Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Laughter Merry-Go-Round

A couple of the funniest real life stories that I remember involve revolving doors… and my bespectacled mom on her very first early morning commuter express train ride to a new job in Chicago… and my Nonni who was age 90 at the time of her inelegant doorway-maneuvering incident – at the lobby entrance into my post-divorce posh high-rise apartment building! Clumsy actions and humorously embarrassing events tickle my funny bone, for sure! *slapstick* Even though those particular occurrences are now distant memories (20 years ago and 10 years ago respectively) they can, and do, bring forth hysterics whenever mom and I recount the details. And I’m sure that if Nonni were alive today she would laugh out loud too (and probably be dabbing a happy tear or two with her little lace handkerchief!) A hearty belly laugh feels so good right? Right! Well, except when it doesn’t. *huh*

Yes, it’s true that laughter is really good for us humans – research has proven many wellness benefits – it’s flat out relaxation by virtue of levity! *delightful* Fortunately for me, I developed emotional resilience and a healthy dose of optimism as I grew up in a jocular family… laughing my way through the springtime of life. *grins* Oh yeah, I had my share of pain and suffering along the way to adulthood… most of it within normal limits… but some of it was quite excruciating (physical – due to corrective surgical procedures I needed, and emotional – from dad’s sudden death!) *ouch* And then, as if to put a fine point on it… adulthood has dealt a few harrowing blows too (major abdominal surgery in ’96 + a nasty divorce in 2000!) Consequently, I can completely relate to the rigid dichotomy between laughing so hard that my knees are buckling beneath me (and I’m trying not to wet myself)… and hurting so badly (you know, when it feels like your guts were ripped out) that my sense of humor goes bye-bye entirely. *harsh* But as much as I feel as though I’ve paid my dues in full to: “State of Human Existence, Department of Anguish”… apparently bona fide membership is up for renewal each and every time someone close to me is traversing along the via dolorosa segment of their own personal life journey and, because of emotional proximity, I am pelted by their venomous words or spiteful deeds. *yikes*

So now, here it is – only 2 ½ weeks since my most recent encounter with precisely such a tempestuous experience – which, in this case, was instigated by a troublemaking in-law (sometimes an in-law can be an “outlaw”!) *sheesh* And the daily ups-and-downs of my modern carousel-of-suburban-life are looking kind of funny once again (thank you very much!) Yes, I am perpetually grateful for the silly seasons of earthly habitation and being able to Laugh My A$$ Off with total abandon! Until the next fervent upheaval…

Have a fabulous week! I’ll be back here in a bit ☺


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Head Noise Rocks

Hey! It sounds like the din of a fun party in here! *rowdy* And sometimes it sounds like the call of a whistling tea kettle… or the rhythmic song of a lively cricket serenade on a midsummer night! *wild* But wait… all of these various audio happenings are really nothing beyond the elaborate confines of my own head – ha! To say that having chronic tinnitus sucks is an understatement, for sure. There are plenty of times when I’m thinking, “I can’t stand this for one more second”…as I frantically search for the proverbial OFF button of a remedy. Yeah, probably most of the other 50 million people in the U.S. who have tinnitus don’t like it either! *bummer*

For me, it’s already been 20 years since receiving this daunting medical diagnosis… and at the time I was also told:

A) I most likely had it for quite some time before noticing it, and going in for tests.

B) It almost certainly was brought on by my attendance at rock concerts and/or listening to loud headphones as a teenager.

C) The sounds in my head are from my brain “making up” audible resonance as replacement for hearing loss caused by the aforesaid noisy activities.

D) White noise machines may be helpful at bedtime.

Now wait a sec… let me further elucidate these bullet points:

A) As a matter of fact, and now that I think back on it, there were a few times during childhood/adolescence when I remember hearing what I now consider to be “brain tunes” (especially during quiet times!)

B) Not possible. I totally did not have the means (or parental permission) to attend more than a couple concerts – they were outdoors – and my friends and I were waaay back on the lawn. Remember… I got married at 20, after one year of community college, and lived a quiet buttoned-down stay-at-home-mom life (no rambunctious college dorm mischief or university quad boisterous behavior in my life history!)

C) The M.D. specialist said this to me after the hearing test results showed only slight super-high-range loss. So then, according to him, my brain physiologically composes racket for me to listen to instead of the occasional dog whistle? I am not convinced! *ixnay*

D) Actually, I’d rather listen to my brain’s version of white noise (thank you very much!)

So as I figure it, there’s really no point in tormenting myself over the complete absence of silence in my life… I don’t need that aggravation! *chill out* Instead, I’ve decided to accept my super-hearing ability and at least acknowledge – if not enjoy – this most personal version of soul music. Apparently, my brain is tuned in (and hip to) the bona fide sounds of silence (nod to Simon & Garfunkel!)

