I think that at certain points in our lives, we are sort of looking for somebody with whom we can relate. We are screaming out for an opportunity to belong, and because of that we will consider accepting whatever comes before us. It's important that we remember our value as humans and those standards which we have established to ensure that the potential partners we encounter are the types of people with whom we may build a future... whether a romantic or platonic one. I chose my partner because he surprises me. He takes my breath away, challenges me constantly, and helps me to grow as an individual.
Recently, I talked about my concern with regard to our relationship following my weight loss surgery. I've talked to Hector about it a few times, and he has always seemed so nonchalant. He says I can stop losing weight when I want (which with the DS isn't entirely accurate). I explained the procedure to him again and, although it upset him (because he doesn't like to talk about it), he listened. I asked him what he thought about our relationship and how he might feel about me if I were half my current size (which is actually still "overweight" according to medical standards). His response surprised me.... he said something like It will be interesting
... I've only had sex with one skinny person in my life, but you are my partner
. I was amazed that in his mind, particularly in the absence of his use of the L*** word, our relationship is so strong that the outcome only seems obvious. I will be healthy, and we will be healthy together.
What kinds of things have happened in your relationships recently - either romantic or platonic - that sort of caught you off guard or shattered some sort of preconception you held?
I have three surprises... one of them is Hector's response (although it took forever) regarding the potential outcome of my surgery. We cannot, of course, live in a land of contingencies - what happens will happen and we can either fight that or accept it.... I tend to accept things, I'm a bit of a humanist and think that acceptance is the key to change - when we stop battling our experiences and interpretations, we can understand them more fully, and more readily change them because they (and subsequently we) are no longer in "defense" mode.
The second surprise is an ankle surgeon. In 2005 I was diagnosed with avascular necrosis
and an osteochondral defect
in my talus. Essentially, there is no blood supply to part of the bone between my leg bones and my heel bone in my right foot. That part of the bone breaks down like normal bone does, but it doesn't get the minerals it needs to build back up. It is, more or less, rotting. The operation - for both the cartilage on the bone and the bone below it - is a complicated procedure that requires the doctor to break my leg, cut the tendons and ligaments, and turn my ankle sideways so he can get to the right place. I've seen more than a dozen surgeons and only one was willing to operate... that one was unable to effectively treat the injury because he didn't break the leg to access it. I had an appointment recently with an orthopedist who is not only willing but is excited to help me. I've lived in pain for the last eight years (it started in 2004) and have experienced a steady decline in my ability to stand and walk. The surgery will require that I not walk for 6-8 weeks (at least) but should significantly improve my functional limitations. When I will have the procedure is yet to be determined because of surprise number 3.
The third and final suprise is a possible surprise. I saw my PCP for my pre-op dietary monitoring. She discussed that she's pregnant and will not be in the office after next month - I asked who she was assigning me to, and she pointed out that I would only need surgical clearance. I indicated that I was not done with the diet program until November, but she states she has records of me starting in April. I am under the belief that the visit note for the end of April which would be for the month of May does not reflect my weight loss or obesity planning, and that as such I had to start over in June. If, however, she completes the form for the month of May (based upon the visit at the end of April) then I am in fact done with my pre-op weight loss monitoring at the end of next month and only have my consults with cardiology and Pulmonology to complete before I can submit to insurance for approval. If that is the case, I'll have the procedure relatively quickly (the end of October or beginning of November) and will have my ankle repaired after I've healed a bit. If she is unable to complete the form for May and I do not "actually" complete this program until the end of November, I will have my ankle surgery relatively soon (after clearance from my PCP, cardiology, and insurance) so that I am recovered in time for weight loss surgery.
Spending Time with Me
We tend to get caught in in our daily lives... we have to take our vitamins, go to work, get in some sort of exercise, deal with partners, family, medical appointments, and a hundred other things that demand our time and attention... but that often means we leave the best for last. Unfortunately, by the time we get to the best (us) we find we have nothing left to give because we are exhausted.
We need to be sure that we find a way - every single day - to spend some sort of quality time with ourselves... whether we go see a movie, take a little time to journal or write some poetry, read a chapter in a great book, take a walk, meditate.... Time with ourselves isn't really being "alone" - it's an opportunity to recharge... to focus on us and to give our minds and bodies the time they need to heal. It doesn't have to be a signifcant amount of time... just fifteen or thirty minutes a day.
I schedule my me-time. I put it in my brain (the calendar on my phone) as a repeating event, and when I'm asked about appointments or something with a friend at that time, I always look for a more appropriate time for it. I'm not able to have dinner at 6 with you tonight... I'm busy until 7 - but we could go after that if you're available!
In my me-time
, I enjoy photography, reading, and laying in bed. Photography helps me to see ordinary things in absolutely extraordinary ways. It opens my eyes to all of the remarkable things that we see daily but constantly take for granted... textures left untouched, paths left scheduling... Reading helps me to understand more of the world. I read for school, but it's not quite the same... when I read for me, I read stuff that I love - Maya Angelou, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Umberto Eco. And my bed... my remarkably soft, always inviting, entirely too comfortable bed. Sometimes I will take a nap... sometimes I will lay down and color, read, or just process what's going on in my life.
When it's time to get up and going again, I'm ready. In kindergarten we took naps to rest our bodies and minds... we used them as tools to take care of ourselves and to allow us to regenerate and prepare for a better afternoon. Making sure we have me-time
is sort of like naps to a kindergarten student. It seems sort of silly and sometimes it feels pointless, but as we age it's something we will come to appreciate.
Do you guys make sure to have time for yourselves? What kinds of things do you like to do in your me time? How do you address potential conflicts in schedueling (friends, appointments, family...)?