Friday, November 15, 2013

I'm putting my foot down and saying no

Last night I had the first session of a 10-week Kaiser class called "Mind-Body Connection".  The focus of the class is designed to help me move away from being an emotional eater to one in which I am purely feeding the body for nourishment.  Sounds great for any person who uses food to deal with emotions (happiness, sadness, boredom, etc.).  The class was scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the middle of the county.  So I decided I would just stay late after work and head down south since I live about 25 miles in the opposite direction.  I knew I would encounter some traffic, but, hey, I'm used to it since I spend every day in traffic coming and going from work.  I gave myself plenty of time, but it took an hour just to get from my office to the street.  I had actually plugged the address into my phone so that I could use the GPS to get me there since I'd never been to that particular Kaiser building before.  Down here in this part of California, there are many clinics and office buildings, let alone the hospital, for Kaiser so I wasn't surprised that I didn't know where it was.

As I pulled onto the street, Siri told me that it was on my left side.  It was on a hill and then down into what looked like the backside of buildings in a strip mall.  There were no signs nor addresses on the buildings.  I thought maybe if I pulled out onto another street and tried to come in again, I'd find the right building because clearly this wasn't the one.  So I went around the hospital, which was on the same block, and around to the street again.  Siri told me to turn left.  Tried that again and found a nice older woman who was trying to find the same place. We ran into two Kaiser employees who didn't know which building we were looking for so they guessed it was the office building on the corner on the other side of the street further down.  So I pulled out but there was no parking near that building.  So I had to circle around and try to park in the nearby parking garage only to see a sign that said "Staff Entrance Only".  Okay, fine.  I circled around again and found an entrance to the garage a couple of blocks up.  I had to go up a level to find a spot, but I finally found one, grabbed my purse and tried to haul ass to get to the class because it was already 5:45 by this time.

I encountered the next problem, which was actually getting to the building.  There was a nearby door to cut across to the building, but it was a staff entrance with a code.  This particular parking garage is extra parking for the hospital so there's a walkway to get there from the backside of the hospital but nothing for the particular building I was going to.  So that means I had to walk down the level I was on alongside where cars barrel into the garage and to the front of the entrance down the next level and then finally to the street.  As I started doing that, I almost got hit and, by this time, it was completely dark outside.  The area was not well lit and there wasn't any security around.  I thought to myself, "F*** this, Kathy.  It took you an hour to get down here in stop and go traffic, you're going to have to walk alone down an unprotected area and back after dark and, besides, you're going to learn the same things during the six-month period leading up to the surgery with all the required classes.  Do you really want to do this?"

It took me about five seconds to say hell no, I don't want to do this, and I proceeded to go back to my car, jump in it and haul ass out of there!  If I wasn't going to be participating in months of classes beforehand, maybe it would be a different story, but seriously I don't need to subject myself to that kind of traffic to travel just a few miles (I deal with it going home, but at least we're moving at some point) where it just makes me angry to travel inches at a time and I don't need to walk down dark alleys alone.  I seriously don't want to be the headliner during the 11 o'clock news.  There are times when we just need to say no.  It's becoming easier for me to do that when I've always been the person to agree to do something or people-please in some other way.  I'm learning, as part of this incredible self-care journey I'm on, to take care of my needs and say no when I really want to do that.

As a funny follow-up to the multiple phone calls thing from Kaiser yesterday, I got more today.  In fact, while one of my friends was in my office and my cell phone rang, I showed her who was calling before I picked up.  So I've let any anxiety I was feeling about those phone calls go because it was a comical way to be relieved that I might get a call telling me they've found a lump during my mammogram.  Building up a scenario in my head and playing the "what if" game just isn't helpful at all.  Just let it go, Kathy.  Ahhhh!


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