Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lenten lessons and posh jeans

Oh, the rigors of unwellness to amuse, educate and humble. Possibly edify. Depends on my attitude and how much of it, willingly with soft YES, I give to the Lord. "Take my weakness, take all of me." As well it's almost amusing how a very old paradigm towards God remains: When things are purring along, I'm chipper and exuberantly grateful. When the chips are down, I slither into a back closet, yearn for chocolate and scowl. "You meanie!" I harrumph. "If You really loved me I wouldn't BE in this mess!" How many more Warner Brothers cartoons stock lines can you come up with? I could readily load 'em up under 'garden variety abandonment issues'. A few sniffles and aches are all it takes.

I suspect this is ADD of the soul, a massive schism of disorganized focus. In my weakness I am readily blown about by winds. I've checked off my To Do List - score! I made it to the gym, to the hills, to 15,285 websites this hour scouring the baffling wails in my trade, to that phone call, even to the Eucharist - score! When I was little I always handed my elementary school report cards to my Dad. Obviously my mom read them too but what remains is the pat-pat-patter of my heart memory handing them to Dad. I was a little kid in a tumultuous household and had a patchwork array of grades: 1-2 C's (math!), a glob of B's, a few pristine A's. "If you can turn the C's into B's and B's into A's, that would be much better," my father told me.

A half century later I look back and see that I live my life never acing it and never experiencing profound satisfaction save when I am kneeling at the foot of the Cross. Many of my hours include the tiny daggers of "just a little more." Fathers and mothers, be aware of the seemingly idle words you say to your sensitive children!

Side-stepping others' sniffles gets old. Most people step out into the world unwell - it's the American Way. Well, unless I wear a sandwich board proclaiming my undercut of neutrophils, eventually a stray germ will slither through. Tuesday it began; a sore throat. You know how AWFUL those feel! I scoured the web for folk remedies and found a doozy site, then began pounding back the hot water and herbal teas with organic apple cider vinegar, honey and a brash sprinkling of cayenne. Down the hatch! My brain fogged. My body ached. Drink açai juice with aloe vera and 3-5 drops of grapefruit seed extract. Wednesday I had a mild (100.2º) fever - akk! help! - yet that lasted only a few hours. Thursday whispered a turnaround and still I gave choir practice a miss with achiness, self-pity and a Greta Garbo voice. Today I'm savoring more hours without lunging for a Kleenix every 15 minutes. Cold or severe allergies? I have a funkomatic immune system and I am not sure.

I am healing. And I am nervous. I have weeks' old petechiae on my lower extremities and will get another blood test Monday rather than cower and think, "Oh no, my platelets, OH NO……." There's faith and then there's foolish denial. I need to look.

I am still waiting for the ultrasound results.

So when the going gets tough…. let's shop! Two years (can you believe it!?) after being sprung skinny from the half-million dollar chemo diet, twigs here got curves, 8 lbs. worth. After bludgeoning myself for in-denial gluttony and then setting aside sugar, chocolate and wheat for Lent, I still need more than 2 pairs of trousers to live in, the remaining laughing at me from the nether reaches of my closet. As I allow the Lord to reshape me - versus the I'm gonna kick some ass! battle cries at the gym, which resulted in NADA after 6 months save for a few tighter muscles - I wanted a few more pairs of slacks. I lumbered down Hwy. 101 to a local mall and raided Chico's. I bought two: Dandy petite khaki's on sale for $29.99, and a new pair of jeans at full fat retail. $79.99 PLUS TAX. I'd already scoured the sale racks but found no $30 jeans that appealed - they all had that "we shop at K-Mart!" veneer. These rocked.

I have never before paid nearly eighty bucks for a pair of jeans. Even though I see ads all the time (when I stray from online Scriptural studies or my market research) for posh jeans from $100-200 and up which of course I would NEVER PAY. I am consignment store girl! I took a recent old fave pair to the tailor's for gosh sakes! "Sale" is one of my favorite 4-letter words.

I just paid eighty bucks for a pair of jeans; Thank You, GOD. They are soft, beautiful and fit me. I took one little side-step out of a very old paradigm and sighed a sweeter smile.

I love letting The Lord nuzzle me through the ordinary.


  1. Perhaps those 8 pounds have been difficult to lose because they're meant as a buffer between a sniffle and something catastrophic. When the whole world seems to be sick and coughing, anything that helps bolster your immune system is a good thing. And a way to figure out if it's allergies or a cold is to buy some local honey. a half teaspoon a day will help fight the allergies, as the pollen that they make the honey out of is the same stuff of the allergies. Check it out online. It's quite interesting.

    Please let us know how the blood test goes, and remember that faith is what sustains us in spite of lab tests, not instead of. ;-) All will be well, and if your blood cells are a bit battered because of the illness, they will come back as you heal. You've been doing great and there's no reason to think otherwise.

    Thinking on the negative is like poisoning oneself. And it makes one miss all the colours of the day. Maybe that's what we should ALL give up for Lent: those negative, never-good-enough, self defeating thoughts that creep in and taint the precious moments of each day.

    I rejoice that you sound like you're on the mend. May each day bring you closer to full, joyous health. Blessings and hugs.

  2. Stay tuned, beloveds - some plans are shaping up. :-)

  3. Waiting as patiently as we can. ;-)