I had an entire post written about my thoughts to introduce Traction to the Olympic Committee and then I hit the wrong key and puff……it’s gone. Yet, I’m still here, sitting in traction, Olympics or not. The fingers are not full of energy today to attempt typing it again so I’ll just say, watch out four years…..only thing, is it a winter or summer event?
The first time I knew I was doing it I was driving on the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago, Illinois. I knew I was being judged for my out-of-state plates and I was judging right back the rattling, rust machine that was plugging along in front of me. I wanted it to move over, get out of my way, I had somewhere to be, somewhere obviously far more important than them I selfishly assumed. Besides I thought if I didn’t pass them I justified for the folks driving behind me either drive in my trunk or leave me in the dust. There are just some highways in this world you must have your stuff together or get the heck out-of-the-way!
I realized today I was doing it again, a shiny newer car passed me and I thought, wow, I want to follow them, they know where they’re going, they can predict traffic patterns, they know which lane will keep moving in rush hour, they will get me to where I’m going on time if I follow them. It’s time for me to come clean. I car profile, I driver profile too. We often sum things up by appearance and as much as don’t want to admit it, I do it too, everyday. If I see temporary tags I think they must be too new to the vehicle to know how to properly operate it so I pass ’em. If I notice someone’s plates are geographically more than two states away from the state I’m currently driving in, get out of my way, slow poke alert, must be lost or on vacation, either way, going no where fast enough for me.
But if the car is nondescript and also in my way, then does anything I consider weird or dangerous that’s when I go beyond the car and look inside. If the person looks like they posed for their driver’s license photo yesterday I’m frankly a little afraid of them and if they’re all silver-haired, I’m afraid of them too. Just to be clear, it’s not ok what I’m saying, it’s not pretty, it’s not kind, it’s not what I want to say that I do but I do it probably everyday. I’m a profiler and I don’t work for the FBI. I see a woman driving a van full of children I’ll straighten up in my seat, tighten my hands to the wheels and consciously drive “safer.” Anybody spending their time smoking and driving, I think their not only filling their lungs with some bad stuff but I think they might make a wrong turn and suddenly hit the brakes in front of me but yet a cab driver in my rear view mirror is some secret challenge I have within that I don’t want passing me.
Oh yeah, and I don’t like seeing anybody wearing a hat when they drive, seems to me it blocks the vision, oh, unless it’s subzero outside and the hat wearing is because of the temperature, but then I begin to wonder shouldn’t the inside of the car be warm enough now. Ok, just to reiterate, winter hats are ok, everything else, nope, unacceptable in my book of what is right and wrong with cars and drivers. Also, don’t drive a convertible anywhere near me, you make me nervous and I think you are a distracted driver thinking about the weather and how you look driving your convertible. If you drive a motorcycle and don’t wear a helmet I want to pull you over and ask you what kind of health insurance coverage you have. If you drive with your windows down when it is raining I want to get away from you because I’m afraid your car is unsafe and about to combust in flames or something awful because that must be why you have to keep the windows open. Please, and don’t get me started if I see an animal in the car or a tractor-trailer full of livestock you are dead to me, I am convinced at any second the dog/cat/pig/etc. will grab the wheel and plunge a lane full of cars over an embankment.
I’m nuts, I admit it, I sit in traffic and judge. I actually think if the car appears newly washed it seems like someone less likely to cause an accident. If the car already has a dent in it I check to see what the speed limit is because I want to get away from it asap. My condition worsens the longer I sit in traffic. I have no excuse, I’m just the crazy person that sits in TRACTION so she can feel her fingers and retain her independence to drive at the same time the worlds’ worst driver and deadliest vehicle must be right next to me today in TRAFFIC. Yep, makes total sense.
Did you ever think about your appliances, large and small, having personalities of their own? I think my washing machine is lazy, the dryer is maniacal, toaster is short-tempered, the refrigerator is loud and never cleans up after itself and please, don’t even ask about the garbage disposal! As far as I know they have not come alive, I’m not Dwight K. Shrute, I don’t believe in robots and zombies taking over the world.
I’m just sitting here in cervical traction and thinking about how each of these household appliances takes an explanation for operating instructions, beyond the manufacturers’ recommendations. The washer seems to have a favorite cycle and if you ask for more than that you risk a Zumba dance recital in the laundry room. The dryer works over time, you have a heck of a time shutting it off, the toaster is feisty, cinnamon toast is beyond its job description, it seems everything has issues.
