Last night was one of the many nights where I wish I had a tape recorder in my head. I had so many wonderful thoughts running through it and I had the most awesome blog post all written beautifully in my head. Well, now it’s twelve plus hours later and I’m going to try to recreate it – no promises!
It all started yesterday afternoon. The weather was gorgeous (as it promises to be all weekend!) and warm sunshine always improves my mood. I drove home with the windows down and the music up. I got home, grabbed my paycheck outta the mailbox and headed to cash it. There was a little problem at my bank so I had to haul ass to a different one. I knew then I wasn’t gonna make the gym but I was kind of ok with that 🙂 So I got to the second bank, cashed my check and headed to get groceries. I spent WWWAAAYYY more than I should have on groceries but we’re gonna eat like royalty for a bit so it’s ok. I headed back home to take care of groceries and get changed for what I expected was going to be a great night – and I was not disappointed!
After putting away groceries and making myself presentable, I got back into my trusty (I do use that term lightly) old Jeep and set off for a short drive to my destination. I had my sunglasses on, my hair pulled back, ice tea in the cupholder, the windows down and the music up. I’ve been using the MP3 player FF got me for Christmas a lot. The problem is, it’s hard to use and doesn’t hold a lot of music. So I dug through my CD collection and remembered I had the PERFECT mix to put on for this first gorgeous day after a long winter. It’s called my Driving Mix. So here I am, driving along the back roads just outside of the city. The sun was shining and the grass is getting greener. Every time I get to the top of a hill I could see the beautiful lake framed by the Adirondack mountains. There were bicyclists everywhere. Everything was just perfect. The sounds of Guster, Dispatch, DMB, Grace Potter and OAR were filling my car and I was just driving along with a giant smile on my face taking it all in. As I got closer and closer to where I was going, I felt my anxiety kick in but it was an excitement more than anything else. I’d never been to anything like this and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I got to the Flying Pig bookstore and found a parking spot. I wandered inside and followed the signs for a reading by Chris Bohjalian. Now, if you’ve never heard of this man, you need to do your research. He is amazing! His book Midwives was an Oprah’s Book Club book a while ago, and although I’m ashamed to admit it, that’s part of why I picked it up. Little did I know that one book would change so much for me. After reading it, I fell in love with Chris’s work. It spoke to me because it all felt like something I could actually see happening. His books are fiction but feel so real. They take place in areas that are familiar to me. The character development is so amazing that at the end of some of his books I have cried. Cried because I will miss these people I’ve grown to know over the course of a few hundred pages. Cried because I hope everything works out the way I see it in my head. Cried because I feel like I’m letting go of friends that I will never hear from again. It takes a lot of work to make that happen. I consider myself an avid reader and although I read a lot of books, the number I truly enjoy is far less than the total number I have read. I have a very small pool of “favorite authors” and I read as much of their work as I possibly can. Chris has written 13 novels in 22 years and I’ve read all but one – the newest (no offense Chris, I’m just cheap! I’m waiting for paperback or to be up next on the wait list at the local library – whichever comes first).
So I sat alone in the middle of one of the back rows of this gorgeous loft where Chris would be reading. Everyone else brought in or was buying Secrets of Eden (the newest book) while I carried a tattered copy of Midwives in my purse. I didn’t let it bother me. To be honest, I felt like I was all alone in that room. I wasn’t worried about how I looked, who was looking at me (the ladies next to me were not impressed when it was time for my 7:30 insulin dose though…one of them actually whispered “Is she really going to do that here?!” As a matter of fact, yes. Yes I am. Nowmindyourownbusinessthankyouverymuch). I think what felt so awesome about this, as I would later say to FF, was that this was all mine. When I get excited about something (anything!) such as books, food, music, movies et cetera, I tend to get as many people as possible to get as excited about it as I am. I’m usually let down because not only do I have pretty eccentric tastes in everything, I’m also pretty easily excitable. Therefore, I kind of feel let down when people don’t enjoy something the way I do. I didn’t want to share this with anyone. I wanted this experience all for myself. I didn’t want to worry if other people were enjoying themselves. I didn’t want to be on anyone else’s schedule. I even turned off my cell phone (not just silent but off – O.F.F!). I sat there listening to Chris speak, to him read from his new book (which I can’t wait to buy/read!) and to people in the room questioning everything from his youth to his most current book (which I also can’t wait for!). I had no idea what time it was, only that I felt more relaxed than I had in a long time. I got to embrace my inner geek – who I had almost forgot existed.
When he was done speaking, reading and answering questions, it was time for him to do a little meet & greet/book signing. I felt a little odd in line with my paperback copy of an older book but it was the book that started me on the Chris Bohjalian journey (in case you’re curious, my favorite books of Chris’s are The Buffalo Soldier, Trans-Sister Radio & The Law of Similars). When my turn came (by the way, I totally almost pushed old ladies to get to the head of the line – I was THAT excited!) Chris looked up and recognized me – from Facebook! I had left him a comment that morning about how eager I was to meet him and hear about the new book. We spoke for a few minutes about reading and about my company (which used to reside in the town next to where Chris lives). He signed my book, was extremely humble and I was on my way.
I got outside and turned on my phone. I immediately sent a text to FF, “That was amazing! I am soooo glad I went!” FF wrote back to say he was glad I had a good time and dinner would be ready when I got home. Which it was! We ate some delicious burgers while watching the college hoops All Star show. We watched an intense 3 point shootout which ended with Brigid Mulroy losing by only one point to Eric Hayes. It was awesome to watch, Honestly, I was just waiting to see the Dunk Contest because UVM’s own Marqus Blakely was participating – and a favorite. Well, we watched. And watched. And watched some more. Well, just about 11:05 (the NIT Championship between UNC & Dayton ran a few minutes late – congrats on your win Dayton!) it was the finals and Marques was pretty much set up to succeed thanks to several missed shots by Chris Roberts. Even if Chris had made his shot I’d like to think Marqus would still win because the dunk was ridiculous (watch it here) What a wonderful way for Marqus to end his college career (America East championship, trip to The Dance & winner of the dunk competition)! I don’t think we’ve heard the last of him yet though – look out NBA!
So thank you Chris Bohjalian for bringing out my inner geek again. I plan on enjoying the warm sunny weather the next few days (and months!) with a good book in my hands nurturing my brain. It seems that diabetes had had me so focused on my body, my sugars, insulin etc that I haven’t taken time for myself or for enriching my knowledge. I’m changing that starting today. I also decided because of last night that I need to spend more time on myself and things I enjoy. So, I am signing up to be a mentor to children with diabetes. I’m sure I will write more about this as it happens but I am very excited at the prospect! I’ve also been asked by my DE (Diabetes Educator) to be a guest speaker at our monthly group therapy sessions. Last month we talked about Stress & Anxiety and Diabetes. April is Women’s Health and Diabetes and I will be focusing on Social Networking & Diabetes sometime in the next few months. I’m not sure what direction I plan on taking that yet but another exciting step in my life when I can do more teaching & empowerment. So it really is Good Friday! Enjoy your weekend and your holiday – and the weather! XO