Stories From A Life

Been there. Done that. Writing about it.

Sally Swift

Sally Swift
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
June 14
VP, Repartee
Swift Retorts
sally: a journey, a venture, an expression of feeling, an outburst, a quip, a wisecrack ... me


JANUARY 21, 2010 6:21PM

5 Reasons I'm Cranky, 5 Reasons I'm Not ***UPDATE

Rate: 49 Flag

*** See update below. A wedding story for all. And Amy as Belle!


If anyone has noticed my absence, please don't take it personally. I've been stressed, overworked and cranky. You didn't do anything wrong. Nobody did. Not even me.

Sometimes life comes at us so hard we have to duck and cover, hunker down, protect our own and eventually, try to regroup. I wanted to explain, but I'm too tired to be as clever as my internal creative bar requires.

So I decided I'd put my penchant for lists to productive use. It took me no time to come up with five reasons I'm cranky. In fact, I had to winnow the list to the most important reasons only.

Then I started thinking about why I'm not cranky ... who's making me happy or proud, what's going on that soothes my soul or lifts my spirits, where my blessings are showing.

And just like that, my day got a lot better. My week got better. You should try this.

Five Reasons I'm Cranky (in no particular order):

Accident, Surgery, Recovery


1. Two weeks ago my sister Judy totaled her car. Last Wednesday she had knee surgery. All day in the hospital, then home to my house for a week to recuperate. Judy's helped me through four surgeries (including knee), so I am more than happy to refill my karma bank taking care of her.

But she's not the most compliant patient. Older sisters who are also nurses rarely are... Hey, Judy! You just had surgery! You're loopy on pain killers. Don't do my laundry on crutches, get the hell back to bed! Stuff like that.

Chemo Sucks


2. My niece Karen (Judy's daughter) has been feeling especially awful from the last round of chemo. Every night while Mom sleeps we talk on the phone, review drugs, diet, any and all feel-better options.

We try to find silver linings. Sometimes she just needs a shoulder to cry on. I can't save her or help her nearly enough and that hurts me too.



3. The damn Democrats can't seem to find their damn asses with both hands. Which they have also been sitting on (their hands, not their asses). They lose where and what they should win, most often because they're too busy fighting among themselves to remember they're supposed to be fighting for the American people.

Our president is prooving either ill-equipped or ill-advised (or both) to handle them. They are grinding Hope and Change into dust before our eyes. Don't EVEN get me started on this one.

Sinus Infections


4. I have a brutal sinus infection, complete with abscess ...headaches, earaches, face and nose raw, head pounding, ears thundering... next step CT scan, after that could be surgery. Yeah, right... up your nose with a rubber hose!

Haiti, America, Haitians, Americans


5. As much as I care, in a genuine, humanitarian way, about the horror in Haiti, I wonder why some other country can't pick up the tab for a change. Why not, say, Dubai? Does it always have to be the U S of A?

When will our leaders really notice there are millions of people suffering horribly in this country and not enough resources to help them? Why didn't President Obama appoint former presidents Clinton and Bush to raise money for all the hard-working AMERICANS buried under mountains of debt and unemployment and lousy healthcare and foreclosures and crime and PTSD and worse, who desperately need help?

Or, if America must step up for Haiti, why not assess a few million in "relief funds" from all the fat cat GOP CEO's. You know the ones -- Cheney's pals. It's time to make those greedy bastards pay the rest of us reparations for looting our future.

Okay, cranky list done. Not forgotten, but off the chest anyway.

Five Reasons I'm Not Cranky

New Car!

car keys

1. It took a marathon 7-hour day this week, but Judy and I managed to get her a stylin new (well, gently used), very safe car. It's perfect, she loves it, I'm a little jealous but very happy to see her grin like a teenager when she gets behind the wheel. Ride, Judy, ride!

 Amy, aka Belle!


2. Karen's daughter Amy has the lead in the school musical. After months of rehearsals it opened Thursday, sold out performances to run all weekend. Joy abounds as we all put aside everything else for a magic 90 minutes to watch and clap and cheer (and kvell) for our beautiful Belle in "Beauty and the Beast."



3. Our Alex (Karen's son, he has cancer too) gave us a scare this week, the day after Judy's knee surgery. Doctors thought he had a detached retina, could lose all sight in his 'good' eye. Oy.

Reprieve! Ten hours of waiting and tests and no food and more tests. No detachment. No surgery. No sight loss. He's working the lights for his sister Amy's play. Yea!



