Live Color Fully

today i am excited about everything.

Adventures in Gall Bladder Surgery, Part 1.



I sat patiently in the cold metal chair, suspiciously eyeing the nurse as she stabbed my arm for the fourth time.

N: “What was your pain level again?”

Me: “About 10. Or 9. My fever’s almost 105, so I think I might be burning. From the inside.”

*pause*

Me: “Maybe if you wrote it down on the chart, it’d be easier to remember. You know, the pain level 10 thing. Written notes really help me.”

N: “Oh, yeah. Just as soon as I find this…. wait…nope, not yet. Sorry this is taking so long!”

Me: “That’s okay. Are you new?”

N: “9 years and counting!”

Me: “Oh.”

I shifted uncomfortably in the chair, considering the germs that were finding their way into my skin while I sat in this white-walled, windowless cave.

N: “Do you know your wristband is wrong?”

Me: “Oh, yeah. My name is misspelled. I tried really hard to convince your receptionist guy to give me one with my actual name on it. He tried 3 times and the best we could get was Ann Taylir. He decided it didn’t really matter.”

The nurse raised one eyebrow sharply, and ripped the needle she had just placed securely into my arm back into her not-so-steady fingers.

N: “We can’t go any further until we get that fixed!”

She took out a skinny permanent marker, and scribbled roughly onto the long piece of white paper-plastic blend.

N: “… t-a-y-l-O-r. There”.

*pause*

She flipped my arm over, and began to lower the needle towards my crazy-drug-addict looking arm.

N: “So WHAT was your pain level? 4? You look great! Like, maybe a 2.”

And then my head exploded.

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The Year Of Passionate Living

So, a few (*cough* 2) months ago, I turned 28. 28, years, old.

And truly, it was fine. Other than 25, I’ve loved each birthday. Older women often smile knowingly as they pass along that as women age, we just grow into our existing skin. We become more ourselves. I’ve heard the rumor that it gets even better at milestone 30, so let me just say: Bring It On.

On my birthday each year, as only the product of two teachers can do, I choose something I want to learn. Not in the “fly a plane” or “speak the native tongue of the Pecheneg people” strain, but more “live in the moment” (24) or “hold life with open hands” (26) or “value community most” (18).

This year, in the midst of recovering from surgery and weariness, I fought for contentment. I struggled to be okay with the turn life had taken over the past few years. I read books and magazines, I journaled, I drank tea, and willed my turmoil to stop, Oh God, please.

And? Nothing.

The truth is, I’m not sure we’re always meant to be content. That churning we feel in the depth of our spirit was put there by the Creator who built us out of nothing. We’re not meant to squash it, to hush it into submission until all that’s left is a dull numbness.

We’re MEANT to feel that.

Because when we strive for contentment in that way, we change the meaning of the word. We change ourselves.

Not that all contentment is bad, but I’m not sure it should be used as a synonym for “lazy” or “cool with the crazy that’s happening”.

Or “boring”.

Or “stagnant”.

Contentment is maybe a little more about finding the joy in your life, and holding that with both hands.

So for this year, the only year I’ll ever have as 28, I reject contentment. I choose Passion.

So, here we go, 28: The Year Of Passionate Living.

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You Are Making Me New

Dear 2012,

I’m a little slow in writing this letter to you (like, 3 months slow), but honestly, if we’re going to be friends during the next 12-ish months, you should probably get used to that. Finishing things in a super timely manner is not something I would list under “Special Skills” on my resume.

So, 20-12, here’s the thing.

You’re already lucky, with your oversized bag bearing change and new and beauty. I’m not sure how you managed to pack so many unicorns and rainbows into the last 81 days, but let me tell you: we might be soulmates.

You see, 2011 beat me up a bit. He was like that boyfriend that you know you shouldn’t go back to because every time you ask him if he’s cheating, he averts his eyes and changes the subject. He brought a bit of heartbreak, and by the end of the year, I was tired. And tired of being tired.

But 2012, you’ve released me in some incredible ways. You have long wavy hair, oversized sunglasses, and you smell of the rain and adventure. I want to be best friends with you.

And, my new friend, I’m quite aware things won’t always be perfect. I’m accepting that as the thing we all refer to as “life”.

But I’m also accepting a spirit of gratitude. Gratitude even for 2011, because while I’m more than happy to show him the door, I also rest firmly in my blessings today because of who he was. And for that, I’m thankful.

So, 2012, pop those high heels into your purse and let’s grab hands and run hard with wanderlust blowing in our hair as we journey together. Let’s accept our baggage, but not let it coerce us into traveling slower. Let’s skip after Our Creator, who has truly given us all things to work towards His good.

Here we go, my new friend. Just you & I & He.

Yours till 2013,

Annie

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