Friday, May 7, 2010

#27 - Go out for coffee with someone from work who I look up to

As much as I love my job I love having some time to myself for the first time in a while. Yesterday I was off so I took advantage of my free day.

I started it by doing an hour of intense cardio at the gym. As difficult as it was to sweat through, it felt good. I actually love cardio, especially with music. As long as my mind doesn't run too far into the music, because on those machines that's not good. I know from experience.

After I got ready I ran out the door to be fashionably late to meet my closest friend from College whom I hadn't seen in a couple of months.

Giggles is actually 9 years younger than myself. It's kinda funny. I remember the first time we hung out at my house (before we moved). As I was going to pick her up it struck me: she was 9 when Wally and I started dating!!!! After wondering if it was wrong that I was such good friends with her I reminded myself we were friends, not dating, and all was fine. (Not that age always matters but when you are 28 and the other person is 19 you may want to at least give it a thought or two).

I picked her up and we went to our favourite breakfast place. I had decided before hand that I would try my first poached egg (I've also decided it is #36 on the list). I mentioned it to Wally earlier that morning and he was disappointed that he wouldn't be there for it. This fact made it real simple to change my mind when I smelled the other grease filled orders.

Mmmmmmmmmm. Everything smelled sooooooo good. I knew I wasn't going to make it out with a poached egg and cottage cheese. I decided on an in between instead (you know, for Wally's sake). It was an egg, ham and cheese wrapped and grilled inside of a crepe, with fresh fruit on the side. Oh my goodness I'm like tasting it right now.

*Taking a deep breath*

Before ordering though, I texted Dee to ask if ham was ok (apparently the cheese seemed fine to my overcome sense of smell). He texted back that fat free ham would be ok. I let him know that I'd make sure to take the fat out before eating it (he then stated I was crazy and I told him he should be a doctor). Then I ordered heaven for brunch.

Once our food came I scavenged through my bag (it's so weird that I own a real life bag, ok you know what I mean). My sticks were missing!!!

Secretly I was ecstatic as I would look pretty silly in a very Americanized breakfast place using chopsticks but I had every intention of doing it anyway. Oh well, c'est la vie, right?

I took the first bite carefully and slowly. I was experiencing cheese (one of my very favourite things) for the first time in .... a long time. I enveloped the piece of divinity in my mouth and .... my taste buds had one serious party.

I moaned a couple of times before realizing I was in a public place and my brunch date was clearly worried about me then I continued on with my meal and catching up with my friend.

I finished my nourishment completely while Giggles left some of hers (she had a cinnamon roll dipped in french toast batter with syrup, bacon and fruit on the side - I felt she was trying to torture me a wee bit).

We chatted and caught up on life, I advised her on how to snip an annoying guy out of her life, then we were off. I dropped her back home and I headed to Walmart to hopefully buy a pair of sandals.

Earlier in the morning I had e-mailed someone from work in efforts to perhaps complete #27 rather spontaneously. The person I e-mailed was actually a teacher of mine in college for a couple of classes, whom also is one of the head cheeses at the agency I work at.

I got to know her a wee bit better at a two day training gig we both went to and she is currently off on stress leave. There was just something about her I thought I could identify with so I thought, why not find out?

In the e-mail I sent I gave my cell # for texting as I knew I'd be out and if there was a possibility to meet I'd take it.

As I waited I perused around the department store looking for sandals, I didn't have much luck. I couldn't find any sandals I liked that were comfortable. I decided not to settle and moved on to meander around the store.

I somehow found myself in the sock aisle (I really have no idea how) and noticed a group of socks that totally reminded my of my laughs-a-lot aunt and decided since I was determined to meet up with her I would pick them up as a gift. Since I was buying them I thought I should buy something else (because you know it's just not right to only buy one thing in Walmart right?).

I soon found some athletic 'breathing' socks for myself. Wondered in my head what was living in my feet that needed oxygen but got them anyway.

I then seemed to find myself in the picture frame area and thought I should find one for the 8 x 10 I got of Wally and I at the party. Hmmmm do I buy the cheap frame, or the cheaper frame? Oh man, it's amazing how two bucks can play with your head. I settled on the cheap one and continued to stray.

Not far off I spotted some trashy bikinis. I quickly sent Dee a text on my observations just to make him laugh, then I moved onto the less trashy bikinis.

