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What a day! Why is it that the first day back from vacation is the hardest? I feel as if I need an extra day just to pump my brain back to 9 to 5 mode.

In case you missed it today was Giving Tuesday! It is a National giving day, which always takes place on the Tuesday after Cyber Monday. Its sole purpose is to help us get off Santa’s naughty list, especially after punching that lady who got in between you and that 27” flatscreen TV for $100 on Friday. That wasn’t you? Okay, fine you get to make up for calling in sick on Cyber Monday because you needed to get 75% off that juicer. I’m not judging, I just got a juicer myself!

Okay, that’s not the truth. Giving Tuesday encourages people to give back to others this holiday season. Giving Tuesday is a day that takes the time to celebrate and encourage the kindness and generosity of others. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, charities and organizations go all out in order to help others in need. While Giving Tuesday is a relatively new concept as it is in its second year, last year over 50 million people participated in the charitable event. Everyone and anyone can get involved in Giving Tuesday, individuals and families can still get involved by volunteering at a local charity or donating to a favorite cause. For more information visit their site at #givingTuesday.org

I’m going to be honest with you, this is the first year I heard about it. Actually, today was the first time I heard about it, which is not good since I work in a community foundation. Worse yet I’m the one that takes care of our social media communications. I know, I would so be fired if you were my boss! But in my defense I was out on vacation and my bosses did not mention it; as a matter of fact, I was the one that mentioned it to them at this morning’s staff meeting. So, I somewhat did save the day.

I was going to talk about this and see if I could get you to donate to the community foundation I work for. But then came the text that changed it all.

 Hi. Well the infection is back. They still waiting for my final labs and plan. But for sure getting surgery…a pretty big one.

I received the above text from my friend Claudia. She’s the the sweetest and most supportive person you’ll meet. She has this amazing heart that is just oozing with love; however, in my opinion her best trait is her patience. Especially with my crazy butt.

She and I just hung out this Sunday while I was visiting Los Angeles. We talked for hours, you see we really don’t talk on the phone or even text much; however, when we meet up we pick up where we left off. It might be a bit dysfunctional, but it works. I’m not recommending this for everyone, I just happen to have a friend that is extremely understanding so the results might not be the same for everyone, just like a diet pill!

bionic womanMy friend had the big C when she was a child and because of it is part bionic chick! For some reason or another her hardware (the bionic in her) got infected, and they had to go in there and clean it out. It was rough and scary, but she’s a lot tougher than she thinks and she came out on top. However, the infection is now back and she will have to undergo a big surgery to replace her bionic piece. There’s so much more to this story, but it’s not mine to tell so I’m giving you the short and sweet version.

I still remember when I received her text, my body felt tense and all I could think about was wanting to be next to her to give her a hug. I could imagine her trying to be strong for her mother and family.

Then I started thinking about how worried she might be. See my beautiful friend Claudia is an extreme worry wort, I mean seriously. It’s one of her quirks; however, at moments like these it could also be her downfall. I knew that the biggest worry would be about the costs, see our wonderful and bureaucratic system cancelled her MediCal. She’s fighting the system right now, but I have little to no faith in it. We need a miracle here and I pray that someone in that office actually takes the initiative to do the right thing.

So as I’m thinking about that, I get upset. I’m upset at the fact that our system is screwed, even if you live your life doing the right thing the system will find a way to mess with you. I’ve gone through it myself when I was little, I would hear my mother’s complaints about it. Especially because your dear Moni was a pretty sick kid, the ER’s were our home away from home some years.

However, what angered me the most was that I couldn’t help her. I’m not financially capable of lending my friend a hand to ease some of the burden. The last thing you need when you want to get healthy is to worry about how your going to pay for it.

From anger I went to gratitude. This is not a “better you than me” moment. Far from it.

This is a “Damn the Universe just made me check myself” moment.snap

At that very moment, I realized that I needed to quit complaining about my boot. Let’s rewind and clue you in. I’ve been wearing a boot on my left foot since the beginning of November. I have an old injury (Ankle sprain and three torn tendons in my foot) that for some reason or another (stress related as per my MD), flared up and started hurting like hell! Seriously, it came back with a vengeance.

I’ve been complaining about it, failing to realize that maybe the Universe and my body is telling me to slow down. Instead, I’ve been bitching about how I can’t go running, how stairs have turned into my enemy, and how I hate being so damn slow. Yes, I’m the first to admit that I suck at being a sick person. I will not argue with you on that one.

All this complaining blinded me from seeing the bigger picture: Too much work and no rest will find a way to come back and bite me in the ass. It sure has. It has taken a big chunk of it. But what I realized today was that mine is momentary. Some visits with my physical therapist, stretching, rest, and lifestyle changes will help get me back to health.

Can she say the same? Stupid cancer hit her when she was a kid, now she’s in her thirties still dealing with it. She doesn’t really complain, she has her moments but she doesn’t throw the towel and just sit there waiting for the earth to open up and swallow her whole. She deals and lives.

She and I have had our differences, mostly in the beginning of our friendship. Because she was a little more cautious and limited herself from experiences because of her leg. I, with my tough love techniques, was not having this. Let’s just say some moments were not pretty, and the only reason why she didn’t punch me in the throat is in part due to the fact that she doesn’t have a violent bone in her body.

Somehow she came out of her shell, and boy did we have such a blast scrapping some of that shell off. We went out and lived. She wouldn’t hesitate when I would just grab her hand and run out to the dance floor because my jam was playing, most of the time we were the only ones on the dance floor. We had some extremely good times. Even when things got tough, when her leg would act up she would still go out. We probably didn’t go dancing, but we still went out. I would tease her and say that her crutch was her date or we would see who could come up with the best story on why she’s walking around with a crutch over drinks. I would always say snowboarding, I mean that does sound pretty darn cool. We would just laugh about it and not worry about anything other than the next round.

Ridiculous. Is pretty much what I am. Complaining about how slow I am, the fact that I can’t run (right now), how because of the boot I have to sit inside at the Fillmore instead of working with my friends at the door. Wow, right? I know throw rocks at me, I suck.

tough cancerThe funny thing is that she doesn’t consider herself a strong person. Well, my dear Claudia let me tell you chica you are one bad-ass woman! You are one of the strongest women I know! Who else could put on a smile for the rest of us, so we won’t worry, and still be worried about us worrying about you? Try saying that three times after a bottle (or two) of Bordeaux.

I still remember how during our lunch at Mimi’s, you were trying to explain to me how the surgery to remove the excess scar tissue on my ankle was not big. How it wouldn’t be painful and how the recovery time is extremely short. Yup, even though she has bigger fish to fry she is still worrying about me and my dumb boot.

Yes, I do feel extremely lame right about now. Trust me the message was received and the lesson learned. No more complaining. I know it might be tough, but I’m going to definitely try. When we are in the thick of things, we can’t think clearly and we are

Rocking my sexy boot in the office on casual Friday.

Rocking my sexy boot in the office on casual Friday.

unable to see the bigger picture.Well, thanks to my dear friend I am having a moment of clarity and I’m realizing that I have a lot to be grateful for. Plus, I rock the boot! I make it look all kinds of sexy!

If any of you know of any resources and/or would like to help my friend in some way, shape or form please contact me directly.

Hasta mañana! But before we go, remember:

plato