Thursday, April 24, 2014

Putting Things in Perspective





The past week or so I've been pretty miserable.  The usual Cheerful Ron had left the building.  

Oh I know we all go through peaks and valleys in moods.  The causes could be internal or external or a combination of both.  I can list several causes for my funk:


  1. Continuing cold weather
  2. Increased work load causing disruption of digestive system
  3. Physical ailments - side effects of prostate cancer treatment and most recent, seborrheic keratosis outbreak on my back causing a great deal of pain and discomfort
  4. Estrangement from family because of my marriage
  5. Being taken for granted
  6. And another frustration which I cannot write about but those who know me know what that frustration is (Cryptic Ron again) 
So last night at work I'm there with my itchy and painful back, in absolutely no mood to take the next phone call asking "Do you have a pool?" (the most commonly asked question during the season of moms bringing their Little Darlings to the hotel and wanting to unload the responsibility of caring for them onto the hotel's staff at THE POOL), I checked in a guest whose situation put my so called sad state into perspective.  

I checked in this very nice gentleman whose reservation said he had "special needs."  His special needs were an extra set of bedding.  I had previously taken the extra set of bedding to his room.  

Later this gentleman, who was concentration camp survivor thin, came down to the front desk for recommendations where to eat.  He told me he couldn't eat much because his stomach had been removed because he had stomach cancer.  When he told me this, in a very matter of fact way, all of a sudden my little woes receded into the background.  Man oh man, and I thought I had problems.  Wow.

Of course I was taken aback, not knowing quite what to say.  He saw that I was curious as to how he could eat food and he explained to me that his intestines were moved up to where his stomach was.  He said he could still taste food ("the taste buds still work") but the food "went right through him."  Well, I guess.  Now I understood why he needed the extra set of bedding, he has to sleep upright.  

The restaurant I recommended was perfect for him.  He stopped by the front desk and told me so.  As I saw him walk away, thin as a rail I thought "Ron, you are one damn lucky person.  Get over yourself."

"I used to complain about having no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet."

25 comments:

  1. EXCELLENT POST RON ...... there's nothing else to say.

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    1. Roger,
      Sometimes I need these reminders of how lucky I really am. Have a great day!
      Ron

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  2. Anonymous10:46 AM

    Hello Ron,

    Sorry to hear you are suffering more medical problems along with a longer schedule at the hotel. I hope those are short lived & you will soon be back to feeling better. I just lost my oldest sister to Alzheimers the same disease that took my mother. Your mood suits me as I feel the same way. If the weather was just a tad warmer I think I'd feel better. I was shocked by the temps this morning.

    I am shocked also by the actions of your family. You are the same Ron you have always been regardless of being gay & married. It is not their place to judge you but love you for who you are. I just don't understand peoples actions and thoughts at times. I know it's hurtful beyond belief for you. Keep your chin up & live your life to your satisfaction. You have a good soul & that is all that matters.

    Well, I better get something accomplished and quit wallowing in self pity. I've been on a roller coaster of feelings the last 10 months that my sister suffered so terribly. I'm not helping either one of us or my family. Take care friend!

    Fran

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    1. Fran,
      I am so sorry to hear that you lost your sister. My former best friend (I say "former" because he's not "there" anymore) is gone. His mind that is. I can't bring myself to visit him at the place where they are warehousing him on Pilottown Road. Maybe I will someday but I don't know what good it will do.
      Yes, this weather does get one down. It's been so cold for so long. At least the buds are coming out on the trees. I think we'll be "safe" once the leaves come all the way out.

      Not only are you shocked by the reaction of the members of my family (both brothers and the one's wife) I am too. I was especially shocked by the reaction of my former "best" friend who equated my marriage with marrying my pet ("What's next Ron? Marrying your pet?") Apparently I didn't know these people as well as I thought I did. They had me in the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" box. They "accepted" that I was gay ("Crazy, eccentric Uncle Ron") but once I got on an equal basis with them and THEIR marriages, that's when they showed their true colors. Quite frankly, and I hate to say this, if I never hear or see them again it's just as well because I will not continue a relationship with them where I am put in a "less than" category. It's sad but the attitude they're displaying will probably never change. They've been brainwashed their whole lives to believe that someone like me is damaged or inferior to them. It's a shame, their ignorance but there it is.

      Thank you for your support Fran, over the years. I hope your life situation takes a turn for the better in these upcoming months. We only get one turn at this life. We have to make it count.

      Have a great day!

      Ron

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  3. Every once in a while we need a kick in the ass to remind us that there are others out there who might have more, bigger, harder, costlier, woes than we do.
    Most times, though, we don't notice them, but you did, and that's a good thing.

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    1. Bob,
      I'm not religious but I think every now and then an power greater than us gives us these reminders just how lucky some of us are. Believe me, my little woes are nothing compared to so many others. This man last night, it will take me a long time to forget him. And he's there for another two nights. What gets me is how accepting he is of his situation. At least he was with me. I don't know if I would be the same.
      Ron

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  4. "What gets me is how accepting he is of his situation". Maybe it is just he point of life; live in the present, take one step at a time and do the best you can, and forget about what people think of you. Life goes on, no matter what, so you either have a choice to roll in self pity or make the best of it.

