Thursday, August 14, 2008

Brick Walls

It's really interesting how life has a way of pulling you in so many different directions. It's also incredibly frustrating when things are going along so nicely and then life slams you into that brick wall that came from out of nowhere and leaves you with the cartoon birds circling your head, wondering what happened and where the heck that brick wall came from.
Last Thursday? I hit one of those walls. And come Monday, just when I thought I'd shaken off the birds and gotten back to normal? I slammed into its twin brother. Commence the cartoon birds, only this time twice as many of them. I played it off Monday, had a wonderful book club evening, and seemed to have escaped that brick wall unscathed. Funny thing is, when we don't feel the pain? That's usually when it's bad and going to hit us the worst. Tuesday was the day it happened to catch up with me. Limited patience for the mindless issues we sometimes get here at technical support. Working on projects that I didn't quite understand and having supervisors inaccessible to answer questions made for an even lower frustration threshold. It took all my concentration and will power not to go crazy.

My family has a wonderful dog, have I ever mentioned her? Her name is Angel, and while I sometimes questioned my intelligence in christening her with such a name, as sometimes she doesn't live up to it, she definitely made me love her even more Monday. My older little brother told me the story, and I wanted to buy Angel a steak when I heard it. See, she's a very protective dog. She's little, a small Queensland took a German Shepard sized shot to put her under to get stitches when she cut her mouth on a stick...but she protects like a Great Dane. My brother happened to answer the phone Monday afternoon when I called to check in, and he told me a story about how Angel reacted to the morning. She does like strange people in her house, particularly when she's separated by a glass window. Apparently when the paramedics came into the house (and I guess there were several of them), she went crazy. All she could see were strange men and my little brothers. My mom was upstairs waiting for them, out of sight of my precious puppy. My brother described Angel backing all the way up to the brick wall, and launching herself at the double paned glass slider...multiple times. As I reasoned for my brother, all she could see was a bunch of strange men in there with the boys, she couldn't see my mom, so all she could think was that they were going to hurt the boys, and by golly she was going to break through the window. Apparently the boys were able to calm her down through the glass, though she gave some pretty serious warning growls when the paramedics came downstairs helping my mom. She was dizzy and having trouble feeling her feet, and then began to think about the stories of women who missed signs of heart attacks, and there she was, home alone with my two little brothers. She called my grandparents, and the paramedics, just to be safe. The doctor at the E.R., incidentally the one who treated her concussion after the accident, diagnosed some sort of vertigo, and sent her to our normal doctor after an EKG confirmed that her heart was fine. Our doctor determined that she hadn't really recovered from the migraine that triggered the panic attack last week, and that probably had something to do with the vertigo. How did i find out about it? Two quick phone calls from my dad's phone, with my mom asking for my grandparents' cell number. Apparently they'd passed a road closure for an accident near their house, and my mom couldn't reach them at home. Turned out that they were on their way back from lunch with the boys and were all safe and sound. My mom called back to tell me why she'd needed the number and to tell me about that morning's events. I love my dog, she really is an Angel. She was bound and determined to break through that glass to protect her family.

Unsurprisingly, I was rather off on Tuesday. (Monday night was book club, so I did okay then) Survived the day and then went home to hide and unwind. Decided to work on art projects, painting, because it's therapeutic and calming. And trust me, after Monday? I needed something calming. I don't usually get so on edge, but it does happen occasionally.
Somewhere in my therapeutic crafting preparation I decided that I was not satisfied with my art supplies, and decided I needed to go shopping. Don't worry, the rational side of my brain set a spending limit before I left, and I didn't hit it. (I was a whole $8 - $18 under...the range was $50 - $60) I found it comforting that they had already started stocking their Christmas supplies. Art always calms me down. Christmas art even more so. I'm eager to go back and get some more Christmas art projects. (yes, I know it's August)
I have this really cool advent calendar that my aunt bought me when I was little. (it is extra special because my aunt has since passed away, nearly 12 years ago I believe now) It's a wooden box type gadget, with two rows of little cubbies with numbered flaps. Each of these hides a little ornament. There is a wooden tree above with little nails in it to hang the ornaments on. You put one ornament on the tree each day, and on Christmas Eve, there is a wooden star that slips over the top. My brothers absolutely love my calendar, and take turns hanging the ornaments while I have been away at school. My mom has always wanted to get similar calendars for my brothers, but they just don't make them like this anymore. Needless to say, at some point I would like to take my calendar with me, but I don't want to disappoint my brothers. So, in my crazy impulse stress shopping, I devised a plan to recreate copies of my calendar. I finally found the supplies, and purchased the mini ornaments (which were the inspiration for the project) and have begun making the calendars. I'll have to take pictures and post as I complete it, it really is turning out well. I'm very excited. I've decided to give the boys the calendars as Christmas gifts, and then take my advent calendar for next year, since they'll have their own.

