Friday, October 29, 2010

Turning 60

Well, this has been an interesting year. I am slowing down, as much as I am trying to increase my stamina by walking the dog on the beach and swimming. It was great to have time with my Vienna friends this fall in Lake Tahoe. We had a great time together, as we have always enjoyed ourselves: each time it seems more precious and wonderful. This time there was the sadness of having Jimmy Stewart die suddenly this spring, and we were able to have a celebration of his life. We all know that our futures are narrowing down.
I am glad that I have just gotten the fourth book of my poems-- "Fiesta for the Camarillos". It has been a long-time waiting for it-- the photos added extra time to the printing, and I have been really worried that my mom may not be able to see it or enjoy it, if it didn't get here soon! So I am so glad they arrived this week. It is dedicated to my mom and my aunt Geraldine, and I can't wait to give it to them.
Mom got very sick this past two weeks, and has been in a convalescent home to recover from a severe infection. I can't go down til next weekend, as I have a conference tomorrow morning and also my FMM group. These docs have been the mainstay of my health and well-being in trying to practice medicine. Such tremendous pressures from all sides have been happening within medicine, and it is getting harder to maintain the sanctity and privacy and nurturance of the doctor-patient relationship, with all the corporate/insurance and electronic-record-keeping oversight. It is so annoying that I want to quit, until I am actually needed to do something REAL for a patient. But I can see that it is coming, that I will be willing to walk away soon, and it will be ok to leave it in the hands of the young and eager doctors coming through the pipeline. I DO feel lucky to have two great young partners-- both Larisa Taylor and now Laetitia Oderman are great and dedicated young doctors. It was such a terrible blow to me to have a partner about 10 years ago who was NOT willing to put the extra work and care into the job, and seemed to keep trying to skim the cream and leave the really hard stuff to the older docs. I am grateful to have weathered the difficulties that personality-type caused our practice, and to have found other dedicated young doctors coming forward to take care of patients.
It has been a real blessing to me to have these 3 years in Al Anon. I have learned a huge amount-- very helpful insight into the "professional co-dependent" world I occupy-- and more tools for self-care, and better insight into when I need to take care of myself, too. This has also been a boon to being able to give practical help and insight to patients, as so many women suffer with these same issues.
It does seem as though we just celebrated Christmas, and we are turning around and it is Christmas again! The rains have started, the persimmons are turning golden-orange, the deciduous trees are flaming, and Isis is now 3 and 1/2, and becoming more of an adult dog than a puppy. She is really great for walks on the beach, and today a guy whose dog's name is "Blue" although I don't know his name, told me what a great dog Isis is-- enthusiastic, independent, friendly and well-behaved! So I am doing ok as a dog-owner, I guess. The waves were huge this morning, and the mist was rising off the tops of the back-curls, and it made me think of Malibu when I was young, near the Bauers' house. I always love it when the ocean is that translucent jade color, too.
I did my laps at the pool, and was happy to get into the steam bath today, also. It has been interesting to use the pool as the main tool for self-care, and trying to do the "HALT" behaviors-- "hungry, angry, lonely and tired"-- 12 step programs suggest finding tools for dealing with these hard times so that the self-care keeps us from falling back into self-defeating behaviors.
I am very excited about getting to go back east to sing with Bill Mulroney and his band, the Second Wind Bandits-- they are doing a gig at Blues Alley in Georgetown on Nov 29, and I get to sing "Velveteen Rabbit" with them! Today I spent the whole afternoon after I got back from the pool trying to fix the website for the Vienna friends, and get the song onto the site. I need to get a tutoring update from Apple-- but I got some of it online! Onward and upward. And back to writing the poems for book 5! I can't believe that I had said to myself that I would like to have 4 books of poems by the time I die, and I have made it! It really is a miracle!!