On Responsibility…

I’ve been pondering on that word a lot lately- responsibility and the taking of it, the lack of it, the inability to accept it, the fear of it…

What allows some people to easily step up, claim their place and do their just duty in the realm of responsibility while others do everything that they can to avoid it.

I know that it’s easy to imagine the worst, to invent in your mind all of the bad and wrong and horrid outcomes that might come from taking responsibility. I’m guilty of doing that very thing. But what about claiming and owning and feeling empowered by the knowing that you did step up, speak out, say “Yep, it was me, or I’m the one and I take responsibility for it…”

All those old sociology texts packed away in a cardboard box in my closet would probably tell me that we learn responsibility from our surroundings; from watching the people we are closest to as they step up, do the right thing, and take responsibility. I can’t argue with that. I believe that. We learn by example. We as humans are heavily influenced by our social groups and environment.

I also have a social psych book buried in that box somewhere as well. I remember being fascinated by that class. It was the perfect marriage between the social and the personal, the environment and the inherent aspects of the self that may, or may not influence us to be who we are. I loved learning how the two disciplines can work side by side. I always believed (still do) that sociology and psychology are not mutually exclusive. We are complex beings, and believing that there is only one way to define our behaviors seems rather elitist and ill-conceived to me.

In my world right now, with this focus on responsibility muddling up my thoughts, I’m even more convinced of the complexity between the inside and the outside.

Shameless promotion

By way of introduction:

  1. I’m a mom, and it is my duty to shamelessly tell you about all the wonderful, amazing, creative, and sometimes even awe-inspiring things that my 3 adult children do.
  2. I have the cheapest (meaning FREE) WordPress plan. I cannot download audio files with this plan so I apologize because obviously it would make this entire post much more relevant and perhaps also inspire more folks to listen without having to go to extra steps.
  3.  My son, who works in the analytics industry by day, just produced this album:

https://sayspeaker.bandcamp.com/releases

This is where I am cursing lightly under my breath, because you will now have to possibly copy and paste this url into another window to hear it. Again, I am sorry for my cheapness frugal options when it comes to working with WordPress. Most of you should be able to simply click the link obviously, but the impact with the album art IN the post would have been spectacular.

Please take a moment to listen. And please feel free, if you enjoy what you hear, to also take a moment to help me shamelessly promote this site/album on any and all social media that you might have at your disposal.

I might be rather biased, but I think it’s pretty good.

Here’s Looking At You

Because I can now, look at you and see you that is, at least with my right eye.

The cataract in that eye is gone as of 3pm yesterday. Broken up and sucked out and gone.

What a surreal experience all of that was, but I feel it might be best to spare you some of the gory details. I will say, mostly because I never believed it when everyone said, “Easiest surgery you will ever have!” that it’s true. ‘Those people’ aren’t lying, nor have they been paid to tell you how simple and life changing 6 minutes can be. Yep, 6 minutes from the time the surgeon rolled his chair up to my head to the time the tape went on my new eye. So believe it, and don’t worry about it, if you ever face this surgery like I have been doing for the past two months.

I will share that my nurse-anesthetist, Kevin, was rather gorgeous. It was truly a shame that after loading my eye with lidocaine that he then placed a hefty patch over it while I waited to go into the surgical suite.

They warned me after, during post-op instructions, that glare, even from simple daylight, might be an issue for awhile. I even got some special glasses, which I have not worn not because they don’t help, but because I don’t feel like I’m quite so much a senior anymore and we all know what it means when we see those white haired seniors wandering around with those very dark glasses…

My world is brighter however, now that I am not living behind a constant foggy cloud. And truly an odd thing, but driving this morning I noticed that my world seemed bigger. My perspective of the lanes on the highway was that they were wider than just a few days ago when I drove those same roads pre-surgery.

I will clearly need some readers, those stylish magnifiers that help you read close up, because I chose not to have multi-focal lenses. Would have loved to banish the old-eyes presbyopia, but the cost for those lenses was definitely prohibitive right now. I will be on the lookout for a stylish chain to hang my cheaters from around my neck I think.

I am off in a bit to have a follow-up check of the eye. Even now, less than 24 hours post-op, I can tell that the vision is my left eye is lacking. I knew the cataract in that eye wasn’t as bad, but I never noticed it really much at all, apparently because the right really was that bad. 

I wonder just how big and bright my world will appear once I have a new left lens as well?

 

 

Onward we go…

So folks, another step in the process. I admit that this one was harder than I thought it would be, but it’s another that I can put behind me.

