My friend finally came home from the hospital yesterday. Yes, yesterday…not Sunday. Not Monday. Yesterday! It’s been quite an ordeal for the woman who said to me at ten o’clock on Saturday night, “you can just drop me off at the hospital and go home; I’m sure it’s no big deal.” She ended up getting transferred to the other hospital on Sunday because 1) her contractions still weren’t under control; 2) the ultrasound person thought there was something to be concerned about on the scan; and 3) the hospital my friend was at wasn’t equipped to handle a 23-24 week old baby should she end up delivering. But she DIDN’T deliver…she’s home now (still pregnant!) and she may continue contracting off and on for the rest of her pregnancy (however long that ends up being). They don’t put you on bed rest when you start having contractions at 23-24 weeks anymore! (In fact, they don’t really put you on bed rest at all anymore…apparently the new research shows that it doesn’t really help.) And they don’t try and stop the labor at 24 weeks anymore, either (they try and stop it for 48 hours, so they can give you two shots of steroids to help mature the baby’s lungs…but after that, if you go into labor, they let you go.)

So my friend has been on my mind quite a bit. And so has my father (he’s not in great shape, yet my mother has decided to just leave him in the nursing home and take off for Florida for three and a half months…she won’t be back unless he actually dies)…and so has my husband (he’s had a swollen lymph node for about six months, so we’re going for a biopsy tomorrow).

Still, through it all, I keep writing. At least two pages a day. (Yesterday I did my two pages, plus a revision of a larger educational project, plus some very last minute changes to My Grandpa Had a Stroke, which went to the printer yesterday.) Writing reminds me who I am…and keeps me sane.

I’ve done a good job of putting my own writing first over these last two weeks when both my kids had winter break…I wrote my two pages first thing every morning, and then I was free to spend the rest of the day with my family. Why have I not done my writing this way before??? I needed to read about someone else putting their own writing first in c_moonshower‘s (THANK YOU so much, Candie!) journal before it ever even occurred to me that I could do the same thing.

I’ve given a lot of thought to what’s really important in my life over the last month or so (not just because of all the crises that seem to be going on around me…but because of my own realization that I was putting way too much ahead of my own writing). So here’s my list of what’s really important to me: my family and friends (that’s a given)…my own writing…other writing…other stuff. (And sometimes the “other stuff” is more important than the “other writing.”) So how do I live my life with what’s really important front and center in my mind every day? In other words, what are my New Year’s resolutions?

1) Spend more time with my family.
2) Spend more time with my friends.
3) Put “my” writing first…i.e. write two pages every day before I do anything else (well, I’ll take my walk/jog/bike ride first…but that’s about it). No “other writing.” No LJ…No e-mail (unless it’s really, really important e-mail!)…
4) Don’t let go of the “other writing” entirely…I may need it if this swollen lymph node of my husband’s turns out to a cause for concern
5) Work on my public speaking skills…i.e. stick with Toastmasters
6) Be better at letting things go (i.e. my mother)
7) Be thankful for every day that I have health, happiness, a family and good friends, and work that I love (not everyone is as fortunate as I am). The last two nights I made note of three positive things that happened each day before I went to bed…people who focus more on the positives in their lives tend to have more positives TO focus on.

The overdue Happy New Year post…

7 thoughts on “The overdue Happy New Year post…

  • January 3, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    So glad your friend is doing ok, Dori! I hope your husband’s swollen lymph gland is nothing serious, and warmest wishes for your dad! Sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate. I’m impressed with the 2 pages a day. Is this double or single spaced? Yeah, I know it’s a dumb question, but now I’m really curious. šŸ™‚

    • January 4, 2007 at 1:12 am

      Not a dumb question at all…it’s double spaced. So it’s not much. It’s a goal that should be workable virtually every day no matter what else I’ve got going on. And at the end of a given year, I should have written well over 700 new pages. That’s 2-5 middle grade/YA novels!!!

  • January 3, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    Glad to hear your friend is home and baby still staying put. May you meet all your goals this year!


  • January 3, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    Did you read about how thinking about three things that made you happy that day and why they happened right before you go to sleep can help improve your mood? I’ve been trying to do that.

    • January 4, 2007 at 1:13 am

      Actually, I heard it on the radio a few weeks ago (NPR, I think). And then I read it in somebody’s blog (must’ve been yours?) a week or two after that, which only reinforced the idea.

  • January 5, 2007 at 2:10 am

    I’m the friend that Dori was writing about. She warned me that she had blogged about me when she visited me in the hospital the second time… yes, she forgot to mention that part – even when things had stabilized she STILL cared enough to visit. I was so pleased the doctor was doing an ultrasound just as she arrived so she could share that experience with my husband and I.

    Anyhow, please forgive that this comment is a bit late –
    in the chaos of the situation I forgot she had written about me until just now.

    CarrieJones said it best when she commented, “I know I wish I had had a fantastic friend like you with me. You are amazing for being there. It says so much about you and the type of friend you are.”

    There are no words for me to describe how thankful I was that Dori was there that night. I’ve told her this personally and I really mean it. I honestly just wanted her to drop me off at the hospital. I thought I knew the routine and could handle it. Yet, somehow Dori was wise enough to know I couldn’t go it alone. Some of this might come from Dori’s own difficult childbirth experience. Mostly, though, it speaks volumes about the type of person she is.

    I often have wondered if my husband should have been there that night. Though, I think I would have crumbled and lost control. Dori kept me calm and focused. She distracted me from the pain and reminded me to breathe through the contractions. She literally stayed up all night with me. I feel intensely guilty but will be forever grateful. How many people are lucky enough to have a friend like Dori?

    I only hope that someday I can return the favor. But, like me, Dori doesn’t like to trouble people…this is the first I’ve heard of her husband’s lymph node biopsy. Here I’ve been whining about my own situation to her and she was silently worrying about her husband.

    Dori, my thoughts are with you. Please take care and all the best to both of you!!!


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