I stopped. I thought. Hmmmmm should I buy another one that I could possibly actually wear when I'm fit and strong? Should I bet on such a thing? Would it be incentive or just depressing? I looked through and within 5 minutes I had two items in my hand. As I walked away I was so proud of myself. In this minute I have no earthly clue why. It really wasn't all that difficult to do as the aisle this time (as opposed to my last bikini challenge) was hidden from the view of any one around. I really don't know.

Anyhoo, I got a text from my former teacher and off I went to pay for my goods. (By the way, do you remember that I entered the store to buy sandals and left with four items I didn't really plan on. AND spent 60 bucks doing so).

We met at non other than a Tim Horton's and soon sat down to tea and water (we're both very exciting people). I got a text from her a bit after 1pm saying she could come but would have to get going by 2pm ish. Initially I was disappointed. Clearly she was not aware of how I conversed. My average visit with pretty much anyone is between 2-5 hours long. I wondered if we'd get anywhere (you knew there was a destination right?). However I was going to have to deal with the fact that the world indeed does not revolve around me and people do seem to have jobs, lives and other things going on (gasp!!)

It took only seconds to get into a comfortable conversation that went from things that were going on in each of our lives that we both sort of knew of already and then it swirled and danced through family stuff and eventually work.

As I sat with her after about 15 minutes I began to think 'Oh dear, since this is someone I work with should I guide the conversation? Or do I let it go where ever?' I learned though through my last '40 Day Adventure' that often an item on your list intended for one thing can often introduce you to or give you a different experience than you planned, and it always paid off. (I guess I figure since I'm blogging I owe people a certain outcome).

I decided to just go with it and see what happened. I soon forgot about everything. Our timeline, the blog, even really work stuff. It was just two women sharing stories of their lives with eachother and simply connecting.

Don't get me wrong, I definitely took away some good advice regarding the field we're in. Mostly around making sure you keep yourself a priority in life and to keep yourself well. Work will go on with or without you. As many of you would know that is a lesson I needed to hear and really need to learn.

I also heard of some regrets she had regarding her own education. How limited her opportunities were by not having a degree. It made me think again. I had just shared a conversation the evening before with a friend and former classmate who I'd talked months ago about going back to school with (through distance learning) and getting our degrees together. He kept challenging me to do it. Reminding me of more opportunities and telling me how much he thought I'd love a clinical setting (I'm not so convinced but I think I could bring something to the table).

Soon our hour was up and it literally felt like five minutes, however at the same time I couldn't believe how much good chatting we got in. I feel like we circled the globe of topics and even got some deeper exploring too.

What was really cool is that I felt like I was sitting with a kindred spirit of sorts (we even kind of have similar hair). She is working on raising $2500 to do a ride for cancer (actually I think she's already met her goal). She also plans to ride across Canada at some point in a couple of years. Like, that's a challenge! That's living! She too had an 'awakening' of sorts after the unexpected passing of a sibling and now purposefully travels with her husband, but also told me how they have separate interests and lives as well.

I needed this visit a lot. I can't believe we hit on so many different areas of our lives and so many of the same things I struggle with, in such a short time. (Not to mention the fact I e-mailed her that morning to ask about that afternoon). What was even cooler, when I got home there was a message waiting for me thanking me for the chat. I was hoping to beat her to it! I do hope we get to do more of it in the future.

So I'll admit, I thought going out for coffee with someone I looked up to at work would be intimidating and uncomfortable, especially someone in a higher up place (that's my formal term for it). But it wasn't at all. I'm not sure if the fact that she was one of my bloggy invites helped, I really don't care. I am just so glad I took a chance to ask.

I think I'll become a professional 'connector', because connecting with another human being and relating to them makes me feel more at home here on earth than I ever thought possible (especially after so much loss).

Thank you new friend. Those 60 minutes were worth something to me that money could never buy.

Eva :)


I planned to write about a couple of the items on my list today (and I may later), but I had an interesting morning and if I don't write about it I may hit the whiskey and well I have to work later so I'm going to try and stick to writing.

Yesterday amidst my planning I made an appointment to give plasma. As many of you know this means a great deal to me, however due to my lifestyle the past several months I have not been able to donate, I was not accepted. This week happens to be the anniversary of my Aunt's passing, I thought a great time to get back into things.

I had to go back in for an annual physical (which really are just a few taps, presses and 'ahhhhh's, nothing intense). When you want to donate weekly you have to get this done to make sure your body is up for it. I did it last year and all was well and good.

