Sunday, July 31, 2005


Thought I’d give it a whirl….

10 Years ago…July 1995
I was 38. Nelson and I had just purchased our first house. We were doing foster care and had 3 or 4 foster boys. We were attending and very active in a Nazarene church. Our pastor died of cancer that spring and I was doing a considerable amount of pulpit supply, and though many there thought highly of me, they never even offered me an interview. Our girls were 11 and 12.

I had taken two courses of the Doctor of Ministry degree program and was told that I wasn’t going to make it if I didn’t jump through the necessary hoops. Being the radical that I was I left the program and registered for Pastoral Counseling program at Ashland Theological Seminary.

I was working full time as the chaplain at Adriel School. I loved my job. I really liked the agency I worked with. Life was pretty happy.

5 Years ago…July 2000
I was still working with Adriel, but had transferred into the counseling component. I had done outpatient child and family counseling, been the director of the Day Treatment Program, and was now assuming the position of Residential Therapist. I maintained a few of my longstanding out-patient clients.

Nelson had tried his hand at owning and running restaurants. This hadn’t turned out well, in part I believe, because his partner was greedy and intimidating. They had started with one Blimpy Sub and Salad Restaurant, and when another became available, dove into owning it without really thinking about how things were going to work. They ended having to sell the first restaurant and now were about to loose the second. It was a dark time for us financially.

I was not only working as a counselor but I was in my second year as the interim pastor of a very difficult Mennonite church. The church had been through 4 splits in 3 years and we were working diligently on matters of healing and preparation for a full-time pastor. I loved my work.

Annie (older daughter) graduated in May and was preparing to head to Eckard University in Florida. This was not her first foray from home. She had been a foreign exchange student to Brazil for 9mo when she was 15. It was still hard to think about letting her go.

This was a busy time, but it seemed like a good time.

One Year Ago…July 2004
Out of the blue Dave and Linda stopped by and Dave had a business proposition for Nelson. He wanted Nelson to be the supervisor of his crew in the building of this nearly 5000 sq ft house. After praying and feeling positively about the move, we began looking for a place to live. Several doors closed, but we were determined. Nelson had given his notice at Home Depot and was ready to start his new job. Beth was living with us since we couldn’t afford to send her back to college, so she was trying to find a job here in our new town too.

I had no job prospects and was very fearful about what I would discover as I transferred to yet another new PO.

Yesterday: I was blessed to have the opportunity to work overtime. Nelson spent most of the day in bed as his ankle was hurting, but so was his bottom from bedsores. It’s been a difficult year.

Today: We watched church on TV. Nelson sat up on the couch for about an hour. He’s just finishing up a nap. I read out on the yard swing for about an hour. And now I’m back here.

Tomorrow: Another day of work packaging and supervising. Going to be a little stressful as we are having an audit by the organization that certifies us (ISO—don’t know what the letters stand for). Dan is back from vacation so I’m sure I’ll get an earful about how he doesn’t think we’ve produced enough. Just anticipating tension and discord. Sure makes me wanna hop out of bed in the morning!

I don’t remember the other stuff…but reading other people’s entries of this ilk, had me thinking so I thought I’d add mine to the lot.

Lots of Smiles

FRIDAY: All day I was mindful that at some point while I was slaving away at work that Annie was having her ultrasound and we were hoping to find out if we are having a baby girl or a baby boy. She also found out when she’s due. She told me that she’s due right about my dad’s birthday, November 7, and she thinks Wilson (my family name) Andrew would be a nice name.

Slick huh? We’re having a boy!!!! I’m pretty excited. I really like the name…that pretty much seals it that Travis won’t…oh well…it will be fun to go to garage sales now and buy little boy things!!!!

I don’t think she’ll wait till November. She’s already 6mo along. She’ll be done at the end of October. The tech doing the ultrasound gave her the date of October 31. A pumpkin baby!!!

Work has been work lately. I get to work tomorrow. A full day at that! That extra green will come in handy! I’m sure I’ll be tired on Sunday. My feet have really been aching lately, so I bought some inserts for my shoes. We’ll see if that helps.

Yesterday, after a particularly rough day of working hard and excessive frustrations with others who don’t want to work, at about 10 minutes before the crew was leaving Ed and B informed me that we were going to move the packaging department to the other end of the building. I was so exhausted, but I sucked it up and started directing all the moving.

