The Distracted Life

Do you lead a distracted life? You know, that’s when you bounce around like a ping pong ball in small room? You are hyper focused? Well, that’s awesome. If you are hyper focused let me take you on a quick tour of the distracted mind and you will see how lucky you are to be able to sit for hours on end working on a single project without interruption.

I was heading up for a shower. Stopping in the bedroom I dug into my dresser for the clothes I’d be wearing. My husband wandered in asking me to repair a hand brace for him. No worries, I could take care of that right after my shower. Heading into the bathroom I got the heater set up and realized I had left my leg warmers in the laundry room. I have raynauds in both legs so keeping them warm is essential to a pain free life.

The leg warmers were dry and hanging next to the dryer which was close enough to being done so I emptied the dryer, folded the clothes and loaded the next batch of wet things. I left the laundry and on my way past the perpetual calendar I remembered that there had been updates to my work schedule and with the busy holiday season looming in the next couple of weeks I better get that on the calendar. Oh, and my son’s school schedule needs to get on there too.

Next my digital calendar needed to be updated when I realized that there were some conflicts so I went back and changed the perpetual calendar.  Back at my computer my digital calendar was updated, but I noticed no one had replied to my request for coverage at work for this week. I have to have two lumps biopsied tomorrow (yes, this lingers on my mind from my last post on breast lumps). Sitting back down I shoot off several emails nudging people out in the greeting card world that I have three stores that need coverage, who can help?

Another few things have been checked off my list so I head upstairs to take my shower. Back in the bathroom I realize that my leg warmers are still down in the laundry room. Back downstairs, into the laundry room there they sit neatly folded on top of the dryer. Then back upstairs into the warmth of a shower. My progress, such as it is, winds through my mind when I get hit with, “What if it’s cancer?” and I proceed to have a good five minutes of crying while standing in a steamy stream of water.

Stepping out of the shower I find there is a little bit of dirt left in the bottom of the tub from when my daughter had a soak last night. Grabbing a paper towel I try to wipe it out, but it seems I’ll need water. Nope. Need something stronger. In my towel I climb into the over-sized tub and scrub the bottom of the tub then get clean water to rinse to scouring powder off. Back out of the tub and dried and dressed I realize that my venture to take a shower took nearly two hours.

It is exhausting to have a distracted mind and if I had a penny for every added hour of time spent bouncing from one side of the room to another I would have a very large sum of money. Quite possibly I could afford therapy for my crazy way of getting through the day. Now, where’s the needle and thread? I’ve gotta get this hand brace repaired.

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Dread in the Dark

It was three in the morning as I lay in bed staring at the dark ceiling. It is a regular routine for me to  be awake at that ridiculous hour. I followed my usual habit of laying there staring at the ceiling for about twenty minutes then getting up and wandering through the quiet house, eating some yogurt or a granola bar. Then head back up, taking an herb my husband keeps on hand to relax the mind, and fall back into bed hoping for sleep.

This particular night was the same. Nothing new. Nothing different. I was just laying there listening to the creek drifting out of my sound machine next to the bed. Then I felt it. It was a small pain that ran in my left chest and I reached with my right hand to give it a rub. You know how a  quick massage can chase away those little mysterious pains that invade our bodies? That’s what this was. Just a mysterious little twinge.

There it was. I felt it. The dreaded lump. The one every woman quietly worries over throughout her life. Like Mount Everest it seemed to leap from my breast in its vastness. My breathing stopped. I’m sure my eyes must have dilated and I honestly think my heart leaped into the next room. Then something kicked in upstairs and I fell into a full blown state of panic. Within thirty seconds I had run the gamut of dying tomorrow to the whole thing being a cruel trick of my imagination. Quickly I did a double, then triple, then quadruple check. Yep. It’s there. Bigger than life, or possibly even death itself, a lump. I was panting. My heart thrummed in my ears while my body vibrated with out of control nerves.

As the horrific scenarios rolled through my mind an idea formed on the outskirts of the disaster.  I needed information and I needed it now. It was four ante meridiem, and the doctor’s office wouldn’t open for several more hours. For once in my life I was thankful for the internet. I have heard that it is the worst place to go for information about medical issues, but this was one instance I didn’t care. I combed websites for any little clue as to what I had and after nearly three hours I came away feeling a little less panicked. The reel of my life stopped running in fast forward. I could postpone calling an ambulance and wait the hour left to call my doctor for an appointment.

I did get in to see my doc and he is quite sure it is a cyst that has accumulated fluid around it (thus the size of Mt. Everest). He is in the ninetieth percentile of surety. It is that last ten percent that keeps me on edge. I am constantly tempted to get back on my computer to learn about that other ten percent, but I have resisted the urge. The internet contains vast amounts of information on everything related to breasts whether they hang from a woman or a man. There are hundreds of thousands of links that are filled with the good, the bad, and the misinformed. Since I found “Mt. Everest” three days ago I have mostly ignored the internet. It is just too much information. I am working to stay on the normal side of insanity. I have tests coming up soon that will give me the answers that I need. Until then, I have resolved not to let this sap my life away. Why let it? If I fall into the category with cancer then I will do what I have done all my life…cross that bridge if I come to it.

 

*Post publication note: As it turns out this was breast cancer. You can read my story under the cancer tab.

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Take Me to Church

For many years I have been exclusively listening to KBCO radio. I started to tune in when the station was just a babe, and I was pretty wet behind the ears. I have listened in for so long because they are one of the most dependable stations around. The music is a wonderful mix of new rock, old rock, and all around good rock. Although they play more classic rock, they aren’t stuck in the past. I love hearing the new stuff too and KBCO does not disappoint.

