Gainfully unemployed

I had a disturbingly realistic dream this morning. I dreamt I was leaving my job. As I did for real last August. All the same people were there, but the office looked very different. More like the office in Nine to Five. Do you remember that movie? Anyway, in the dream I was packing up all of my stuff (which in real life I did not do) and saying my goodbyes. In the dream I was sad and frustrated, but when I started to wake up, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and relief.

I never admitted this while I was there, but I hated my job. Yes, I was doing accounting, but it wasn’t the kind of accounting I enjoyed. I started out at the firm six years prior doing monthly statements and reports and setting up new files, but by the end I found myself in the role of debt collector. Trying to collect from clients who had come to us for help getting out of a financial mess was like getting blood from a turnip. A losing battle. Every. Single. Day.

I still have the box of my stuff my coworkers had packed up for me. It’s been sitting, rarely touched, since the day I picked it up last September. Framed pictures, my iPod speakers, my candle (coffee) warmer. I even have my framed IRS Enrolled Agent certificate, which as of this week is now invalid. I did find my notary public stamp, which is still good for another five years, so that’s useful. The coffee mugs were the first things to come out when I brought the box home. However, I just realized today that my Einstein mug was never there. It must still be back at the office. My sister gave it to me, and it was a favorite. However, I’m hesitant to contact anyone from the office. I am afraid they would not understand my need to retrieve a silly coffee mug after all this time. After all, they’ve never contacted me. I worked there for six years and no one has asked me how I’m doing. Strange, but typical I suppose. Just goes to show a bit of what I hated about working there.

Oh well. The bottom line here is that some pretty crappy circumstances caused me to lose my job, and for that I am super grateful. In a way, becoming deaf rescued me from a life I was afraid to let go of. So, in God’s great power and graciousness, He plucked me out. He knew better than I, what I was afraid of and even more importantly, what I and my family needed. This all still amazes me. Can I get a hearty Amen?

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Progress

I went to see my neuro-ophthalmologist (I finally mastered spelling that word) yesterday for my three-month follow-up visit. Wonderful news – as I suspected, the tests show that my vision has improved. It’s a small improvement, but it’s movement in the right direction, and that thrills me. We asked Dr. Kaufman what he thought about me driving again, if only for short distances. I feel close to comfortable getting back behind the wheel, but I trust his opinion, and was anxious to hear what he had to say. I was pleased with his response. For one, he didn’t laugh at me or show any indication that he thought the idea was absurd. However, he thought it was too soon for me to be safely behind the wheel. He did, however, suggest we talk again in another 2-3 months and see how I’m doing then. He believes my vision will continue to improve, and thinks eventually I would be able to look at driving in a wide open lot, with Mike’s supervision. He said my vision won’t ever get back to normal, but I didn’t really expect that anyway. I’m just happy that it’s better than it was. The doctor at the Mayo Clinic last January said that it would not get better. Since then, I have been praying and believing that God knows better, and that He is healing my eyes. He invented them in the first place, so I know He can do it. And look! He IS!!

Stop signs

I love my family, and I love having my kids and husband around. I do. I really do. But it’s Monday again, and after they walked out the door and I sat down with my morning cup of coffee, I was almost in tears. It’s hard to explain, but it’s as if a sense of calm is rising up in me, sensing that it has permission to come out. And while I have lots on my to-do list this week, in addition to doctor’s appointments, I think today I’m going to let that Calm out today, and stay, uninhibited.

I’m extremely exhausted. The fatigue kind of exhaustion, which I hadn’t felt in awhile. It is not a welcome feeling. It comes with a discomfort, but I think that’s all part of the design. The discomfort pokes and prods until you give in and say, “Okay, let’s stop here. Time to rest.” So this morning I am slamming on the brakes. Yet again.

Blessings for all

“Seek [God’s] kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” – Luke 12:31 (NIV)

It’s safe to say I’m really enjoying life with my new ci hearing. It’s amazing to rediscover sounds I haven’t heard in almost a year. Yesterday it stormed, and I was able to hear (from inside the house!) the rain and thunder. And though voices sound artificial, like the cartoon chipmunks or people high on helium, the rain sounded so real. And I know from talking with other ci recipients that it only gets better from here.

Last night as I laid my head on my pillow for the night, I was thanking God for this miracle, and telling Him how wonderful it was. And then He said something to me (when thoughts come out of nowhere, I know it’s Him). This is what He said. This is so exciting. Ready? “This isn’t IT. There is more to come.”

God loves to bless His children. He has blessed me and my family, and He won’t stop there. Really? More blessing? Yes. There is more to come. But the even better news is that I am no exception. You are His child as well, and He wants to bless you too. In fact, He probably already has, and maybe you missed it. So, do this today. Be on the lookout for God’s blessing. And if you have trouble with accepting it, stop that. Just let Him bless you.

First Impressions

Today was the day my first cochlear implant was activated. I wasn’t sure how it would go, but I went in with an open mind, and I’m glad I did. Here are some of my first impressions:

1) Everyone sounds like chipmunks. So when they turned it on and started talking to me, I sat there, grinning like an idiot, trying not to giggle (I failed).

2) Natalie told me she loved me, and I told her I loved her too, and then I started to cry. This is what I was waiting for. I think a lot of times she speaks without sound when she talks to me, and in a very exaggerated way, so it’s going to take some learning on her part to remember to talk normally again. But thankfully, she is a smart girl and a very quick learner. I think as weird as it was for her when I went deaf, this is also a new kind of weird. So we’ll journey this weirdness together.

3) When they were setting the base volume level, they played a series of beeps. I had dried my tears from before, and this just got them going again. It’s been 11 months of having nothing sound real or normal, and those beeps, those sounds, they were beautiful. Beautifully real sounds.

4) On the drive home I could hear the beats to the music, and the road noise from the tires, and I just stared out the window. And again let the tears fall. I was struck with the simplicity and normalcy of sound. I believe I really had forgotten what I had lost. The memory of it, and then the reality of it being returned to me was just overwhelming. Simple sounds we all take for granted. The shuffling of papers, footsteps around me, my own husband’s voice. These are all things I took for granted, and they were taken from me. Yet for some reason only known to God, they are being returned to me. To say that I am grateful is a colossal understatement.

These past 11 months have been a journey, and today is the next step on that journey. I thought at first that it was a new journey, but I think that’s wrong. What I have been through has shaped me in ways I am still discovering, and it has made me who I am today. I am more patient, more courageous, more thoughtful of others. Stronger, yet tender-hearted.

Yet, still Mindy.

Morning soundtracks

You know how some alarms can be set to wake you up with music? Yeah, I kind of have that going on in my head now. It doesn’t necessarily wake me up, but I do have music playing in my head very soon after I wake in the morning. Last week I think I mentioned one day it was Pearl Jam. It’s such a strange variety, I really should have been keeping track all along. For example, yesterday morning it was an old children’s song we used to sing. “On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese, I lost my poor meatball, when somebody sneezed!”. This morning it was one of my favorites, “Some Nights” by Fun.

Music is a big deal to me. Clearly. So it was a huge loss when I lost my hearing. You lose so much more than just your hearing. But, by George, tomorrow I’ll be heading down the road to hearing again, when my cochlear implant is turned on. Activation Day. TOMORROW! I don’t know how it will go, or how soon I’ll be understanding speech or enjoying music, but I am praying that it comes sooner rather than later. Later sucks. We vote for Sooner.

I wonder what tomorrow’s morning song will be? Perhaps a little “Eye of the Tiger”?