Thursday, July 10, 2008

Disappointment

Disappointment’s a sneaky bitch, isn’t it? You think you’re not vulnerable, that you can take those small doses of everyday distress because, hey, you’re a big girl, you can handle it. Chin up, move on.

But it’s not that simple.

So I’m sitting in my favorite wellness center today, my little place of heaven, where I am massaged and spinally manipulated into holistic health. On my calendar is a one-hour massage with Jessica (the best massage therapist ever) and Active Release Muscle Therapy (which I’ve done for almost a year) with my chiropractor.

Jessica opens the door and says, “Come on back Rachel. Hi, Lynn.”

“Hi, but wait. I’m scheduled for a 1:30,” I say.

Jess says I canceled my appointment a few weeks ago.

“Talk to Caroline. I’ll be right back,” she says and leads Rachel back to my room where I should be stripping down to underwear and socks (yes, I wear my socks because my feet are chronically cold even in 90-degree weather) and jumping under the sheet and sucking on a Hershey dark chocolate Kiss as I breathe deeply and get ready for the torture…I mean massage. People have this idea that massage is decadent, something only rich people do at spas. Ha!! Deep tissue massage – heck, ALL massage – is not all it’s rumored to be. A good massage should hurt sometimes. Hurt good, but hurt, nonetheless.

Anyway, I’m confused. I talk to Caroline, the receptionist, and ask her why I’m off the schedule. There was some mix-up. I’d called in my cancelation for another date and left a message on the answering machine and someone apparently erased me from today. My chiropractor had an opening so at least I could do half of the routine, but I was really looking forward to the massage. All week. When I was working out six days in a row and my muscles ached I kept thinking, “You’ve got a massage coming on Thursday…” I saved up for it. I didn’t eat garlic or put beans on my salad because I didn’t want to offend Jess in any way. I was ready. But I’d been erased.

I sat back down on the couch and waited for my chiro appointment. I took some deep breaths and did what Pema Chodron always tells me to do: feel it, don’t run away from it. Then I felt it. A tear. A freaking tear! I was going to CRY about this? Oh hell no. But I breathed with it, felt the disappointment I was feeling, didn’t dismiss it, and it started to make sense. I’ve been under a lot of stress lately. I was looking forward to an hour of total me time. I wasn’t going to get it. Yes, there’s a war raging in Iraq, bigger global issues at hand, but dammmmit, I was in pain and I needed some relief, physically and emotionally. I didn’t excuse or pooh-pooh my disappointment. I accepted it, let a few tears roll down my face, and I was fine. It was a better solution to chastising myself for feeling sad. What good would that have done?

I saw my chiropractor and tonight, I feel better. Much better than I did last night. I appreciate that. I celebrate that. I also had a long conversation with my friend Pam, whom I’ve known forever. We talked, we laughed, we bitched about politics and I really hated saying goodbye. But it made up for my disappointment.

Life isn’t always what we want it or expect it to be. I know that. It’s impermanent and yet viscous. But still we have to feel those moments and cry in those moments of disappointment, no matter how unexpected.

There’s a half-moon shining above me (the real moon, not my husband’s half ass). The sky is clear, the fireflies are going nuts. I’m going to take in this moment and let it be.

C’mon…tell me what disappoints you, makes you sad in the moment when you think you’re being brave and all that and a piece of chocolate. I can’t be alone here, am I?

13 comments:

  1. Nope, you aren't alone :)

    When you really look forward to something, are expecting it - and it doesn't come to fruition, that is frustrating.
    But there is always another time, right?

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  2. you are not alone at all - and I am glad you let yourself feel the feelings. Do you have to more watchful about food when these things happen?

    One thing I have noticed (about myself) is that I have no "scale" / no depth perception for these feelings.

    I can get more upset about the little ones than I should and not upset enough about the big ones. . .

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  3. I am totally with you. The hardest for me with my schedule is when I make sure I have time for my husband and son and they are sucked into whatever video game or tv show. I just want some quality time or at least acknowledgement that I bent over backwards to be there for them... and they don't have time because of a screen with moving pictures.

    I do one of three things when that happens. I wallow in my disappointment (and subsequently make everyone else miserable), I decide to go do something, or I sit down in front of my little computer screen. My favorite choice though is to go for a walk or go to the gym :-).

