Flux

Flux

Change is the name of the game these days. While we’re still in flux I’m going to be a bit tight-lipped, but suffice it to say that life has surprised us a little lately. Nothing like last summer, though.

Today is my father-in-law’s birthday–he’s turning 83–and also the one year anniversary of the day we rushed him to the hospital after he collapsed at breakfast. We later discovered that he had contracted a rare brain virus (brain injury #1). We came very close to losing him, and then, by Thanksgiving, he was nearly back to normal. Then he slipped on a patch of ice and hit his head on the concrete, leading to brain injury #2.

And today, August of 2015, he’s nearly himself again. Amazingly. Miraculously. Making bad jokes and threatening to put the cat out into the woods if he doesn’t stop shedding (and then letting the cat sleep on his shoulders). Each time we’ve visited, he’s been a little better, his memory a little more in tact. In June, I watched as he installed an air conditioner, and I could almost see the brain plasticity at work as he sorted through the steps of something he’s done every summer for years and years. The air conditioner is still working and hasn’t yet fallen out of the window, so it’s safe to say that it’s a success!

And while he doesn’t seem terribly interested in hearing it, he’s taught us about resilience–that it might seem like it’s too late to turn things around, when really, it’s just the signal of another beginning.

Love, Joy

Life Update: I Have a New Job!

Frock Files: I Have a New Job!

When we came back from Hawaii a few weeks ago, things had changed. Yes, we were browner and more relaxed and a few pounds heavier, but there was one other thing, too. While we were traveling, I received a job offer that was so good and exciting and wonderful that there was no way I could walk away. So I said yes. Yes, yes, yes.

Leaving my current role at the university isn’t easy because I have loved working there. I’ve formed awesome relationships with my coworkers and our award-winning team. They’re just the best, smartest, most talented people around. I’ve nurtured the school’s social media presence–we call it my baby, which is what it feels like. And I have great pride in the university, which has risen up from its underdog days to become an awesome research institution. I’ll miss it, and I’ll be forever grateful that my team gave me the chance to prove myself there. We have done incredible things together.

All that said, I’m so ridiculously excited about what’s ahead in my new role. I’ll be handling social media and community engagement for a company that helps people to find their dream jobs, to negotiate better, to essentially become better, more confident versions of themselves. For years, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life but their materials helped me to figure it out and even to land my job at the university! I have to admit, it was a little odd to interview with the company that taught me how to interview. But because the materials are all about being an authentic, high performing individual, the impact is universal. I’m thrilled that I’ll get to be part of this impressive, growing team of rock stars.

My new job is completely remote, which means I’ll be spending a lot more time here in my home office. Way back when, I painted it dark grey, and while I’ve enjoyed my little cave, I’m beginning to feel like it might not do for 40+ hours each week. So another change is on the way–a white washed, sunny office (to match our white washed, sunny bedroom!).

If you see me and I have paint splatters all over myself, it’s because it’s going to take a LOT of primer to cover up my previous paint job. But I know that once it’s done, it will feel like a fresh start. Like spring.

 

Life Update: Moving Forward

The other day, I was standing outside in the five degree sunrise with Kona and it dawned on me that we’ve turned a corner. After living for months and months on constant alert, the new year arrived and with it a sense of normalcy. While we’re busier than ever, and while there are still nights where I just want to have a bowl of cereal for dinner and be done with it, we’re not stuck in quicksand anymore. And we’ve come into this new period feeling so, so grateful.

As you may have already guessed, we postponed our trip to Hawaii in order to be near James’ dad after he took a spill and ended up with his second brain injury of 2014. I was briefly depressed about this change of plans, but then we realized that there are a lot of pros to going later. We’ll be done with the cold and desperately seeking an escape by then. And when we get back in early April, we’ll be thisclose to spring’s arrival. We also got to extend our trip by a few days, with stopovers in Portland on both ends.

We’re all healthy again. James’ dad is doing amazingly well. Last week no one could remember where the eyeglass repair kit was at their house, but he chimed in, “It’s in the second drawer in the laundry room!” Then he looked at me and said, “And they think I’m having memory problems. Ha!”

So now it’s time to start planning for more fun this year. While I was driving today, I heard an ad for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and thought about the possibility of going to Tanglewood for the 4th of July. When there’s space in your mind to think about summer in January, things must be going well.

How are things on your end?

Love, Joy

Life Update: Unwell

Frock Files | Unwell

It never occurred to me until this past couple of weeks that I’ve never been that sick. Oh sure, I’ve had a couple of nasty bouts of the flu and my share of run ins with colds, but never anything that wouldn’t go away with time, sleep, and Nora Ephron movies.

But a couple of weeks ago, I was exhausted as I drove into work and as soon as I sat down at my desk this overwhelming malaise washed over me. I eventually started having flu-like muscle aches and I braced myself for a virus. It never came. Instead, the aches traveled to my joints. And the fatigue. I wake up and feel immediately like going back to sleep.

These symptoms are scary in their nebulousness. I did the exact thing you’re not supposed to do–Googled my symptoms. Everything from chronic fatigue to MS to bacterial meningitis came up. Meanwhile, at 10 days in, I wasn’t feeling any better.

Frock Files | Unwell

Those of you who are connected with me on Instagram know that I went to urgent care last Friday. Let’s just say that it was a disaster. So yesterday, I went to my new GP for the very first time and she decided to run blood tests for a whole host of things (B12 deficiency, D deficiency, thyroid disease…the list goes on). But she also put me on Doxycycline, the antibiotic used to treat Lyme disease, while we await the results. It makes me so, so sick.

Am I too old to say that I want my parents? Whenever I get sick, I wish I could be magically transported straight to my childhood bedroom for a steady stream of my mom’s cooking, freshly picked papaya, creme crackers, guava juice, and parental reassurance. All of this is happening as James’ dad has been in the hospital, so I’m enduring this mostly on my own. Kona, while a good napping partner, hasn’t yet been trained to fetch bowls of soup.

And yet. After my bouts of inward tantrums (“I’m so tired of being tired!”), what lies beneath is this realization that I understand something more deeply. (For being raised in a Buddhist family, I had quite a Christian upbringing, and this quote has always stuck with me:)

strong

This is my mantra as I wait for these test results. This is my will for James’ dad as we try to figure out what’s wrong with him. Strength, it seems, can surface in the unlikeliest of times.

—–

Image beneath quotation via Stocksy

Life Update: It’s August Already?!

This was July:

This Was July (2014) | Frock Files

Delicious food and gorgeous ambiance at a new restaurant called La Brasa in Somerville.

This Was July (2014) | Frock Files
This Was July (2014) | Frock Files

The biggest highlight of the month: a visit from my parents, who spoiled us (especially Kona) rotten.

This Was July (2014) | Frock Files

This Was July (2014) | Frock Files

After years of comically bad dates, my great friend Stephen finally met The One. (She’s fantastic!) Here they are, two years later. Happily ever after.

This Was July (2014) | Frock Files
This Was July (2014) | Frock Files

With these summer days flying by, we’re trying to remember to enjoy every single moment.

This Was July (2014) | Frock FilesThis Was July (2014) | Frock Files

…even though the trees have already begun to turn.

Here’s to another month of summer (fingers crossed!) fun!

P.S. More photos on Instagram! (Kona has her own account too. Because we’re those crazy dog people.)

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