Catalysis

I wish that I could say something poignant about change, except that it is. That every time I made a change in my life that turned out to be major, it was really one that seemed of inches at the time.

Like quitting smoking.

Like waking up at 5:45 three days a week to work out.

Like drinking 4 liters of water a day.

I have come to find that in most instances, it is far, far easier to surrender and to accept changes than it is to fight them — especially in the case of getting up at 5:45.

One would think that it seems simple in theory, and difficult in practice. My reality is that the opposite is true. It’s much harder for me to conceptually fight getting up at 5:45 in the morning than it is to physically accept it, and stumble to the bathroom to take my morning shower.

What is the true difference that the 15 minutes of extra sleep would get me? I have found that the difference for me is negligible, at best, but the rewards have been far more gratifying.

NaBloPoMo’11: Dread

On Friday, I got a call from my doctor’s office. He wants to see me as soon as possible, presumably to talk about the fact that I’ve gotten strep on three separate occasions within 365 days. I also presume that he is going to talk about the possibility of removing my tonsils.

When I casually mentioned perhaps needing a tonsillectomy, concerned parties rushed to tell me how tough and miserable the procedure is for adults. Given that I am prone to complications (see linked page, plus getting a staph infection after my foot surgery), I can count on it going worse than normal for me.

Although I’m trying to appreciate and internalize grace in small things, I must indulge myself and ask, why do I have to find out all about the surgeries I need to have in November? It’s like this month is a cursed month for me.

I realize inherently that I have no idea what my doctor and I will be talking about on Friday, but I’m smart: I know what’s up.

I believe all of the feelings I’m having right now are called dread.

Still a Quitter

Two years ago today, I started referred to myself as a non-smoker. Ironically enough, I had to get sick (with a bad cold) as the impetus to get better again.

It’s odd to think of myself as a non-smoker after spending nearly 10 years of my life addicted to cigarettes. Sometimes, I figured I would “get over it,” other times I thought I’d never be able to kick the habit.

I wish I could tell you what the secret to quitting was, short of finally setting my mind to it, and being a Stubborn Irish Ass about sticking to it.

The last time I smoked, my brand was $5.75-ish a pack, and I was a pack-every-two-days smoker. The rough math leads to $2,100 in saved dollars and 7,300 cigarettes not smoked. I’ve plowed that money into a brokerage account with Charlie for our Someday House, and for my health, I see a personal trainer once a week, and am rebuilding my body.

It took me a long time to get to the quitting point, but I feel no shame in that, because I’m so glad I can say I’m two years smoke-free.

Don’t Even Need Rose-Colored Glasses

On Wednesday of this week, I went in and had Lasik surgery.

The decision came after 10 years of glasses originally intended to facilitate far-distance vision, and slowly integrated the correction of my astigmatism.  For 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for nearly ten years, I was a glasses-wearer.

There were some people who had never seen me without glasses.

I couldn’t wear contacts without a lot of irritation because of astigmatism and an eye infection in 2006.  I also wasn’t satisfied with transitions lenses, and I didn’t like the idea that I could be jetskiing with prescription lenses on and lose them.  The more I thought about it, the better Lasik looked.  Even with the costs involved, the expense would be a one-time expense with a lifetime guarantee.  The only thing scary about Lasik was the price.

Now here I am, a few days removed from the surgery, putting drops in my eyes on a rigorous schedule to reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of infection, and to maintain lubrication.  I’m forbidden from wearing eye makeup for the next few days, and discouraged from any strenuous physical activity that will cause me to squint and put strain in the incision in my corneas.

I am now free of the necessity of glasses – I can see perfectly clearly without my glasses.

To be honest, I feel a little naked.

The funny thing is, I never saw myself as a person who wore glasses – not that I have a problem with people who wear glasses (more power to Tina Fey, and Rachel Maddow, whose glasses are a part of their signature looks), but it wasn’t part of my self-image.

In my smoking cessation class, we were counseled that every time we give something up, every time we stop doing something, we feel a sense of loss.  I still have my glasses sitting on my nightstand, even though I will never wear them again.

I think that it will take a little time to admit that a part of me (that I didn’t realize I was, even) is gone.  That change can be a wonderful advantage towards new opportunities, but is a change all the same.

Even a Respite from Chaos is Busy

On Saturday, I finished my first accelerated course for CSU.  If I hadn’t signed up for the second half of the accelerated semester, I would never have taken an accelerated course again.

Taking Managerial Accounting in 10 weeks (40 hours total) was a perfect storm of disaster.  I would have liked taking Managerial Accounting if it had been spread across the traditional amount of time; and I would have appreciated the accelerated course if it hadn’t been Managerial Accounting.

I took the final exam at work, online.  I’m happy to be done: I thought I would have more time because the course was on the weekend, but the acceleration forced me to have less time during the week.

And of course, while I was busy losing my marbles over finishing the semester, I scheduled Lasik surgery during the week off from school.  Like all other medical procedures I’ve had, I’ve just had to schedule without thought and not give myself any time to freak out about it.

My new eyeballs will be lasered in on Wednesday.