A Day

I had a Day, yesterday, which I was glad I finished.

I work up with more tooth pain in the relatively new crown, and I was really unhappy about it. It's been happening for the last three weeks, so I finally broke down and called the dentist and got an emergency appointment at 2pm. It was amazing how much relief I simply got from having made the call, at least I'd know what was going on...

So I went off to my 8:15 chiropractor's appointment with Brian, and he was careful not to jar my jaw, which was very nice of him. He commented that I finally had a curve to the top of my spine again. When I first started seeing him at the beginning of the year, the stress from the stuff happening at the church had all gone to my shoulders and neck. The muscles and tendons had been under so much tension there for so long, that they'd frozen into place and were pulling my head and shoulders forward into the classical old lady hunch.

This was inline with the fact that I was pretty much sick for all six of the winter months here last year. Stress is so not good on the immune system.

Anyway... I did some pretty intense self-work after the vertigo bout in February, and that included going to Brian on a regular basis whether I thought I needed it or not. And part of that whole philosophy included a set of really deep cleanings on my teeth because of gums that were starting to part from their teeth. The dentist's office was kind enough to tell me that my daily care was not to blame, there was just a tendency on my mouth's part to do the wrong thing, and deep cleaning would goad it into trying to heal itself back to the way the gums were supposed to be.

But the aftermath of the last cleaning was that my crowned molar started to ache again. So around again.

The appointment wasn't until 2, and luckily, I had a lunch scheduled with the Moderator Past, Linda. We have a cool Christmas Carol-like structure for the Moderators. There's supposed to be the Moderator Elect, who comes in before their term to learn the ropes. The Moderator, who is actually in charge of stuff during the year, and the Moderator Past, who used to be the moderator and whose job is really to supply more continuity. Unluckily, I've asked nearly a dozen different people, during the course of my terms, to be the Moderator Elect, and while the first one said yes, he turned around and told me he couldn't do it three months later. So I kept asking, and everyone's said no.

It'll be interesting at the end of January, since my second term ends then, and I'm not going on with it. Period. It's one of those hard boundaries I've finally drawn for myself. It may actually be a lot easier next year than this, hopefully because of some of the things I've put into place; but I'm still not going to do it.

Linda understood. Intensely. She's been through it all, too, and it was just good to sit down with someone that had gone through the leadership of our church. She is fun and funny and has both kids and grandkids, and the grandkids are Jet's age. Her experiences always allow me to learn, and it's always fun to just sit down and talk with her. We usually got to do it after meetings, for just a few minutes, or at church, but we decided, recently, that we had to get together for lunch sometime and ended up here. So it was really good, and I am grateful for friends who are like her.

One of the interesting things we talked about was the fact that both of us have a tendency to define ourselves by what we're doing, rather than who we are. I suspect some of that is that it's just that much easier to list all the things that we're doing than define ourselves some how. I still don't know who I am, it seems to keep shifting and changing, it's easy to hang some labels on it and think they might fit: engineer, artist, writer, gamer, mother, origamist, daughter, etc... but they aren't really the answer, either, I don't think. What am I for?

I'm having to rethink that, now that Jet's in high school and fully capable of occupying himself. He doesn't need me anymore, and he does like me and does like having me around and it's still good for him to have my support; but if it came down to it, he could probably do just fine on his own from now on. He's a good human being, not entirely adult, yet, but so capable. So I can't define myself, anymore, by what he needs.

I read an article the other night, about a woman who had ice skated as a child, realized she wasn't going to be able to compete on the world arena, and stopped. Thirty years later, she realized she's always felt happy on the ice, so as a forty-plus year old, she went back to skating rinks, hired herself a coach, and found her joy again. It was never about the competition, it was about doing what she loved.

Occasionally, I love writing. Occasionally, I love painting. Nearly always I've loved spinning and knitting, but none of them could have ever paid the bills, but mostly because I've always worked on the assumption that they couldn't and that I shouldn't try. And it's pretty much out of the equation, in that I don't need to make a living anymore, I just need to make something of myself...

So what if I simply follow a joy because it's a joy? Keep going with the knitting/spinning and do something that simply pleases me, and if I want to sell it, to go ahead and do that? The other day I saw this video about a man in Olympia that does nothing but make the best kitchen knives ever. What if I do something like that? Just follow the craft, rather than making the craft follow some agenda involving money? He auctions his pieces off, and they work out amazingly well on the price for his time and attention.