I have an appointment with an attorney on March 6th. To discuss divorce. Five days after my first cataract is removed. I guess when I set my mind to doing something, and the ball finally gets rolling, it all seems to fall into place in a hurry.

I had a moment of panic when I was told the consultation fee, then even more panic when I was told the hourly fee, then straight up fear when I was told the minimum retainer should I decide to hire her. Note to anyone interested: lawyers make a whole lot of money. I suppose you already knew that though.

 

Hurrah! Hurray? Update

I’m going to go out onto a rather short limb here and say that I feel pretty confident that cataract surgery is really a thing that’s going to happen.

I picked these up at the pharmacy this morning:

img_20170209_104704424

To be used in my right eye beginning the day of surgery, which is…

March 1st!!!

Men

There are men that I don’t like very much right now.

There are many reasons that I don’t feel very fond of men in general, and of some men in particular.

I do have a soft spot in my heart for older men though, and I realize that this has been the case for a long time.

So many of the older gentlemen who were patients of mine over the years during my dental career were wonderful. Of course they may have smelled a little sometimes, or needed to trim their ear hair, or those long wiry eyebrows. They may even have said some things that I could easily have taken offense to, sexist things that for the men of their generation were common, and accepted. For those men I would just smile, choosing not to take exception to their off-hand comments.

Those older men were bent, and often shaky. Their clothing hung off bodies that I assume were once strong and healthy and fit. They had a hard time hearing or seeing or both.

I found myself looking at them, and listening to their stories and wondering what life had been like for them. I had a few that were nasty. Curmudgeon is the word of choice for them, but I always assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that they might simply be lonely, or sad, or fearful of what was coming in the short time they had left.

I often found myself, at one point or another in our conversation, giving these older men a brief touch on their arm or hand. No, I didn’t ask, and yes it was clearly an invasion of their personal space, but I never had one complain or pull away. And I know that non-complaint doesn’t make it right. It did however, seem like it was important to connect with each of them, to say to them “I hear you and you’re important.”

This act of touching happened again for me, just the other day and it has made me wonder, in light of my own views on sexism and inappropriate behavior exhibited by men toward women, if I am just as guilty as I would assume a man to be if he felt it necessary to touch my arm or hand uninvited.

I was in the grocery store. It was the morning of the Super Bowl and the lines were LONG. I didn’t have a lot in my cart and neither did the older man behind me. A lady in the line next to us commented that we both might fit the “20 items or less criteria” and move to the line that had no one in it. Each of us decided to stay put, but we thanked her for her suggestion.

When my turn came I unloaded my cart and placed the divider thingy down. I also tried to move my cart up as far as possible so the man behind me could start unloading his stuff. By that time we’d been waiting in line for a good 15 minutes or longer. He hung back with his groceries and the space on the belt was wide open the entire way before he began unloading. He slowly put one item after another down. Two quarts of milk. Some lettuce. Hot dogs and buns. I had a feeling that he was trying not to crowd me or push forward too fast. I was still stuck, unmoved because the person who had just finished was chatting while having issues with their payment.

Something made me begin rearranging his groceries, moving them up to fill the open space while I rather offhandedly said, “Oh here, let’s get this moving. We’ve been here long enough.”

I can honestly say that I’ve never overstepped like that before. I don’t make it a routine practice to tell people how to put their groceries on the belt, nor do I typically jump in and handle their items either. He chuckled though and said, “When you’re over 80, you have all time in the world. I’m in no hurry.”

It was at that point that I noticed his ice cream tub and I asked him if he planned to eat the whole tub himself. What was I thinking! First I take charge of the man’s groceries then I insinuate that he would seriously consider eating a gallon size tub of ice cream. The final straw to all this was that as I was insulting his eating habits I also, without any thought to him or his comfort, automatically reached out and touched his forearm.

So there it was. I was, apparently without regard, touching another nice older man just like I had done on numerous occasions without considering that I might be offending him or making him uncomfortable.

I can only guess that my actions started during my dental career as a means to try to connect with, or reassure fearful patients. It wasn’t just older men that I would gently touch. I held kids hands. I have placed my hand over women’s hands, or given a female patient the same forearm touch. I’ve even gently patted the shoulder of a patient on occasion. I’ve often wondered though if I feel a connection to older men because I see my dad in these men. Do I feel a need to connect on a physical level, even so very briefly, with them because I miss the ability to do that with my dad?

I haven’t begun stalking men over 70, or randomly reaching out to inappropriately touch the arms of senior men I pass so I have hope that I can keep this in check.

By the way, the man behind me in line…he was shopping for his wife who was on crutches and couldn’t walk. The ice cream was for her…