Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Got my toes in the water...

By: Guest blogger, Kristi Carter

I sit before my computer with a bitter taste in my mouth. Why? Because the taste of eating my own words is pretty hard to swallow.  When I was “in my 20s,” as I love to say, I used to hear friends a few years older talk about how bad it was to be in their 30s.  I would roll my eyes and think “what a bunch of crap.”  Well, I can testify that it indeed is not crap.  Rather, it is the sad state that I currently reside in and do not enjoy!
The irony of life does not escape me.  Recently Liza asked me to do a Pillow Book entry and I asked her for a prompt.  One of her suggestions was “Why getting older is emotionally hard even in your 30s.” I have been giving it quite a bit of thought over the last week or so and then it became clear to me this week.
Let me preface this by taking one of Liza’s favorite lines: “This is not a woe is me, pity party” entry.  Rather a form of therapy, venting, personal revelation in my life.
I have been struggling with health issues for about a year now.  After a year of being scoped, stuck, and embarrassed beyond reason, I found out on Wednesday that I have moderate to severe Chron’s Disease.  I went to the IBD clinic at Vanderbilt and their “team” reviewed all my records and dropped the bomb on me.  
It was quite an interesting experience.  As I said, they have a team approach so I met with a psychiatrist, registered dietitian, physician’s assistant, and the gastroenterologist. The joke at work was who would have the most fun with me: the shrink or the dietitian.  Well, they both humbled my butt pretty good. 
The ultra skinny dietitian came in and rocked my world.  Now, most of you know that I was raised in Burkesville with my mama’s country cooking.  Every morning was bacon, eggs, biscuits, and chocolate gravy.  Dinners were fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and mac-n-cheese.  This lady looked at my “daily food log” and said “Wow, you are killing yourself.  You have to change everything.” So she spent the next 45 minutes telling me that I can’t eat anything that I really like.  I looked over at dad and he looked at the ceiling.  Now, I ask you...what do you have left when you take out: dairy, spicy, fried, roughage, fiber, and alcohol?  I tell you, A REALLY PISSED OF KRISTI!  I think I could have taken anything but losing my Lifesavers wintergreen mints and my margaritas.  However, she explained that I really needed to do this ASAP until they could get me on my medications.  Her recommendation was that I do this the rest of my life.  Yea, lady…keep on dreaming.  I had to lock the liquor cabinet to keep myself out and can’t drive past my favorite Mexican restaurant.  Now, this is funny to a point.  But, really it’s not.  It’s just another reason getting older sucks!  The days of shoveling down double cheeseburgers and cheese sticks at the Pool Room are gone.  No more going to Mexican restaurants and eating two baskets of chips and a pitcher of margaritas.  It is cruel and unusual punishment and to be honest, really pisses me off!  I don’t have a lot of vices so I wish to hell I could eat and drink what I want, but it seems it is not meant to be.
I guess I will end with the shrink.  He said a lot of things, most of them true.  I won’t delve into the ultra-personal stuff, but the overall message was that I need to learn how to relax, and I need to stop developing a negative self image.  I explained that I feel like I carry so much on my shoulders I feel like I can’t get it all done and will let my family down.  I also explained that my mind never stops running.  I can’t go to sleep and I can’t even enjoy my time alone any more.  His solution was to remember a place (or two) that I can picture myself in and go there.  Imagine the nature and let all my thoughts fade away and just relax.  I laughed in his face!  I told him it had been so long since I relaxed I couldn’t remember a calm place to just “be.”  He said that was a problem.  Then I realized I do have places….I have my farm in Burkesville and I have one of the most beautiful lakes and state parks in the world. 
So, my mission for Labor Day is to try and relax.  I plan to walk my farm and remember the simple days of my childhood.  To take the time to remember what it was like to be a little girl holding her daddy’s hand walking to the back of the farm.  To be the little girl that played in mud puddles (instead of with dolls), had runaway horse rides, and drank from the outside faucet with her dog, King.  I need to find the quite place of happiness.  Being a mother, wife, teacher, daughter, and friend carries a great deal of weight.  Most time I feel like I am on my knees, rather than feet.  That day sitting in the shrink’s office I realized that I had to find my feet again.  I want to find the carefree teenager that would buy a dollar float at the Dollar Store and go float on Dale Hollow Lake with Leslie all day.  Or the college girl that went to the Lenny Kravitz/Black Crowe’s concert with Liza, Lindsey, Leslie, Mandy, and John Eric and tried to smuggle a fifth of peach schnapps in and got busted! 
I long for the days of my 20s and will testify that 32 is not all it is cracked up to be.  Every year, I find something else wrong with my body. Nerves, patience, and humor seem to be fading.  But as the good doctor said, I have to find a way to relax.  So, one song has stuck in my head the rest of the week.  It has become my new mantra:  “I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand.  Not a worry in the world, cold beer in my hand. Life was good today.”   
Let’s hope so…..
Liza's additions...

I could never explain how much I love Lenny Kravitz.
A Lady Who Thinks She is Thirty
By: Ogden Nash (American poet known for comedic and silly/unconventional elements; wrote primarily between 1930 and 1970)

Unwillingly Miranda wakes,
Feels the sun with terror,
One unwilling step she takes,
Shuddering to the mirror.

Miranda in Miranda's sight
Is old and gray and dirty;
Twenty-nine she was last night;
This morning she is thirty.

Shining like the morning star,
Like the twilight shining,
Haunted by a calendar,
Miranda is a-pining.

Silly girl, silver girl,
Draw the mirror toward you;
Time who makes the years to whirl
Adorned as he adored you.

Time is timelessness for you;
Calendars for the human;
What's a year, or thirty, to
Loveliness made woman?

Oh, Night will not see thirty again,
Yet soft her wing, Miranda;
Pick up your glass and tell me, then--
How old is Spring, Miranda?      
I agree with Kristi.  Whoever said "your 30s are the best years of your life" was completely insane.  At least I always have Lenny. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm fairly confident "in your 30s" had something to do with my and Erin's turkey mite outbreak. This would've never happened if we were in our 20s.;)

    Thank you for taking time to write a post, Kristi! I love having you on here!