My handspun lace shawls used to take a year of my life, which was why I never thought to sell them. I just gave them away. *laughs* There was no price that could really pay for them. What if I put them up for auction? I don't know. It'll be interesting to figure it out.

Pricing paintings has always been a problem of mine. I sold 80% of my last show, which was good for my ego and for my friendships; but it probably meant that I priced everything too low, too. So it is. I'll keep learning my worth in a way. *laughs*

So it was a very good lunch.

And after that was the dentist.

I was so relieved after the call, simply because I would know, one way or another. So I was pretty patient about it all. The x-ray hurt because the technician asked me to clamp down on the bar that was supposed to hold the digital 'film', and the cord dragged down against the pained tooth. Ow. But the good thing was that the x-rays shows that the nerves were still good. Nothing that indicated a root canal there! Yay!

The other thing that Dr. Samson said that was good was that if it was root canal material, that once pain started from contact with a cold fluid, the pain would have stayed around for the next half minute, not just dissipated when the fluid was gone. So it's good data for next time.

He then ground down the 'high' crown, taking some off the very place that was most pained, which made sense; but damn it hurt especially when the assistant sprayed the whole area with cold water while he was doing it. I am grateful for a very high pain threshold in some ways, but it still hurt like hell. Then he had me test it, twice, and did a little more adjusting each time, and we ended up with it feeling somewhat better when I closed my teeth. The assistant then painted desensitization solution around the whole tooth, and sent me to the cashier.

It's one of those few times when I was happy to pay a big chunk of money to have a guy fix the work he'd done. I was just so grateful that the pain was likely to end that I didn't even quibble this time. Yes, he'd had to adjust it soon after he put it in, and it had hurt so much then... and that time I just told the cashier that he was fixing the work he'd done before so there wasn't any way I had to pay for it, and they let it go. Given that they had that time, and given that this was partially the result of my changing/aging mouth, I figured I'd just pay it this time, and hopefully be done.

I got home, got a txt from John saying he was volunteering for the band uniforms and if Jet wanted his that he should go now, because there were so few people there. So Jet and I jumped into the car and went and got Jet his marching band uniform. Jet looks amazing in it. It's got a bucket hat with plume and mirrors, and the jacket and pants are really sharp. He went down a size on everything from what the volunteers had originally picked for him, because he's so tall they thought he'd be wider, but he's still really skinny.

John was like that, too, in college. Still skinny and long in everything, and he only filled out much later. Jet's so tall, but his legs are spindly, especially compared to my old soccer developed legs. He'll fill in after he's grown completely, but it's an interesting phenomena to him and us as he grows.

The day before, as one of the end of the summer things, Home Depot had a new version of a particular smoker come in that was capable of Bluetooth communication with smart phones; so the old one went on sale for half off. John jumped on the deal, got the smoker, and decided to brine a chicken for our dinner, so he smoked it in the morning, with apple wood. It only took two and a half hours, rather than the half a day John had been planning, so he let it cool, parted it, and grilled it for dinner.

I made a batch of biscuits to go with, and he grilled the last of our summer zucchini to go with. The zucchini this year was interesting, as the nights got pretty cold early on in August, so the zucchini just stopped producing. There was a mini-mountain of them for about two weeks, and I baked zucchini bread and did other things, but then they petered out. The tomatoes are still going strong, though, and the patio planter of them is actually tipping over from the weight of the fruit.

The chicken was delicious. Smoky, tender, and still juicy, the meat was amazing. The skin was tougher, but the boys really enjoyed it, my still mildly tender teeth just couldn't handle it, but it was tasty with a mahogany dark coloring. It will be amazing in just about anything we put it in, I think, as we saved the breasts for later.

Jet and I also found out that playing our mod pack was good. There was some lag while mystcraft was doing some profiling, but after it was done, which was a good day into the gaming, then the game played smoothing and easily. The only problem left is that the engine crashes when we stop it. *laughs* So Forgecraft has to rebuild the engine every time we play. It just takes a while. There's something wrong with the way the mods went together, and I'm going to have to do some extensive mod research to figure out what it is, but in the meantime, we're quite happy to enjoy all the 122 packs that we included. Yeah. I know. It's a monster. *laughs* But it's pretty! And fun. So there we are.

