Friday, January 23, 2015

I really, really need ...

Simba in blue
I need to keep things in perspective.

People say I need to see the good in a situation ... that I should focus on or talk about only the positive.  I don't completely disagree, but there are two issues with this advice.

1 - Things are not always black or white ,,, good or bad ... positive or negative.  Most everything falls somewhere in between, or are at least a mixture of the two.

2 - If I don't mention what was bad in a situation you may not realize why or how I judge the good.

If I were to simply say, "At least he wasn't hurt." ... that would be the good news, but without the context you won't understand why.

My son was in a car accident.  The damage to the car was pretty bad ... possibly totaled.  At least he and the friend in the car weren't hurt.

Burrito from
Tacos Mi Pueblo
The accident is bad.  There is no positive in that aspect of the discussion, but if I talk about it it does not mean I am focusing on the negative.

I am not happy that my son had an accident.

I am thrilled beyond words that nobody was injured ... and if put into the proper perspective (at least what I think is the proper perspective) this the is only important aspect.

So why am I rambling?

I don't know ... why do I ever ramble on things?

A few days ago I went to see the orthopedic surgeon for my knee.  I needed to discuss my options.  I so love Dr. Mazurek.  He is simply a wonderful person and a fantastic doctor.

Do I like the fact that I need to see him again? ... No.

Sunrises - one reason
I love photography
We decided surgery was the most realistic option.  He asked when I wanted to take care of it. All I said was soon ... ... February 6.

Wow.  That IS soon!!

Keeping this in perspective, the most important thing here is I have an option that will likely make me feel better ... I have the insurance to help offset the cost.  Another definite plus is spending a week or so with my beautiful Pam ... maybe even sneak in some photography.

Today I went to get a chest x-ray because of the growth ... the tumor that was removed from my chest 2 years ago.  When I checked in at the imaging facility everything went well.  I asked the receptionist for them to call me Tiffanie rather than what is still on my legal records.

When the tech came out I hear the wrong name echoing through the room.  I sat still because I was hoping there was another person with that name.

Sunsets - another reason
I love photography

Honestly, I was really bummed.  For the first time in a very long time I felt like the sideshow freak with everyone staring at me walking across the room.  The receptionist was already pointing out the mistake to the tech and then mouthed, "I'm sorry" as I walked up.

"It's alright."  I smiled ... or tried to.

Putting this in perspective is a little more complex.  I was there for an x-ray because the growth in my chest was discovered and despite its size was removed without any real complications.

Despite the name goof today, I am truly living as a lady ... I am a lady.  The misspeak by the tech hurt for a moment, but it reminds me of how far I've come in just a few years ... and it gave me a chance to wink and smile at the redneck dufus sitting near the exit as he glared at me walking out.

At least I had a giggle.

Burrito bowl
from Freebirds
I can't describe the yearning to change my gender and name legally, but there are things that are so much more important.  I think today showed me that regardless of my legal status I am a female.  If people did not think I was female they would not have stared at me with such shock when I eventually responded to the name.

At Freebirds (an awesome Mexican fast food / burrito place) I was back to me ... to Tiffanie.  No questions about my name nor gender.  Pam and I were just a couple of ladies having a late lunch.  It was a wonderful part of a mediocre afternoon.

The negatives still bother me ... they will always be there ... I will keep complaining about them.

So ... to end this on a positive.  I had a very strange epiphany ... maybe more like overdue than strange ... and not incredibly life changing.  Just something I noticed.

Seeing me
for the first time
I saw a photo as it scrolled into my view on the computer monitor.  I wasn't paying close attention to details as I was looking for something else.  "Who is this lady ... and why is she showing up on my Facebook?"

When I actually looked I realized it was me.

When did this happen?  I look at so many pictures and see him still behind my face ... I compared the photo to older ones.  I am truly amazed that I see nothing but Tiffanie in this one photo ... alright, seeing actual cleavage helped a bit, but whatever.  Others have told me for quite a while how feminine I look, but seeing it for myself feels wonderful.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bottling it up ...

Alright ... technically it's a jar.


