody else says.

But it still gets me. Every time.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


On cold days like today I have to give myself a talking to. When I'm waiting 5 or 10 or 15 minutes at a bus stop feeling the wind cut through my jacket and my body shiver I have to remind myself. I'm lucky that I can bus to work. Owning one car instead of two is saving us hundreds of dollars a month. And even if I DID have a car to take to work, I'd have to be on a 2 year waiting list for a parking spot at HSC. And if I eventually got a parking spot I would have to pay something like $80 just for parking privileges alone. And it would take almost as long as the bus, when it is running on schedule.

But I still sometimes feel sorry for myself. And sometimes I call the Husband to come and get me. Which he graciously never refuses unless he's doing something, like say, work.

So I remind myself that it's worth it to shiver. And that I should dress warmer next time. And that I only have to do this 73 more times. Not that I'm counting or anything.