So today we worked in our new area. Actually, it went better than I anticipated (aka feared). There continues to be frustrations with slow, and I mean s-l-o-w-w-w-w-w-w moving people. It’s interesting how some people lack mental capacity, but work hard while others use their mental ability to get them out of work. Sometimes I just shake my head.

I had the blessing of being able to work yesterday. I wasn’t sure how much we’d get done since initially only 2 others volunteered to work. Then another person offered to work, too. So we got the 2 orders packed that Ed needed done and 8 skids of another. Pretty good considering we had such a small crew.

It’s Sunday now. I’ve been up for quite a few hours. In fact it’s only 11 and my tummy is already asking “what’s for lunch?” Not good. The good thing is that Nelson is sitting on the couch! One of things we don’t like about our couch is that you sink to where you feel like you’re sitting on the floor. So when Nelson said he wanted to sit up for a while, I put the two cushions together and helped him hop over. His smile was so big sitting there, upright. I was ready to take a picture.

So there’s a few smiles at my house: just think how big they’ll be when it’s the grandson sitting up on the couch. We’re so easy to make happy!

Wishing you smiles and happiness in your day!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Butt Paste

Want hear some something funny…well, not really laugh out loud funny, more ironic? Nelson’s boss, Dave called today. Nelson asked him what he was doing. He told Nelson that he was watching TV. Nelson thought that was odd on a work day. Come to find out, Dave fell off a ladder at the worksite and broke his leg. Can you believe it? It’s not actually a break, only a fracture. He’s only going to be off work for a couple weeks and he’s not “non-weight bearing.”

I had to stop and see my PO on the way home from work. She was so concerned about Nelson. I was in her office for about 20min and 90% of the time she asked questions and talked about Nelson. She was so concerned that Nels’ boss hasn’t got the ramp built. She decided to look through her people and see if any of her guys who are on PRC need community service hours. If she finds someone she’ll give him hours for building the ramp for Nelson.

We’ve (translate Nelson) has developed a new kind of pain over the last couple days: non-diaper rash and bed/but sores. I had been putting lotion and powder on it, but today it reached a new level of hurt. So after dinner I made a run to Walmart where my goal was to bring home the Desitine.

Do you know how many different kinds of diaper rash lotions and creams there are? Well, let me tell you: lots! I ended up just buying Desitine because I was familiar with it. The only other one I almost bought was called “Butt Paste.” I thought would make Nelson laugh. It made me laugh there in the aisle.

Well, Nelson handed me the TV remote. Said it was my night to pick what we watch. Bad idea tonight. There’s a dog show on Animal Planet. I’m quite happy. And Nelson is happier too…Desitine is good stuff!

Strange entry…butt it’s how my life is going these days…..

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Update on Nelson: Friday I worked half day, but did a whole day’s work. That’s a whole entry in itself…Nelson sat up in the car on this trip. He said it felt better. The visit at the office, however, did not. They cut off the gauze splint and removed the bandages. It ended up pulling terribly on the incisions. He has one incision with about 40 staples down the front of his shin and another on the side his foot below his ankle bone. They only put a couple gauze pads on the incisions and rods left from the holes made by the external fixator and then wrapped it in an Ace wrap.

When that visit was done, they sent us to another office in the same building. There he was fitted for a walking boot—which at this moment seems redundant since is still not to put any weight on the ankle. The boot, however, did bring some relief from pain as it returned support to the seriously sore ankle.

So he’s back in bed. The ankle pain is minimal, but he has developed a new pain in his side at his lower rib cage. We’re not sure if he strained a muscle in all the moving around the other day or what, but it’s making it very hard for him to breath and move. And he can’t move his arm to use his urinal…so guess what that means…

Annie and Penelope went home yesterday evening. It’s quiet in the house again. Last night Beth picked her boyfriend up from work late so she just stayed at his house. That meant Nelson and I were here alone. I just didn’t want to sleep upstairs…alone, so I slept on the couch in the living room to be near Nelson. I slept quite soundly. He said I didn’t even snore…maybe I should sleep there more often.

I didn’t just sleep soundly, I slept long. I didn’t wake up until 8:00. I just don’t do that. I tried to stay quiet so as not to wake Nelson up. He slept until nearly 11:00.