4. A wonderful, sweet, generous friend sent Judy and me the most delicious homemade cookies we've ever tasted. In a beautiful cookie tin decorated with, I just realized, a partridge in a pear tree! Her reason: just to cheer us up.

It SO worked. Small kindnesses generate huge returns. We can't thank her enough. I won't tell you her name unless she lets me, so I hope she takes a bow, but I'll leave that up to her... (Pssst, MM, take a BIG damn bow !!)

Anniversary! (Wedding Cake!)


5. Now it's time for me to take a bow. This Saturday, January 23, my husband and I celebrate our 28th anniversary. Wow. Of course we've had some rough patches, but after all these years we still know how lucky we are to have each other. We still show it, too.

Our son is taking us out to dinner. His treat. I'm so proud I could burst.




If you weren't here last year on 1.23, I offer you my story. At the very least, scroll down til you find the close-up of the top picture. My face says it all ... 28 years later, we still laugh. And love.

             How I Became A Wife Against All Odds



 Our Amy as Belle in Beauty and the Beast


amy as belle


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Sally---cranky or not---you always delight!
You end your lists on the highest of notes. Happy Anniversary.
Now I'm going to be hearing monty python's version of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life! the rest of the night -- not a bad thing, just sayin'.
Awesome post! SO sorry about the sinus infection.
Rock on Amy and Alex. Congrats on your anniversary. What? No mention of Roy Halladay?
After the first five I was ready to comiserate, wondering what could possibly be on the second five. You pulled it off, though. Nice work.
This could be a good exercise Ms. Swift ( I mean SALLY)
The number 5 gripe? I KNOW! And so sorry about the sinus thing. Yuck. And broken bones, and cancer. My GOD.

All 5 of your positives made me smile though, so thanks!
On almost all the cranky items, I have no real comfort except that you're amazing, and we care. Except the sinus thing - ever tried a neti pot? It can work wonders. As to the non-cranky items: Hooray! And many happy returns on the anniversary . . . ;~)
Oh, Sally - a sinus infection on top of all that other dreck?

I have dry skin. That's about the worst I can think of, so I'm grateful.

I was wondering if you were just totally worn out. Was even thinking of throwing together another photo post, but the story I'm working on has been pretty much running my life after hours lately.

I will do that post for you, though. You can share it with Judy while she rests up.

Sincere wishes for an incredible anniversary. You guys deserve every happiness.

Rated/enjoyed/cried/laughed/was even tempted to go out and kick the nearest Democrat, but I think that might be Dean and he might scream at me. :-D
Thanks for the update. I've been worried. Life does ensue.
Well I'm glad you got that out and self-improved your own mood. Life certainly does sound too busy and way to full of hospitals which is the worst! Do you still have a week in Florida to look forward to?
Good to get out the bad and honor the pooping and then eating something not to visualize this
Good to get out the bad and honor the pooping and then eating something not to visualize this
Roger, you are definitely one of the reasons I'm not cranky here.

Chuck, thanks so much.

skeletn, thanks, now I'll be huming it.

Deborah, thanks. It'll all be okay. I feel so much better, especially with feedback from gal pals like you. :)

Stim, ahem, do not speak that name here please. I mean, well, just please. ;)

Cap'n, the second five were just as easy once I got the first five off my chest.

trig, everybody has a story. Glad I gave you a smile.

Owl, I've tried the neti, Karen's all about homeopathy, but this calls for interventional medicine.

Bill, Karen's sitting right here, says she llikes snow covered mountains, sunsets, bucolic scenes during different parts of the day, birds and animals in beauty, not doing what comes naturally (poop, sex, etc.), and please, no bugs of any kind. And she says THANK YOU for such kindness.

Kathy, sorry you worried, but thanks for the kind thought.
Welcome back, happy anniversary, and may the cranky list shrink as the non-cranky grows.
Kelly, thanks for the pump up. Am aiming for FL mid Feb.

Karin, thank you so much for your ideas and kindness. And, as always, for boosting my morale.

Mimetalker, no visualizing, but sentiment appreciated.
Sally, I'm glad y'all enjoyed the cookies. And happy anniversary. (Don't tell Frank the congratulations came from the internet.)

I got to take care of my sister after knee surgery once. We got home from the hospital and she wanted to go for a walk. I want whatever drugs they gave her. are just always a delight to read...cranky or not! And many warm wishes on your anniversary. Well done! xox
This won't be the first, nor the last, time I tell you that I love you, Sally Swift!