In keeping with our theme for 2015 ... okay ... so maybe we don't have an actual theme for the year ... but if we did, this would definitely fit into it.

Anyway ...

Pam and I have started our warm and fuzzy jar.  I really don't know what to call it, but I saw many people talking about this at the end of 2014.  Every time something good, fun, heartwarming or exceptional happens we will write it on a piece of paper with the date and read them at the end of the year.

There are already several pieces of paper.

I don't think this is a magical cure for my depressive states ... it is just a reminder to myself, and to Pam that better days and good things do happen even in the roughest of years ... even in the past few years that were so extremely strenuous.

I do believe there will be an end to these issues.

There has to be an end.

I think 2015 has a chance to be a pretty good year.  There are many thing that could happen this year, but I will not jinx myself by listing them ... I don't want to get my hopes up.

Nothing is guaranteed.

I am not wishing the year away, but I am looking forward to doing this ... remembering the little things.

What I am pretty certain will not make the jar - after a glimmer of hope that my knee could be treated with injections, the pain is not getting better ... in fact, it may be getting worse.  I see my surgeon later this month to discuss my options ... surgery or deal with the pain.

My last knee surgery went well, so I don't foresee any complications.  I just wish there was a different way to take care of this.

*** January 2011 ***

It was a new year ... a new beginning ... the time that one is supposed to believe that things will get better from now on.

I know I didn't need to explain that, but for the first time in years I thought in might be true.

- Pam seemed to be out the worst of her depressive state
- I was at a point where I admitted and wanted to work on my depression
- Many in my family were planning on running the San Diego Rock 'n Roll marathon
- My niece was willing to train with me

Things to look forward to ... everything getting better ... finally

It wasn't long into training that I knew it wasn't going to be easy.  I felt like I couldn't get enough oxygen to my body to run, or even walk more than a few miles ... a few flat miles with no hills.  I mentioned this in my old blog ... I didn't know it was foreshadowing for the next couple years.

No ... I won't rehash the entire year ... not even the collapse of my marathon goal.

It's simply demonstrates that despite my positive outlook ... despite my goals and the steps laid out to achieve the goals everything began to derail about a month into the "new and wonderful" year.  The end result was not achieving a goal and injuring my knee in the process.

So what am I doing to keep 2015 moving forward if I don't have the BIG goal?

Little things.

I am beginning to compartmentalize ... there's at least 2 therapists, a couple managers and a handful of other people who are screaming, "Finally!!"

This is not a fool proof process, but if there is something at home that may be causing concern I try to drown it out by focusing on my work a bit harder.  If there are issues at work I try to block them by enjoying the time with my cats, my mom ... and even Pam.

Probably should have said those in a different order *rolls eyes*

But there must be more to life than work and home ... right?

Yes ... of course.

Pam and I will never have the kind of money that allows us to take the nice vacation ... the camping trip or the RV tour of the country.  A weekend in Vegas is enough to blow our laughable budget out of the water.  I would love to take a vacation ... a road trip to see so many of my Facebook friends who accepted me, encouraged me, listened to my concerns, my bitching, my crying as I dealt with being transgender ... or more specifically, decided to transition to allow me to deal with life.
Photo tent
1st real shot is set up

This will likely never happen.

Pam has her sewing classes ... she also has the extra stress of being the only person to help her mother who is having many issues herself.

For now my "me time" is photography.  I have already taken many photos this year.  The simple act of saying to myself "I bet that would look so cool if ... " and then being able to shoot that photo is very calming.  It clears my mind ... helps issues make sense ... helps me see the beauty around me.  Like they say, "Stop and take a picture of the roses."

I know ... I modified the saying a bit.

My Christmas gift was a new flash for my camera and a lighting tent to help me take still life pictures.  I am learning how to use them to get the most out of my shots.  This is just another piece to my mental health puzzle.

Even if I just focus on a little "me time" a couple times every week this year will seem better.  Once I get my knee surgery out of the way and a couple other concerns I can start to focus on other things as well ... maybe even exercising.

Will 2015 be the best year in a long time?

I don't know ... I hope so.  Whatever happens, Pam and I will have a lot of nice thoughts to remember at the end of the year.