Tags: baby steps

misc mountain ridges - mt mitchell nc


Yeah, that last post was pretty emo, wasn't it?  Well, to put a very positive spin on this week's leavetaking, oddly enough, my two dinners with Margarita provided the catalyst for helping me get over my "downtown agoraphobia" that has plagued me for years.  Strange how much anxiety issues can affect one's life...seems like all it took was going downtown (as opposed to driving through en route between my office and main office) in the company of a good friend, and actually using the parking garages and then walking around on the streets...and all of a sudden it wasn't scary anymore.  Not only that, I was *intrigued* at all the cool shops, galleries, restaurants, and "other places designed to separate people from their money" (to borrow from one of my friends) that have sprung up since the last time I spent time there.  I have out of town friends visiting the area this coming weekend and I can't wait to explore downtown with them, even though it'll only be for a few hours due to our schedules.

Meanwhile, I took another step last night -- went to an outdoor "open jam" music event downtown, something that goes on most Saturdays each summer.  I've attended it plenty in the past, even showed up a couple of times last year.  The difference was that this time I brought my fiddle, and it wasn't just for show.  Raw and ragged as my playing still is, I actually played in two sessions for a total of 2-1/2 hours, at which point I was physically and mentally exhausted, so I called it a night and came home and watched baseball.  Some of the folks I played music with I didn't even know; others were old friends.  There was another session that I could have joined in on had I still had any energy...but we agreed on "next time."  It was a huge barrier broken, though, actually playing with people, and in PUBLIC, yet.  It's been so long since I've done that.
I think my baby steps are turning into giant steps, FINALLY, and I'm so grateful for that...and for the friends who have been supportive and encouraging along the way as I've clawed my way back to the land of the living.
misc mountain ridges - mt mitchell nc

Am I really doing this?

Big scary adventure for me here...such a small thing for most people, but something I really haven't done in forever.  I'm having people over for dinner next weekend -- M&C, who I've mentioned recently.  I've been meaning to have them over since last summer but time got away from me, and now time grows short because they're moving.

I'm scared because I am NOT used to entertaining and I'm so afraid that things will go wrong, although of course they'll be oh so forgiving because they're delightful people.  But still...

The main course will be my family heirloom eggplant parmigiana recipe.  M has already tasted a forkful when I brought some to work awhile back, and she pronounced it awesome.  And we'll have salad, of course.  They like both wine and beer, and I'm going to ask them to suggest the brand and please bring a corkscrew because I don't have one, as I almost never drink wine.  But what to do about appetizers?  I've got to keep it simple...the parmigiana will take hours as it is.  Suggestions, anyone?  I'll probably hit my mom up for suggestions too because she used to serve Italian feasts to company...

I know this is a step in the right direction for my social life, and it's something I really want to do, but maaaannnn, am I ever nervous already!

misc mountain ridges - mt mitchell nc

Life is good...

Yesterday as I drove home I noticed that all three calves were at the top of the pasture, grazing under the watchful eye of one of the grownups.  A few days prior they had fled when they saw me, but I decided it was time to try again with quieter shoes.  This time -- success!  The tan one and the brown one with the white face simply sat there and regarded me calmly.  The black one had its back turned and completely ignored me.  I stayed there for a little while and made quiet talk at them, and they didn't budge.  Guess they're getting used to me, which is good, because soon enough they'll grow up and stop being so impossibly adorable so I need to enjoy them while I can.

In other news, I've been spending inordinate amounts of time on Facebook.  Last night I got chatting with a friend who I went all the way through public school with.  I'm not used to chatting on line and the comments were pretty rapid fire, and at one point we were reminiscing at such a pace, and the stories were so funny, that I literally started laughing out loud...and couldn't stop.  My upstairs neighbor must have thought I was out of my mind, but it was totally worth it, even though I was wiping tears of laughter off my face for a good while afterwards.

The friend requests keep coming in at an amazing pace, especially from the old-time music scene.  I truly had no idea I was missed that much -- it's pretty heartwarming and makes me feel really good.  I've decided to slowly, in baby steps, work my way back into that community.  It was my life for a good 15 years, and there are so many wonderful people associated with that scene, so I think it's time.  With that in mind, I've made plans to go to an event that happens most Saturday evenings here during the summer -- it's called Shindig on the Green (yes, I know that sounds hokey).  It's held downtown outdoors (weather permitting) and is THE gathering spot for folks in the area who play traditional mountain music and/or bluegrass.  I already posted a status update alerting folks to be on the lookout for me, even though I'm just going to socialize and not attempt to play the fiddle at this point (I've got tennis elbow that needs to be fixed before I really try to get the rust off my bow arm).  It'll be great to see whoever is there.   :)
misc mountain ridges - mt mitchell nc

Small triumphs...

While I was on vacation, I had occasion to do more walking than I've done since my MS exacerbation began in October.  Although I was able to use wheelchairs and transport shuttles during my time at the airports because the concourses were way too large for me to attempt, I otherwise walked everywhere, for example when we went shopping or sightseeing.  It was a bit of a stretch, but stretching is good, and my efforts bore fruit in that the more I walked the easier it got.

