I promise this won’t be one of those posts apologizing for not blogging for so long. Life has been… full, so full that I won’t even attempt to catch you up on all of it. My work is frustrating and wonderful and eating up every scrap of energy I have. Chronic pain from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome isn’t getting any easier, and it looks like it’s about time to have the other shoulder checked by the orthopedist for possible surgical repair. My Dominican studies and Education for Ministry class are feeding me richly, when I have enough energy to really take part. And my husband is the sweetest, most generous, most patient man in the whole world. I’m truly blessed — I really do get that — but sometimes all these blessings really exhaust me!
Tomorrow, I meet with my manager face-to-face in the office here in town. This happens only every few months because my manager works halfway across the country and because I telecommute full-time as an accommodation to disability. And in the middle of the day, about the time my manager will want to head out for lunch, I have a phone call scheduled with his manager (who works all the way across the country from me). The thing is, my manager isn’t really managing, and I don’t have the authority to make the decisions or to give the direction that need to come from him. After months of this pattern, I realize that I’m not doing any favors to myself, to my team, or to our customers by allowing this to continue. So after a direct request to my boss for the decision or direction that the team needs, when he doesn’t respond, I’ll ask his boss to give us the decision. I’m tired of the political shenanigans. We need a manager, and if our manager doesn’t want to manage, then I’ll find someone in the chain of command who will.
I’m assured by a co-worker who is not a complete bystander in the situation that this should not be a risk to my job security. I’m not entirely sure about that, but it’s all right. It’s the right thing to do for my team. And I’m not going to let myself be afraid of it. I just sat in quiet prayer for 20 minutes, and in that time, I heard all the reasons not to fear.
I am a survivor.
I have survived abuse.
I have survived depression.
I have survived attempted suicide.
I have survived separation and divorce.
I have survived chickenpox and pneumonia and flu.
I have survived lay-offs.
I have survived being laid off.
I have survived unemployment.
I have survived college.
I have survived nighttime grad school.
I have survived working with idiots, incompetents, and just plain jerks.
Nobody has power over me unless I give it to them.
Nobody can demand my trust… but I freely give it.
Nobody can demand my respect… but I freely give it.
Nobody can demand my love… but I freely give it.
Nobody can demand my obedience… but I freely give it.
I joke about being mean, and it’s all in fun.
The thing is, there are things that I am passionate about, even fierce:
giving love to every person
finding joy, at all times and in all places
doing the right thing
going about things in the right way
treating every person with respect
giving dignity to every person
believing the best of everyone
finding that almost always, they live up to this belief
giving my trust to everyone, even to strangers.
With God’s grace, I continue to survive.
I survive the pain of disability every day
I survive working, though it costs me
I survive tensions, conflicts, and arguments
I survive agreement, harmony, and peace
I survive boredom
I survive frantic frustration
I survive days when I don’t have time to pee.
And when the sun goes down on those days
when the night surrounds my home
I know that I am not alone.
Anything may happen in my life tomorrow.
I will survive it.
After all, what’s the worse that can happen —
I would die?
I have a promise, though, that I’ll survive even that.
Thanks be to God!
So that’s my anthem. I know it might sound like a Gloria Gaynor song, but this song is mine, the song that sings in my heart tonight.
The pain index this evening is at about an 8 out of 10. We have a rather nasty storm blowing through tonight, and I can feel it in every joint. My knees and hips seem to feel storm the worst. My neck, shoulders, back, and arms feel the computer. All of me feels the being a Little Person (my littleness is idiopathic, which means I’m just really short, without having one of the forms of dwarfism that cause disproportion)… but it still affects every facet of my life! I know I’ll survive it. I know I’m really blessed. Sometimes it just gets exhausting, especially when I can’t get to sleep.
This Sunday is our service of Advent Lessons and Carols at church. This is a worship service that combines readings from the Old Testament, up to the events leading up to the birth of Jesus… but not quite to it just yet, with traditional carols, hymns, and songs that reflect these readings. It is a beautiful service, one of my favorites of the year, and I’m privileged to be participating as a member of two choirs this year. There is also a service of Christmas Lessons and Carols, which is similar, and which many churches offer during Christmastide, usually the first Sunday after Christmas Day. My parish includes an abbreviated service of Christmas Lessons and Carols during the half-hour before our “midnight mass” on Christmas Eve. I’m excited, and I hope I have enough time for rest both before tomorrow night’s rehearsal and on Sunday afternoon!
Saturday afternoon, my beloved and I will be “ush-ing” at a local performance of The Nutcracker. I’m really looking forward to this, too… the excitement of the children (and the adults!), the beautiful music, the lovely ballet. The last time I saw even part of The Nutcracker was in December 2006, just before my daughter’s second spinal surgery, and only six months before my ex and I separated. I stood in the wings with tears rolling down my face, knowing that I needed to bring beauty into my life. So much has changed since then, and yet, I’m still the same hedwyg.
Well, it’s almost tomorrow, and I should try again to get some sleep. God’s peace be with you, and God’s blessings be upon you.