It sounds odd to say that I've got a routine when things always seem to be in flux in my world. But I do have a routine. It may not BE routine, and it may not be necessarily consistent, but it's my routine.
In that routine, Sunday is my favorite day. During football season that reason is an obvious one, but for the rest of the year it typically involves hiking, spending quality time with the pups, cleaning a bit (I need help on that front), running errands. It typically involves a shower (after the hike) and a nap (after the shower).
It's interesting to me to see how our lives feel anchored around these kinds of routines. My mom, for instance, has one of the most rigid routines that I know. At 3-months shy of 90 years old, she's very busy and active and I think that her routine is part of the reason she's doing so well. For example, even though I was in Dallas on Friday she attended her Tues/Fri senior dance. She said they had 165 people there and it provides an opportunity for her to exercise, socialize, and just plain get out.
My life doesn't lend itself well to that kind of structure. It hasn't for a long time now. There was a time when I tried to force my life into routine because for many routine=comfort. I learned that I'm not built that way. For me, extended routine=bored=need change. I think it's important to explain that, especially given the fact that I just interviewed for a job on a whole other continent that would upend my life significantly.
That said, the one thing that does remain a driving force for me is Balance. Balance to me may not be balance to anyone else, but through all these comings and goings and all the years it's really importance to realize the constant sense of Balance I feel remains a driving force.
Someone on FB today posted about this being their first PRIDE, and the first time they'd been out as their true selves. She talked about continuing feelings of shame, and of her difficulty at being identified as a transwoman despite the fact that these were the most inclusive and supportive surroundings she could imagine.
I remember those days. Actually....I don't. I remember my first PRIDE, my introduction to an LGBT world that until that point was totally foreign to me. I remember the early shame. But the thing I remember most was getting to a point where I just didn't care. I was living my life on my own terms and couldn't afford to let the judgement of others dictate how that would play out. That focused mindset is as true now as it was then.
I've been doing some interviews lately. A couple of months ago there was a Bloomberg Business Week article that I was in. I did another for Phoenix Business Journal article that will be coming out in a couple of weeks. It feels a little odd to be doing these again because all the stuff they ask is like ancient history to me at this point. Still, I think one of the things I represent (or at least I like to think I do) is that Life As Trans doesn't have to suck. It sure does for many of us, and so many things still need to change, but it all gets back to the Balance thing.
Most days I don't even think about it. But the fact is that I never want to forget it. It's part of who I am. It's part of what makes me me. I've never wanted it to define me, to be all of me. But I don't want it to be none of me, either.
As I get older, though, I'm reminded of it more and more. Aging as Trans is a thing. I never even stopped to consider it when I was just starting, but now that I'm here I've never been more aware that we've got unique needs, unique considerations, unique anatomies. I suspect that I'll have a lot more to say on that subject as time goes on. But for now, it's just an awareness and I'm focused on sharing that in the circles where I travel.
I've got a follow-up appointment with Dr. Meltzer tomorrow. My surgery with him was nearly 3 weeks ago, and I'll be honest in admitting that today was the first really pain-free day I've experienced. For all intents and purposes I had a labiaplasty but I suspect I'll get into that more in a future installment. Part of the challenge was finding some skin to provide the tissue, so I've got a long incision along my belly to recover from as well. But there are some big stitches deep in some of the folds that have been hurting with all the sitting I've been doing. I think the difference has been that, today, I haven't been doing much sitting.
As I type this I've got three tired dogs sleeping by my feet. They are my family. They make me laugh. I talk with them. Doing things with them fills my days. The fact that two of them are a dozen years old and very much showing the signs of their age fill me with dread and the terror that comes with imagining life without a life companion brings. I've already decided that when they pass, and when I pass, that our ashes should be mixed together. These are the quiet days that come with the kind of routine I mentioned at the outset. If this could be the routine for the rest of my life, I'd die a happy person.