If I tried a house swap like in the movie, The Holiday between Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet characters I’d have to leave a dozen special directions. (I was always taken out of the moment with that movie because I couldn’t imagine being organized enough to turn my place over to a stranger in 24 hours!) I’ve often thought about renting out my place or letting a friend stay here while I stay with family; come to think about it I’m not sure how much of a headache I’d be leaving them. Maybe I’ve created these problems by not being more pro active with these silly machines. Calling in repair folks or just replacing them at the tenth sign of trouble. Yet somehow I’ve slowly accepted their faults, maybe I like knowing that in order for something to work you have to really “know it” or as my Mother would say, “sweet talk it.” There are people in our lives we have to “sweet talk” every so often and sometimes I have to “sweet talk” my own body to get it to do what I need it to do. In the morning I have to give myself a pep talk, to get these bones moving. I get tired of my body hurting and on a cold morning like this I am very tired of “managing pain” but maybe as a result I give more allowances when it comes to dealing with everything else in life. I realize nothing is perfect and I’ve not seen anything in a long time that even comes close, we all have weaknesses, we all could do a better job, some one is always there to point out another’s faults. Maybe not operating smoothly builds creativity, patience and cooperation in ways we’d never have guessed.
Trying to find the bright side today of waking up with swollen, stiff fingers, this after traction, traction, traction, oh, but I really like my stove!
My hearing isn’t what it used to be, but lately I’ve randomly overheard bits and pieces of some crazy stuff. Each time I catch the middle of something in line at a store or a snippet of something as the elevator door closes I think, you know, somebody needs to write a book about what they’ve overheard. It’s wild.
The other day I heard this man say that “if it’s murder, they will find out.” Okay, well I certainly hope so! You also often hear the mundane, “I don’t know, why are you asking me?” sorts of stuff. Yet the kind that catch your ears like, “don’t you think you should tell her who her father is” just make it hard to concentrate on the task at hand. Oh, yeah, what floor am I going to and what button do I push to get there.
Couple days ago just as the elevator doors were about to close a man got on and pushed the button for his floor and then went to the rear of the elevator and began to read aloud from a poster on the wall to his left. The poster was advertising a car wash fund-raiser on behalf of the Susan G Komen Foundation which had to be postponed because of rain. He read the entire poster aloud, even the part about why early detection is so important. As another person exited the elevator and I was left alone with the reader I was left to think, well at least when I sit and do traction I’m alone with my own thoughts and although they are often random, silly and boring, they are mine.
So I’ve done all kinds of traction, midnight traction, holiday traction, I hate this but I still have to do it traction, but today is a new one, doomsday traction. I waited to do traction all day thinking just maybe, maybe, if the world ended on this date I didn’t want to be sitting in traction…..but so far it looks like the world is still spinning and the traction is still pulling my neck for another day.
Just a side note, I’ve been keeping my traction schedule yet lately I’ve felt uninspired to type and it took the possibility of the world calling it quits today to motivate me. If this place does blow I hope where ever I end up all the spinal columns are just peachy.
Closing the evening out listening to a little Andrea Bocelli, “Time to say goodbye.”
I’ve been thinking about that word and then it recently showed up in one of my favorite television shows, The Office. Dwight called a co-worker “Princess Nincompoop” but then, that’s Dwight. When I was a kid and my Mom suggested I “stop behaving like a nincompoop” I knew that I best get my act together. My favorite definition of the word is, “one lacking in judgement and good sense.” I think we all have the capacity to behave like a nincompoop on occasion and although most of us grow out of our nincompoop-ness, sometimes it takes a while. Sometimes it’s painful, we put our families thru a lot, sometimes parents can claim gray hair as a casuality of dealing with their beloved nincompoops.
It’s just a good old fashion word for a common condition and with so much in this life that’s been updated it’s comforting to know not only there still are nincompoops out there deserving the title, more importantly there are those that are trying to grow out of it and maybe at this time failing miserably. We come in all ages and stages and there’s always hope, it just seems to me the only way to survive an encounter with one is to exhibit plenty of patience and love.
Life is just funny enough that someday a nincompoop can “grow up” just in time to become the parent of one. You gotta love that.
When you’re a kid gum is a big deal, you think about when you’ll be allowed to have it, how much will you get, what flavor will it be. At some point an adult tells you to close your mouth as you chew your long-awaited treat and it’s your first hint that maybe gum is not as exciting for everyone as you thought. When it gets stuck to your school uniform and your Mom is taking an ice-cube to your hideous plaid skirt you start to get a new look at gum. When a giant bubble bursts all over your face and tangles in your hair you can’t believe that gum can hurt. On a dare when you reach under the cafeteria table at lunch you have your first realization of the sheer horror of dead gum left behind. Somewhere over time you too begin to develop rules about gum.
