Month: June 2013

AGAIN with the Injury

Point of clarification: I have NOT entered into any major sporting event (yet) (I may or may not have been conned into doing Tough Mudder thanks to Ms. Krieant), I have done nothing out of the usual in workouts lately, and yet I’ve managed to muss up my hip flexor. This doesn’t take any particular talent, other than having a crap-tastic lower back, because (fun fact) the hip flexor runs from your lower back and wraps around the front, down into your inner thigh. F-ing with your hip flexor feels rather like having a pulled muscle right where the cut of your leg is, and I can tell you from personal experience it 1. doesn’t go away after a few days (we’re working on two weeks, here) and 2. it is really awful to get PT for it.

Mind you, my PT is for my lower back (hello, arthritis, so very wonderful to see you there too) but suddenly that felt fine and this other area started hurting. As I associate visiting the PT with a massive amount of whining, I added that in for good measure, and Dr. Dan arched an eyebrow (never, ever a good sign) and started asking questions. Since the 3 people you should never lie to are your doctor, your lawyer, and your self, I told the truth… and found myself lying back on the table and having him digging his hands into my pelvis.

I am not exaggerating.

Because your psoas (aka, hip flexor) is so buried and deep, the only way to get it to chill the *F* out is to dig in between your gut and your hip bone, quite deep, while extending and contracting the affected leg. This feels appallingly like having someone dig into your pelvis to clean out the inside of the bone, much like you take a spoon to the inside of pumpkin mash when making Jack-o-lanterns. It doesn’t SCREAMING hurt, but it is one of the least pleasant things I’ve let another human being do to me.

Today was my second session in PT for this (actually, for the lower back facets issue but apparently this gets grouped under that) and I can walk without limping but I’m still not allowed to run. This weekend I’m off to cub scout camp so we’ll see if a Hobbly Mom is okay.

Advil, take me away…

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Summer

School is OUT! I fondly remember, as a child, waiting anxiously for this day to come, and revelling in the ten (or was it twelve?) weeks of summer. Summer, in my case, was summer camp, at the local YMCA. This was in California, and so I spent every day in the pool, if we weren’t going to Disneyland, Magic Mountain, Knot’s Berry Farm, or into the mountains to hike. Every summer I got a wicked burn, then a wicked tan (for those who know me today: yes, it is possible. I have proof.) At the end of camp in 4th grade I broke my arm skateboarding, at the end of camp in 6th grade I had a “boyfriend”. We held hands.

School seemed an interminable period of judgement, testing, studying, and BORING things. Fun fact: I like learning now, I did NOT like learning then. I have dozens of saved report cards from my formative years informing my parents that “Bobbie could do so much better if she just applied herself.”

When I hit 28, I was in full-on baby-mania. Actually, that’s not quite accurate, I was in “have a kid, change my life” mania. It wasn’t just the “baby” I wanted; I wanted the 9-year-old telling me he forgot he needs to bring 2 dozen cupcakes (the morning he needs to bring them). I wanted the cramming for the SAT’s, and the first trip to Disneyland, and reading books goodnight. And I felt sure that when I had a child, what with my academic-leaning parents, I too would become an academic-leaning parent and come to see the value of school.

It is therefore with a mixture of embarrassment and wonder that I report that while I do truly cherish the value of school, and I am that academic parent (that was me, putting my kid in tutoring), I also could not wait for summer. Because it meant a reprieve.

A reprieve from parent-teacher conferences, from enforcing homework revisions, from watching the frustration on his face when he didn’t get a concept or (in the long tradition of my family line) didn’t get it exactly perfect the first time. (He carries that trait to everything, skateboarding and electric guitar have been recent lessons in “no one is perfect the first time”). It’s a reprieve from emails from the teacher, from looking for lost hoodies in the Lost and Found, from waiting for the June Box (items taken by the teacher go into a box and are retrieved… in June), from nights filled with homework, projects, and the dutiful requirements of school.

By the time the end of August rolls around I will revert to the feelings of my youth and delight in back-to-school shopping, even if my son doesn’t. I will feel re-invigorated and redouble my PTA efforts, all the more excited as this is our last grade school year (and I’m chairing the Science Fair). I will be all excited again.  And the boy… the boy will have had ten weeks of fun, and sun; he will have a wicked tan (bless his Father for giving him better skin than I had, the kid does not burn). Even he will be looking forward to school and seeing his friends on a more regular basis, if not the excitement that being a 5th grader (and therefore, top of the heap) brings.

But here we are excited and grateful, officially, for summer.

Dabble, Dabble, Toil and Babble

“Your biggest problem”, he stated flatly, “is you’re a dabbler. You don’t specialize in anything. You are not going to succeed because you do not focus on a given talent; you just dabble in this and that.”

This was actually stated, to me, in a 1:1 with my boss at the time. He was a financial services guru and I was his personal and executive assistant, so assigned because I was technically inclined and could type fast. In short, I was good enough to be his e&pa because I dabbled.

Despite initial reaction, this was meant to be a positive speech: it was going to Incite Me To Action and I was going to Make Something Of Myself. Instead, I quit the job, moved back home, and dabbled some more.

I dabbled my way into SQL.

Then I dabbled my way into ASP.Net. Then I dabbled into VB.Net.

Then I dabbled into SQL some more, and into project management. And the dabbling continued, through business development, communications, operations, and back into development (but C# this time).

“Which one of your degrees does this job come from?” wondered my stepmom one night in Spring when I told them I had acquired this one. “None of them!” my dad said wryly.

My old boss is correct: I am a dabbler. None of the things I have done, have I truly specialized in. There are better people at SQL out there than I am, there are certainly better people at .Net and BusDev. But there are damned few who can speak those languages and are willing to translate them, painfully, carefully into shiny PowerPoints and ROI-laden SWAT analyses.

A few months back I had my midlife crisis, it lasted 36 hours and was of the vein  of “what am I DOING with my life? Where will I go next?” And I realized that every other time in my life I’d been faced with that question things unquestionably got better, more exciting, and more rewarding.

I have friends who went to college for what they ended up being in life, they seem happy and fulfilled. I have friends who picked a field and stuck with it, and will have a decent retirement to speak for it. My own parents offer four different examples of picking a road and trotting down it come hell or high water and they’ve all done fine.

I do not believe, though, that diminishes any success by a diagonal route.

Phoning It In

I’m freely admitting here that I’m phoning this one in: life, and work, have taken over as is wont to do with a new job, and summer approaching. The sun gets early and so do I, I am proudly Foursquare mayor of my gym and I sleep better now that I have in six years. Work is intense and yet has finite boundaries, home is satisfying although I do admit that this school year it feels a bit like I’m limping to the finish (to quote a Facebook friend).

This sounds pitifully like a synopsized email to my mother: I’m alive, I’m happy, I’m sorry I haven’t written, I’m just really busy, and it’s all good. As I have two plane trips spaced at one-month intervals coming up, I hope to have a new rant up soon. Ideas for said rant include:

1. Wow, people in Seattle have no idea how to drive at all once change is instantiated.

2. I may become a shoe fanatic. I bought new shoes that happened to be high heels and I’m really, really enjoying them.

3. Gardening is frustrating if you resolve to do it without chemicals.

4. I have no problem turning 40, the fact that my son is already 10 is scary.

5. I am a dabbler, and despite the best advice of many I think I’m succeeding.

There was a time in my life where I blogged because the volume of drama necessitated it; there is no drama and unfortunately there’s not much I can add in terms of overall social commentary that I feel has to be imparted RIGHT NOW. This is a good position to be in.