IMO: Restless

Time’s a-Wastin’

Jim told me that I must be feeling better since I’m in my head today–restless, impatient, and generally querulous. That he puts up with that is amazing. He said there were worse things I could be, and I didn’t ask what, so I sighed with relief the dark side doesn’t bother him. He gave me space, and I brooded all day. Eventually, I pulled myself out of my funk, but I admit I am weary of the questions. The rational me wonders why I am at this old age of fifty-five still acting like a school girl.

Remembering Dorothy looking at the hourglass in the witch’s den resonates deeply. Being content is the hardest state-of-being for me. I have accomplished a lot. I want for nothing, and I am surrounded by people who love and like me. Yet, all my life I have been antsy and chasing some goal as though my time on Earth was foretold and I had only a week left. Pursuing dreams has conditioned me to be never satisfied for long. It is a downright foible, in my book. A sin. I spend a lot of energy hiding my dissatisfaction. I find it difficult to stop wishing I was elsewhere or that if only I could snap my fingers and reinvent myself.

Most of you know I was seriously ill from January through March. Last week I was in the hospital again with a fever, and I developed blood clots. I was out on Saturday and back to work on Monday. Stomach injections, a crazy pace, students to keep on task–by Friday I was exhausted. The rest of this weekend was grading papers and trying my best to work on my novel. I watched a movie. I read a little. I slept a lot.

Sometimes I feel cracked. My head and my heart are separate entities vacillating for my emotions. While I love my job, my home, my family, and my life, I wish I could find a cave in Greece and hide out anonymously for some time in peace. If that happened, I know I would be bored after three days and long for the companionship. Ambivalence is my middle name!

I have heard it said that humans are intrinsically restless by nature, striving and craving for more. Do you believe that? Or do some who seem content have conditioned themselves not to ask for more, therefore what they have is good enough? Finally, I think people are hard-wired at birth. Maybe because my mind rotates like that out-of-control carousel in Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train, it is impossible for me to ever be content?

If you are content by nature, please, tell me how you do it!  What’s your secret?

Among the Living

Dear Friends,

I am finally home from the hospital and happy to announce the worst is over, and I’m much better now. Livers are fascinating organs. What happened? The random cysts on mine started to bleed. One cyst was the size of a volleyball. 2 liters of fluid tapped and drained, bile leaks, bile from my belly button, a stent in the bile duct, drains out of me, vomiting, vomiting, vomiting. No foods or liquids other than an IV for five weeks. That’s it.

The whole nightmare lasted for two months. The silver lining was the loss of 40 pounds. I hardly recognize myself. I am looking forward to losing that sunken look in my eyes. I feel bones instead of fat. None of my clothes fit me. I feel younger. Time for walks and build up of strength.

Thank you for your concerned comments. I’m hoping to get on the computer now and writing posts and reading yours!

Friendship & Love,


IMO: Life’s Eventful Extremes

What a difference a day can make.

My mother visited for a week and escaped the 15 below zero temps in Illinois. Jim and I hosted her before my children and grandchildren arrived later in the week to see her. On the first night of her visit, with supper finished and the evening open for entertainment, my mother chose the movie, Richard Harris in A Man Called Horse (1971). On the second night, I picked Battle of the Sexes. On January second, it was Jim’s turn to pick a movie.

What a surprise that he picked Moonstruck. The consummate chick-flick? Maybe he was inspired by our own Bella Luna, the Super Moon going on outside? January has two full moons this year and it has started several conversations about the differences between a Wolf, a Blue and a Super Moon. He loves the silly Dean Martin song, “That’s Amore”. I suspected he was trying to be a good sport and pick a film that would make my Mom happy. I hadn’t seen Moonstruck in decades. Sure, why not? So the music played, and I swooned with the luscious music of La bohème. Nicholas Cage was young and a sexy scene-chewer. Cher was gorgeous and almost convincing while Olympia Dukakis deserved her Best Supporting Oscar win. When the credits rolled, we all stood up and smiled. The ending was touching with the punctuation mark celebrating the family and validating the vows of love.

Jim left the room and returned. With the music still in the background, he got down on one knee and opened up a box with a silver wedding band. “I bought this for myself, but it won’t mean anything if you don’t accept the other ring I bought.” He opened up another box and in it was an engagement ring. “Cindy, will you marry me?”

That he asked me in front of my mother meant the world. That he did it in front of this romantic movie was a masterstroke. I remember when we were in Santorini, I wondered why hadn’t he asked me to marry him in arguably the prettiest place in the world? Instead, he asked me in our living room with my mother in attendance. We were all moonstruck.

I have been divorced for 26 years. What a strange, lovely state-of-being to be now engaged.

12 hours later, at noon, I felt a twitch under my upper rib cage. The twitch turned into a poke which turned into a gasping stab that became a constant companion. By three in the afternoon, I was in the emergency room. Jim was by my side, my children arrived that morning and were entertaining my mother. To breathe jiggled the knife in my chest as we waited for doctors and blood tests and sonograms and EKG results to whittle down the possibilities.  They found a baseball cyst connected to my liver, and the cyst was bleeding. Until the blood was absorbed, I would be in pain. Two doses of Dilaudid (stronger than Morphine) laterthey sent me home. I did my best to be calm and quiet, but by 3 a.m., the pain was still strong as ever and poor Jim had to take me back to the ER.

A few days have passed, my Mom has returned to the tundra. The house is quiet. I am feeling better. I looked at Jim and realized I was still engaged, and he was my fiancé, and I hadn’t thought about his question to marry him for days. He just walked by my desk just now.
“Why the living room instead of on top of a Grecian Island?”

He replied, “Home is where the heart is.” Good answer.

I asked him, “We don’t believe in bad omens, right?”

“Of course not.”

“Okay, good. It must have been the Belle Luna.

The ironies of life fascinate me. How about you? How extreme has a day been for you? 

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