One year ago, I was holed up at home liberally using hand sanitizer and venturing out into the world only when absolutely necessary, and then, masked and gloved. I was three months post transplant and not about to risk my life holiday shopping. I convinced myself I was one lucky gal to have the perfect excuse to indulge my congenital dyshopnia.
Now that I'm back in the real world, I have no choice but to run around like a madwoman as I sandwich buying forays between work and and other activities. Today I found myself tooling around Target, lost in my usual protective fog. "Patricia," said a woman coming toward me. She identified herself in case I didn't remember her, which was good because I was experiencing one of those I-know-you-but-have-no-idea-from-where moments. It was Kelly, Mark's kindergarten teacher. The odd thing about this is that Mark attended kindergarten in Costa Rica. Kelly's originally from Rhode Island and I'd actually seen her a few years ago at a get-together arranged by the visiting former director of the Costa Rica preschool, but that's another story.
Time flies at warp speed. Kelly's now married and has children of her own; Mark's a senior in high school. Kelly asked after my health and complimented my appearance. I'm used to people expressing shock that I'm not only still standing, but have a full head of hair and actually look pretty good for someone who's been through the medical wringer. I suppose it is pretty amazing.
So, I had a productive morning at work, managed a little shopping without cracking, and am now energetically plotting my next moves. All this on top of going out last night. That's right, we went to a chicken wing competition in Providence at my usual bedtime. Friends of ours who were entered in the wing-off asked us to come and cast our votes. Normally, I'd politely shrug off a Monday night invitation to sit at a bar drinking beer and eating wings, but I decided to push the envelope. If I hadn't gone, I would have missed the disco version of Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind." Priceless.
It's good to be back.