Saturday, May 29, 2010
I have to figure out how to better cope with loss. I am still really rattled by Charlotte's sudden death last week, even though I hardly knew her. I have trouble sleeping and I wake up finding myself thinking about the needless death and the permanent loss for her children.
With that on my mind, the pollen in the air and the fact that I was very active earlier this week, I started having shooting pains in my right arm and shoulder. I came home early to get my BF, intending to go to Kaiser. He was not home and I had mislaid my cellphone earlier this week (part of that distraction), so I was stuck until he got home (we no longer have a landline - cost saving).
When he got home, he gave me my phone (he had found it and charged it). I called the advice nurse and, in talking with her, we realized I was not having a serious problem, that the pain was probably from my carrying boxes, moving files earlier in the week. I had completely forgotten about that! Too much going on.
Glad it was not serious, glad I did not have to spend the bulk of the afternoon at Kaiser. I am not one to go to doctors or anything often, but, knowing that Charlotte had some undiagnosed heart issues but knew something was wrong and did not go to the doctor. I am older than she is and, even though I don't have children, there are nieces and nephews. I must take care of myself in order to enjoy their lives. In my new SP lifestyle, taking care of myself includes paying attention and doing things I don't really want to do (such as go to the doctor).
Very often, I skip medical and dental stuff because of cost. Even though I have insurance, I sometimes can't or don't want to spend the money on the copays. The dental coverage is almost useless. I am working towards finding the self worth to take the time off from work and pay to go....sigh.
I came home to find I have to report for jury duty again. There are I don't know how many people who live in this county. I have lived in this county since the end of 1986 and I get summoned every year! I have never been chosen, but I still have to go through the game. Don't get me wrong. I am about to be a paralegal, so I love the law. I am interested in the process. But, what I have experienced has been inefficient use of time, dead time and needless disruption to my routine. The other thing is that I live at the extreme southern end of the county, less than a block to the county line, and I usually get summoned to the farthest distant court at the other end of the county. The county does not pay for the first day and they pay something like $5 per day after that. The money is not the point. I resent the time and the gas that it takes, though I might feel differently if I ever got chosen for a jury.
In California, they crossreference the voter rolls and the DMV lists and it's from those that they choose the jury pools. By statute, I can be called every 12 months. For years, I have received summons almost exactly to the day! And I know lots of people who have never been summoned!
Not much walking today, something over 5K. I got another mile closer on my virtual journey. I am ending the day within range nutritionally except 1 gram low in fat and a bit low in calcium again...Got in the water and feeling pretty good. I know I need to do more exercise...
Friday, May 28, 2010
Virtual journey update: 60.3 miles from Eureka. I did not walk a lot today (just over 8K steps), but this is a good thing. I have been able to walk every day this week! Sure I have been sore and stiff, but neither was a deal breaker. This is real progress, albeit very slow progress...!
Now if I could replicate that with strength training and something a bit more aerobic. In time.
I was hungry off and on today, but stayed within range except for my usual low in fat and low in calcium...
Today was a good day at work, for the most part. A very productive day! The sad part was saying goodby to a wonderful student. She is leaving the company. She graduates tomorrow, even though she has to take 2 or 3 hard classes this summer. She figures she cannot work through the summer and take the classes. She does not yet have another job, so that hurts for her. She is having to move, too. She's a very bright industrious young woman and will do well wherever she goes....My company's loss and a personal loss for me.
It was a week ago today that my coworker died and I keep thinking about her and the loss her passing represents. She did have unrecognized symptoms of heart problems. It's just such a shame! I take it as a lesson to be more vigilant of my health. Not looking forward to the colonoscopy early next month, but I for sure won't skip it. It would be hypocritic for me to do so after I tell friends to take care of themselves! And, fundamentally, it is the desire for health and quality of life that brought me to SP.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Virtual Journey Update: 63 miles from Eureka. Today being a school night is usually a day when I get over 12K steps, but I woke up feeling really sore from yesterday's walking. I decided to take it easy today. I still walked and was on my feet a lot, but I shortened the walk at lunch. Even with that modification, I got in 10,015 steps. Amazingly, the stiffness did not last all day, but the soreness did.
I ended up eating within calories, but over on carbs and under on calcium and fat. I am surprised whenever everything is within balance. It's a work in progress!
The one day challenge today was to be calm and relaxed in the face of irritating drivers and other situations like that. I started the day, before I even read the post, with that mindset and it carried through the entire day! What a piece of heaven that was!
I found out my coworker Charlotte died Thursday morning from, probably, an undiagnosed heart condition. Her youngest is not even a year old. I don't know how old the other 3 children are, but their loss is incalculable. I emailed her husband, introduced myself, made a few comments about Charlotte, offered help and said he does not need to respond unless I can help - I didn't want him to feel any more burdened.
Yesterday, I mentioned the school a few blocks away from my house that was vandalized. My company is sending $1000 towards an alarm system, the admin council is working on sending copy paper and the IT and legal teams are discussing whether we can donate older laptops. I have been given the awesome opportunity to work with my coworkers for any other donations. I have dreams of getting some of our technical staff to go to the school (probably next fall) to do a career fair - something to show these students what they could do, what they could become. The school is a magnet school for science and I work at a science think tank. The school teaches the basic English, history, math and science, but in all the coursework, the focus is science. I am hoping the career fair would ignite some possibility thinking for these youngsters. (Kindergarten through 8th grade). I told the VPs who approved all this that I could not feel more ecstatic were this for my benefit. I am just so thrilled to help out this very poor school!
