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I’m not religious. Never grew up with any religious backing. No midnight mass on Christmas Eve. No ashes on Ash Wednesday. No Easter Sunday service. I didn’t get a bat mitzvah when I turned 12.
As a kid growing up I didn’t question the lack of religious backing when it came to celebrating major holidays. All I knew was that I had a day or few days off from school. We gathered, we laughed, we shared, we ate. But as I grew and I questioned my own faith I began to stand with the camp of all holidays are excuses for materialistic excess. Yet that didn’t mean I wanted to stop experiencing my gathering, and laughing, and sharing…and of course eating 😊
Sounds simple right? Until you find yourself dating someone who is religious BUT his religion has zero room and tolerance for the expression of your non-religious holiday traditions.
My boyfriend doesn’t believe in the religious origins of Christmas therefore he has no place for the commercial factor. No Santa, no garlands, no wreath on the door…no tree. I like the spirit of Christmas. I like the spirit behind the holiday that I was raised with. The spirit of people (family and friends) coming together. I’ve never thought of the religious aspect. My parents never fostered the idea of a jolly White Man coming into our home and dropping off gifts. My sister and I knew who were responsible for the gifts. Yet at times we had what are called and rightly thought of as Christmas decorations…And this is where my dilemma lies.
After my Mom died I said to myself that if I have kids there are certain things I want to do with them because I did them with my family or even start doing them because I didn’t get to do them for long with my family. Like decorating a Christmas tree after Thanksgiving dinner, or hosting a big family holiday party at my house. Something I know my Mom would have love to have done but she was usually working on Christmas.
If I want to celebrate the spirit of the season with a Christmas tree my boyfriend is totally against it. I have always seen Christmas trees as decorations nothing more. But I have friends that may think otherwise. Never really asked. When bringing up the subject with my boyfriend it usually leads to a lecture on the “true meaning of Christmas”. My point is lost that to me its a tree and decorations. And decorations are part of enjoying the spirit of certain holidays. Like pumpkins or costumes during Halloween, or pastel colored eggs during Easter.
What really got me thinking about my childhood holiday traditions was when my boyfriend’s mother mentioned since we are of different faiths if we have kids they won’t be raised observing those pagan holidays…because he doesn’t believe in that.
Thousands, maybe even millions of parents come together being of different faiths. Don’t forget I don’t have a faith. I’ve never made my dislike for organized religion a secret. My boyfriend knows how I feel. We have discussed it. I’ve been respectful of him and his religion. I’m respectful of the fact that he wants to raise any children we have under his faith and that I won’t be silent on the fact that I don’t have one. But what does that have to do with me having a tree in our home for maybe two weeks, one month a year? Or hanging a wreath? Why can’t my child/children be knowledgeable of their father’s faith and their mother’s decision to not observe a faith, respect her spirituality and appreciate the spirit of holidays being alive with some tinsel and garland?
Of course the idea of being denied this upsets me because my Mom is gone. Because she was the one to make the holidays special. My Dad and sister do what they can. But nothing can recreate that magic of Christmas morning being seen through the eyes of a child. Or just enjoying the holiday the way you know how and want to.
I know it sounds silly to be hooked on this. I can simply just adopt his holiday tradition and incorporate it into my own. Right?
Can’t the same be asked of him?
Perhaps I wouldn’t feel so strongly if my boyfriend didn’t grow up with his own Christmas memories, his own Christmas trees. So he knows the kind of joy I want to create for our children.
Until next time
I’m back 🙂 it’s been a while. Life got away from me. Things got serious with the guy I started dating back in September of last year. We went on vacations (Vegas and Disneyworld) and we moved in together. Maybe those two topics that will be future blog posts.
Today I am here to type about my 2nd Carpal Tunnel Surgery. You can read about my 1st surgery here CTS.
I always knew that I would need to have surgery done on my left hand. The pain in my left is why I went to see an orthopedic doctor in the first place. So after two years of getting the right hand done I went and got the left hand. From the moment I got home I felt that something was off.
I planned to be out from work for 4 days. Using my last surgery as frame of reference I assumed I would be okay. Asshat move on my part. I fully take responsibility for that. I could have gone one short term disability. I would lost money but I would have gotten the rest I needed. Because this time the pain was OFF THE CHARTS. I tried taking the pain meds but I didn’t fancy being a zombie so I only took them to sleep.
Even before the stitches came out I could feel the scar tissue forming. Doctors have no explanation as to why scar tissue forms. Well that isn’t correct. My right hand has scar tissue. My left hand has excessive scar tissue. The way the surgery works is once the incision is cut the carpal ligament is left to heal on its on. So there is going to be some kind of scar tissue.The issue is whether or not it is excessive or not.
When the two weeks were over and I was itching for the stitches to come out my whole palm felt like harden skin. That was scar tissue. I could wiggle my fingers and curve them. But I couldn’t close my hand in a fist. Ok, I expected that but the harden skin was new for me. I tried to ignore it and go about my life. but then this started to happen.