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  4. Lynn,

    The SAME thing happened to me just the other week. My husband, who is a chiropractor (good for you by the way), came home one day and told me that his massage therapists were going to work us in for a couples massage and he was going to arrange for childcare. I was so super excited. I literally drempt about it, I was so super psyched. THEN, he came home the day of, and said that they didn't have room. I felt like I had been hit in the chest with a baseball bat. How could you let this happen? You don't get a mother of two young kids all excited about a massage retreat with her husband, and then fail to confirm the date. Gees. I too had to feel it, and then get on with life. The good news? I have a massage scheduled for this afternoon at 3:00. Now, I am glad I didn't already have one, because I need one today like nobody's business! I am happy that you were able to deal with your feelings in a constructive way without beating yourself up. Very important. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Found out one of my doctors is moving to Florida. The gyno, of all of them. Felt very betrayed -- a lot of doctors have been just downright mean people. But this one was really nice. Still don't know where I'm gonna go.

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  6. I need to do more of what you did-feel the feeling and be in the moment. I have a very stressful job as a principal and I buck up constantly. My biggest disappointment is when I look forward to the possibility of spending time with my friend on a long weekend at the beach or even a movie and it does not come together. That actually just happened in the middle of writing this! My good friend called to say she could not go whale watching with us on Monday. Not the end of the world, but a disappointment. It would be even more fun if she came too.

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  7. This is very relevant. I feel like I experience disappointment when plans are screwed up - for anything - mani/pedi, date with hubby, pool with son etc... When MY plan does not go as I see it going...I need to sit in my own sh@&* t more often and feel the pain whether sad, lonely, whatever and deal directly with the emotion instead of running from it or grabbing food to fill the hole. I try to do it, but not often enough. I felt like I was sitting right next to you when you said the tear started to fall. I need to do that more often. It's healthy, honest and cleansing.

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  8. Today. That happened. I was operating on one (tired) expectation and that was incorrect, I guess. Dumb me, don't mind MEEE, anyone. I felt really ticked, and a fine dab of sorry for myself. No Hershey's kiss, unfortunately, the dang kids eat everything in sight... I'm with you on that--feel the feeling when you're feeling it, even if you feel foolish or ungrateful for a minute. Otherwise it'll come squishing out somewhere else later like a sandwich pressed down too hard--misdirected funky anger. Okay, onward. love you, V

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  9. Vickie, I don't have to watch my food intake when I'm disappointed. I'm more like Sondra in that I have to be careful to not make the other people around me miserable.

    blubberyblogger, I hope you enjoyed that massage! I'm jealous but happy for you at the same time :) I'm ever hopeful that Wednesday really will be my massage day.

    Breaking in a new gyno is always tough. Good luck with that, anonymous.

    Joy, what are the odds that you'd be reading about and writing about disappointment and then it happens in the middle of it? Life is strange like that sometimes.

    Deanna, I like what you said about "sitting" in your own s&*t. Makes total sense to me. It's so easy to just run away from it. Like V said, even if it's to feel mean toward something for just a moment, it's better to get it out than swallow it or ignore it because it ALWAYS has a way of coming out.

    Thanks for all your comments. You always give me something to think about AND I feel less alone.

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  10. You are most definitely not alone.

    It's hard and scary to allow myself to feel the feelings. Especially fear, sadness, disappointment, anger. Pretty much any emotion that isn't happiness.

    Good for you on allowing yourself to be disappointed and not chastising yourself for feeling that way!

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  11. I made an appointment for my 10 year old son to have blood drawn yesterday. We showed up to the office and they told me that they couldn't do the draw there as he isn't a patient (he IS a patient of that particular medical group, but the office with the pediatrician is about 6 blocks away). They didn't say anything about that when I made the appointment, so I had to make an appointment for this morning at the other office.

    Then to top off the day I had to have my kidneys x-rayed because I had kidney stone surgery about 4 months ago. I was sure that I'm still forming stones, but I wasn't prepared for the over half dozen I saw on the x-ray film.

    Visiting here is what is keeping me from diving head first into a huge bowl of chips and salsa.

    Thank you.

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  12. {{{cheri}}} Reading blogs (mine or anyones) is a much better alternative to chips and dip. You can always revisit the words. If you "revisit" chips and dip, it probably doesn't feel real good and it ends up in the sewer, know what I mean?

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