While I was being quiet, I finished reading “Searching for God Knows What.” I received this book as a gift. It has been such a gift. I would highly recommend it—but be prepared, it’s not necessarily a “nice” book. It rattled my cage a few times, challenged me, and made me weep. The author, Donald Miller, is focusing on our relationship with God not the formulas we tend associate with Christianity. Powerful.

In the quiet, I was sitting and reflecting on Miller’s words, on my relationship with God, and my relationship with Nelson. Miller mentioned the story of Hosea and Gomer as an illustration of God’s love in the face of refusal. I was thinking of why so many people ignore and avoid the story. Wait, I think the word I’m really wanting here is resist. People resist the story because they assume the role of Hosea not Gomer. They judge the waywardness of Gomer, her cheating ways—and no one likes to be cheated on! When the reality is we are Gomer and are being loved with an indescribable, totally persuing kind of love.

I was thinking about that persuing love, which of course reminds me of Psalm 139 and the Hound of Heaven. That image and depth of that love is what drew to make a decision to follow Christ. I absolutely longed to be loved that way. I still do. That insatiable desire motivated me to do some things, involve myself in relationships that were completely unhealthy and totally destructive. And all the while, the love I thought I had to grab for was right at my fingertips in my incredible husband and my compassionate Father.

As I pondered these thoughts, I noticed a sign that I had received as a birthday gag. It reads: Happy 39th Birthday Again?! And I wondered: would I want to be 39 again? That would be nine years ago. That would put me back into the summer of 1996. I might go back if I could implement the “stuff” that I’ve learned—much of it the hard way.

Then I wondered: what one truth that I’ve learned in the last nine years would I take with me if I were permitted to do so. And I think it would have to be that nothing I can do, nothing, will make me more loveable; nothing will increase my chances for being loved; nothing will improve my status.

How absolutely different my life would be if I could just believe in my own value. How much pain I could have avoided and how much more fullness could I have enjoyed if I would have just accepted the truth of the Father’s estimation of me, especially as it was demonstrated in Nelson’s love for me.

So that’s how my morning has been. And now it’s race time. And friends (Rhonda and Steve) are coming by for a visit. A good day is just going to get better. I hope yours does too!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Rough Night

It’s now 4:30am. And I’m wide awake. At about 1:30 Penelope had a night terror. Ann pulled her from the crib and put her in bed with us. Penelope is not an easy child to sleep with.

I sort of dozed off for a bit, but started having serious nasal drainage and began coughing. I didn’t want to wake them up, so I carefully crawled out of bed and came down to the computer. I wasn’t down here 10 minutes before I noticed the serious lightening show going off in the distant sky. I quickly ran out and rolled up the windows on mine and Ann’s cars. I got in just as the sky let loose. Hopefully, that burst will bring down the humidity.

I got back in the house and no sooner sat down with the computer when I heard a thump followed by a baby scream. I scooted up the stairs to find Ann trying to fetch Penelope off the floor on my side of the bed. It was quite a thump too, since we have bare hard wood floors in the bedroom. Ann was able to quiet her and it seemed they were headed off to sleep, so I went back to the computer.

Next thing I new, Ann and Penelope were coming down the stairs. Penelope sat and cuddled with me for a bit, but she just doesn’t seem to want to sleep. Ann wants to sleep, but Penelope won’t let her. I would like to sleep, but now it’s time to be awake to get ready for work. And Nelson is now awake, too, saying he hasn’t slept well all night.

Rats…and now the internet connection is gone. I’ll have to try and post later.

Connection’s back. Nelson is back to sleep. Penelope is watching “Little Mermaid” and her eyes are getting very, very heavy. Annie half asleep and yet keeping one eye on Penelope. And I’m heading out the door.

And somehow Beth slept through it all…lucky her! Have a day that brings many smiles!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Night Night

All my days are looking much alike: work, care for hubster, play with the baby, and read about other people’s interesting lives.

It’s been a bit rough at work. Thankfully the humidity was down a little bit today. Monday and Tuesday I was sure I was going to melt. It was rough employee-wise, too. It’s only Wednesday and I’ve already lost 4 employees. One guy had to leave Tuesday morning because he thought he was having a heart attack. That same morning another gal walked off the job because she was “tired of all the b****ing.” I did have to keep telling her to put her safety glasses on—sorry, it does happen to be company policy. One of our guys was supposed to go to an AA meeting so he could come back to work. He went to the meeting, but unfortunately he was drunk and that sort of defeated his coming back. Then today a guy had to write up last week decided to really slough off and the rest of the team came to me about it. When I confronted him with their concerns, and informed him that I would be monitoring him he went ballistic and walked off the job. He was hanging around outside the building after. There was so much concern for my safety that the HR manager walked me out to my car. (I don’t think there was a need, but it made some people feel better.)