It was a full day, and ended up being really good. I'm grateful that my tooth seems to be doing better today, and has improved significantly from what was done.
I think I know what you mean about trying to work out how you define yourself. Am I a knitter? A quilter? A clinical classifications professional? A writer? It'd be so much easier if I could definitely point a finger at something and say, yes, I am that.

I hope your tooth does better from now on. And I'm glad to hear that you're definitely not going to be Moderator Elect for another year. You may, she says delicately, be prone to overworking yourself. ;)
Yes! Exactly the problem...

And thank you... *laughs and laughs* Yes... I do seem to have that tendency... it's good when people call me on it, I have to say.
What am I for?

For being a you, say I -- though of course you can disagree with me, because being defined by other people rarely fits perfectly. O:> But if you like it... What does a You do? (I dunno -- from here, looks a bit like you tend to improve things around you, to the extent of your abilities at the moment. Whether that's making things (beauty from raw materials!) or helping out, or whatever.)

Yay for tooth improving!!

(Honestly, I all but slept through my root canal, except for a bit at the very end where not all the anesthetic in the world could nail that particular nerve. Even there, thanks to not having the hypothyroidism diagnosed then, I probably coulda dozed if I hadn't had to keep my mouth open... So even if the tooth doesn't do well in the long run? Well, the bill is bleah, but it's not necessarily The Worst Thing! But I hope it does well, because it is a nuisance. O:> )
That is the other dimension to it, isn't it? Creator, Listener, Communicator, Developer... not just the 'job labels' but something bigger and a bunch of them can fit, too...

I like getting the reflections, thank you!!

And, yes, that is helpful, knowing that as 'bad' as a root canal might be to my pocket book it would certainly take care of the problem and it's good to know it's not The Worst Thing. *hugs*

Thank you for the thoughts and the good wishes!!
Lady, that was one helluva day! I'm impressed! And glad you're in less pain.
Ouch! That sounds like quite a day.

Yay band uniforms! Ours our wool, and hot, but Kate is still quite proud of hers (at least of the marching uniform, she's a bit snobby about the football uniform being second class).
These are nylon, so probably not quite so hot, but when it's snowing... at least they can wear layers under it, too. I love that Kate is snobby about the football uniforms being second class. These are quite snazzy, with big helmets where no one can see their eyes and mirrors and everything... plus Jet could move in it, which he was surprised by, pleasantly so.
Ack! Jet's in high school??!? Has it been that long since I visited already?

It's always good to hear from you.
I think that time warps around growing kids, it just goes so much faster...

Good to just touch base with you, too.
Sympathies on the teeth issues; I winced at the part about their accidentally hitting the problem tooth during the x-rays, I've had that happen and its Not Good.

The existential questions are extremely interesting ones, and make up a lot of my internal debates these days. One interesting thing is how its just completely off the radar screen of a lot of people, so it can be tricky to find folks who are even considering it. I think analysis and thinking and contemplation can only get one so far with the bigger questions, and that there's a whole emotional/subconscious side to it that's related to our individual personalities and needs thereof, so a contenting answer for one person won't work for another...and answers that worked for us before, sometimes don't anymore, because the landscape under our feet has shifted (perhaps without our realizing it).

I think for a lot of these questions, there's no definite answers, only choices. And a lot of the partial answers come from just the act of living out those choices, if that makes any sense.

But I also recognize, as someone playing around philosophically with Absurdism as a way to deal with the tug of these questions, that we may be compelled to seek out meaning and answers, even if there's no final answers to be found within the limits of our experiences as finite humans. And that continuing to live out our lives, even in the absence of definitive meaning, can itself be an act of considerable courage, per Tillich
I think it makes a lot of sense to just live out the choices... to do and be what I want to be... *laughs*

I don't need a final or definitive answer, really, just one that allows me to work and be... so, yeah, that courage is real. I don't mind clinging to a belief if that's all there is... if it's enough to keep going, I'm good. But I'm definitely one of those people that has to at least *look*, I can't seem to take answers that are 'given' to me. It has to be one that I make for myself.