Friday, December 9, 2011

The Perfect Apology

Do we know it when we receive it? What are the components of a perfect apology? Does just "Sorry." qualify? What if you feel a person minimizes their apology by adding an excuse or an explanation? Does it mean nothing, then?

When I feel like I want or need to apologize to someone, I do feel like I am most often already hurting over having hurt someone. I want to make it better. To make it right. I want to heal the hurt and convey that message: "I'm deeply sorry that my words or actions hurt you. I want you to know that hurting you hurts me. And that I wish I could take it back."

I dunno. Maybe there is more "me" there than there should be. Maybe I make it too much about me. Maybe it's ME who finds fault with every apology. Wouldn't that just be wonderful? No. That would just be me. Not so wonderful.

There are no perfect apologies. No pure motives. There is hope in forgiveness, though. I know that. If you don't have mercy and forgiveness, you've got nothing.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It Hurt.

Back in March of this year my back started hurting.  It became very difficult to bend at all and then straighten up.  I've had back pain off and on since I was 21, and it always went away eventually, but this got worse.  So much worse. I finally sought help from a chiropractor, then an orthopedic surgeon, who referred me to a pain management doc, and then finally ended up in physical therapy.

At its worst, the pain I had was excruciating. I would get lengthy, paralyzing spasms that would drop me to my knees. I walked around carefully hoping to avoid spasms. Many, many times they just grabbed me and then I'd be sore for the rest of the day, and also susceptible to having more. This was the scariest thing I've ever gone through, physically. No, it's nothing like having a life threatening illness --- I'd never compare it to that. But it briefly took away a lot of my optimism and my joie de vivre.  I didn't think I'd get better, even with surgery as an option.

I learned a lot about myself (I'm stubborn, prideful and impulsive!) and those close to me during this. I also got a glimpse of what it's like to be in pain and feel like you're burdening people too much talking about it. It's a terrible feeling!  Thankfully, there were very few people around me who made me feel that way. And maybe they didn't, by the way, "make me feel that way". Maybe it was my stupid pride making me feel that way. (See? I believe I've learned something.) In any case, I hope I remember this feeling when someone I love is in pain and needs to talk. And talk and talk and talk. Please let me have learned that lesson!

Thankfully, I didn't jump into surgery. I listened to the pain management doctor (and a very bright friend on Twitter,@SarahWW!) and went to physical therapy.  I listened and made a rational choice rather than an emotional choice borne out of pain.  And the good news is, I'm mostly pain free now. Some niggling aches, but I'm moving around freely and I'm almost ready to get back to regular gym time. There are many times I shake my head, thinking "Would I have gotten better if someone had pointed me to PT first? How can this have been so simple?" I don't really know. I only know that I'm grateful for getting there and for the results.

What I really want to say is: Thank you. Thank you for being there. Thank you for asking about me and writing me, calling me. Supporting me.  Thank you for caring. Thank you for lifting me up when I was down. I needed that.

It hurt. But getting through it was so much easier with the support I got through it all. I won't forget it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, Daddy

My Dad would sing this song better than this, I think. Well, he sang it in a more sober fashion (haha!) - Dean is being a little silly here. But I like this clip because my Dad's voice was very Martinesque. And who didn't love Dean Martin?

Love you and miss you, Dad.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Beautiful, Crazy, Agitating, Addictive Twitter Vortex.

I've been sucked into it for a while. And I've loved just about every minute of it. I've made some real friends there. I'm touched by that and I cherish those friendships and the sharing of bits of our lives those bonds bring.

I met my earliest Twitter friends through the Althouse blog. I used to read and comment on several blogs daily, some of them written by friends, like Trooper York and The Bit Maelstrom. I have several other people I consider friends who are now writing wonderful blogs too. Check them out - they're in my blogroll. But my Twitter interest and friends have spread way beyond that to include a lot of people I think of as friends. I think you all know who you are...yes?

The vortex of Twitter has consumed a lot of my time though, and I'll admit that I know that I can get obsessive about different internet interests. This isn't the first internet source I've spent what I consider too much time on. So I don't really know if the Twitter Vortex is contagious or widespread. Could be just in my living room. Heh.