Today I was so excited. Which when I think about it is kinda strange as I was going to be poked, prodded, squeezed and needled several times voluntarily, however I was. I filled out the paperwork, got weighed in (which wasn't nearly as terrible!!!), had my blood pressure done (104 over 71 - woot woot!!! HR 68).

Anyways I got through all that, had my picture taken for files, signed on a bunch of Xes, then had my fingers poked not once but three times to get blood for testing purposes. I hate hearing the words 'I've never seen this before'. Doesn't exactly make you feel relaxed.

I told the nurse how important it was for me to do this and she was quickly rooting for me. She noted my weight change and looked concerned. Never in my life would I have thought that would be an issue. She said sometimes with weight loss there were no pass tests. I told her I'd been eating very healthy, high protein foods and lots of exercise. I never had a problem when I first started donating so why, after months of hard work now? I'd pass.

She stuck the sample thingy in the little machine and we waited. I told her I was more nervous about the results of this than I ever was for a school test. She said she understood and really wanted me to pass.

The machine beeped...

She looked at it...

Then I heard the horrible words ... 'I'm sorry hun. You're iron is still too low. By one point.'

WHAT?! WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT'S TOO LOW? IT'S NOT TOO LOW, CHECK AGAIN!!!! Well that's what I thought. I actually just sat there.

She recommended an iron supplement as she said I likely wouldn't need a daily vitamin. She thought even taking one every other day might help. I just sat there nodded and optimistically said 'I'll get it next time!'. She continued on to say I should try red meat (which I rarely eat), and drink orange juice to help absorb the iron. I tried to listen but really I just wanted to leave.

She kindly reminded me to notify the receptionist (who is always way to nice and empathetic about this) on my way out. I was dreading this exchange because her eyes were always full of love and made me want to melt.

However I knew I had to because I had to cancel my next two appointments that had been made before I came in. Sigh ...

I took a deep breath and walked to the counter and stated 'I'm a dud.'

The two ladies behind the desk both said 'No you're not! It happens, let's look at a time in 56 days' (which to me seems like an eternity).

I booked my next 'try'.

Then I went into the raining world (how appropriate) and wept in my car. Streaming wept. Frustrated wept. Angry wept. I'm sorry wept. Guilty wept.

Tears fell down my face as I sobbed regretfully. And as I wrestled with the stupid code thing-a-ma-jig that wouldn't bring up the barrier to let me out - the last thing I needed was to go back inside to face the incredibly kind ladies that I'm sure would have had out of the oven cookies waiting for me, just because they seemed to know I needed them.

Finally the barrier lifted and I was allowed to leave. I cried all the way home, sent a couple of texts, then decided if I couldn't give plasma I would let out my frustrations on some sort of machine at the gym.

I quickly changed once home and climbed back into my car to sweat, sweat, sweat. I really wished today that they had a dark room with no media in it just so I could work out and think. But they didn't.

I came out soaked. Got into my car and briefly thought about how great a chocolate fudge cake would taste right now. It was always so faithful to me before. I began to drive. Went into the mall and almost blasted right past the huge display of flowers in the entrance. I stopped and gazed at the beautiful Gerber Daisies I saw sitting there. Perfectly happy, perfectly coloured, perfectly ... perfect. I picked up a bunch, didn't see a price then decided they would be my date today.

I grabbed the last basket left and filled it with spinach, orange juice, strawberries, bananas and blackberries then headed to the till.

I whisked through realizing I paid no attention to the final tally. I checked the receipt when I got in the car. Yeah, the flowers were an expensive date, but worth every cent.

So I'm now in a bit of a sad mood, but I'll get over it. It's not the end of the world or anything. Spinach and orange juice will now become a daily part of my diet along with whatever else I learn will help with iron (no doubt, someone out there in blog world will tell me). But I will still pursue to raise my iron levels through natural means since it wasn't drastically low and I do believe more in the most natural ways possible.

*Deep breath*

I'm not exactly sure why I got so upset after being rejected again (although just hearing the word rejected makes me sad). I know donating plasma doesn't bring my aunt back. I don't have anyone else I know that has been or is currently being affected by it, I just know it means so much that I can do it. Especially with my blood type being the rarest around.

I've been thinking ... I may just need to throw a little 'YAY!! I can donate plasma again!!!' party down the road.

Why not? We don't celebrate enough.