That picture was taken 3 days after the stitches came out. There was pain, the scar tissue left me with limited mobility. The incision was still healing and my doctor told me to be patient. He said the surgery was straight forward but that my carpal tunnel was bad. The nerve was “pretty compressed”, those were his words. The healing process was a slow one.
During the healing I was in pain on a daily basis. Had moments of regret. From, getting the surgery to going back to work too soon. I was in so much pain that I thought something had gone wrong. Total hypochondriac moments and went back to my doctor. I thought that there was an infection. No infection, BUT I was working too much. My nerves were shot, abused and needed a few days of rest. I got a Dr.’s note and took some time off from work (3 days plus the weekend). Amazing what that week did.
I had my surgery on August 25th., back to work on the 29th.
I had my stitches removed on September 13th, took time off September 22nd to 23rd.
I was cleared for physical therapy on October 7th.
This pic was taken the day before I went to physical therapy. Looks 100x better than before. While several people think I should go to PT I personally don’t. I work with my hands. I feel that I can do more work without paying the hefty $50 copay.
The width of the scar tissue itself is 1000x better. I no longer wake up with pain.Sometimes throughout the day it hurts but usually when I have been using my hand a lot. Once December rolls around I will go back to my Dr. for a follow up. He knows that I am no going to PT and is ok with my choice.
The major lessons learned… no two surgeries will heal alike and always listen to your body.
Until next time,
No matter what I say to myself I often find that there is always room for…
Room for a fresh set of tears
Room for your breath to catch in your throat and choke you
Room for your eyes to see what your heart does not…want to see
Room for the excuses
Room for the doubt
Room for the hurt
Room for the anger
Room for the desire to push away the excuses, the doubt, the hurt, and the anger
Room for the veil of happiness to cover your depression
Only to fail and make
Room for the shackles of depression to overtake your happiness
I remember several years ago a therapist asked me if I had a “depression trigger”.
I laughed and said, “Yeah…caring.” As I get older I learn that you don’t have to care about everything…or everyone
Until next time,
This Saturday my sister and I are taking my Dad to see a taping of the Bill Maher show at Madison Square Garden as a birthday gift. His birthday was on November 4th.
The outing has me thinking about my own birthday which is next week. Mr. Man has repeatedly asked me what I want to do. Other than dinner I don’t know what I want to do. Sad because I am making a point to take off the two days AFTER my birthday…I should have something planned.
Instead I am at a loss.
I tend to be very low key with birthday celebrations. I don’t like a lot of fuss. In past years I have spent it alone, with family, or friends. There is ONE thing that I try to do each year…I try to do something special for myself.
The tradition started when I got my passport when I was 23, a year after my Mom died. She had been pushing me to get one for a while.
One year I bought a silver Tiffany & Co rope bracelet.
Then it was a Brazilian Wax the year after that.
It was a tattoo four years ago.
I’ve bought a ridiculously expensive bottle of perfume before that.
This year I was thinking of going on a trip…but my passport has since expired………..
I think I know what I want to do for my birthday…
Yeah…I’m weird like that…applying for a passport on my birthday would be a totally acceptable gift to me from me 🙂
Do you have any birthday traditions? How do you like to celebrate your born day?
Until next time,
*This is my final update on the IUD Mirena. If you aren’t interested…well…uhm…don’t read 😉 But if you do read…it’s a looooong post*
The last time I posted an update it was 3 months into having Mirena. You can read about it here.
It has been a year and some change. While some of my issues with Mirena got better (cramps became less and less, blood flow decrease to heavy spotting) a lot of other issues, or side effects began to take shape.
When doing research on Mirena it is evident that you will have a 50% chance of loving it or 50% chance of hating it. With periods that were heavy spotting (too light for a tampon but too heavy for a pantyliner) for 12-15 days , then having 14 days of horrible mood swings followed by the 12-15 days of spotting I was smack in the middle.
After I started going to the gym (July) and really focusing on what I was eating I become frustrated that I wasn’t losing weight. Granted I wasn’t a gym rat but I was walking more, taking the steps instead of the escalator. My diet was 900 calories when it should have been 1200. A month of doing that and to see the same number OR higher on the scale pissed me off and got me thinking.
When DID I start to put on the weight???
When I got Mirena…
I’ve read some women say they didn’t/don’t experience any weight gain. But I also read A LOT of women say that they did. Then I read those same women talk about their mood swings, acne (I didn’t get a lot of breakouts, just once a month-surprise surprise) but the acne took forever to go away. Just like the women were saying on various forums.
I didn’t really make the connection until I began seeing post about other side effects. The side effects that get glossed over.
Depression, short term memory loss, fatigue, dizziness, migraines (I already suffer with), low sex drive, short temper, emotional mess, excessive sweating, weight gain, and acne
Granted these are the side effects. Every form of medication has them. Side effects are also supposed to lessen the longer you use a medication. In this case the longer I had the IUD in the less I should have been affect by these side effects…that wasn’t the case. As I look back on my time with Mirena I can see the pattern of my side effects grow or deepen, however you want to see it.