(from the other, less wonderful, Sally)
I'm sorry about the 5 Cranky ones, but happy for you about the 5 Non-Cranky ones. 28 years? HUGE Congratulations, although a medal and a trophy might be more appropriate (not saying your husband is difficult, just that it takes a lot of work to stay married that long.)
Cranky and not cranky, it can be done. You're dealing with a lot and are entitled. Good points, all. Sinus infections are horrid, cookies are good. Nothing is more fun than watching someone you know perform (and as cute as your niece, a real treat). And why can't we raise money for those in Haiti AND the people suffering through foreclosure/denial by insurance companies. Bill Moyers had a very good piece on his show about insurance companies. He also said about healthcare reform: Why settle for half a loaf when there is a whole loaf to be had? We need ballsier Democrats. Thanks for the post. I was bummed yesterday, need to find some things to be happy about today.
Sally, I'm not sure what you're going through can best be described as cranky. Cranky is when you wake up with a stiff neck and you've run out of coffee filters. But if you can get through all this and just be cranky, you're one tough cookie.
I sincerely hope all the bad turns to good.
sally, i love that you're a fellow optimist who has to offset the five crappy cranky reasons with five that aren't. whoo hoo, sista. hoping that karma bucketful means you don't have to have sinus surgery -- gah -- and happy anniv, by the way. last weekend was 22 for me. sometimes feels like last year, sometimes like 50. xoxo
All I can say is all the best on the first five and focus on the latter five. And Happy Anniversary!
Waht a fantastic concept! Reminds me of my best friend's "High-Low" game with her kids. Every night she tucks her babies in and they share wha the best part of the day ("high) and worst (you see where this is going...)

Thanks for the reminder that it's all about balance. And cookies.


We have the bad... and we still have good.
MRS MICHAELS OUTED HERSELF, SHE SENT THE COOKIES! Thank you, thank you! Everybody, give her a round of applause. Mrs M, funny about your sister... did she stop when the pain block wore off too?

Robin, thank you and thank you.

Gracie (aka Sally, shhhh), I love you too, girlfriend! And btw, less wonderful my ass. don't go sayin that or you'll give me another # for my cranky list. :)

Lisa, you hit the nail on the head, everybody says I deserve a medal, but hey, so does he..I'm so sorry for your troubles. Maybe you could make a list too? And definitely ask Mrs M to send you cookies. They might even arrive in a Chex cereal box.

latethink, make your own list by all means. And you're right, we should raise money for both. Not to mention we need far ballsier Dems and --EVERYBODY READ STELLAA'S POST -- ballsier Independents too.

john, you're too kind. We all handle whatever we have to, but I agree, it's a lot for anybody, not just me. Bad turning to good: from your lips...

femme, we are definitely on the same optimistic page. And Happy Anniversary to you too!

Pilgrim, thank you, I'll take it.

Christine, go for it. I didn't mean to start a meme but why not? And I totally love this: "'s all about balance. And cookies."
sixtycandles, I missed you among the ads! this says it all: "May the cranky list shrink as the non-cranky grows." I wish that for everyone."

mtpsyche, I couldn't agree more.
Fabulous! The nasty things are pretty big, the pleasurable things are pretty small. I love that it doesn't take a lot to make you happy, you must have a fine head on your shoulders.
I love lists especially pro and con lists. Well said.
28 years! The man's a saint!
Nice balance Sally. And the kids say it all with those beautiful smiles. Hope that sinus thing goes away soon.
Oh wow, Sally. What a list of woes. I'm so sorry to hear. But your resilience and optimism and sense of humor are inspiring -- and it sounds like you have a wonderful family to support you. Feel better, and enjoy that anniversary cake!
It's all about balance. :) I enjoyed this post, thanks for the little look into your life. And congrats on that 28 years. WOW.
you're one of my favorite a nice way.
Thanks for sharing both the good and the bad. By the way, I've been praying for Karen lately. It's hard not thinking about the suffering that young woman is going through.
I loved that you put 5 happy ones after the cranky ones. Nice balance. Sorry to hear about the sinus infection... and OMG, 28 years is amazing!! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY.
Happy Anniversary, Sally. You deal with the bad with an eye on the good -- a lesson for all of us. Please send Judy special hugs. So much going on, but despite it all, your energy and attitude always brighten this place like a sunshine.
I'm glad you feel better after writing this. I hope you feel ALL all better soon, including that sinus that's up a pear tree!
Asta, thank you, I try to have a fine head on my shoulders and a sense of humor because there's usually a bug up my butt... an excellent combination of resources.

micalpeace, praise from you: Very Good.