My mom is doing better. I've been talking to her every morning on my way to work, and most afternoons. She's more frustrated than anything with all of this, which I can completely understand. I'm warring between frustration, worry and anger. I'm working to tone down the anger part though. I know she'll be okay, I just hate to have to see her struggle or be in pain or be frustrated. I'm praying and I appreciate the prayers I know she's been getting from everyone. I just wish she would be better already. Maybe I'm impatient, maybe it's a test to learn patience. I don't know. We'll see. And in the meantime? I'll be praying and working on art projects. And of course, trying to manage to avoid running into any more brick walls anytime soon. I'm at the point of giving each of those little cartoon birds a name.


EatPlayLove said...

My world seems to be all jumbled and chaotic right now. Maybe something is happening with the planets. there must be some explanation!

Hope all turns out well with your mom!

Jaina said...

I'm sorry to hear your world is all out of order too. Where do we petition to get the planets all back in line? If the planets align, will I be able to fall asleep? And thank you, I talked to her earlier, she sounded better.

April said...

First of all GREAT idea for the advent calendars. Love that!

Second, sorry to hear your life is crazy right now! I hope your mom feels better. ANd give that sweet puppy dog, Angel, a couple of squeezes! That is a good dog!!

Jaina said...

April-Thanks! I definitely need to be taking pictures as I go. I'll be sure to post pics of the new ones and the original, as well as along the process of making them. And thank you. I will definitely give Angel some extra attention next time I'm home.

Anonymous said...

((((HUGS)))) I am so sorry to hear that things have been so off this week. I am praying for your mom and hope she improves quickly. It is so very hard to see someone you love so much hurting. I hope you get the chance to see her and your adorable Angel.

Sounds like crafting is the perfect medicine for your stress. I am so glad you were able to take the time and do it. I love the advent calendar! I had one as a little girl and my girls still love theirs.

Have you read Randy Pauch's book, The Last Lecture? You reminded of that book, when you kept talking about the brick walls. It is a very inspirational book. Not long.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Jaina said...

Eileen- Thank you so much. Hopefully she's feeling well today and I'll get to see her at the lunch to celebrate my Great Grams' 1/2 birthday. (It was an idea my Grammy cooked up, but I think it's wonderful...Grams is 91 1/2 now!)
I have not had the chance to read that book yet, but I've heard of it. I'll have to get a copy and read it, I've heard good things about it, and now you've recommended must be good. ;)
Thank you, I hope you're having a great weekend.

MamaGeek said...

I sincerely hope all turns out okay with your Mom. And smooch to the pooch!

Erin said...

yeah for doggies. know wonder they are man's best friend. love them and love Angel for protecting your family. i really hope your mama feels better soon. and you feel better too.

Jaina said...

MamaGeek-Thank you, and I love that little saying there, too cute.

Erin-Yes, Angel is wonderful. And thank you. I got to see my mom yesterday (and my dad and brothers too), so that helped me feel better.

Trooper Thorn said...

I hope your mom gets better soon. Sounds like one heck of a devoted dog too.

Thanks for your comments on my Olympic reviews. Hopefully I can give you a laugh as you hit those walls.

Jaina said...

Trooper- Thank you, I really appreciate it. Angel really is one devoted little dog. We thought she was a baby coyote when she first showed up at my grandparent's house one hot summer day, he gave her some water, and she laid under his bushes in the shade. She stuck around, and eventually someone commented on her breed, and long story short, we took her home with us one day. She's crazy, but I love her.
And thank you for the laughs, they are really lightening things up for me as I work my way to scale over these annoying brick walls. Thank you :)