A Cloudy Day at the Beach

We’ve all experienced that day that we’ve looked forward to for months and it’s not quite what we imagined it would be. It may be the drizzle on the first day of our supposed sunny beach vacation or a stomach bug that keeps us from the party where we’d reconnect with old friends or some other disappointment that at the time seems so “unfair.” Then something rings our bell and we are reminded we live in an unfair world and if someone promised fairness, they lied. My pain has been bad lately and I’m a tired grump. I’m frustrated with thinking about a future without solutions to my spinal issues, where spinal transplants are still something out of the Jetsons and I’m left with a hand shake and “I wish you the best of luck” from yet another Neuro doc.

How funny is it that some days when we remember that cloudy beach day and how unfair we thought it was, how unhappy it made us, how our concerns where nothing more than rooting for a good weather report, how weird is it in hindsight when those days feel so selfish, so silly, so not the point of anything. I get so stuck, so caught up in the one tiny moment that I forget to think about all the moments, in all the places, in all the world. If I had just really looked at that ocean on a rainy day I’d see what a little speck of water I am, and although I believe in the importance of my speck showing up, there are plenty of other specks out there with far worse going on than a disappointment that will all but be forgotten in a week or two. Sometimes I tend to focus so much on the rain I forget to take in the ocean. My pain is as real as the rain and on cloudy days I easily get caught up in the moment, but looking back or borrowing on tomorrow is a waste of time, today is it baby, rain or shine, today is all we have!

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Jay Leno tries traction

It’s not the first time this cervical traction device has made the big time. This time Jay Leno tried to entertain his audience with crazy stuff you can really buy on the Internet and of course we made it. The audience laughed hysterically when he strapped him self in and then made a joke of what it would be like if some one walked thru the door while you were sitting there. Hey Jay, attach the gizmo to a closet door, it tends to not have much foot traffic. He looked predictably ridiculous and everyone was surely puzzled why the heck would you do that to yourself. If you have a collapsing neck and numb fingers maybe you’d try it to….I gotta say it is weird to depend so much on something to keep you going that gets an immediate laugh in a comedy routine on television. I consider my self having a decent sense of humor, but this isn’t funny to me, yeah, it looks silly enough but it also represents something so different to me, along with the stupid pain it means literally whether I can function independently.

This is a goofy world sometimes and instead of getting a cheap laugh on Leno(sorry Jay) maybe I could find a reality show that would pay me to be the girl commenting in the corner while sitting in traction. Think about it, people watch Kendra, The Kardashians, goodness sakes, the Jersey Shore, why not, Cervical Traction Girl Goes Crazy! Now, to me, that’s funny.

I’ll take some fettucini with that please!

Oh boy! I thought I was so clever trying to get the grocery shopping over with before the weekend.
It was definitely a good idea, wasn’t too crowded, but when I reached for that jar of alfredo sauce and saw it slip from my fingers I doubted why I ever left the house. I heard the jar hit something but my eyes were closed because I simply couldn’t bear what was going to happen. I heard, “Oh no!” and a couple of “Wows” and I slowly lifted my eyelids and looked down. White sauce every where, including my blue jeans and my black shoes. I’ll save you all the gory details but lets just say a clerk and I really bonded over paper towels and shards of glass.

As I pushed my cart to the parking lot in pouring rain my foot began to feel the delayed reaction of being hit by a jar, my limp was showing it, the woman walking next to me asked if I’d like to share her umbrella. I found myself telling her about how I was hoping the puddles would wash off my shoes. She was so kind, she listened attentively and when I finally got inside my car I thought how sometimes all we need is someone to just listen, even if it’s a total stranger. Dropping a jar on a foot you can’t feel and forgetting your umbrella in a rainstorm all the while feeling sorry for yourself as you imagined the second you got home sitting in traction was pushed aside. One simple act of kindness changed everything.

I’ve been trying to add time to my traction schedule to prevent jars full of alfredo sauce from flying thru the air but sometimes no amount of traction can save me. Life can be hard, but we aren’t alone and we should readily allow ourselves to receive kindness as much as we look to show it to others.

In the mean time have a merry, merry Christmas and know that I’ll be back here in 2012. Until then, I hope you are lifted up by someone just as I was today or better yet, you do the lifting.

Traction leftovers

By now most of us living in the US have probably eaten our turkey leftovers. The excitement has worn off, the potatoes have been reheated, the dressing is gone and the turkey, well, we will be ready for some more in about a month. That’s how I’m feeling today about traction, but I had to indulge in a little today and will have to do some more tomorrow…..how to make traction taste new again? I’ve certainly had my fill of traction and the thought of more is not pleasing but I will have to dive in again tomorrow because this neck of my won’t quit its’ ways. I’ve been at this roadblock before and I’ve overcome it so I’ll just have to rely on the things I’ve learned. Unlike the Thanksgiving leftovers, traction is in my house to stay. I’m dealing, that’s why I’m back to typing. Sometimes I can routinely sit here and sometimes I need a little motivation.

I just showed up

We’ve all heard that saying, sometimes all you have to do is “just show up.” That’s just what I did with traction right now. I’m distracted, busy, tired, but I had to do it because my hands are numb. Even though I couldn’t bring anything else to it besides myself, literally placing my behind in the chair, I did show up and now my hands feel better. So in this case I can confirm, showing up counts for something.