Spud, you devil, *I'm* the saint, he's just a poor sinner who got very lucky! heh

LandP, thanks for the praise and good wishes. I might come back and bother you for details if surgery is in the near future.

grif, any time I can offer balance, especially around here, it's a job well done.

Deborah, we're a tough family to bring down, love and positive reinforcement and lots of laughter help a lot. That cake was from my wedding. I'm thinking of ordering cheesecake for dessert at our aniversary dinner.

WalkAway, let's all celebrate each other's good fortune and help shoo away the bad.

sweetfeet, glad you enjoyed, but if you think this is a little look into our family, as the man said, you ain't see nothin yet! Thanks for the congrats. I earned them. ;)

Dog, it takes a good crank to know one, so ditto.

Patricia, thank you sincerely for your prayers. I hesitate to write more posts about her suffering --and ours-- but so appreciate that good people hold us in your thoughts.

boomer, I can't believe I'm old enough to be married 28 years... of course I was a child bride,,, heh
Lea, you snuck up on me! I'm at Judy's house at the shore, we've eaten hoagies and spent time keeping each other's and Karen's spirits up. Amy was spectacular in the play, a poised pro among fumbling middle school kids. Karen sang professionally during college and beyond, good to know she's passed that talent on to Amy. Energy flagging a bit but hugs to Judy coming up.

Silkstone, you snuck in too. I like your idea better: up my nose with a partridge in a pear tree. Wait... OUCH!
Sally, I thought I was having a horrid week until I read your "cranky" list. Yikes. Hope all that improves; meantime, congratulations on your anniversary and enjoy the show...This IS a good exercise - I may have to sit down and do it!
Blue in TX, I'm sorry your week's been so bad. By all means, create your own Cranky List, just be sure to add the Not Cranky list of blessings and fun for balance.
Great stuff. Too bad about your sister's family. My wife Mary is also a nurse and a general all-round saint. But she broke her leg and has been a crummy patient as well. I've lost my all round blogging mojo as well. Work stress has sapped so much of the spontaneity out of me that I just can't get in the mood to blog. Hopefully, both of us will get back to it soon.
Great post...and it is really true. Didn't it feel so much better to write the things you were grateful for! I know I do, although to be honest, sometimes my venting and complaints seem compelling enough to almost feel addictive. I forget how wonderful it is to just focus on the many many good things. My guess is your list of the good is much much more than 5. But the sinus infection, that is difficult and painful. Some things just are.
Wow, Sally you have had life come at you hard. I wish you a smoother road and healthier days for you and your family. R
Ric, thank you. Sorry about your wife, your work and your anti-mojo. It all comes around, I hope for you, soon.

Mary, you're right, complaining can be addictive. And you're also right that I have a much longer list of blessings than just 5. I count them as often as possible.

Rita, thank you so much for your kind words and good thoughts. It all helps.
Sally, I went back and read the wedding post from a year ago, and loved it, so personal, so intimate, so lovely. And yes, deer in the headlights. Happy anniversary to both of you, and many more. I get that about the True North. Glad you found yours, got through the formalities, and moved onward.
Kathy, thank you, glad you enjoyed the story of my journey to marriage. Every year on our anniversary, I become a bride again, at least on my avatar.
All's well that ends well -- and this ends VERY well.
Steve! I was wondering where you were. Glad you enjoyed my ending... so did I, several times. heh
Hi, Sally! I've now read several of your posts, but this is my first comment (but you already knew that, as you're so good about responding to all your commentors -- another thing I really appreciate about you and your blog!)

Just wanted to chime in and say I'll be offering up good thoughts to your sister nd her family, and strength to you and all you do to try and help support them. God bless you.

I have been so inspired by your blog as well as your wonderful friends that I opened an account here at OS and hope to become an active part of this awesome community soon.

BTW, I too took the side trip to your wedding post and loved it. My wife and I will be celebrating our 31st anniversary this St. Paddy's Day (March 17). Like you, there are a few things I wish were different about my wedding day, that would make it easier to re-live now (more pictures, perhaps video as well), but one thing I would never ever want to change is the life I've lived and the woman who has shared it with me now for more than half a lifetime. Thanks for reminding me of that today.

Best to you and your family.

AJ, thank you for your kind words and thoughts. I'm looking forward to reading more about your journey through life too.
What a great post; I needed to read this kind of thing today, I definitely needed it; that´s the great thing about this place.
Thanks, kisses,