The pros and cons of keeping Mirena came into question when I started dating. Low sex drive, weight gain, depression, mood swings, 12-15 day periods…who cares about that when you’re alone? It’s an annoyance but dating it became a hindrance.
My main reasons for getting the IUD was to lessen my flow and heavy cramps. I always had a normal cycle. 5 days with a nice 3 week interval. I could go back to that if it meant losing half of the Mirena side effects.
My main reasons for taking the IUD out were the weight gain, low sex drive, and 12-15 day periods. I wasn’t sure my depression was all to be blamed as a side effect or the result of weight gain and my inability to sustain a happy mood.
Regardless I took it out 13 days ago…I don’t care what anyone says…from the moment I left my doctors office I had a pep in my step that I hadn’t felt in MONTHS. It was like the dark cloud that was hovering over me was slowly retreating back.
Could it be wishful thinking…I would say that but in the last 13 days I lost 5lbs. That alone makes the removal worth it. Women who believed their weight gain was because of Mirena did report weight loss as quick as within a week once it was removed.
The day after removal I got my period with minimal cramps, moderate to heavy blood flow and it last 10 days. That made me happy. My sex drive is up, my migraines have stopped. The little things that used to set me off haven’t. I can remember what I did last night. My deodorant is working again, lol.
It sucks that my experience wasn’t as great as others (waves to sister) Even saying that because everyone is different I wouldn’t discount Mirena if you are looking for an IUD.
The makers of Mirena have a “little sister” IUD called Skyla. I’m thinking of getting it or not. But now that I am dating the prevention of pregnancy plays a factor in what I chose next. My doctor gave me a Rx for Ortho Micronor. Besides the side effects (similar to Mirena) the fact that I HAVE to take the pill the same time each day freaks me out a little.
*If you have experiences with Mirena or any IUD comment below*
Until next time,
In my last post I mentioned that I have been listening to audiobooks and podcast. Ironically the podcast that started the frenzy The Jillian Michaels Show is one that I no longer listen to. Nothing wrong with the podcast I simply had my fill. I can be a little OCD about things that are part of a series…if I’m reading a book that is part of a series I MUST start with #1 regardless of whether or not the author says I have to. When I listen to a podcast if I can find it I WILL start from the 1st episode. Jillian’s podcast was on for a few years and is about fitness and motivation…at some point she repeats herself…therefore I got bored.
Yet I still HIGHLY recommend listening to it if you want some brutal honesty about fitness and ways to change your life.
*These are in no particular order*
The Generation Why Podcast – Aaron and Justin talk about true crime cases, unsolved murders, controversies, mysteries and conspiracies. I enjoy this one because Aaron and Justin often give different view points on the cases they cover and the format is somewhat informal.
Sword and Scale- Mike Boudet delves into the world of true crime and the response of the criminal justice systems. This podcast is not for the faint of heart. Several episodes have made me cry, made me angry and have cemented my belief that some murderers deserve the death penalty.
The Highly Sensitive Person Podcast- I don’t even remember how I found this podcast. It must have been one of those days when I was looking for something that would help me better understand why I was depressed when I felt I shouldn’t be. Kelly, the host discusses how the world around HSPs affects us and it isn’t us “just being too emotional”. As a HSP I found this podcast a breath of fresh air because for once I didn’t feel like there was something wrong with me.
Lore- Aaron Mahnke has a bi-weekly podcast about true life scary stories. Each episode looks into a uniquely scary tale and uncovers the truth behind it. This one definitely leaves me going “Hmmmm”
The Mortified Podcast- This podcast is hilarious. People share funny, most times (if not all) embarrassing childhood journals, letters, poems, lyrics, plays, etc. This one is so cool because it takes me back to a time when we were all awkward thinking we knew what the world was about but really had no idea.
The Friend Zone- Assante, Fran, and Dustin discuss pop culture, news and how to get your “mental hygiene” in check. Living in the world that we do stress is a factor we can’t ignore but sometimes we do…saying “that’s life”. This podcast reminds me that you MUST take time out for yourself even while keeping up to date with what is going on around you.
Tea with Queen and J- Queen and J. are two funny women talking about pop culture, politics and whatever else pops into their heads during tea time. I found this podcast by being followed by Tea w/ Queen and J on Twitter. I barely use Twitter. I had no clue who they were. From episode 1 I have been hooked. HOOKED!!! Every episode makes me laugh out loud. At work, walking, on the train…I am laughing at something they say.
*Side note…The Friend Zone and Tea w/ Queen and J. speak on pop culture and news that mostly pertains to the African American community*
Here is what I was (still am) listening to a year ago.
Part 2 and a post on my recent audiobooks coming up in the future.
If you have a podcast that you like that isn’t listed, comment below. I love finding new podcasts 🙂
Until next time,