I try not to be difficult; honestly, I do.
However, it’s difficult for me to recover from cardiac surgery AND put in a full week at work AND be a good-enough mother and girlfriend, all at the same time. As a result, I’ve been more difficult than usual lately.
So, I had this difficult thought:
Because of my recent surgery, I now have a terrific excuse to be difficult. So why not seize the moment and write a difficult post?
Look, I get a lot of praise at WordPress for my positive attitude. But, I can be as difficult and negative as anybody else, sometimes.
Here’s the most difficult thing that has ever happened to me:
When I was 10 years old, medical treaters of my congenital heart condition suddenly decided that — in order to save my life — they needed to implant a cardiac pacemaker. To make this more difficult, nobody prepared me for how difficult the surgery was going to be or for how much the pacemaker was going to stick out of my body. To make this more difficult, the first person to change my surgical dressing lied to me about the pacemaker sticking out when I asked her about it (she said, “That’s just your hip, swollen from the surgery.”) To make things more difficult, nobody dealt with that lie, for several days. To make things more difficult, my family and friends could not visit me in the hospital — outside of the difficultly limited visiting hours — during the many long days I stayed in the hospital after the surgery. To make things even more difficult, that surgery took place on November 22 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was killed, and nobody told me about that, either.
One reason I am so focused on this most difficult memory from my past, right now: as I am healing from the surgery where I got a pacemaker/defibrillator 13 days ago, I am finally realizing how BIG this device is. At this point, I’m thinking it might be even larger than that first pacemaker I got, more than 50 years ago.
Here’s what makes it MUCH less difficult for me to deal with getting a large medical device today (compared to when I was a child of 10):
- I was warned it would be large.
- Because of my access to the Internet, I can find out, after I post this, the exact dimensions of my new device.
- If the actual size of the device is smaller than it seems to be in my body, I can let my doctors know about the amount of post-operative swelling I’m experiencing, and
- I am an adult now, with adult coping strategies, not a small, vulnerable, scared, and hurting 10 year old, dealing with all of this alone.
Not to be too difficult, but my writing about those most difficult memories from my past was not my original difficult intention for today’s Difficult post.
Instead, my difficult plan was to share with you difficult things people have said directly to my face — without too much apparent difficulty — over the years.
Yes, at some point in my long and sometimes difficult life, some actual human being has said to me, “Ann, you are:
- not smart enough
- too smart
- too skinny
- not skinny enough
- too shy
- too much of a bother
- too much of a show-off
- not funny enough to be a stand-up comic
- too quiet
- too loud
- too outspoken
- too sensitive
- not humble enough
- not athletic enough
- too competitive
- not a good hugger
- too indiscriminately loving
- not loving enough
- too sexy
- not sexy enough
- too much to handle
- not good looking enough to reject ME
- too spontaneous
- not supportive enough
- too fucking supportive
- too concerned about other people’s feelings
- too warm
- too cold
- too cautious
- not cautious enough
- not worth my time
- not a good enough singer
- not a good enough writer
- not a good enough photographer
- too focused on yourself
- too focused on others, and
Hmmmmm. That wasn’t difficult, at all, for me to create that difficult list today, probably because I carry those negative words around with me.
As I’ve often written in this difficult daily blog, the negative can stick with people, drowning out the positive.
Imagine how less difficult all our lives could be, if we let go of difficult and unhelpful messages from others!
To promote that in myself, I will now present all the difficult and non-difficult photographs I took yesterday, as I spent some time with my amazingly non-difficult 17-year-old son:
I took those last three photos, above, because that was a particularly difficult parking meter, for everybody.
After my second difficult encounter with that difficult Arlington Massachusetts parking meter yesterday, I did the difficult thing of striking up a conversation with a total stranger, simply because I liked his t-shirt and his cap:
That’s Mike, who told me he saw the band Cake in Chicago, even though he doesn’t live there. When Mike asked me, “Did you want to take my picture because you like cake or the band Cake?” it wasn’t difficult for me to admit the truth.
Would it be difficult for you to guess what my truth was, about that?
Any difficult guesses about that?
I hope I’m not being too difficult if I ask one more difficult question: What difficult music did I choose for this difficult post?
That’s Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3, well known as perhaps the most difficult piano piece ever written. I assume it might be difficult for you to take the time to listen to the whole difficult thing.
So, what did YOU find most difficult about this post?
Easy and difficult thanks to all those who contributed to my creating today’s difficult post. Also, special thanks to you, for experiencing whatever personal difficulties you did, to read it.
* In case understanding that giant list is difficult, I want to be clear about this: Those difficult things were said directly to my face by many different people, over the course of my life. Honestly, I don’t think any one person I’ve met could actually be THAT difficult.