I also was forced to use stairs, both at my sister's house and at the neighbor's house where I was staying (my sister doesn't have guest space yet).  That too got easier.  And so, today, for the first time in more than 2-1/2 months, I took the stairs when I did my pickups and dropoffs at work.  I'm not gonna lie, going down the stairs was really hard (going up is much easier because of the muscles involved), but I did it.  My plan is to start taking the stairs during at least one of my downstairs trips every day, and once I can do that without getting jelly-legged afterwards, I'll do it twice a day.  Obviously this is small potatoes to folks who have no issues with walking, but to me, right now, it's a really big step.   :)
misc mountain ridges - mt mitchell nc

A few square feet at a time...

I'm posting this to remind myself how well I'm doing with decluttering after slacking off for at least a couple of weekends.

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Time to reward myself with baseball!  The Cardinals game starts in just a few minutes, and with both Julio and Albert in the lineup tonight I'll certainly be checking that out on MLB.tv.  The Red Sox are on MLBN a little later, so I'll be watching that as well.  Guess I'll burn some calories dashing back and forth between kitchen and bedroom.

I hope all of my buddies had an excellent Saturday.  Much love!

misc mountain ridges - mt mitchell nc

One foot goes in front of the other...

Checking in at weekend's end while I listen to the deluge outside that is currently flooding my carport.  Judging by the radar, the rain should blow through in another hour or so, which is good.  In all the years I've lived here, the carport flooding has yet to spill into the house, but I don't relish the muddy shoes that I'll have tomorrow morning!

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That's about it for now.  I think I'll celebrate my little bit of decluttering with some chocolate/peanut butter ice cream.  :D

misc mountain ridges - mt mitchell nc

Dear boys...

You have another game in an hour.  Please to not have another suckfest today.  You need to turn this trainwreck around.  And Jed and Dice...please get well soon, okay?  We need you!

I'm glad it's a day game so I know the outcome BEFORE going to bed and without staying up past my bedtime.  I was writing e-mails last night while keeping half an eye on the game...packed it in around midnight and am WAY tired today.  I feel for those on my f-list (and over at CF) who stayed up until the bitter end.

In other news, I had a great session with my therapist yesterday.  She taught me some new and different coping strategies so I can avoid getting anxious and freaked out when folks at work act rude/unfriendly.  She also helped me reframe those moments as a learning experience.  So far so good today. 

I'm getting my car aligned first thing tomorrow morning, which means getting up at 5:15.  Ugh.  I'll have to go to bed extra early tonight but hopefully can have a productive evening as far as continuing to catch up on e-mails and such.

Have a great day, y'all!
misc mountain ridges - mt mitchell nc

A small ray of hope shines...

Although today on the whole was pretty dreary and even depressing (thank you, work, NOT!), something occurred to me that I wanted to share because maybe, just MAYBE, it could be a sign of better times to come, and also I want to be able to remember this small bit of hopefulness.

I mentioned in last night's entry that I found one of the other class participants attractive.  I realized this morning that for the first time in who knows how long, my head was turned by a man in my age group, and not only that, he was right in front of me, in the same room, not on the TV screen or in a photograph.  This is HUGELY significant.  You see, for as long as I can remember, I've been attracted to younger men, and as I've gotten older this has remained true and even become exaggerated...thus my tendency to drool over ballplayers who are young enough to be my children.  Also, following much disappointment and mistreatment in my prior relationships (and more of the same from the handful of guys who have paid me any attention since that time), it's been years since I've met any men here in Asheville who I found attractive.  Basically, I was so traumatized that I couldn't go there with anyone "real."  This, of course, was unproductive, as was my seeming inability to get excited about anyone over the age of about 35.  I mean, much as I have cougar tendencies, I don't have the looks or the money or the fashion know-how to pull off the glamorous look that would land me a hot young man.  I've got to be realistic about that.

Why things changed over the past couple of weeks to allow me to notice Terry, I don't know.  But notice him I did...a highly intelligent diamond in the rough.  I have a feeling that I made a bit of a fool of myself last night.  How could he not notice that I hung around a little too long at the end of the evening so I could get in an extra two or three hugs and tell him he was wonderful?  I don't think that's the kind of style he's used to.  My bad.  HOWEVER, the point of all this is that I was fiending for a guy in his 50s, and although that particular guy is almost certainly out of reach, some sort of seed has been planted.  I can indeed be attracted to men my age.  And I'm sure I'll meet more as I start getting involved in activities all around town.  Not that I'm doing all these activities to meet men.  Not at all.  I'm trying to grow, and I feel called to involvement in certain things.  But hey, if the range of what I find attractive widens to include something more realistic to my actual age and not the age I wish I still were, and if along the way I just HAPPEN to meet some man who I find intriguing...wouldn't that be a nice perk?  One can hope. Sometimes that's all one can do, but it's a start, a baby step, as it were.