Maintenance Required

Ever since my last oil change- when the service tech forgot to reset the thingy that makes the Maintenance Required sign go away- I have been reminded ( and at first quite annoyed) that maintenance is required. Instead of going back to the dealership and having them fix it, I have chosen to let it be a constant message of how important maintenance really is- human maintenance especially. I’ve started to take a few minutes right when I turn on my car ( because there the message is) -before turning on my music- to check in with my own needs for the day. Some days that includes processing ALL THE THINGS that have happened since 12/15/19.

J’s suffering for way too long before his appendix finally said, “ENOUGH!” Thinking of that Sunday when everything happened so fast and ended with an emergency appendectomy- OY VEY the feelings that flood me. He’s taking the first of his exams today that he missed before winter break. His confidence in himself and his humor and realism are traits that will serve him well and to say that I adore him is an understatement. His hugs are life-sustaining. His smile is heart-melting.

My own surgery 4 days after his ( exactly 3 weeks ago) is kind of a blur- which is absolutely fine with me! I do know that being able to walk outside with my dear friend from the moment I got home from the hospital was the best way of healing, physically and mentally. Our walks and talks are another life-sustaining necessity. And my family’s devotion and love and humor – all so much a beautiful gift. Spending time with my dear daughter while she was home – no words to truly describe that privilege- actually, I wrote a whole blog post about it so there really are lots of words!

My husband, who loves to see me laugh ( even though it hurts while recovering from having your neck cut open), made sure we watched a lot of Curb Your Enthusiasm – nothing like Larry David to bring all the belly laughs!

On my first lunch and shopping outing with O and our friend exactly one week post-op, being visited by the WTF Fairy as my left ovarian cyst was rupturing – nothing like being in Marshall’s with all the good deals and really realizing something ELSE might be wrong….Going to the GYN for that fun vaginal ultrasound the next morning to receive confirmation from the DR that it had indeed ruptured- I refused to let the feelings of defeat and despair overtake me. I acknowledged them and let my tears flow and released them. Then I met my dear hubby for lunch at my favorite Thai place and we just sat together eating after he held me. And then walking with my friend that same afternoon- thinking as long as I can walk outside, I can be ok.

And then learning there actually was some cancer in my body- still processing that one. And so grateful it’s gone. And so angry at Cancer itself on behalf of all the suffering souls.

And just being in this world where Anti-Semitism is existing very LOUDLY and our political culture is so filled with hate and blame instead of solution-focused it makes me feel physically ill and ashamed for humanity (like I need anything else to create those feelings). And Australia. And all the other multitudes of sadness and pain that all humans live with inside of themselves that we will never know.

At the same time-It has been an excellent week- first post-op strength training in the books! Gotta keep that quirky arm ( I found a better word than ‘bad’) moving and strong so it won’t dislocate itself! Have to keep all of my muscles as strong as they can be to manage my MS both physically and for my own sense of empowerment while living with this disempowering disease. Yoga is next for me to add back in-so looking forward to that! As well as my first Post-Op MASSAGE. Currently counting down the hours. And also looking forward to starting Accupuncture next week. And playing Mahjong with my friends!

1/7/20- My first day back at work- I was SO EXCITED driving to my office -a space where I feel so connected to MYSELF- in anticipation of seeing my clients and hearing all of their own WTF stories and sitting in silence and breathing with them and asking the hard questions and witnessing their tears and laughing with them about the absurdities of being human. And again today, back at work with different clients engaging in that same practice of connecting and honoring each lovely person’s experiences and discoveries and, as one wise and wonderful human said today, “reckonings.”

So I am owning my own high maintenance self and all that it takes to keep myself surviving and managing and doing what is necessary and adds value.

And I will thank that service tech the next time I see him (hopefully I’ll remember to actually take the van in before running out of oil since I won’t have the typical reminder…) for providing me with that needed reminder. That reminder that was initially an annoyance that then became a surprising beacon of guidance. That annoying reminder that I eventually adjusted to – kind of like difficult circumstances in life that present themselves in the most frustrating ways.

May we all recognize that we all need and deserve our own maintenance- in whatever ways we decide and that continue to serve us well. And may we all remember that we have the abilities to adjust to new and challenging realities. And may I remember to get my oil changed in a couple of months for real.

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