Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Not Having It All at Once

"You can have it all, just not all at once." I often hear this attributed to Oprah, but I wonder if she heard it first somewhere else. I recently hung a little sign in my office that says this to remind myself.

So am I trying to do it all at once? Let's find out.

Here's something I'm doing now - I'm working on election day as a "poll checker" for the Obama campaign. They use poll checkers to keep tabs on who hasn't voted yet and send out the canvassers to get out the votes of those who haven't shown up yet. I think GOTV is very, very big for the Democrats this year. I think it's the first time in my life I've done anything substantial for a political campaign. I really do want to see if we can do something worthwhile in the world under different leadership. I hope so. I purchased a few signs and gave them to my neighbors, as well as putting up my own sign. My son even made a Halloween Obama sign.

I took my son to the dentist today. The dental assistant argued with me over my Obama button. For the most part, good-naturedly. He and I have gone round on a few topics - religion, education, and now the military. I disagree with him at almost every turn. I like him, though. He patiently explained quite a few things about teeth to my son, and I appreciated that. I didn't really like that he thought he could "explain something to me" that I "might not understand" (that the US is saving hundreds of thousands of lives by doing military interventions such as Iraq.) I see things differently. I don't know for sure that I'm right and he's not. But I do know I'm not the military intervention type.

Meanwhile, my son needs to see an orthodontist, which is too bad because I was hoping to have my daughter's braces paid off before he ever had to get there....so, one thing I'm always doing is managing my kids' lives in terms of appointments, homework, calming Adrian when he terrorizes himself by falling out of tree, being stern with Dagny when she sets something on fire or fails a class, making pancakes, driving to the bus, helping to transport Adrian between his two schools, replacing lost bus passes, dropping off teenagers at the mall, picking up teenagers at the mall, etc. You know, that stuff. Mostly, I love that stuff.

Another thing I am doing now. For now, I'm going back to working full-time. My FMLA is up and so it's time. This is a bit sad, however I am choosing to see it as a temporary measure until I know what to do next. I am waiting for the disability insurance company to make a decision on my claim (asking for p/t disability to enable to work part-time.) I wrote up a pretty good paper for them on the benefits of people with MS working p/t, and how it helps us stay healthy and able to contribute, which my neurologist's office has given them. So, it is now in the hands of the universe, and I'm good with that. I'm not really expecting it to go my way, but if it does, cool. If it doesn't, then my family and I need to decide what the best plan is.

Work is pretty heavy duty right now. I hope I can keep it together and stay healthy. As I unravel more of my "MS knot", I hope I will free up more energy. My MS knot is the recent revelation that what I eat is directly related to my MS-related energy and fatigue. I will write more about this.

Now, I am playing in my church band. I played a solo interlude this past Sunday, which was the cause of great anxiety and 3-in-the-morning wake-ups. It turned out well, so the tradeoff might be worth it. Mostly, playing in the church band is a very good thing for me and it strengthens my spirit. I hope it benefits others as well. I would like to have less anxiety about solo performance.

I am, for a bit longer, playing with my other band, the Mighty Planktones. We have a gig on November 1 and then we're taking a break for 2 or 3 months. I love playing in the band and, it brings with it some amount of stress with learning new music, trying to sing Robert Plant's part in 'Ten Years Gone' and tolerating certain band politics. On balance, I think it is a good thing. It gives me a different kind of outlet for releasing my brain from the grinding it does during the day at work.

What I'm not doing right now is taking an online course at Berklee. I postponed my next two terms to start in January. I'm hoping that while taking a break from the Planktones, I'll have time to devote to the Blues and Rock course. Then, the Planktones have another gig in March. I'm going to request "no new songs" for trrish, so I can keep focusing on Berklee and complete my Keyboard Skills Certificate. That would feel really, really good.

I am also keeping my marriage happy and alive. We are going to see The Who in LA for two nights in early November. That was going to be it for me on this mini-tour. However, those bastards just announced two intimate little club shows in London in December. It looks like we might go. That will be a ridiculous amount of fun, and another reason why I'm glad I postponed Berklee for a term. If we go, we are planning on using FF miles and crashing at a friend's place so it isn't going to blow us out financially. Ozzie is also going to spend this next week back east seeing a few shows with our crazy Who friends.

So another thing I am doing now is working out my "MS knot". In a week or so, I am going to have my food intolerances retested, using Alcat to determine the hopefully definitive list of things I am sensitive to. I have two weeks of "eating dangerously" so that the test will be effective. That is, I need to include most of the foods I am sensitive to in small amounts. Once the test is done, I've made a commitment to myself to avoid the things I am sensitive to, and just make peace with the idea of eating all that stuff in my next life or in the next world. Thank you, Albert Brooks, for that comforting idea. I'm still surprised that I've been diagnosed with MS for 11 years and I did not hear until recently about the gluten protein thing - 'molecular mimicry'. I feel it is a critical piece of information that all people diagnosed with MS, and other autoimmune disorders, should have. I believe it is going to make a huge difference in my own life.

Meanwhile, I am staying on Tysabri. I like the idea of tackling MS from both ends of the spectrum. On a sad note, we are losing Rae Pericharos, the PA at the MS clinic I go to (Dr. John Corboy). Rae has been absolutely invaluable to me over the past few years and I will miss her very, very much. I wish her the best in her pursuit of a more balanced life. I got her farewell letter today and it brought me to tears in the middle of the grocery store. I'm sending her a personal thank you note tomorrow.

I participated as a volunteer in my church's spiritual campaign this fall. I'm stepping back on the church volunteer stuff for a few months, other than the band, so I can focus on everything else above. I'll still be on the prayer team during the spiritual campaign, and in one of the small groups.

Something I am modifying is my volunteer piano playing at the Anschutz Medical Center. I had been playing on Wednesdays but now that I am back to mostly full-time, I'm going to ask them if I can play either two weeknights a month or two Saturdays or something like that. We just finished up soccer season, so that gives me a little more time to fit in the piano playing, perhaps.

I'm not trying to read books right now, or keep up with a lot of television. My only "must see" is "Mad Men", which is just about at the end of it's season, "The Office" and whatever I happen to catch of "The Daily Show", Colbert, SNL and Letterman. I am doing my best to manage a few friendships, email relationships and keeping in touch with a variety of others.

I am managing a problem tooth at the moment, which takes up more time than you would think. One of these days, every single one of my teeth will have had their root canal therapy and I'll have no more problems :-). If only.

Ideally, I'd like to work something less than full-time, have my food testing done, have one or two musical projects at a time, and no political or spiritual campaigns going on for a while! I'm going to get there. In fact, in only a few weeks for a few of those things.

My daughter may be a moody teenager,
but she is still adorable.

My best wishes to everyone for surviving the rest
of the political campaign season, and a Happy Halloween -


Anonymous said...

Wow, that is really a long list. Keep taking care of yourself.

Anonymous said...

Being "stern" isn't neccisarly part of being a "good parent".

Anonymous said...

Its actually quite unnecessary

trrish said...

thank you for your parenting advice.