I’m really not that hard to work with. No really.

I should have known that it was going to be a weird day by the way that it started. I was just about to kiss Nelson and head out the door, when Nelson said, “I think I have to poop.” Well I couldn’t walk away from that…and I didn’t. Yeehaw.

We’re sitting here watching a show about tv goofs and gafaws. It’s a fun family time. There actually hasn’t been a nasty word spoken all evening. Maybe I should go to bed really quick so I can end the day on a good note!

Oh, I had a funny moment at the end of the day. Right at the end of the day Ed gave me a task that required setting up quite a bit of paperwork. I had some other things that I was going to work on too and I was going to do too. I was standing there talking to the CFO and after he offered to walk me to my car he asked what that stack of papers was. Caught! He wouldn’t let me out of the building with it. Old habits die hard. I’m glad I didn’t bring it home, but I will confess I have thought about it a couple times. I’ll just have to get it done tomorrow.

Right now, Penelope is saying it’s time to go night, night. So, night night all!

Sunday, July 17, 2005


Where did Saturday go?

I slept in all the way till 7:15. It was wonderful. I went very early to get my hair trimmed. I like to go early so I don’t have to wait. Even with it cut short I was just sweating up a blue streak. Hopefully this will help a little.

After Annie and Penelope were up and dressed we went to the Farmers’ Market. There weren’t many veggies, but there were lots of tables with baked goods and other things. I ended up buying some hot pickled peppers (for Nelson), an Amish loaf of wheat bread (for Annie), and a cilantro plant for me. Penelope liked seeing the horses. It was hot and beyond humid so we didn’t stay out long.

The rest of the day was just that: rest-full. Then about 7:30pm Nelson’s parents showed up. They live about 2 ½ hours away. We didn’t know they were coming. Spending time with them is challenging. Nelson just doesn’t have a good relationship with them. They’re staying at a local hotel tonight and coming back tomorrow.

Yesterday after work Ann and I ran to Walmart and SavALot and when we got back to the house I was telling her that I was thinking I would wait till morning to mow—hoping to avoid the humidity. As I pulled into the drive I realized that my yard was already mowed. The neighbor to the rear (who brought us strawberries and promises to bring us other goodies from his garden) had mowed our yard while we were gone. I felt so blessed. We have such good neighbors.

To say thank you to both Deryl and his son Lucas and our mowing, garden neighbor Ann made some chocolate chip cookies. They were quite yummy. Both helpers seemed surprised with our thank you, but that’s ok---we just wanted them to know how much we appreciated their help!

And now it’s Sunday.

I slept all the way till 7 this morning. When I woke up I checked out the time. I decided I should get my shower early and be ready for when Nelson’s parents show back up. I’m feeling sort of whiny about the whole thing and I don’t like feeling that way, but this is not how I want to spend my day off. Oh well, I will just suck it up and paste on a smile. At least they made an effort to connect with their son—something they haven’t done for years. I will keep my mind open and my prayers flowing for more love.

This is another one of those moments when it’s not about me.

I hope there are pleasant surprises and sunshine in your Sunday!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Home Again!

Nelson is home. The trip went much more smoothly than I had anticipated. The transportation guys at the hospital helped, as did the valet at the front door. He climbed right in the car and helped moved him forward.

It was raining really hard when Julie and I left for the hospital. We were so focused on the storm that we forgot the extra pillows needed to make the trip endurable. Needless to say there were many moans from the back of the Aztec. I tried to miss the bumps, but he felt every one of them.

I stopped at the house of a nearby friend to see if he could help us get Nelson in the house, but he was at work. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do next. I decided to check and see if the neighbor catty-corner was home—I also thought he had a teenage son who could help. They were more than willing. The neighbor dad gave us some really good direction and we got Nelson in with no trouble! Have I mentioned that I have really good neighbors?

The other night I had a really interesting conversation with Beth. She asked a question that other people have also asked. She asked if we ever wondered that maybe we made a mistake by moving here to Ashland. My answer wasn’t anything I had given any thought. It was one of those moments where the answer was as much a revelation to me as it was to Beth.

