Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Winds of Change

We all make promises. We even intend to keep those promises but change is just so impossible. Except it's not. It means doing something different, it means making a conscious effort to do that thing that has always eluded you and getting it done. After a wonderful vacation home in Mammoth, snowboarding, laying by the fire and just plain enjoying the snow (yes I said it midwest, ENJOYING the snow) it was time to head back to El Centro where I was blindsided by the winds of change. Quite literally.

For a week now there have been winds whipping through the region at about 35 to 50 miles per hour all the time. Where I come from they call that a tropical storm, here it is just "wind." The literal manifestation of what I had been thinking on the 8+ hour drive home spurred me into action. I was back, I had a writing schedule to keep, phone calls to make and things to get MOVING. If the wind could do it, so could I.

Day 1. The cold I had so valiantly avoided the entire time I was in Mammoth despite my husband getting sick firmly landed on my head and I slept for 23 hours. Literally 23 hours. I occasionally woke up to put some cold water on my parched throat or to try and ease the coughing fit that I was sure would end my life, but other than that, straight up sleep. Winds a tolerable 25 mph.

Day 2. I am sick of being sick and I am not letting THIS get the best of me. Die, microscopic virus, die! That meant going to get cold medicine. The trailer for the motorcycles is still attached to my truck so I go to the car. "Press," I push on the little button to unlock the car that had been sitting unused for 2 weeks. Not even a glimmer of light or the faintest whisper of a beep. Not good. Manually unlock the door to discover what I already suspected, dead battery. Chris works tonight so I let him sleep, round up the neighbor with a truck and jumper cables. Get all set up and then proceed to wake up the entire RV park as the alarm will not disengage with the car trying to start and every time you hook up the "negative" side of the battery an incredibly negative sound of echoing beeping blares out of the horn. Now the hubby is up as are the neighbors. We give up on the battery and just use one of the marine batteries we have in the RV so that I can go to town and return the non-working battery to Costco. That took way more energy than I expected AND I haven't even gotten on the road yet. Winds hitting 35 to 40 mph.

Day 3. In a drug induced, cold medicine filled haze I try to get some work done as I find out the neighbors are going to be requiring some massive help. Larry is now the color of a lemon and is in as much pain as he was when we left two weeks ago. Not good. After much convincing we get him in an ambulance at midnight on this day and I follow behind to care for his wife. When you have family who work in an ER the last thing they want is to see you there visiting. My bigger problem, I have been sick in bed for two days straight, I look hideous (at least I ran a brush through my hair and threw on lip gloss, thank you Carrie) and I am now face to face with all my husband's co-workers for the first time. Great. No one remembers me bringing in cake for his birthday because I slinked in so as not to disturb the "important" work of the ER. Next time I do something nice and I have make-up on, I swear, I am making a SCENE! Massive 45 to 50mph winds with gusts up to 65.

Day 4. Barely making it to and from the hospital. Helping Larry and Patricia get organized and deal with a heartbreaking diagnosis. I feel like I can barely think or move and then look at Larry who is really suffering and I keep telling my lungs to suck it up. When the Dilaudid is kicking in he is actually quite funny. Still cracking jokes, making light of his color and being transferred to San Diego. At one point he even calls to say it is happening and we won't possibly make it before he is on his way. I laugh at this knowing exactly how long a transfer takes and he is there for many more hours, enough time for his daughter and granddaughters to arrive via plane, via 1.5 hour drive. The girls and I start buttoning everything up, making plans and end with BIG, HUGE margaritas to wash away the day. Winds still at 50 mph.

While I have not exactly gotten on track with my "plan," I can say I am more motivated than ever before. I have watched two people have their plans laughed at by the universe. Their entire existence has shifted and Patricia likely only gets to enjoy her husband's company for three or four weeks. All the while the winds kept pushing, forcing their way in and reminding me in their very brutal way that today is all you have, so appreciate, have fun and do what you say you are going to do. The plan is underway. It has really only been about 24 hours since they left and since I was able to focus, but there are checklists and calendars and all sorts of intentions. Of course reality, like the battery, the cold and the illness are sure to rear their ugly heads again, but I think that is the real challenge of change. To do it anyway.
Winds, 25 mph, still peskily reminding me to be good.

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