March 2, 2011

fruitbasket upset

Do you remember the game "Fruitbasket Upset" from grade school gym? No? Only the children who grew up in the 80's know what that is? It's a cross between musical chairs and Duck, Duck, Goose - Person in the middle of the circle without a chair calls out the name of a fruit assigned to the kids beforehand, and those fruits get up and run like hell to find another chair to sit in. Rinse and repeat. This is how life feels right now, but it's not an all-around bad thing. Good news first?

I've been dating someone for a little over a month and he's really great - funny, smart, sarcastic, so cute and an amazing smile, honest, straightforward...I could go on and on. We talked for about a week before our first date and on our second date (which took place the day after the first) he told me he really liked me and to not expect him to beat around the bush like most guys do because what if some other guy is telling a woman how much he likes her and then an opportunity is missed. Um, where is the guessing and the worry and the drama? Out the window, that's where, and let me tell you, it is refreshing and lovely to know I can be honest right back, comfortable and secure. Novelties, all of those things.

On a less than stellar note, my Mom was diagnosed with uteran cancer a little over a week ago. I'm sure she will be fine, the prognosis is good, but every little bit my confidence falters and I think, "What if?" I'm not ready to lose my Mom and she's too freaked out to be in good fighting spirits. We've already been to an oncologist, and she's got a battery of tests this Friday, then surgery scheduled for April.

When we found out, I immediately called my cousin's husband, my ex-boyfriend, and my current boyfriend. In doing so, I realized three things. One, I am much better confronting a situation with concrete information and practical facts. Each of thoe men reacted in a similar fashion: have you researched? when do you talk to the doctor? ask questions, get informed! Take one step at a time. I didn't used to get along so well with my cousin's husband, but we have grown closer, and I absolutely adore him. My ex, he's the husband's best friend and really close with all my family members, Mom included, and he knows me and how to talk me down. My current I called to tell him he didn't have to date me anymore if it was going to be to much to deal with a girlfriend and her sick mom. He was perfect, reassured me that was the most ridiculous idea I'd had yet, and then gave me information he had read in his (pleasure reading, bleh) medical journals. They gave me the support I needed to move onto the next step, reaching out. Second, I am much better off accepting help from others than I am trying to do it all myself. When my parents divorced, I was an adult, and my Mom turned into the child and I the parent. Awkward. And difficult to flip back. Plus, I wouldn't let anyone do anything, so I was stressed and never dealt with my own emotional health. This time around, though, I realize I also need to care for myself, so I take help from others and make sure I get a couple nights off a week. Mom is doing the same thing, she stays at a friend's house on the weekends to allow herself a chance to get away. Third, I also realized I am very good at shopping for diamonds. The day of her oncology visit, Mom and I went out afterwards to get her a present. We visited a dozen jewelry stores and each one was breathtaking! She has a tradition of doing something nice for herself and I couldn't let her do this one on her own. She was a trooper and so I bought her diamond earrings she had picked out, because she totally deserves sparkly things. And sparkly things there were! We oohed and aahed over one jewelry store for two hours at least!

And then there is always school and work to contend with, papers and promotions (or at least the potential of a promotion). But you see, it's not all bad! And emotional health does an astounding amount to keep one centered and stabilized, so please, find a therapist, they will do wonderful things for you!