Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lost Day

Yesterday was lost to me.  I am a learned optimist and have led a pretty grand life, especially these last 20 years or so.  A friend once described me as “having a horseshoe up my ass.”  Fact is, I’ve had my fair share of hardships (which, incidentally, make really good stories) and what’s good in my life is a good part luck (or blessing or being in the right place at the right time or whatever you want to call it), but it’s also because I have made it so through good choices, focusing on what is good, and choosing to do good by others.  I am a big believer in karma: what you throw out to the universe is going to come bounding back at you like a big ol’ boomerang. 

Well, I don’t know what I put out there yesterday, but it was one of those days that was just as well not lived or was certainly not lived well.  It started off with an MRI which is never a good way to start a day, especially if you don’t get to have any coffee or breakfast before and you have to take a variety of planes, trains and automobiles to get there (Okay: a mini bus, a double-decker bus and a taxi).

If you’ve never had an MRI before, I would compare it to what I’d imagine it’s like to be fired at while in a helicopter in a war zone.  I have no idea why procuring magnetic images of your body or brain involves skull-rattlingly loud noises resembling gunfire and grenades, but I’ve been having MRIs for going on twenty years now thanks to certain brain and back maladies, and they are still exactly the same.  What’s more, you’re encapsulated in a tube where you're forbidden to so much as wiggle your toes for upwards of an hour.  Unbelievably, excruciatingly not fun.

When I emerged from said MRI, I had a migraine developing, likely from lack of food and water and abundance of ammunition noises in close proximity to my head.  After finding food and libations (in the form of coffee and cereal) and taking care of some business I had in the city, I was practically on my hands and knees from pain, but I still needed to get home from the legion of people that urban Hong Kong is.  I couldn’t find the right bus.  The subway system was eluding me.  I was hallucinating, my head felt like someone was going at it with a staple gun, people were jostling me from all sides, I wanted to vomit and random men kept asking me if I wanted to buy a copy watch. 

I have never ever wanted to be teleported to my bed so badly.  And all that optimism my blog is usually so full of?  I wanted to take it all back and just say, “Shoot me now and put me out of my misery.”  Where is Dr. Kevorkian when you need him?

It took me two hours to get home (it should have been about 45 minutes) in between which time I was cursing public transportation (HK has some of the best in the world), my lack of Cantonese (I have spent so many years trying to master basic Mandarin that the thought of taking on Cantonese fills me with dread and inadequacy), and my weak constitution which is so prone to pain and so receptive to hot baths and snuggly beds.

When I arrived home, I practically threw myself in a tub of hot water and bubbles and when all the hot water had evaporated, I went straight to bed, only to emerge briefly from my covers for some Campbell’s mushroom soup and rye bread.  Head under pillow (while I recklessly, uncaringly allowed my children to watch that sarcastic villain of a cat Garfield on the TV in the bedroom instead of reading bedtime stories), I fell into a heavy, dream-filled slumber.

Yesterday was a day of pessimism and pain.  That’s why today, even though I spent half the day spending half our income to arrange flight tickets to go to Canada and the States for the summer and the other half straggling up a mountain side, with a cane, in pain, for the sake of being with my family and enjoying the sun that has finally decided to emerge after it eluded us the entire week of our Chinese New Year holidays, I still managed to feel like a million bucks and then some.

You need a few bad days to realize how good you’ve got it.  I’ve got it real good. 

Yep.  That's how my head was feeling.

For today:

No complaining
No cursing
No headaches
No trips into the big, bad, busy city
No judging people who do complain (They probably have really good reasons.)

I am sorry that my veneer occasionally cracks and the dark Leah emerges.  I have put her back in her cage.  It’s not a lost day today; it’s a “lots” day.  So much better!

For today:

Lots of laughs
Lots of gratitude
Lots of family time
Lots of bed and bath time
Lots of compassion for people who have "lost days" most days

Yes, life is good, even when it's not perfect.  I can only hope for you (and me) that our lost days are few and far between.

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