I told her that sometimes the things God asks us to do aren’t about us. I suggested because we moved here we were able to help our friend Steve find a job to supplement his pastoral job since he’s not being compensated currently by his church. Because we moved here, Nelson was also able to recommend our friend Mook to be able to work with them on the house project too. It’s hard to describe how important it has been to him to have someone to believe that he could do the job.

Life hasn’t been easy since we got here, not easy at all, but it has been worth it when it’s put into that kind of context. It really isn’t always about us. Sure it would be nice to have things feel like they were going more in our favor. It would be nice to have a couple nickels to rub together. It would be nice for Nelson to feel some appreciation (and remuneration) for his hard work. But once upon a time we relinquished those “rights.” And quite honestly it has been fun to watch how things unfold.

Now I have to own that I don’t always live into the fullness of that truth. Sitting here and seeing the pain on Nelson’s face doesn’t make that truth easy to believe. But sometimes the truth isn’t easy

Well, I’m needing to rock a sweet baby to sleep…yep, Penelope brought her mommy back so she could be Pepa’s nurse and Penelope could keep a smile on Pepa’s face! Hopefully I won’t be the one who falls asleep in the chair! Sweet dreams…I know I will…all my sweeties are here (when Beth gets home that is).

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Humpty Dumpty Report

I’m home. I’m exhausted. We got Nelson there—even a little early! Not a good thing necessarily when you’re waiting for surgery. I just wanted to allow for traffic.

While we were in surgery waiting, the doctor let us know that Nelson would be staying a couple extra days. This was comforting news. Nelson had been concerned about how we were going to be able to manage his pain.

My sis came early and then stayed all day with me. It was good to have the company. We talked a lot and were quiet at other times. The surgery waiting area was very “homey” so we were comfortable all afternoon.

Nelson was taken to surgery around 11:30am and we finally got to his room around 5:30. The surgery took about 4 hours. They found more damage to the joint than anticipated and found another broken bone, this one in his foot.

We took Nelson’s c-pap (forced air breathing machine for his apnea) machine with us—just in case they did keep him. Julie had gone to the parking garage to retrieve it from the car when I arrived in Nelson’s room. I was not ready for what I found. Nelson was laying in the bed moaning, it was obvious that he was in terrible pain.

I have known this man for nearly 28 years. I have seen him injured on several occasions. I have never seen him hurting as badly as I did this evening. He told the nurse that his pain was at a 9 (on a scale where 10 is the worst). I translated to the nurse that on a “normal” person’s pain scale that would put Nelson’s pain at about a 15. He just doesn’t complain about pain. My heart started to ache. I felt so helpless, sick seeing him hurt and totally unable to do anything…well, not anything. I walked over and just began stroking him on the arm and across his forehead. That calms him, relaxes him. And as he relaxed the pain meds began to kick in.

Yesterday, I called Nelson from work while I was on my 2:00 break. He told me he was a big boy. He had gotten out of the bed and onto the bedside potty all by himself and had a bowel movement. I started thinking about it and the thoughts weren’t good. I had forgotten to put any water in the potty bucket. That would make clean up fun. And how pleasant it was going to be to come into the house with that aroma greeting me. He told me hat he was a really big boy and put the bucket in the half bath and shut the door. He had managed to get himself from the potty to the wheel chair and rolled to the bathroom to “hide” the potty bucket. I told him to warn the daughter so that she didn’t walk in there after work.

I cleaned things up when I got home from work…including the hubster. That’s really love. I kept trying to tell myself that it wasn’t much different from changing a dirty diaper, but it really isn’t the same.

Wiping your sweetie’s seatie is really love in action. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that true love is just willing to wade through the crap: whether it’s wiping a poopy bottom or coming to grips with unexpected, unexplainable criminal behavior. Nelson’s amazing ability to forgive me and keep loving me makes cleaning up poop seem like a walk in the park.

One of my favorite biblical moments comes when the crowd questions the woman who anoints Jesus feet and head at the dinner at the Pharisee’s house. Jesus tells a story to explain her extravagant display love. (Luke 7:36-50) In the story two men are forgiven a debt they cannot repay: one small and the other enormous. Jesus’ question: Which one will love more? Simon’s response is that it will be the one who has been forgiven more.

I understand this. I have been greatly forgiven, I am deeply loved…and there is no other response but to love and love deeply.