Have a fabulous week! I’ll be back here in a bit ☺


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Another Successful Launch

Now it’s already been a week since we were in Cali… helping daughter-one settle into her new “career girl” digs! *meteoric* Our action-packed 3-night stay in San Marcos was very productive indeed (it helps to be organized too!) We literally drove from San Diego airport directly to a car dealership – bought her THE graduation gift of a lifetime (love that new car smell) – then went directly to the management office of a PERFECT apartment complex (just a few minutes commute to her all important: FIRST real job!) And true to form (after all she is an engineer) our very conscientious prodigy had phoned the moving company as soon as we landed, to arrange for her furniture to be taken out of local storage (where she had them move it to ahead of time) and delivered pronto! *girl wonder*

So… that left us with some sightseeing time… IMPRESSIONS! Pardon me while I catch my breath here *grins* but having lived my whole life (well, so far) in what is fondly referred to by Midwesterners in the U.S. as “Chicagoland” I am not used to feeling instantly comfortable while outdoors (we usually have to brace ourselves – or somehow “deal” with the weather) and as if year-round pleasant weather isn’t enough of an incentive to bivouac for a while… the surrounding scenery of SoCal is totally spectacular! *jaw-dropping* Although I innately feel like a prairie girl at heart… I certainly would have no problem living in such a beautiful place. You don’t have to be a psychic to know that there are a lot more visits to SoCal in my future! *happy as a clam*

Since it was my very first time there, we did a quick “sampler tour” – Balboa Park, Old Town, La Jolla, Gas Lamp Quarter, USS Midway, Seaport Village, Del Mar, Carlsbad – it’s all a great blur in my mind! *dazzling* Hubby and I even sauntered over to explore the California State University @San Marcos campus (our hotel was right next door!) Oh, and by the way, did you know that the Frye’s Electronic Store in San Marcos has ginormous aquariums inside? Quite amusing… and good-natured too! *pun* Yeah, once again we encountered some of the friendliest, and most helpful people along the way (good karma boomerang!)

Even when you’ve raised them right… and you know in your head, and believe in your heart that the time has come to let them go… saying goodbye to the young adult offspring – as he/or she takes on an independent life of their own is reeeaaaallly hard to do! *misty* Consequently, once out of sight… we took a moment (pulled to the side of the road)… on the road that was leading us to the airport… then back to our home (now a place that is close in her heart, yet far away) and let the bona fide fount of bittersweet emotion spill out. It only took a short moment for the burst of tears to empty the well of sadness… hence another successful launch (three down, one to go!) *beaming*

Have a fabulous week! I’ll be back here in a bit ☺


Monday, June 28, 2010

Go West Girl

Wow! Just three more days ‘til our first daughter (newly graduated from college) will be moving out to California… thus beginning her career in Agricultural Engineering… who’d of thunk it? *marvelous* Baby-girl-one and I met each other when she was five months old. Her dad (who is now my hubby) brought her into the office where he and I worked at the time – quite the proud papa – to present his precious little one to his staff for the appropriate utterances of our enthusiastic oohs and aahs! *sweet* And I got to hold her… a bona fine bundle of pure human potential… and baby powder fresh, to boot! *angelic* We saw each other on occasion during her childhood and early adolescence… then harmoniously bonded (at the speed of light) when her dad and I began dating halfway through her fourteenth year. From the perspective of a parental unit, days go by slowly while the years pass quickly when their kids are in high school… and then progress at warp speed after that. Hmmm!

Way back in time when I was a young girl, I had a yen for the west coast lifestyle, and spent lingering hours indulging in imaginary jaunts to Cali, serenaded by tunes of The Beachboys on my 9-volt battery operated transistor radio (well, whenever the Chicago radio station DJ would play them!) There was a ginormous flat rock showcasing the natural landscape at the end of our driveway… it was one of my fave outdoor settees (a la Flintstones) upon which I’d plunk myself on bright summer days… always facing west (better view of the proverbial pie in the sky!) *daydreamer* And guess what… so far I’ve only been to San Francisco… have flown over California several times en route to Hawaii though! *sheesh* To say that I’m excited that hubby and I will be escorting girl-one to San Diego would totally be an understatement – I’m stoked to the max! *giddy*

Now is the perfect time for us – proud non-helicopter parents – to help her get settled into a new apartment (translation: mom & daughter shopping spree) and acclimated to her new turf… Independence Day cometh, indeed! *autonomy* And our three night “mini-vacay” will culminate with a non-stop flight that is scheduled to arrive back in Chicago during prime July 4th fireworks display hour! *fantastic*

Sunrise… sunset… time sure has a funny way of speeding up and slowing down… in spite of the constant sweep of the clock’s second hand. And ya know what? I have a feeling that this week in Laurie Dean’s world will end with a sonic boom.

Have a fabulous week! Happy Birthday USA ☺