"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Mental Spring Cleaning

I am so in desperate need of a spring cleaning. I have had the hairdo and the spa day, but now I need the 'mental' spring cleaning. You know all those situations that you've found yourself in that you couldn't find the right words to say and you just sort of "let it go"? Or sat there with your mouth dropped open because you couldn't believe your ears and couldn't think up a good reply? But you're still kicking yourself for not saying a word about it, and you continue to replay the scenario in your head over and over again with that brilliant comeback you have thought up for the conversation that should have happened? This is me. I have conversations that I should have had that date back years ago that litter my head to this day. I even have comebacks in my head ready for possible situations that never really arise because I despise the fact that I can never think of the right thing to say when it comes time to say it. I am always stuck there thinking, "this person can't possibly be being mean to me right now, I must be taking it the wrong way." But of course, that person is being mean and I am a complete wimp for not only giving the person the benefit of the doubt, but for not standing up for myself! Exclamation mark!

I am, however, getting better at this. But all of these thoughts swirling around in my head really stress me out and even keep me up at night. In the latest issue of Real Simple magazine, a staple and savior in my life, the writers tackled the issue of a mental spring cleaning and suggested that you write down those things that clutter and fry your mind and throw them away. Right now, I'm thinking of that woman in the hospital last year who refused to sell me a $4 hose for my breastpump because she was helping someone who had an appointment and I didn't. She did, however, get up to help someone else who had an appointment earlier that morning, but again wouldn't take the extra 5 seconds to help me, even after I tearfully begged. I waited an hour, meantime, with my boobs all engorged and busting, on fire and leaking. I couldn't nurse Poops because he was in the NICU and it was shut down because another baby was being flown in, and I hadn't seen him in more than a day because that was the first day I actually had the audacity to actually leave the hospital to sleep in my bed the night before and when I returned, the NICU was closed. (Never made that mistake again by the way.) Damn hag. I had actually begged her to help me and she still refused. And the only thing I could come up with when she finally did sell me that stupid part was "next time I have an emergency, I'll be sure to make an appointment!" Ooh. What a zinger. Doesn't she know it's a women's hospital? And not every woman in there is having the time of her life with a bouncing new baby? And that hormones and milk and estrogen and crying and issues like complications and prematurity actually happen to women who give birth there? OK lady, I'm letting you go now.

Or that phone call I never made to the guy at the dealership who "fixed" our car, saying that the flat tire we had had nothing to do with a piece of wood shoved into the rubber and then didn't bother to re-inflate it for us. He finally did re-inflate it but only because I had to ask him to, but of course the tire was flat a half-hour later. Why? Because the wood punctured the tire, of course. I took it somewhere else for a $25 patch. Am I really as stupid as I look? Oh yeah, I buried the lead. This is the same guy who had to digitize a new set of keys for me because I had accidentally thrown the only one we had out, and the next day the car wouldn't start. After I had it towed back to the dealership, he fixed some new problem that magically cropped up and was "purely coincidence" for $400. Coincidence my ass. Letting you go too, man.

This feels good.

OK, next, my HR person at my old job, who told me I had to come back to work from maternity leave after 6 weeks if I was cleared medically from my doctor, even if my six-week premature infant was only technically age 0. (My return date was his due date). "Yep, sorry!" she said. "That's policy!" Fortunately, I got clearance from the pediatrician who gave me until Poops turned four months old and it turned out that I actually never went back to work anyway. Hence, I never got a chance to air my grievances about how awful she was in the days following his birth. So here it is. Letting it go.

Oh and here's one that's sure to be TMI. Last year, when I was six months pregnant I had to have surgery on my knee because I ripped cartilage cleaning my closet and my knee locked in a bended position. Before surgery, all the patients are lined up along a wall on their individual stretcher, with a curtain to separate you for privacy. There were about 10 patients and 4 nurses. I didn't need any help, except, of course, when I had to pee. So I sheepishly asked the nurse to help me to the loo because how much dignity do you have while lying there, unable to walk, in an assless gown? I must have just looked like another annoying face to her, because she pointed to the bathroom across the room and said, "It's right over there." "Yes," I said, "but my knee is locked, that is why I am here, so I need help or perhaps a wheelchair." (I was wheeled in on one after all.) "We don't have wheelchairs in here!" she barked at me, and then yelled in a huff, "Well, you'll just have to use a bed pan!" Oh how embarrassing. Having to pee on a thing in your bed with a patient on either side of you and only a teensy curtain separating you. Yes, I am sensitive. Maybe too much so. But I will always believe in old-fashioned things like customer service and, when you're a patient, bedside manner. Many people forget that they're treating someone's sister, mother, teacher, legislator, father, brother, grandfather, whatever. These are people, with actual feelings. And in the hospital, most are scared (because maybe they are six months pregnant having surgery) and most don't have much dignity left because they're naked and poked at and need help with simple things like eating, getting up to use the restroom and showering. We may all just be another annoying face to you, but outside of this gown and this bedpan, we are people with jobs and friends, family and homes and real clothes and dignity.

You should try this, this is really working for me!

So I guess that's it for now! I don't really want this to be a blog for my bitch-sessions, but a little spring cleaning doesn't hurt, does it? Now, I'll let these little complaints fly off into the cyber void and I will shove them back out of my mind if they try to return. I guess sometimes I really want people to know that they've hurt someone's feelings--I would really want to know because I would really want to fix it. But since I don't know their names, this is the next best thing. Plus, I am pretty sure my husband is sick of hearing me refer to these things over and over again in conversation (they really do plague me!). But now I find I am a little different, a little more jaded, and a little less confident in humanity. It's such a pity. Now, I get names, and if I am wronged I say something right there and more often than not I surprise myself and find that they've said something that they did not mean in the way that I took it. And if I can't figure out what to say, I call back later or write my signature "strongly worded letter." Which totally makes me feel better too and works! If you have any mental spring cleaning to do, I strongly recommend you do this too, so you can let it all go. It really is freeing! Feel free to do it here, or on your blog and let me know about it (or not). Let's clear our minds, friends! And start over fresh.


Sparky Duck said...

wait wait, what?? you dont get 2 weeks before and 4 weeks after??

Robin said...

Ok girl..the lady? With the breastpump tube? Umm..next time, that happens, let me know..
I will come down and personally KICK HER ASS!!
It's ok to air your grievances..that is the beauty of the blog world. You know it's "out" there, whether anyone is reading it or not. It's just the fact that they COULD see it, that's all! I have found in my older age (ahem) that I no longer keep it all in. Seems like that's what nice, sweet girls are supposed to do.
I can still be nice and sweet, but I have discovered I can be a real bitch if need be.
You go girl!