Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Trip Down South ~ Just What This Old Girl Needed

This has not been the best week.  Medical issues and medical tests continue to consume my days.  I had some more bad news from the doctor.  After a pulse oximeter test, it was determined I have to wear oxygen at night.  My doctor had ordered the oximeter test because of my continued light headedness and chest pain.  It just so happened that I was scheduled to wear the holter monitor at the same time as the oximeter test was taking place.   The results of the pulse oximeter were not good at all.  I won't go into details because it needs to be compared to the holter monitor results by my cardiologist before we will really know for sure what is going on.  My internist says the oxygen will help me, help my heart, but it is not the fix I may ultimately need.  Needless to say, I was discouraged, but decided until I have a better picture of what is going on, I would not completely freak out stay calm and wait for further test results.

I won't go into more details on my health, let's just say, the continual bad news was beginning to really get me down.  I told my husband last night that I don't know when I have been more discouraged.  The winter has just been too long and too hard this year.

After a down and depressing Friday, I was so glad to know I had a plan for today.  A month ago, a dear high school friend and I met for the first time to write together.  We'd talked of setting a date once a month to write together for over a year.  Finally, last month we actually met at a coffee shop and worked on our writing together for over several satisfying and happy hours.  Our time together was inspiring and gave me a renewed desire to write. Before we parted last month, we set our next writing date for today, February 22.

Since my friend IC lives forty miles south of here in my old stomping grounds of Pueblo, I decided to book a manicure and pedicure before our meeting time for writing.  My dear friend Kerri, has done my nails for years.  Since I've moved, I really have not found anyone to give me a manicure or a pedicure.  I've visited a few different places.  All were nice, but none were Kerri.  I missed her!  No one could replace her.  In fact, I'd stopped getting manicures and pedicures since we moved. (I wrote about Kerri in a blog post two years ago.  Click here to read about her.)

Before I left town, I dressed in some brighter, more springlike colors.  I'm tired of wearing black and brown and blue and red and all those winter colors!  I am ready for some color in my wardrobe again.  After dressing,  I threw together a bag for the day.  It contained:  my journal, my iPad mini, my yellow pad for writing ideas, my favorite pen, and my flip flops.  The flip flops came out when I arrived at Kerri's.  I'd need them after my pedicure.  As soon as I walked in the door, an old friend whom I usually meet at Kerri's because she gets her hair done on Saturdays was there.  We hugged and caught up on life.  I then hugged Kerri.  I then settled my feet into the waiting warm water.  Ahhh.  I was home again surrounded by my friends.  Do you remember that old song we learned in Girl Scouts?  Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver, and the other's gold.  It felt good to be back with my old friend.

I used to joke that Kerri was my therapist.  Now, I know that she probably knows and understands me as much as anyone does.  She's heard my deepest griefs, joys, dramas, and frustrations for at least ten years.  We've laughed, cried, and moaned, and groaned on a monthly basis about so much over the years.

As she massaged my feet and exfoliated my dry, cracked heels, I felt as it wasn't just dead skin that was being sloughed off of my winter and illness weary body.  I felt pampered, cared for, listened to, and renewed.  A coat of pink polish applied to my nails  added another lift to my spirit.  Two and a half hours later, I left Kerri's shop with a lighter step to my walk and with a much brighter outlook on life.  Thanks Kerri.  How I've missed you.
My feet are ready for spring.

The weather was absolutely beautiful forty miles south of here.  It was sunny and warm.  Already feeling like I'd been on a mini-vacation, I drove to my friend's house for lunch and writing time.  I was met at the door with a warm hug and the words, "You are a welcome sight for sore eyes."  I responded with, "You are a healing sight for a weary heart and soul."  From there, we proceeded to eat the wonderfully healthy lunch IC had prepared.  Chatting as we ate, we caught up on our news.

Then, it was down to work.  We started the writing session by our free write.  IC read great selection from the New Yorker written by Dave Berry.  We responded to the reading by writing for ten minutes.  It was so fun and interesting to see what each of us had written.

From there we shifted to talking about writing goals.  I love IC's great business minded approach to writing.  She is such a successful grant writer, and she is so successful at helping others begin new business ventures through her work with SCORE, so it was no surprise when she brought out the white board so we could use Venn diagrams to work out our personal writing goals.

I walked away from our time together with new clarity for my writing goals.  I was energized, and I was buoyed up by the positive feedback I was able to receive from her, and that I was able to give to her in return.  I felt like the teacher again.  I also felt like the student.  Heaven only knows that nothing builds passion in me more than being in a learning environment where I feel free to express and develop ideas.

Before I knew it, the afternoon was gone.  I'd left home early in the morning.  My day had been full.  I'd driven an hour south to where I'd been pampered,  reconnected with a primary relationship,  had lunch with a friend, and had time to write, to think, to plan.

As I left for my hour's drive home, for the life of me, I could not imagine why I had felt so used up and down the day before.  All I needed was a trip down south and a little a lot  of help from my friends to get myself back on track.  What a difference a day can make when it is filled with time with friends.  I think today was just what the doctor ordered.