you test me I test you right back
As I think I've mentioned before, for awhile I've been working on acceptance of things I can't change. NOT in a Serenity Prayer sense, but in a "When you struggle against things you cannot change you create suffering for yourself and others" sense. I have had some success with this, and some failures. Last night when I was trying to go to sleep, it occurred to me that if someone had set out to design a situation for me as a test of my ability to accept things, they could not have done better than this medical problem I've been experiencing. Because 1) Diagnosing my own medical problems and the problems of others is something of a hobby for me (with the internet's help, of course), and I can be rather obsessive about it when I'm ill, and 2) My doctor phobia has lessened but hasn't gone away altogether. The phobia [for those who are new to my diary and who are no doubt about one second from clicking away WAIT DON'T LEAVE!] is specifically that doctors will dismiss my health concerns/complaints as hypochondria or attention-seeking. So! If the Universe is at least semi-sentient in some way like I suspect it might be, and if it's at all capable of manipulating situations and meddling in our affairs, it's not impossible I'm being tested. Listen, don't think I don't hear you rolling your eyes. I'm legally blind and therefore have superhuman hearing, to compensate. I'm not saying I Definitely think I'm being tested, because even if the Universe could set that up, why would it bother? I'm just saying I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that maybe this is kind of a test. The problem is, I can't do it -- I cannot accept my situation. I sort of tried to do it last night, but not wholeheartedly, because I fear that if I did genuinely accept it, the Universe would say, "HA! Gotcha! You have to live with this forever now, sucka!". This is obviously not a rational fear.
I wrote the previous paragraph this morning but have since read some of the blog archives of a person who has a very nice life in spite of having a lot of unpleasant physical challenges to deal with. Also while I was walking downtown to buy Tibetan prayer flags and unsweetened carob chips (that's right, you heard me), I was thinking about The Tudors, which we've been voraciously watching lately. I could go into quite a rave about the costumes on that show, but instead I'll get to the reason I mentioned it, which is the way a couple of different characters (personages? since they were real historical figures?) accepted illnesses as just part of life. Really they accepted them as something with which God saw fit to test them, and I don't love that overly much, except why not, since it's essentially what I suggested in my previous paragraph? I guess the idea of an all-powerful deity heaping suffering on a person to see how they'll handle it just feels different than some energy pushing things around to try and facilitate personal growth (which is what I was trying to get at in the previous paragraph but didn't manage to express).
And to answer your next inevitable question, NO I'm not high. If only! I've just been thinking about how I'll cope if this intestinal thing is permanent. I imagine I'll adjust to it, in that case, but I don't want to. I DON'T WANT TO.
Let's talk about something else: My attic. It's pretty sizeable and Francisco added more insulation and put down some plywood as decking before we moved in. We had a bunch of boxes up there but weren't sure exactly what was in them (see also: moving across the country and immediately storing unlabeled boxes, then 1.5 years later moving those boxes to our new house and shoving them in the attic + fast forward 2.5 years), but on Sunday Francisco hauled them down and we looked through them all. You guys, I found the quilt my step-grandfather made! [I would leave off the "step" except he married my grandmother 3 years before she died and wasn't in my life long enough for real bonding] I had no idea where it was and feared it had been stolen with whatever else the thieves took from our storage area a few years ago. I am so happy it's turned up!! The thing that didn't turn up and that I wanted to find more than anything was my copy of my mother's high school graduation picture. When we were moving from North Carolina, I remember packing it somewhere that made great sense to me, and I haven't seen it since. Now that I've been through all the attic boxes, I don't think there's anywhere else it could be. Maybe IT was stolen along with whatever else got taken, I don't know, but I'm heartsick about it. Universe, you could really sweeten this whole Illness Acceptance Deal by throwing in my mother's high school graduation picture. Maybe I'll be idly rummaging through a drawer and there it will suddenly be? Listen, I don't want to tell you how to do your job; I know you can work it out your ownself.
Anyway, to finish up what I was telling you about the attic and the stuff in the attic, there are MANY fewer things up there now (and we know what they all are, and we labeled the boxes) because we got rid of a shit-ton of stuff. Some went to the Goodwill, loads were recycled (letters, cards, etc), and some were thrown out because they were pure junk. You guys, I had a whole medium-sized plastic bin full of vcr tapes of X-Files episodes. THAT I TAPED MYSELF AND SAVED FOR POSTERITY. Really? Apparently the 90's were a very confusing time. To sum up, the whole process was super cathartic, and I'm going to look again through my closets and drawers to see what else can go. I hope I find so much stuff!
My parents are coming for a visit in two days! I'm so excited. They haven't been up here for three years and they've never seen our house. Francisco bought a queen-sized bed today that will be delivered tomorrow (we're giving our nearly new full-sized bed to his mom, which is win/win because the bed she currently has in her guest room should never be referred to without finger quotes, as in "bed". it's super uncomfortable, is what I'm saying, so now if we stay overnight our backs won't be tortured.), and we did this because we both slept on the full-sized guest bed the night after Francisco painted our bedroom, and it was SO not comfortable for two people. One person, yes, but not two. So now we can invite friends who are couples to stay with us and not have a moment's worry that they will be suffering in there. Totally worth it, even considering we have to completely rearrange the furniture to accommodate the larger bed.
Last night Francisco grilled steaks, and they were giant so I ate only about half of mine. For lunch I had the leftover steak and I picked it up and gnawed at it like an animal (an animal with hands that can pick up things, like a monkey or raccoon, or even a particularly bloodthirsty squirrel); it was delicious. Then the ritual flossing. Life is still pretty good, you know? I might be perfectly content, if only I could find my mother's high school graduation picture [meaningful squinty-eyed looks in the Universe's general direction, i.e. everywhere]. I'm waiting...
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