I'm feeling, oddly, less stressed.
Perhaps it's because I'm not physically in so much pain. For those of you who don't know what a chronic pain/auto immune type disorder is like - let me tell you ... it sucks. There's just no two ways around it. It totally sucks.
But I'm taking meds that are helping ... and not making me feel totally off the wall ... for a while I was taking the generic version of 'Cymbalta' --- that stuff totally made me feel awful. Terrible dreams, short term memory loss, panic attacks. Nope that wasn't for me.
And then my doctor who I used to really like - well, I started to feel like a number and not a person in his BRAND new office that he opened right before the Super Bowl. Seriously. And then actually paid for ad time on TV to promote it. Local time but still - it wasn't cheap. Then he did the same thing during the NCAA Basketball Final game - SERIOUSLY! So as of March, I'm not seeing him. But I'm hunting for another pain management doctor. In the mean time, I'm just taking my Gabapentin (not quite like clockwork and when I forget, my body reminds me that I forgot!)
I got a bicycle...with a basket on it for my birthday/Mothers Day present. It's a 'comfort bike' with lots of shock absorbers and a great seat. I love it. Except for the fact that the basket (which is metal because it's more sturdy) is really heavy! HA! I got it so I can scoot up to the store and buy little things. And I was doing really well with it for the first few (every other) days but then it was like my body went 'Umm, girlfriend, you are two bricks shy of a wall if you think you're still in your 20s! You are 45. Ease up some.'
So, I did. I even took of the basket (it's removable so I can shop) and it was much better. Dang. Who knew a 5lb metal basket could make such a difference?
I rode around a bit without the basket and was feeling pretty great about my prospects of riding a little more routinely again. Especially since the Texas weather had been unusually comfortable.
No joke. Typically by May - it's what people who don't live in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona would call 'damn hot' - although those of us who've lived here a while just call it 'kinda warm.'
But like I said, it was mild. Comfortable.
Mid-May Too comfortable. Something was up. (And it was NOT Lake Travis. It wasn't even half full and we were under strict drought conditions. Watering lawns 1x a week and only before 10AM or after 8PM and only for 2 hours AT THE MOST or run the risk of a huge fine.
Hey, California - I hear they just told you guys you were now only allowed to water 2x a week but still pretty much at any time of the day. That dry stuff you're experiencing is called a drought. During a drought one does NOT need to have an ultra green yard. Nor does one need to have a super clean car.
Texas might be a bit (ok a LOT) conservative on a LOT of things and there's often a lot of disagreement - but there is one thing we all pretty much agree on - being CONSERVATIVE with water is major important.
So, as I said, the weather was oddly wonderful.
And then came the rains. It rained. And it rained. And it rained. Thanks in large part due to the fact that this is an El Niño year and there's been some weird Gulf stream air and ... well, it rained so much - it flooded.
Not just a little flood either. Deadly floods. An entire family on vacation and the house where they were staying in a place called Wimberly was washed away. Only the father survived. His wife and son were found. They've yet to find his daughter. And a niece. And that's just one case.
Closer to home - roads were washed out. Downtown Austin was so flooded folks who typically kayaked on 'Town Lake' used their craft to navigate around town to help out others. Flash flooding is SO dangerous out here.
Our motto 'Turn Around, Don't Drown' and it's SO VERY TRUE (if you should ever be in a place where the water is rushing across the road and you think 'Hmmm, I can make it.' Just stop thinking. 7 out of 10 times cars - even BIG SUVs get washed away. So don't be stupid.)
Anywhooo - our lakes filled up quickly. Lake Travis that was well below half full is now sitting at about 87% full. Yep. We had THAT much rain.
What was I originally talking about? Oh, yes. My bicycle.
As I mentioned, I was totally stoked to start riding again but then the rains came and then life got CRAZY!
Jessica had her graduation that was scheduled for 8AM on a Thursday ... for NO APPARENT REASON - which I didn't even get to see because her dumbass - yes, I said it, BIG Dumbass principal decided after being told there was a HORRIFIC wreck on the ONLY road directly to the venue where the graduation was being held that graduation was going on as scheduled - even though barely half the people who were to view the graduation had arrived. DUMBASS.