Anyway, I need to try to set some limits for my own good. I've noticed particularly with the elections coming up, that my Twitter feed tends to agitate me a bit more. I feel like my tweets read as shrill and cranky. I know that I've retweeted some pretty shrill stuff. It could be just my perception, but even if it is, that in itself agitates me.

So, here's what I've decided: I'm going to try to set limits, and for the friends who care and have been so wonderfully attentive and concerned throughout my Twitter days, I thought I'd explain it, is all. Plus, writing it publicly puts me on the hook a little to actually, you it.

If you're reading this, I want to thank you so much for caring to read what I have to say on Twitter. My goal is to still be there, but offer less agita and more pith. Most of all, I want stay connected with my friends. They're the best part of Twitter for me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Last Tennis Post?

It could be.

I've been a sports fan for as long as I can remember. If you share my love of sports you know that part of the experience is the commentating and reading about your favorite athlete or team.

Baseball and tennis have been my great loves most of my life. I've adored my Detroit Tigers and my Björn Borg and Ivan Lendl. My whole family is sports nutty. I recall that when I moved to Florida at 19, my younger sister sent me newspaper clippings about the Detroit Tigers. Back then we were somewhat able to pick and choose what we read about our sports, and even had to search hard if we wanted to read about the Tigers while living in Florida, so those clippings were precious to me. I still have them!

I don't want to get too deep into the ugliness that has somewhat involuntarily seeped into my brain surrounding the tennis rivalry of my favorite player, Roger Federer, and the current world number one, Rafael Nadal. Suffice it to say that I know that I've allowed myself to read too many fan and sportswriter thoughts over the years. It's killed the joy of the sport for me. How sad, that my thirst for reading about this great sport has played such a big part in killing it for me.

Now, you can say that's my fault for reading it or reacting to it, and you'd be mostly right, I guess. I think I could make a case for a particularly ugly period amongst tennis fans and people who are paid to opine about the sport, but I won't. I think the people who follow tennis and pay attention to all of this will get me.

I think tennis is one of the most athletically challenging and beautiful sports to be found. I love to support it. So much so, that I'll bug people on the NY subways to talk tennis with me. I'm sure I've annoyed plenty who follow me on Twitter with all of my tennis tweets. I hope I will still try to promote the sport. The game itself deserves it.

I'm just tired. I'm giving up following my sport for a while. I'll still watch my favorite player's remaining matches (he's 29 - in this sport that's near retirement), but unfortunately with commentary muted, to my great disgust. And that's it. I'm done.

To the victor go the spoils.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Proof of Life

I can't believe that he's gone.

A fleeting thought that I can't even explain the genesis of drove me to google an old flame last night. The oldest of serious flames, really. And the very first item that came up was a newspaper article about a man of the same name dying in a motorcycle accident last year. Too many coincidences added up in the article, and the dread settled in as I found his memory page on the web.

I gasped when the page came up. It was him. Some gray hair and wrinkles, but the same warm, smiling face. I browsed the slideshow of pictures spanning his obviously very full, joyful life.
He had children and step-children, and grandchildren...a Harley! The pictures portrayed a life well lived. Far too short, but well lived, indeed.

I've pondered all day as to what exactly has touched me so deeply about this. It's not a loss to me, in any kind of everyday real life sense. Certainly a loss at some level, I guess. But what I really think hit me hard is the question that I've known has been bubbling to surface since I laid eyes on that memory page: What will the pictures of my life portray to those I leave behind someday?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sarah and the Bear

I'm smiling after reading this article about Sarah, Todd and Piper Palin encountering a mama bear and her cubs just a couple of feet from them as they salmon fished. While the article mentions the Palins were "stunned", I must say that they appear very poised in the photo. That doesn't surprise me a bit.

Coincidentally, a friend and I had just been talking about Jimmy Carter's famous fishing encounter with a ferocious, attacking, swimming(!) "Killer Rabbit" a/k/a Killer Water Bunny. The official photographs mentioned in this article don't do the menacing rodent justice, so I decided to use a cartoonist's rendition of the encounter for fairness in comparison.  Here we go...

                                           Sarah and the Bear:

                                       Jimmy and the Killer Water Bunny:

I'll leave it at that.