1. Doug's last day as an admin at our hospital was Friday. He is now officially semi-retired. We had a couple of really fun celebrations over the weekend, and our daughter and her fiancé came to town. It was great. Doug will still be working half-time in a different position so he's not completely free, but it's a definite step-down in terms of stress.
2. Our current dilemma is what to do with our pets. We bought a small new-to-us camper over the winter and we'd like to take it out quite a bit now that Doug has more time. We can take the dog with us, and maybe even the cat if we get her acclimated to the camper, but we can't take the chickens. How do you get rid of chickens that there is absolutely no chance we are going to eat, but that are too old to produce many eggs? We have six chickens and they produce 1-2 eggs a day. It's plenty for us, but for someone who actually wants to raise chickens, probably not very appealing. We might even just let them roam free and join the local food chain. Our neighborhood fox hasn't been around much recently but that might bring her back.
3. Did I tell you our daughter is getting married in September? My social anxiety kicks into maximum overdrive every time I think about it, but fortunately she is very socially adept and also a terrific organizer so she's doing the bulk of the work. We've made most of the reservations we need to make, now I just have to find a damn dress. Ugh.
4. Health update: I don't usually post about my health issues-- for example, I don't think I've mentioned that I've been getting botox treatments for migraines (I've had three now and they don't seem to be helping much). I don't really care that people know, it just never occurs to me to post about private stuff like that. But here you go for the next two items. Welcome to my paranoia.
5. Since I said awhile back that I didn't think I would ever have plastic surgery, I feel like I need to say this. For sure someone is going to see me coming out of the plastic surgery office and assume I'm getting it all done-- and maybe I will someday, maybe I will surprise you and myself and get a total makeover. But for now, I'm just going to have breast reduction surgery this summer. It's scheduled, so unless I chicken out (which is possible, surgery scares me), it's going to happen mid-July. The main impetus is, again, headache relief, but I definitely will not be sorry to be back to the size I was before I had kids. I see pictures of myself and the girls and it just doesn't look like me. Plus it has lots of other consequences-- it's impossible to find clothes that fit, it's hard to do any activity that requires any kind of, um, bouncing, etc. Now that I've said this, I guess I will have to report back about whether or not it worked, so I'll let you know.
6. Have you ever been a victim of the gossip mill? We live in a small town, although definitely not as small as it used to be, and this has happened to me twice now. Once years ago for something I never clearly understood, and once more recently for something that is not true, or only sort-of true from one skewed perspective. In both cases, it has surprised me how easily people believe the worst. It apparently hasn't occurred to anyone to think, huh, I wonder if there's another side to this story. I wonder if her version of this story would be different than the one I'm hearing. For sure no one has actually come out and asked me.
But the other thing that has not just surprised but stunned me is how much it affects me. Apparently I am incapable of just brushing it off, even when I know it's not true. And in both cases--this time and the one 20 years ago-- I can look back over things I said, having no idea what was going on, and accidentally encouraged the gossip, because if people are looking for confirmation of what they want to believe, they'll twist whatever you say into what they want to hear. It started because someone threw me under the bus, but I can't defend myself without throwing that person under the bus in return. And it's someone I love and I just can't bring myself to do it, no matter how well-deserved it is. There's this weird martyr part of me that thinks, well, I'm strong enough to live through this but the other person isn't.
I didn't know how to handle it years ago when it happened and I don't know how to handle it now. Last time I just waited it out-- it was months before I could walk into a social situation without feeling people side-eye me (that's how I knew it wasn't all in my head, it definitely ended). This time I just want to move. Get me the fuck out of here.
7. I think this happens because I am so reserved. I don't project much personality, so people believe whatever they want about me. Alternatively, since I tend to project a fake persona in social situations where I don't know many people and I'm nervous, people think they're getting the real me (and that's on me, totally my fault for not developing better social skills). It has really made me think about how I present myself, but I don't know what I can do about it. I'm a pretty terrifically boring person, at least in terms of what I can share while standing around with a drink in my hand at a party-- which is when I tend to go fake, because I have to talk about something and few things I'm interested in make good party talk.
Good Lord is that ever more than you wanted to know. Forgive me for navel gazing. I did go back and edit this after I published it so this is a slightly different version, which makes me feel a little better. I probably shouldn't have published it at all, but I did, and I only regret it to the extent that it leaves me vulnerable if someone local reads it. But I don't think I have many (any?) local readers, so I'm not deleting it, which is possibly a mistake.
Gah. Have had to re-publish twice now because I keep finding typos, which makes me insane. Apologies to the email subscribed, I don't think it makes any difference to anyone else. I'll be out of town for two weeks out of the next three so you won't hear from me for awhile.