Seriously 8AM? On a business day? On one of THE busiest roads in all of Austin (unless you know the backroads - which we ended up having to take...we even left our house at 7:15AM to get there knowing the traffic might be bad. Who the hell schedules a HS graduation at that time? Oh, wait - A dumbass.
Oh, wait - maybe there was another graduation scheduled right after it? NO. Or maybe there was a hockey game (because it was in the city's hockey arena - covered with a special floor) later that afternoon? NO.
No. It was just a dumbass call.
My daughter knew something was wrong when, right before she walked out on the stage, one of the counselors said, "Hey, there's been an accident on the road so your families might not be in the audience. Now go!" Yep. That was all they said.
When she didn't hear me shout and clap at her name she thought we had been in the accident. But when we arrived - I made sure to cheer for one of her besties so that she'd hear me and know that we were okay.
Incidentally, the wreck involved the family of one of the graduates who wasn't told until well after the ceremony was over - kids filing out to meet their families - that her mom, dad, sisters, and grandparents had been in a crash that totaled their SUV after a guy in a work van reached down to pick up his cell phone which had fallen, crossed 3 lanes of traffic and hit them going about 50MPH. Luckily, everyone lived - but to look at the pictures you'd think 'there's no way'. (Incidentally, it's illegal to hold a cellphone if you're a driver in Austin. The ticket is something like $300. What an idiot.)
My special moment to see my daughter - my only child - graduate from high school was nearly ruined until I quickly contacted some parents I knew who were there and they filmed her crossing the stage and got some great still images from the jumbotron of her. But still there's a part of me that utterly loathes what that principal did - and I know my letter of complaint to him was just one of many. Only I fired mine off WHILE I was sitting in the venue after arriving around the letter 'D's' were just wrapping up.
Oh, I was pissed off and I wanted to let him know just how selfish it was of him to not say 'Ladies and Gentlemen, we hate to do this but there's a lot of traffic on 620 (the road where the accident happened) so we're going to hold off on the ceremony for about 30 minutes to give more people a chance to get here so they can see their loved ones walk' He didn't have to say there was a wreck or anything. Just a 'hey, our traffic out here is crappy' Why he didn't do that is beyond me - no, wait - I forgot - he's a that's who - a dumbass who maybe had a party he couldn't miss because his son was graduating that same day too.
So, as I said, I fired off an email to said Dumbass and sent it before the kids in the Ws walked (J's class had over 400 kids in it)
The next day (kids were still taking exams at the high school) I got a message back from him saying "I'm sorry our graduation did not meet your expectations. I actually had my first son graduating this year, so it was a special event for me. Then, I got your email. Needless to say, it took the celebratory spirit right out of me, which I guess was your intention. I hope, in some small way, this made you feel better about the situation.
Awww. I just took that celebratory spirit and squashed it. Well at least he had an f'ing celebratory spirit to get squashed. Boo-hoo.
I replied with a short, to the point, message. "I am not in the least bit sorry the celebratory spirit was taken right out of you. In fact, I imagine there are about 200 families who also could care less about your celebratory spirit because you refused to heed the request of the 2 counselors and the PTA representative (whose son was also graduating) who literally begged you to hold off on the ceremony thus denying those families the same celebratory spirit you so joyfully got to experience. I truly wish you and your future the best when you go before the school board to try and explain why you decided to go forward with the ceremony when you knew that there were hundreds of people who were not yet at the venue."
So that was how my daughter's graduation went. But it's behind me. Done.
But before that - I'm taking my daughter and 2 of her besties to Florida for a bit of fun in early July.
And in the meantime, when I'm not working on this or that - I'm pondering - what will I do when my little baby is gone off to college? Will I write...because I've not really written in months. Will I take up yoga? Will I ride that bike enough that I can put my cherished little basket back on it? Who knows. There's a new sort of future ahead for my husband and me. Maybe we'll take a few little trips. that could be fun. Or maybe we can just laze around and be goofy. I love being goofy.
I'm pretty good at it.
Until next time.