Comic Sans

Font of Choice

(Author’s note: I am working with WordPress to be able to select different fonts for each blog. Till then … )

When I was teaching, my font of choice was Comic Sans. I know, I know. I can feel the derision creeping through the interwebs.

(It helps if you read this with a slightly snotty tone.) “Comic Sans? Times New Roman! It’s just the way we do things around here. To use anything else, is just gauche, childish, even slightly moronic.”

And yet I knew that many of my students hated Times New Roman. The slightly menacing neutrality of it all made it something that I didn’t want to come from me, and besides, students were only expected to use it for one type of assignment – final drafts, where the power of their writing had to come from their words, not their fonts.

I have been struggling with the power – or lack of power in my own words for months now. As I carefully walked down the stairs to the kitchen a couple of  mornings ago at my usual 5:10, one of the voices in my brain said gruffly,” You’re not writing much of anything that I can see … Why don’t you try the font thing.” I sighed. Sure, why not? Nothing else is helping it. I changed the font and set about making tea.

A cup of Earl Gray now resting beside my left hand, cooling in the small orange fox mug – a Christmas gift from Matt when he was a barista in college – a bowl of cereal and way too much banana, and people were being introduced …  No, wait. I apologize for that. I fell asleep a little and that was part of my dream.

If you know a sleep-typer, cut them some slack. There is nothing like waking up from a nightmare and wondering if you did a search for people’s names before handing in a financial analysis.

I glanced at the clock … Wow! I was actually writing. And it wasn’t crap. It wasn’t poet laureate, but hey. I closed the docs I was working after a couple of hours because I was going fast-walking with one of my heroes, Claudia, and her goof-head dog. If you had asked me when I closed my computer how I broke the writer’s blockers, I would not have guessed in a million years that it would take my brain chastising me about a font.

It is an example, though, of the scattered nature of my life since April. The “Reader’s Digest, in a nutshell version” is that 1) the “complication” of the first surgery – my right temporal bone (my skull) that had been fractured when I fell in December 2016 was broken again. Worse than before. My recovery from this new fracture has been difficult and has impacted the healing of all other aspects affected by the surgery.

Direct brain stimulation has not had the desired effects we had all hoped and prayed for. A bright spot – the cramping of my right leg and foot are almost completely gone, for which I am truly grateful. However, the freezing, balance troubles, gait, swallowing, and breath control are all worse. Known side effects, yes, but not what one expects to be the overriding outcomes. The surgery I had prayed would bring dance and sailing back into my life has so far failed.

I am not giving up yet, though. I am working hard, making some changes, and practicing my compartmentalization skills. There are other parts of my life that are exciting and happy.

Because,, OH! I am moving … again … I can’t believe it. This time, though, it’s into a condo I am buying! The first house I’ve ever bought by myself!  I call it a house because “house” and “home” are synonymous to me. It’s in a 55+ community, with a nice golf course, tennis, pool, club house, the works. And I will have large windows with south and east exposure, lots of sunshine, walls I can paint, a kitchen I can re-do, and even though it’s on the second floor, it’s one level, reached by only 8 stairs. Not the 18 I’ve been climbing up and down since April. (Don’t ask.)

And I am getting a service dog. I was not able to keep and train Friday, even though he was (is) smart, loving, and gallumpy, he’s also amazingly distractable from what he needs to pay attention to (me, and people in general) but equally and oppositely focused on that which he should not pay attention to (leaves and birds).  

My service dog will be trained when we are matched, and he or she will continue training with me after. I will talk a lot more about this soon! I’m very excited!

Then there are the usual ridiculously scary co-morbidities that haunt me, however, compartmentalizing and realizing a few things go a long way in the Land of Coping Mechanisms.

The retina in my left eye will always be damaged, but there is no new damage or inflammation. (good) The front of my eye is now inflamed and we don’t know why. (bad) But I’m on really powerful eye drops! (good)

My lower back is still super painful and is still shooting pain down the backs of my legs, causing numbness and all sorts of not good feelings. (bad) And we’re not exactly sure why or where it’s coming from. (bad, again) But I’m working with some amazing professionals, including my friend, Kimberly, and I’m modifying. (good) I’m learning that “modify” is not the same as “lessen the intensity” it just means, “Don’t be an idiot, Janie.” (good)

There will be more updates as changes occur, and as long as I can keep the blockers in their places.

P.S. It’s going to be a different Thanksgiving this year – what with the moving and all – but I don’t need a holiday to remind me to be thankful for all I have been given.

I am alive.

I am not blind, I can still see.

I will always be able to love. (my sons, my family, my friends from all circles, my friends I haven’t met yet)

I will dance again, somehow.

I will be by the water and as close to on it as possible.

I can still laugh and smile and share and comfort and advocate.

Happy Thanksgiving 😊 What are you thankful for?