Recently I began questioning their choice of music when they started airing, “Take Me to Church” (written and performed by Andrew Hozier-Byrne).  Before I continue with this post my readers might want to understand that I am the kind of listener who loves music with a good, upbeat feel. Damn the lyrics. More times than not, I really don’t know all the words to a song.

The first few times I heard “Take Me to Church” my reaction was, “Christian Rock.  Why is KBCO playing Christian Rock? Are they moving toward a new format in the music program?” Don’t get me wrong. I like Christian Rock. It is an upbeat genre that brings a positive outlook into our sometimes dreary world. Yet, KBCO is not the venue for Christian Rock any more than it is for Country Twang.

Jumping onto my favorite search engine I found the lyrics to this piece of music.  Holy church songs, Bat Man! This is not Christian Rock! Quite the opposite, it is closer to Pagan Rock (is there such a thing?) and spending Sundays rapt in the arms of a sensual woman.

I had planned this post to be a scathing criticism of KBCO and its choice to play a piece of music that is blatantly Christian. Lo and behold I am now congratulating KBCO for their continued success in their choice of good music. Take Me to Church is a great example of the versatility of music choices that can be heard at 97.3FM. Rock on!!

 

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Because you Need Some Finnish

Epäjärjestelmällistyttämättömyydellänsäkäänköhän

Finnish for:  questionable this thing being doubtful its non-unsytematization.
~~From Mental Floss

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Wordless Wednesday 7.16.14

This is the original photo for last week's Wordless Wednesday.

This is the original photo for last week’s Wordless Wednesday.

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Wordless Wednesday 7.9.14

kayaks-salida-effects

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July 9, 2014 · 6:00 am

A Word Game

Words, words, words, words, words, words,

more words, words, words,

her words,

my words.

She fed me my words on a platter then dropped it.

The platter cracked and my words spilled on the floor.

~©K.J. Scrim 2014

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Send it Snail Mail

Not too long ago I celebrated a birthday. Before you ask, I’m not saying how old I turned, but suffice it to say that I remember watching the Vietnam War on television and seeing Father Knows Best in black and white. I also remember the day when birthday cards would come through the mail and each one was a gift in of itself.

Whenever I got a card or letter in the mail I would get a charge of excitement. The return address was the first thing to check and then see the postmark and stamp. Anything from overseas was the best (my brother served in Korea and he sent me several letters from there), but mail from anywhere was plain grand. After learning the distance the letter or card had come I would turn it over to carefully open the envelope.  I never ripped into a letter, and I would either get a knife to cut a neat slice across the top, or very carefully lift the paper along the glued edge.

Anticipation was the best part to opening a card or letter that came in the mail, actually it was the best part about going to the mailbox everyday. As I celebrated another step toward being ancient I made my daily trip to the mailbox and was pleased that I actually got two (count them, one, two) cards in the mail. There was a time that ten was more the normal, but now it is two. I did receive several e-cards, along with a slew of Facebook one liners, “Happy Birthday.”

On the one hand I was thrilled that anyone remembered my birthday at all (usually everyone forgets). I had a wonderful time going to lunch with friends and my family took me to dinner as well. On the other hand, it bothered me that I only received two cards in the mail. I miss the old days. I miss that anticipation. I miss going to mailbox everyday. Don’t you? When was the last time you received a nice letter from your Aunt who lives in New Jersey? Did you get very many cards in the mail for your birthday this year? Wouldn’t it be nice to get one?

I work for a greeting card company and I hear a lot of stories from customers who’s day was brightened just by receiving a real card made out of paper tucked in an envelope and sealed with a kiss. These are the things that make our world a better place and I, for one, will be sending more cards out this year. Let’s spread some cheer around and send a card, a note, a letter. Better yet, maybe some sand from the beach you live on, or a pressed flower from your garden. Be creative. Just send it snail mail and make someone smile.

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Filed under Arbitrary Thoughts, Dust Bunnies, Family, Holidays, Letters, Writing

Give It Back

I recently took a writing class (yes, I do claim to be a writer and sometimes I actually write good stuff), and during the class the facilitator asked for volunteers. I am usually the first one to send my hand to the sky like a blazing rocket and this day was no different. I answered the question with my usual blondness (no, I’m not blond and I do know that blondness does not define smartness) and was so off track that a search plane was sent out to find my brain.

After I crawled back under my rock and let the rest of the class go on without me, I was pleasantly surprised that our lovely facilitator was giving 7 books to the 7 participants and would these be passed to the rightful winners. Mine never came. WHAT? I was pointed to as person #5 and should have received a book.

OK, so my answer to the question really sucked, but I did stick my neck out, and I did suffer the consequences of being squashed under a rock, so after all that, I really would have enjoyed the last pick of all the books that went around. You know the book…the one that is really stupid that no one wants because it was written in 1972 and is about the soft puffy cotton balls of ancient Egypt. Hey, I don’t care. I deserve the worst book in the pile for the worst contribution of the class.

I at least deserved a book. Alas, that would not come to pass. I, once again, stuck my neck out (I do love to get my head lobbed off) and asked if the books had made it around yet. After all, there could have been a single book lost between people in a state of panic. It could be just laying there wondering if it would be claimed by some sorry soul or find itself in the pile for the closest donation center. The attendees all looked about, milled about, or studied their books, not admitting to having a book they didn’t deserve.

There is one person out there, and you know who you are, that has my book. I was looking forward to reading about the cotton balls of Egypt, and may have found my life complete by it, but it just wasn’t meant to be so. I will remain diligent knowing one day, sometime in the future, you, the stealer of my book, will peacefully move on and that book will find its way into my library where it will rest peacefully between “Blonds are for Better or Worse” and “Thieves Suck”.

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The Cup

The cup sat on the empty table

Air spilling over the edge.

Four legs reached down that held the plain above,

I breathed in the emptiness and fell through the floor.

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