I don’t care deeply about a lot of things. I save my energy and passion for what I believe are the big issues, anything else just doesn’t garner much of a fight from me or for that matter, even a strong opinion. I am the kind of person that picks their battles carefully, I don’t go out on a limb or strongly commit unless it’s huge for me. So where does the earth shattering topic of gum fall in all of this…..I think there should be a couple basic rules, when finished with your chewing sensation properly dispose of said gum, if you don’t know what that means, you probably shouldn’t be chewing it. No chewing in church, and that includes all funerals and weddings, no matter their location. Recently after watching the news the other day I’m now willing to add another location to the list. I have to admit it’s one that I never thought about before I saw it. I don’t think you should chew gum if you are on trial for murder. Or I guess maybe on trial for anything, but definitely not murder. For me, it’s hard to take a person seriously when they are chewing gum. I mean why bother to have a nice hair cut or a new outfit to impress the jury if you are chomping on gum. I’m not saying you’re a killer but it just isn’t right. Same as my feelings for just as you are about to say ‘I do,” I’d prefer you not be chewing gum or blowing a bubble. So on further close consideration I now think it’s best to keep gum out of the court room. In fact I’m willing to say, chew away in the class room, you’re a kid, but when or if you are ever on trial, NO CHEWING. I know I’m going out on a limb here, but I just thought this was worthy of amending my rules.
Ok, just some more thoughts while in traction that I know you can’t live without, carry on.
Postage stamps have so much power, with them you can mail anything, anywhere. Well, almost anything, excluding the list of stuff that hangs on the wall of most post offices that are big no nos, but it’s still a cool idea to me to think that with just a few stamps you can mail something pretty much anywhere. One of my first “jobs” as a child was to go into the post office and buy a “book of stamps please.” I learned at an early age that stamps are powerful, you can mail a letter or a birthday card, pay a bill, send a package, exciting things can happen when you have plenty of stamps. I know the world is quite a different place than when I first learned how much could happen when you licked the back of a tiny stamp, attached it to an envelope and threw it in a mail box, and then of course, double checked that it slide in there, it’s all exciting stuff. But now a days when you can pay bills on-line and send an e card around the world it seems stamps are less and less popular. Yet it’s still true when you need a stamp you can not find a substitute to place on that mail, even gluing your money to it is meaningless. If you need a stamp you still have to get a stamp and there lies the power. Yesterday I was waiting in line at the post office to buy several books of stamps because I was completely without stamps for days and therefore felt out of sorts, powerless. As the little girl in front of me counted to her surprise, ten people in line I was oddly comforted that some things don’t change as much as we think. We still need stamps, some folks still mail packages, some people still pay their bills the old-fashioned way, some of us still wait in line and some little girls have it as their chore to buy stamps.
I know there are plenty of ways to deal with mail these days and stamps are nearly out of vogue but I’m sentimental when it comes to some things and today as I’m making my list of things I’ll do when I finish traction I feel powerful because I now have in my possession three books of “forever” stamps.
I’ve heard of fishy voting results but never itchy voting. Today when I went to my polling place I was just coming off a doctor’s visit where I received a shot to try to ease the itchest skin of my life. I know “itchest” isn’t a word but it is today in my world. (Update, apparently itchy skin causes other conditions, itchiest is a word, but misspelled “itchest” is not) Some weird allergy attack, yeah, I needed something else to do with my time. Anyway, for my entire voting career my polling places have always been electronic, but today mine was paper. So Miss Numb Fingers did her best to thoroughly fill in the little rectangle shaped boxes but I must confess, at one point I used the eraser end of my pencil to itch between my shoulder blades. I did successfully cast my ballot and then came home to sit in traction. It’s been a banner day! I’m very excited I have a week’s worth of drugs to help stop this itch and hopefully by then not only will this allergy attack be gone but so will all the election talk.
Three cheers for traction, who knew there’d be something to so easily beat it on the stinko meter today, any thing feels better than scratching myself to death.
Yep, I forgot to do this. When my niece was a child she had a dance teacher that used to tell her students to take “a cool sip in and laser beam it out.” I thought it was one of the funniest things I’d ever heard and have shared it often with others. Nobody quite ever knows what it means but it always creates a laugh. I even suggested it at a work meeting once when things were getting out of hand. Ok everybody, lets take a cool sip in and laser beam it out for a second…..and yes, I got some crazy looks but it achieved it’s purpose of cutting the tension and getting some folks to “cool it” as my Mom used to say.
So I’ve forgotten to do this lately, to just take a moment, hence my melt down on my last post. I’m doing better today, maybe it’s narcotics or maybe it’s when I saw a bus of children with severe disabilities getting unloaded to go into PT that I was reminded how I have nothing, nothing at all to be complaining about.
So, when in doubt I’m taking a cool sip in and laser beaming it out and just trying to be grateful for all that I do have that works and dealing with stuff that doesn’t.