My class was short because the judge is the duty judge this week and he had to go sign a search warrant. He gave us 3 cases to read over this coming long weekend, so I can add that to the other 3 cases to read for the paper I need to write. I'll be stuffing my mind with no time to stuff my face this weekend! HA!
What a great day! Made all the better by the comments and feedback from you, my Spark family!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Virtual Journey Update: Over the past 3 days, I've logged in something over 8 miles, so I am now 67 miles away from Eureka. So much has been going on, I've forgotten to keep up....
Today was no exception. I was on my feet all day, off and on. I took a longer walk at lunch and thoroughly enjoyed it. I marveled that this was the longest distance yet and I STILL had time to eat and Spark before the hour was up. I walked for 25 minutes! When I started this journey, 5K steps a day seemed insurmountable. Today was 15445 and tomorrow is my day when I get a lot of steps normally (school tomorrow night). A long way to go, but I have come a long way. Walking is becoming a daily event and I can feel myself getting stronger.
I saw a news article today that the school a few blocks away from my home was vandalized for the second time. I live in a very poor part of a rich part of Silicon Valley. I sent a note to my Sr VP of Legal asking if my company could do anything and she told me to call the school, find out what they need and the company would make a donation. It probably won't be a big one, but when our experts get paid a speaker fee for a seminar, that money goes into the charitable fund and that's what she is authorizing for a donation. I called and asked for the principal after I found the phone number and her name. She was not in, but, when I told the receptionist why I was calling, I could hear how overwhelmed she was, so grateful!
This is a technical charter school and I'm also wanting to find out what they focus on. If it's an area in which our scientists have expertise, maybe I can persuade them to do a career day for these children. As Plutarch said, (paraphrasing) A mind is not something to be filled, it is to be kindled. That would make some good come out of the damage. Every classroom (13) was vandalized - stuff was broken, stolen and even plants that the chilren were growing were distroyed!
I had a big lunch today after having half an egg and cereal for breakfast. I've noticed when I have protein at breakfast, I usually don't get quite so hungry. The lunch was big in terms of calories, but not extravagant. I still have plenty for dinner. I did not have my usual 2 snacks, didn't need them.
As I think about the past few days, it has been rewarding to look at all the support you have given me. I was pretty close to giving up late last week. You kept me going. My Sparkfriend was verbally abused and left and I still feel horrible about that, but y'all supported me in my blog comments about that. My coworker died suddenly and you all shared in my sense of sorrow for her family - how could I be anything but grateful?! or, more to the point, I LOVE my SP community!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Thank you, everyone, for your wonderful support on yesterday's blog. I still ache for the young woman who left SP under such lonely circumstances. I know I was right to say something, and I would feel that way even without the support that I received.
I stepped on the scale yesterday after not having done so the previous week and was glad to see I'd lost 2.7 lbs. I am nervous about this week. For 3 consecutive days, I have been well under the nutritional range. Just not hungry. Quite a different feeling for me!
Today was going to be a day of getting completely back on track. By accident, I did get in over 10K steps, even without my lunchtime walk. I went to luch with a friend and, despite an unexpected menu change, managed to eat a good meal. My local KFC no longer makes their great grilled chicken salad. I had a piece of chicken, a small green salad with about a 3rd of a packet of dressing and a biscuit.
Just before lunch, the company received an email with sad news, so I was quite distracted at lunch, but did not realize until later in the day how distracted I was.
I put in more than 2 hours overtime tonight and, as I got ready to leave, I realized I did not have my car keys! A momentary panic set in. Then I remembered I have my spare key at work. I drove to the KFC, praying all the way, and, sure enough, they had my keys in the safe! Prayers of thanksgiving, I assure you!
The reason I left them there was being distracted by the email. We learned that one of my coworkers died suddenly late last week. I saw her Wednesday or Thursday and had a fleeting thought that she did not look well. The email did not say what happened, but I learned she leaves a husband and four children, the youngest still being nursed.
This is the second time I've had that sense. Several years ago, I saw my friend Pam at work. I had been working at another office for two years, been transferred back to the HQ and she was showing me her new car. As we parted, I thought she did not look well. That was Thanksgiving week and she died of a heart attack during the weekend. Seeing the email about Charlotte brought back Pam's loss front and center. I knew Pam and her father and worked with her, so the loss was greater.
I did not know Charlotte well, but we said hello in the halls and I thought she had a lovely smile. The privacy room where she would express her milk was near my office, so I saw her several times a day. We worked in completely different groups, so there was no professional interaction. But I've now missed the chance to get to know the woman behind the smile and I am diminished by that loss. My heart aches for her family, for her husband, for those children and everyone else for whom her passing is a tragedy.
One of my SP teams has a goal of practicing random acts of kindness. I think, instead of doing that now, I am going to make a point to say something nice to someone different every day. Not to assuage any guilt, but to bring some sunshine in someone else's day.
I wish I did not have such a sad reminder that we really need to share the good thoughts we have while we have the chance.
Rest in peace, Charlotte!
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