I may not be explaining this well…that may be because I’m feeling it quite deeply.

So now I’m going to take my weary self to bed…tomorrow holds much to do: work and a run to the hospital. Better get some rest. Hope you do too!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Fast of Slow

Well, after working to adjust to the idea of Nelson laying around for another three weeks--the doctor talked to the nurse practioner this morning. He asked why Nelson wasn't on the surgery schedule this week? When she told him that Nelson wasn't scheduled to be seen again until 8/3 he was not pleased and scheduled Nelson for surgery tomorrow at 11:00am.

So I had to get things organized at work. Again, they were very understanding that I needed the day off.

We just finished Chinese for dinner. Nelson actually had a little appetite and since he knew he wouldn't be eating again tomorrow he decided to eat something that sounded really good. And it was!

Well, I've got laundry to finish, dishes to wash, and if it cools down I may try to mow...maybe.

Saturday, July 09, 2005


Doctor Report:
A guy at work offered me the free use of a wheel chair. His dad (a big man like Nelson) had diabetes and had his leg amputated. This was a real blessing because we were going to have to rent one and were told Workers’ Comp wouldn’t pay for it.

So my sis came to help with her Aztec (the seats fold down flat) to help us get to the appointment. We worked hard at it, but were finally able to get Nelson comfortably into the car.

We arrived for the appointment on time. They were quite prompt at getting us seen. We were scheduled with the nurse practitioner—this should have clued me in. They took off the wrap and the gauze pads. They were sort of gross…nah, they were lots icky.

The nurse practitioner told us that things were looking good, and healing well. She told us that the swelling was to be expected. His foot and ankle are really bruised and the skin looks really taunt from the swelling.

We were hoping that during one of the many times when she left the room she would return with the Doc and he would tell us when the surgery would be next week. Each time she returned alone. Finally, she let us know that the doctor wasn’t even in today and Nelson wouldn’t see him until his next appointment which is August 3.

This was very discouraging news. Nelson is so tired of just laying around. Three more weeks of this is going to be really tough. We spent some time this morning trying to think of things for him to do during the day to pass the time. Sis gave him a pair of reading glasses and that enabled him to read the computer screen. He can listen to his favorite radio station over the internet too. I’m going to bring down his box of stamps that he can look at and price.

Annie is going home today, too. We discussed it and decided that there wasn’t much point in her staying for the three weeks and then for however long is needed after the next surgery. Needless to say, Travis is happy that she’s coming home. The big loss in all this will the presence of Little Miss Entertainment, but Penelope needs to get home to her familiar surrounds, too.

Well, there’s some other stuff going on too, but I thought I’d fill you in on this and then write more later.


Monday, July 04, 2005

A Little About Me

Nelson is hanging in there. He's taking less pain meds. Ducolax is an amazingly quick working stool softenor and true love is wiping/cleaning your beloveds butt. He's getting tired of only laying on his back and bored, but working hard at being a model patient.

Now I'd like to talk about me for a minute. I'm becomnig very aware of something about myself. I have always been intrigued and impressed by the Meyers-Briggs Trait Inventory. I think it is insight-full and helpful for understanding much about oneself and applying that knowledge to many facets of life (relationships, work, leisure, and spirituality to name a few).

I became familiar with MBTI during my chaplaincy training (CPE) in Kansas City. The first time I took the inventory came out as a ESFP. My result reflected my mask or external self that was "on" most of the time. My supervisors and groupmates helped me to unpack that and I retook the inventory. Not too surprisingly, I came out a INFJ--just about as opposite as you can get. Again, however, this felt more like what I wanted to be. In the end, I learned I was terribly confused and it's very difficult to "develop one's pastoral identity" (goal of CPE) when one isn't aware of one's personal identity.

