Day 68: Six Surprises

Updated: May 21


So here I am on my birthday, age 56. Fifty-six! Dang!


Since my heart attack three years ago, I've been doing some heavy lifting on the therapy couch. (And FWIW, it took about 2.5 years to stop to myself, "OMG, I had a heart attack?" I won't count this is one of today's surprises. ) It seems like EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming) has really knocked some cobwebs off the rafters and I'm feeling less numb. Less frightened. Less anxious.


And these deep chords have been replaced with surprise. I'm finding myself surprised at so many things. In no particular order:


#1 When I'm handed a shopping basket, dripping of sanitizer, I'm surprised at

how comforted I am by the slick feeling of someone caring enough to sanitize the handle for me.


#2 When I signed up to take an online yoga class about four weeks ago, I had felt like "meh, this'll probably be a tech hassle." But when technical gremlins got in the way, I just started crying. I hadn't realized how much I was craving the comfort of longtime instructors (shout out to Christine and Suzanne and all the Fusion family) and their soothing voices ... until it looked like I'd be excluded. And then I sent a quick try-not-so-sound-panicky Facebook message, and voila, the kindness of Christine to check messages and help make it better, I felt like I was in a flotation tank of love.


#3 Two years ago, James and I de-junked the small under-the-stairs space in our house. The space is teensy: about 3 feet wide and maybe 10 feet long. I wondered if claustrophobic me was really going to be tricked by a coat of paint, a rug and a cute shower curtain from Target. (Shower curtain covered up the stairs.)


And so not only was I surprised that I was sent home nine weeks ago, but I was gobsmacked that we could fit a second secretary desk in my HarryPotter-beneath-the-stairs writing studio. Not only that, but I continue to be amazed at how my little 'she shed' looks homier now. And talk about the language of love: James was able to make some shelves for the monitors and for the bulky docking station. The orange desk is from IKEA and is my writing lair. The brown desk is for work. Also fun bit of trivia: James built the desk a few decades ago.




#4 I've been overwhelmed with outdoor house maintenance stuff. I told the girls I would pay them to scour the stubborn mold off our deck railing. I was blown away that not only did Charlotte spearhead the cleansing, but, man!, the railings now look brand new. We estimated she put in at least eight hours into this project.



#5 Earthy, cool kids! I've tried mightily to not teach my children my phobias. A while ago, when they were 3 or 4, they loved running through these tunnels that ran under the playground at Mercer Island. Even though my claustrophobia kicked into high gear, sweating, dry mouth, heart racing, I pretended it was great fun to come, on my knees, to find them. (It really wasn't fun. So glad I didn't know about my heart problem back then.)


Likewise, my fear of snakes and well, anything cold blooded, has somehow skipped their generation.We had an ahhh-mazing visit to Sound View camp this past weekend, met up with another family we met at Sound View ... and voila! there was a lizard (salamander? gecko?) that skittered in front of me. I took a breath and shouted for the girls to come look.


Looking wasn't going to be enough! Instantly, the lizard was picked up, cooed over, and named. (I think we settled on Sally.) Surprisingly, about 20 minutes after we put her down in the forest, we were approached by a lizard on the porch of their summer camp cabin. I think it was Sally, returning for more love.



#6 Dang, fifty-bleepin-six years old? Yep, I'm often surprised at my numerical age.


So then ... what has surprised you -- or continues to surprise you during the past coupla months?


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