Thursday, July 26, 2012

Top Ten: Early Morning Thoughts.

Good morning, friends. Here are the top ten things I am thinking about over my morning coffee.

No pomp. No circumstance. Just these thoughts. Okay?

#10  --  You are fine.

This week I sat across from one of my learners who has been flying on one wing. Feeling inadequate, defeated. . . and less than. I tried my best to chuck their chin and tell them how wonderful they are. I thought of ways to improve their feelings about who they are and to stop worrying so much about what others think or say.

And I was doing that because the nature of our meeting was for me to brainstorm with this person ways to improve. There had been a few hiccups and perhaps, some people had identified this learner as sub-par at some point.

It was a high hill to climb. Tears were involved, too.

And you know? I am mentioning it because I have meetings like that at least a few times per month with various people. But for whatever reason, something about this one hurt me in my heart.

I thought about that meeting all night. This morning I had an ah hah moment.  I realized that my perspective was that of someone who had not faced similar speed bumps with their work product or the harsh criticism this person had received. I imagined if I had.

I really, really meditated and let myself wear this person's shoes.

And you know? I felt angst. Deep angst. Fear. And worry.

I am not sure how to help. But what I know is that saying "you are fine, you are great" is not enough. Perhaps I need to think of ways to show them they are. Or help them get there? I don't know.

#9 -- Colombian roast.

That's what I'm having this morning. And yes, I can taste the difference. It is delicious and is making me quite happy.

#8 -- Bad Patient.

Yesterday, I didn't have to work until later so I took the boys to the pool. I sat out in the hot sun and waded around playing ball with them all morning into the afternoon. I was crazy about keeping them hydrated and neglected to hydrate myself.

That afternoon? I had a splitting headache, nausea, and even vomited once. I aggressively drank water to refuel because after my foggy brain put together a differential diagnosis, "dehydration" was on my list.

Water was the panacea.

Hey, people. Especially ones with kids--you need to drink water and use sunblock, too.

#7  Meditation.

I'm a prayer. Not so much a meditator, I don't think. I sat still and meditated after praying this morning. No books. No laptop. Just me sitting still thinking. Or rather being.

Sounds kind of heavy for no reason,  but it was good. I think I'll do it again.

#6  -- Hairy situation.

My friend Stacy H. was rounding in the hospital and her PATIENT was in the room with her husband. Guess what they were doing?

Nope, nothing dirty. Instead, this patient's husband, who wears his hair straightened a la James Brown himself, was seated in a chair getting his hair curled with a hot-hot marcel curling iron.

Mmmm hmmm. Sure was.

Yes. She was the patient. And they looked as in love and as content as could be. So don't even bother judging. Yes. I saw it with my own eyes--it was adorable.

#5 -- These lyrics, this song.

"Woke up in the morning feeling fresh-ta-death! I'm so blessed--yes, yes.
Went to sleep stressed woke up refreshed I'm so blessed--yes, yes!"

 My anthem this week, this month, this year. But especially this morning. I listened to the whole thing and watched this whole video and felt ready for my day.

#4 -- The Cicada Ladies.

Ms. Moon's daughter is in a group and plays the mandolin! They made a bluegrass CD that I purchased and am enjoying so far.

Hearing that music makes me feel connected to her, so I love that.

#3  -- Speaking of mandolins and Sister Moon.

Mandolins always make me think of R.E.M. No, it's not bluegrass but the mandolin at the start of this song could possibly be one of the best things I have ever heard. I love this song and I know Sister Moon does, too. Hearing it makes me feel connected to her, too.

I like being connected to people.

#2  -- Dropping balls.

Sometimes too much is going on in my head at once. I dropped a few balls in recent weeks. Instead of berating myself, I just sat still and tried to get to the root of why. What's going on with me? How to sort this out?

Here's what I did. I wrote all the things I'm doing right now on little circle pieces of paper and laid them in front of me on the kitchen table. I looked at them and said, "Which of these balls needs to stop being juggled?"

Seeing it concretely helped me know where I need to pull back. And that more of those balls need to be for me and me only. I haven't been consistently exercising, either. That ball needs to get added back in.

That exercise felt good. It made me feel better and perhaps it reminded me that "I'm fine, I'm good." Took away a bit of the angst I felt about doing too much, too. You should try it if you feel that way. Visualizing things like that was pretty powerful. Helps with where to say no.

Maybe this is something I can do with that learner. Not sure, but maybe? I don't know.

#1 -- July 26.

My grandmother turns NINETY today. And her sweet granddaughter, JoLai, my sister was born on her birthday. JoLai turns 41 today.

Happy birthday to both of these very, very special women.

Happy Thursday.


  1. Happy Birthday to your family! How nice to be able to celebrate two people you love on one day! I totally get "you are fine." There's a woman in my running group who has spent WEEKS trying to overcome the mental hurdle of this one route. Like she panics about it every week to the point where she can't even run it. Seriously! She knows it's mental, I know it's mental. And yet nothing I say helps. Never been there, I don't get it. I don't know what to do. I've tried staying with her for a push, talking her through it; leaving her alone to letting her battle her own demons; and a combination of the two. All of it works the same: poorly. Please advise when you figure it out.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Jameil. Felt a little like mindspacing, right? And no, I have not figured it out, but I think Ms. Moon's advice is good. Just be there and don't try to fix it. I'm realizing that.

  2. Oh. This whole thing just made me want to cry. You are so dear. Thank you for giving my Cicada Ladies a shout-out. And thanks for that video which you KNOW for a fact, I adore. It's just...well, it's so powerful to me.
    Happy birthday to those beautiful women!
    Can't tell at all that you're related- sure you don't need some maternity tests? (Ha- an homage to yesterday's post.)
    As for your learner you spoke of- honey, sometimes all we CAN do is to truly and honestly feel the other's pain and know that it is not ours to fix or heal. But just to say, "I really do understand that this is a very hard thing for you. I'm here if you can figure out some way I can help."
    Or something like that.
    Thanks for being connected.

    1. Sister Moon, you are so right. It is not ours to fix or heal.

      Glad we're connected. :)

  3. happy birthday to your loved ones and thank you for that exercise with the circular pieces of paper representing all the balls we juggle. i am going to try that for sure. and i like being connected to mary moon too. and to you.

    1. Sister Lister, I tell you -- it was such a good thing to do. We get so busy and when we keep adding balls, we start dropping others.

      I love being connected to you, too. :)

  4. I love seeing beautiful grandmothers. It's almost like you can look in their eyes and see their wisdom. I can't believe how much I miss my nana. How amazing is it that she lives in my smile every single day??

    Happy Birthday to your beautiful grandmother!

    1. Awww, thanks Alisa Renee! She will love knowing you gave her that shout out! It's lovely hearing that your nana's smile lives in yours.

  5. Dr. M,
    I'm one of those individuals flying with a gimpy wing in the medical field, and to put plainly- it sucks. My faith in my abilities has been shaken so much that it's that much harder for me to believe any positive accolades that someone else has to offer me. That's why, as you pointed out, telling us "you're great" and "you're fine" often fall on deaf ears.

    But I wanted to tell you to keep doing that- because at the time when we're beating ourselves up the most, we need to hear from a wonderful Mentor figure such as yourself that we're better than this. We need to be reminded of our potential because right now, we wonder if we ever had it to begin with. And ultimately what we really need is someone who won't give up on us, who will work with us to help us figure out a solution to our problems. We recognize that there are no magical solutions but the fact that you are there and are consistently willing to at least try and help us- that makes all the difference in the world. And for that, we are truly grateful.

    -Gimpy Winged Birds everywhere


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