Over the years I've hung in there with MBTI, reading and trying to understand so that I can better understand myself. This became an even more pressing study after I committed my crime and wanted to better understand how the heck I got there so that I would be sure to never go back. I learned:
1. I do the extrovert exceptionally well. So well in fact, that people expect it out of me in social situations. I'm the motivator, the entertainer, the mingler. When I don't act this way people who know me wonder what's wrong with me?
2. Playing the role of extrovert takes a huge toll on me emotional and physically. I can do it, but it doesn't energize me. Quite the contrary, I'm drained. My kids noticed a definite difference in me when they observed my extroverted behavior at work and leading groups and then saw me crash and withdraw at home. It was hard for them to reconcile the two sides of their mom.
3. I am most balanced between sensing and the intuitive (N and S), while there is very little Thinking in me--I'm off the scale into Feeling (T and F). I can be a planner (J), but generally function more naturally flying by the seat of my pants (P). I think that has something to do with the perfectionist in me. I can live by the datebook and rules, but if you're more happy-go-lucky then you're less likely to screw up when you just take things as they come. You're also less disappointed and growing up in a dysfunctional alcoholic home planning only led to disappointment so why bother?
4. Now, here's what has struck me this weekend---and why I'm even thinking about these things at all. I have developed into quite an I (introverted) personality. This could be due in part to not having much of any outlet for my extrovert (not necessary for my job and not leading in any other capacities of my life right now).

Since Nelson has been home from the hospital Ann has been here with Penelope. I love them. I am so happy that they are here to help. But with them here, Nelson here 24/7, and Beth being here I don't have any quiet alone time. Right now my computer is offline (Annie upgraded to XP and my Netgear utility didn't transfer so I'm waiting for a service call to fix that) so I'm using the computer in Beth's room. I feel like I'm intruding in her space so I wait till she's at work. This afternoon, Rhonda and Steve are coming to visit. I dearly love them and will be happy to see them. Oh, and Travis came over yesterday morning--he's been missing Annie and Penelope.

So I have a houseful of people--whom I love and treasure--and yet I look at it with an unusal level of dread. This feels very odd to me and I'm not liking it much. I'm sort of hoping the baby gets fussy so I can take her for a walk. I did that twice yesterday, and although it was extremely warm and humid, I welcomed the peaceful escape (Penelope fell asleep almost the instant the stroller wheels started turning).

And that feels selfish to me. The guilt arises because my family doesn't understand the introverted part of me and the downtime I require. Because I have been so "good" at wearing the mask and playing the extrovert role, that's what they expect. I've created a monster: me. And I'm not quite sure how to change the roles.

Now I would pooh-pooh anyone else who felt that way, but haven't quite mustered up the gracefulness for myself. Something to work on I guess.

So while I ponder my personal personality dilemma, y'all have a blessed day and if you're in a place where there'll be fireworks tonight--Enjoy!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Here's the Latest

Nelson spent most of the day waiting to know what was going to happen next. In PT he convinced them that he couldn’t maneuver the steps so they ordered an ambulette to transport him home. I went straight to the hospital after wok (steel toe shoes and uniform still on) so that I could give Nelson a bed bath and gather his belongings.

When the transport people arrived they didn’t have a big enough wheel chair for Nelson so we had to wait on that. We pointed out to the one woman who was responsible for the transport that there were steps into the house and she had to call for back up. Back up came from a town over 30mi away. When they all got to the house Nelson was taken from the wheel chair, put on a cot, and wheeled into the house. He’s been in the hospital bed ever since.

I have a pic of the hardware that Beth took. She sent it to me in an email. I sent it to my Uncle in AZ so my mom could see it and to Nelson’s mom in Toledo, but I don’t know how to load it into here.

It has been good to have Ann and Penelope here. Penelope does a wonderful job of keeping Nelson entertained and Ann has been cooking so Nelson has been eating a little more.

Well we got some bad news today. It just seems like a constant stream of two steps forward and three steps back. It was good news that Nelson was/is covered by Workman’s Comp. It’s a good thing that Workman’s comp pays 60% of a person’s wage when they are laid up. So what’s the bad news?

The 60% is based on the past 6 months of wages. That would be the 6 months that Nelson was working and not getting paid. And 60% of next to nothing is…drum roll please: a big fat nothing.

And wait there’s more…the cost of the ambulette may not be covered for the ride home and definitely isn’t covered for next week’s visit to the doctor. The ride home cost about $875.00. Yehaw.

Nelson has taken less pain meds today. But his foot is swelling. Oh, and best of all—he hasn’t had a bowel movement since last Thursday. We were just talking about it. If something doesn’t move by Monday we’ll call his home health nurse. Yippeeeee.

Well, we just had our entertainment for the evening. In addition to us all watching Jeopardy (Ann, Beth, Penelope, Nelson and me), then Ann gave Nelson a shave. Oh my what an absolute hoot!

I guess that’s how life is here…frustration wrapped in laughter.