Normal is in the eye of the beholder. Whoopie Goldberg
Really, what is normal? Your normal may be outrageous to me. And what is normal to me may seem weird to you.
I know that that there are people who wonder about me. I am a bit different from most of the folks I know. Oh, I don’t howl at the moon or walk around naked, stand on street corners talking to myself or preaching strange doctrines. I am most often alone doing my thing…whatever that may be at any given time.
I have friends who are extroverts. In fact, most of my close friends are extroverts. They would go crazy if they spent as much time alone as I do. I am an introvert. If I don’t have my alone time I feel crazy anxious. And that ain’t a pretty sight. That’s not to say that there aren’t times when I want and need some time with people. It’s just not everyday.
When I am with the people I love and care about I know they are normal and they know I am normal. Our normal ways of being are just different. Keeps life and friendship interesting.
‘Tis healthy to be sick sometimes. Henry David Thoreau
I had my first COVID vaccine shot 3 weeks ago. Friday I had my second dose. Like the first visit there was no waiting. Went in sat down, the nurse told me the same things as before. She did say that sometimes people have reactions that they didn’t have with the first dose. She gave me the shot, I sat in the waiting area for 15 minutes, to see if any serious reactions would occur. No reactions at all so I left.
The first dose I had no reaction to at all. Second was a different story. In the evening my arm was sore and stiff. And I was feeling kinda icky. So I went to bed early. Woke up about 2 am feeling a lot worse than icky! Soaking wet, hot, shivering, hands and feet cold as ice. Got up took a couple Tylenol, changed jammies, put socks on, and went back to bed. Slept fine.
Woke up still worse than icky. Took my temperature, 102*! Took a couple more Tylenol had some toast and went back to bed. Got up in the late afternoon just feeling icky, temp 100*. More Tylenol and some soup. Temperature returned to normal and stayed there. Still felt icky. Went to bed early and woke up Sunday morning and felt my usual healthy self. YAY!
I have done what the medical folks said I should do and feel confident I won’t get the virus, though I will continue with the mask wearing and social distancing. And I have a new understanding of the quote at the beginning of this story.
The only way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. Walt Disney
Good advice Mr Disney. However, most of the time I have no one to talk to, so I read. So far this year I have read 22 books. Obviously, I don’t read heavy intellectual books. I just read fiction and some memoirs and biographies. The fiction is usually thriller, psychological drama, detective stories, some sci-fi/fantasy and historical fiction. I like gritty fast paced stories that are not too easy to figure out. I love books with surprise endings especially ones that make me wonder what?!
I have several projects on my to-do list. And I plan to do them. Every night I tell myself tomorrow I will do this or that project. When I wake up and tomorrow is now today, I begin. I read the paper, do my puzzles, have something to eat, shower and get dressed, talk to the cats, take a walk, check my email, read blogs and sometimes comment. Then there are those bothersome little housekeeping chores that have to be done…vacuuming, dusting, dishes, bathrooms, laundry. Of course, those things get done I’m not a slob!
It’s just the project stuff I have a problem with. Like the closets and drawers. No one sees inside the closets and drawers. Just me. Sometimes I think about the people who will come in to clear everything out when I die. What will they think? Then I get real. I will be dead! What do I care what they think!
Well, I have written this post and I have thought about which project to do. But first, I am going to begin reading a new book .
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou
Friday I went to get my COVID vaccine. I had an appointment but I expected to have to wait and had accepted that fact. The articles in the paper made it sound like getting the vaccine was unpleasant and took hours. Wrong!
I walked in to the building, followed the signs, and checked in. No lines. A woman asked me a couple of questions, I signed a paper and was told to see the man in a blue jacket. He told me to please sit in chair #5. I walked over to the chair and before I could sit down he came over and said someone was ready to see me. He showed me over to a table and introduced me to the nurse. She asked a few questions, gave me the shot and a card noting the day and time and what the injection was. Then she told me I could make an appointment for the second vaccination at another table. I went there and made the appointment and was told to go to the back of the room and sit for 20 minutes and if I felt okay and wasn’t having any side affects I could go. I left in 20 minutes feeling fine.
I was there less than an hour, maybe in part because I filled out the paperwork on line the day I made the appointment. But the best part was the people. Everyone I interacted with was smiling and friendly and they seemed to be genuinely happy to see me. They took their time. They answered questions. I never felt rushed or that I was just a thing they had to take care of and be done with. All the clerks, aides, and nurses were happy people and that made me a happier person.
Maya Angelou was right. I will always remember the people at the site and how happy they were and how that made me feel; happy to be there and to be me.
Perhaps the most radical act of resistance in the face of adversity is to live joyfully. Ari Honarvar
How we handle adversity says a lot about who and what we are. Life is not always easy or pleasant. Bad, even horrible things sometimes happen. There are times and events that happen that hurt deeply and leave scars that will remind us of the trials and sorrows forever. What we do and don’t do during and after the hurt determines how we live, how we continue our journey.
When we live joyfully, the less than perfect circumstances and situations that we face are not as bad as they could be. Joy is not the same as happiness. Happiness comes and goes. Yes, it feels so good when we are in that moment. But that moment is just that, a brief time of feeling special and good and well and happy, it isn’t lasting. Oh, there are fond memories of happiness and it is good to remember those times and happenings. Without the memories of happiness life would be small and trivial.
But joy is not dependent on what is or is not happening. It is a state of being that resides in the heart. It is a warmth that cannot be cooled by the day to day business of life. It is a strength that cannot be weakened by an adversary no matter how big or threatening. It is a knowing that doesn’t allow lies or false beliefs to become truth.
Joy is within all of us. It is not loud and bossy fighting to be felt or heard. It waits for us to acknowledge it, to welcome it, to be thankful, and allow it to do its work in us. Once we begin joyfully living no one can take it away from us. There are those who will try to take it away, even the devil will try. But once we claim that joy it’s ours forever.