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    1. Well said Nadege. That's what I'm practicing, even though sometimes I don't realize it because I can't see the forest for the trees. I never saw the value of rolling in self pity but I do have to admit a little Pity Party is enjoyable sometimes, just as long as it doesn't last too long.

      Ron

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  5. Ron,

    Anytime you get to feeling down don't hesitate to FaceTime me. Sometimes it helps just to talk to someone and to know there are those who care about you as a fellow traveler through this life. (Hmm, probably shouldn't have used that fellow traveler term. Now somebody will think we're leftover communist sympathizers from the cold war.) Nonetheless, I'm here if your need me.

    There are always those better off than one's self and always those who are worse off.

    Lar

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    1. Larry,
      My schedule has been thrown off with the extra work hours and my as the local Democratic neighborhood volunteer. I hope to get things back to normal this weekend. Remember how I told you how hard it was for me to work just a month of my regular hours? Still a problem, can't seem to get into that part-time job. I'm more like "part-time plus."
      Ron

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  6. Thank you for reminding me that as bad as I may think I have it, there are always others who have it worse. I can sure understand why you'd be down, and you are perfectly justified. I am glad though, that a kindness and some thought helped someone else!

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Jay,
      Seems when I start wallowering in self-pity someone or something comes along to snap be back to reality as to how good I really have it in life.
      Ron

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    2. Me, too, dude.
      Jay

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    3. Jay,
      In fact I have it DAMN GOOD! :)

      Ron

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  7. Ron - just want to say what great comments were evoked from the readers. All right on. and it's so good to remind oneself of how lucky/blessed we are despite tribulations we put up with. This post hit the mark for me today. Thank you.

    Pat

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    1. Pat,
      You are always kind, generous and considerate with your comments. Thank you so much.
      Ron

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  8. The gods send us people who teach us the lessons we need to learn

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    1. Life has a way of teaching us these lessons doesn't it Dr. Spo? When this guest told me of his situation, it was like I got hit between the eyes with a two by four. Maybe I needed that.

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  9. The grass isn't always greener! We all suffer joy and sorrow and they can sometimes come close together. We all endure suffering in our lives and sometimes we have to go through hard times to be in a better space. That has happened with me in leaving a bad relationship to start a loving relationship. I have lost old acquaintances as a result and Lea and I are trying to form new connections which is difficult due to societal attitudes. I'm sorry you are having trouble with your family accepting your marriage. I empathise with you!

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    1. Paul,
      Always good to hear from you. I'm am sorry that you have lost some old acquaintances and are having difficulty forming new connections. I have the same problems, I think we all do. About my family's attitude towards my official marriage, I am surprised and very disappointed at how they view it. I am especially saddened by my longtime friend casually equating my marriage to "what's next Ron? Marrying your pet?" Such casual, unthinking trivialization of the most important day of my life really shook me to the core. I thought I knew this person, apparently I was only fooling myself. Same with my brothers and the one wife (the other ex-wife is fine with it, she has three gay siblings).
      I'm moving on Paul. I'm not going to let these people drag me down anymore.
      Have a great day!
      Ron

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  10. Anonymous2:19 AM

    As others have commented above, it can ALWAYS be worse. Your eloquent post demonstrates that, and helps me to remember to be grateful for my own (shaky) health. I'm so glad you were able to help your hotel guest, and I bet he appreciated it more than he could say.

    ~~~ NB

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    1. Thank you NB. Life has a way of reminding us sometimes of how fortunate we really are. One of the reasons I like working in the hospitality industry is that I can bring a little happiness to guests who are seeking to "get away from it all." I know that's how I would like to be treated.
      Ron

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    2. NB,
      Thank you for your comment. One of the reasons I like working in the hospitality industry is that I like making the guests happy. Most guests are seeking to "get away from it all" for a few days or more and have a pleasant sojourn. My reinforcement comes from helping them to accomplish that goal. I know how I would like to be treated when I am on holiday, thus I treat my guests the same way. It's a win win all around for everyone. All I need is that knowing smile from the guest when I am able to help him or her.
      Ron

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  11. My catching-up-on-the blogs time is often therapeutic when coming to posts like this one of yours - reminding me, as you've yourself been reminded, that it's never the wrong time to 'count your blessings'. Mind you, having said that, life can still be a stinker - as, for example, people with your own woes, so I wouldn't belittle them, Ron.

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    1. Ray,
      Thank you for your comment. I was letting myself get buried in my own little problem (some of which I did not and cannot talk about on my blog) but when I encounter someone like the man without a stomach, all I can say his "situation" made mine recede way into the background. As I sit here now, with my the skin on my back hurting (getting better though), Bill mad at me for some silly thing (he gets easily confused then he blames me), I would rather be in my "situation" now than that gentleman without a stomach.
      Ron

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