Why I’m Surprised (but Grateful)

Here I am, retired and nowhere near where I expected to be at this stage of my life. What happened to those lofty dreams of years ago when I pictured myself in a luxurious mansion sipping cocktails by a pool overlooking the Mediterranean? I guess I killed them. I didn’t choose to kill them. I killed them with my choices.

Choice #1: Going to college instead of joining the Navy. The Navy appealed to me as a high school senior because it promised world travel with a good salary and future retirement benefits. I didn’t want to leave my boyfriend, so I went to college. I also didn’t believe I could make it through basic training because I am basically a wuss when it comes to physical activities. I am not athletic in the least.

Choice #2: I followed my heart while in college. I married before I graduated, and he was young. He had to find a good job and never went to college himself. He did work hard providing for me and our eventual kids, though. He said he wouldn’t change a thing, but sometimes I think he would have been better off waiting. I would have been, too.

Choice #3: Not finishing my pre-med program. I didn’t take Chemistry or Physics in high school because I was afraid of failure, and my first Chemistry class was a disaster. I learned nothing because the teacher wasn’t a good one. I barely passed the second semester under the other teacher, so I decided I would never be able to pass Organic chemistry. I also have a phobia of needles, which people say you get over, but I hate fainting in class (which I did three times).

Choice #4: Not taking Chemistry and Physics in high school. I was scared of the teachers and failure.

Choice #5: Letting fear control my decisions.

I did make other choices affecting my life’s journey, and I’m not saying I regret making easier choices, but I am in a different place than I expected to be. But isn’t that what God is all about? Taking us on new and unexpected journeys? He has blessed me with a loving husband, two beautiful children and their spouses, and three wonderful grandchildren.

My cup is full, although my mansion is a 1961 wood frame three-bedroom home and I might sip coffee or wine on my deck or front porch. Who needs a mansion on the Mediterranean anyway? I have one “just over the hilltop in that bright land where we’ll never grow old” (old church hymn) anyway!

What about you? Have you landed where you least expected? I’d love to hear from you!



Gift Wrapped at the Gyno

Oh, no, you dint.  Oh yes, I did.  Since my daughter and I are not working regular jobs at the moment, we decided to book our annual gynecological exams on the same afternoon back to back.  Yes, at the same doctor’s office.  After all, gyno appointments are much more fun if you can bring a friend, right?
It really wasn’t that big a deal; we have to go through this every year, but poor Natalie had to have blood work, too.  The most interesting part of our visit was having to don paper gowns and a paper sheet before getting up onto the examination table.
Who invented these paper gowns, anyway?  And why are they blue?  Wouldn’t it make more sense to make them pink or purple?  Maybe they figure blue is more flattering to a woman’s naked body.
Anyway, they open in the back, of course, but there is an attached white belt that is supposed to be tied in the front.  You can’t really tie it before you get on the table because if you do the whole thing will rip and then you’ll have to embarrass yourself by opening the door a crack and asking the nurse to bring you another one.  Then you’d get the rolled eyes treatment and put the entire office behind because you tore your paper gown.
When you finally get onto the table your uncovered hiney is facing the door, which is uncomfortable, but I sure wouldn’t want my uncovered you-know-what facing the door when the doctor comes in.  So you try to arrange your paper gown so that it is closed in the back, even though you can’t exactly fasten it because the doctor would have to untie the belt and that would slow him down.  You know they have to run from room to room all day long and you don’t want to be the reason the woman in the next room gets cold in her paper gown waiting on the doctor.

Then you arrange your white paper sheet so it also covers the back in case your gown is really open and your hiney is showing.  But the sheet doesn’t go completely around you so you have to be quick when the doctor comes in and as he moves toward your front you adjust the sheet so that it covers the front.
Then it’s time for your feet to go in those little holders, otherwise known as stirrups, and for your hiney to scoot to the edge so the doctor can see what he is supposed to see.  As you scoot forward the blue paper bunches up around your neck, which makes you look like a disembodied head in a blue paper nest.  So much for arranging your gown carefully, and thank goodness you didn’t tie it, because the doctor pushes it up so he can examine your breasts for lumps.

The exam continues as the doctor inserts what Natalie calls “the duck.”  (Look up speculum and you can figure it out)  It is over quickly but you have completely lost your dignity and sense of modesty.  You scoot up, hoping you are covered, as if the doctor and nurse haven’t seen a million bodies of all ages, shapes, and sizes.  They cheerily tell you to get dressed and open the door when you are ready.  You thank them cordially as if you haven’t been turned inside out and upside down and all around in bright light by someone you only see once a year.
As if that wasn’t enough, Natalie had to have blood drawn afterwards.  But at least we had some mother/daughter bonding time while laughing about the experience.
She called the paper gown and sheet experience being “gift wrapped at the gyno.”
I have to agree.
The gift of good health is the best gift of all.

Ladies, if you haven’t had your annual pelvic exam in awhile, you are gambling with your health!
Call your doctor now.  I’m sure they have a blue paper gown with your name on it.

Why can’t I have a cheetah print one?  Made out of cloth?