Happy Thanksgiving and if all your peeps “show up” at your table this year I wish you some good fun and some serious leftovers, at least enough for a turkey sandwich in the middle of the night!

4192

Nope, I’m no Charlie Hustle, aka, Pete Rose. 4192 has nothing to do with my stats for baseball, rather 4192 is the number of hits to my blog, not to a baseball. Who would have thought that when this silly idea started a couple of years ago that anybody would have read my thoughts…..but here we are at a record-breaking number for me! Just like in baseball numbers are a big deal in life. We measure every thing; motivation often comes from those numbers. This is my 75th post!

I confess I check to see what people have been interested in enough to read, what they seem to like verse not. Sometimes I think it’s in the title, that catches the attention, but you have to eventually say something funny or otherwise interesting to keep people coming back. I’m not going to start a radio talk show with these kind of numbers, I’m not Dr. Phil or Oz with a spin-off from Oprah but I do secretly hope that maybe I’ve motivated someone to stick with something that they just as soon could have given up on. I’m going to tell myself that there are folks just like me out there that needed a push and some encouragement to get the ball rolling. To do something so NOT fun for the sake of the good.
Anyhoo, enough of my rambles for today, the next person who reads this blog gets a lifetime supply of……………………….

Happy Anniversary

Wow, it’s been a year this month that I started “thoughtsintraction” and two years ago that I started traction. I’m headed on vacation for a couple of weeks and although I probably won’t post while I’m away trust that traction will travel with me. Thanks for helping me stay on this journey. It’s definitely had its moments of uncertainty, laziness, pain, stupidity, silliness and self-pity. Thanks for hanging in there with me……don’t worry about sending a card, Hallmark has yet to market the corner on “Happy Hanging, you look so much taller than you did last year!” or better yet, “Numb fingers used to be a problem, but thanks to traction you can open this card sent just to you!” or maybe something along the line of “Tick Tock Traction Time is here to stay and we couldn’t miss the chance to say “Hang in There!”
OK, I’m being quite the smarty pants and there’s no card for that either, so I’ll just say, I’ll be back in a few to start year two of typing and three of hanging, can’t wait.

Traction Blackout

Nah, I didn’t faint while I was sitting in traction, nor did the rope snap over my head sending ten pounds of water flying. I’ve been doing my traction thing, just haven’t posted in a while because there wasn’t much to say. Not that I’ve ever had anything fascinating to type in this world of traction but recently I just didn’t find much that felt worthy of your time. Then I remembered my initial promise that nothing fancy or exciting would be happening here; the purpose of thoughtsintraction is to keep a fire under me and hold me accountable to sit here three times a week. To pull my neck so that it frees up some cervical space to ultimately allow these fingers to maintain their abilities. One look at me and you’d know I’ve been doing my part as my neck now looks like I could be a model for an offensive lineman’s helmet catalog, hey, here’s the latest chic cervical ensemble from the NFL, who knew?

So as a result of this lovely look I’m expanding my scarf collection; even though Summer is tugging at our flip-flops I plan to be wearing scarfs all season, hopefully in a breathable fabric, while eating apple pie, slicing watermelon, driving my Chevy and saluting the flag on the fourth with a very snappy star-spangled scarf around my super size neck. AND, if my collection excels and expands I hope to not only conceal at first glance the O Lineman’s neck, but secretly support all the screwedupness within.

Blackout lifted, fingers working, silly thoughts commence.

Traction maintenance

So you know how there are times when a website temporarily shuts down to perform routine maintenance; well, I don’t think it’s the same here at the thoughtsintraction blog but I did have to add some water to the weight bag! Two pounds of water had evaporated, and we can’t have that now can we? Can’t have only eight pounds of water pulling at the neck instead of the recommended ten. I’m being a smarty pants about this but it is rather exciting that I’ve been at this so long that I have to do things like “maintenance.” It means more than pouring some water; in fact the only reason I can pour that water is because of traction, it also means that I’ve maintained my schedule, I’ve hung in there. I owe you, I owe every person who has ever read this crazy, random blog and according to my stats that’s pretty many of you. I’ve maintained the hanging when I certainly would have given up some days if I hadn’t had a sense accountability to the blog, to you.

Maintenance is a good thing, Martha Stewart would approve. We maintain our cars, our bodies, our homes, certainly should maintain a traction device if you have to use one. Maintenance isn’t something we usually throw a party for, we don’t make an announcement when we get an oil change for the car, although some do I guess now a days on Twitter or Facebook, but we typically keep the maintenance parts of life to ourselves and in reality if we don’t take care of maintenance it will come back to get us. If you don’t clean out the gutters they will eventually let you know about it in not fun ways, if you don’t maintain now you will pay later. It’s certainly been established in my life if I don’t do traction I lose and if I don’t add weight to the gizmo what’s the point, it might feel like I’m getting by with something in the short run but not enough tension in the traction does little to keep these fingers moving. So go maintenance, in a world that seems to celebrate everything, I think you need your own holiday, your importance should not go unnoticed!