Gratitude for Status Quo


Hiya friends! Good lawd, it has been a MINUTE! Where have I been? What have I been up to? Where am I living now? How's Ollie? Let's dive in!

A little over a month ago, we bought a house! That's right- a whole HOUSE. After a decade and a half of urban apartment living, we decided we'd had enough of city living, and have relocated to Byram Township, New Jersey. Byram is known as the "township of lakes," and we live just a three minute walk to one of them! Our little lake community also has a golf course, a clubhouse, a beach, and many trails for running (or as I'm doing a lot of lately: stroller-jogging with Ollie). We also have a beautiful stream in our backyard, and yes- we have a BACKYARD! And, a front yard! And a large screened in porch which we haven't gotten to use that much yet because- duh, winter, but I am SO excited to hang out there when spring comes. I look forward to conducting online training sessions there, too. And I imagine I'll lead some yoga classes and training sessions in the backyard this spring/summer. The possibilities seem endless. It feels wonderful to be back in nature. Though it's not nearly as rural here as where I grew up in southern Pennsylvania, it's definitely reminiscent of how I grew up. I'm psyched for Ollie & Annie to grow up here and experience the many joys of living in the woods.

In other news, I am now a commuter. I trek to Jersey City & Hoboken three days a week to train my clients. At first, I dreaded the commute, but I've actually come to enjoy the downtime in the car. I get to listen to ALL the podcasts, and also come up with new career & life schemes and goals. I've realized it's extremely important, though, to have ample snacks and water in the car at all times. And to that end, I keep Quest Bars, walnuts, apples, and a huge bottle of seltzer stuffed into all the available car pockets. No major changes to my work life, however, stay tuned for some information regarding a wellness retreat in the near future!

And now to the cutest update: Ollie. He's doing very well. Of course I am biased, but he's the cutest little guy in the whole world, and also the sweetest. He's just so full of joy and curiosity, and it's a total delight to watch him explore his world. He's got two little teeth that have just popped through and we are having a blast introducing him to all types of food. He loves bananas and peas, but is not particularly fond of green beans, but willingly tries everything we put in front of him. He's mastered tummy time and can sit, unassisted for about 10 seconds at a time. He's got the best little laugh and loves games of peek-a-boo. So, while everything is quite good overall, it feels remiss to leave out a major piece of the Ollie update, so without going into it too much: right before Ollie turned 3 months old, we discovered that he has congenital glaucoma in his left eye. I was actually the one who discovered it; because I spend so much of my day starting at him. One day I noticed that his left eye (which has always been a bit larger than his right) appeared cloudy. I immediately made an appointment with his pediatrician. I hoped for and truly assumed that he just had a bit of a cold, or that it was just some sort of "weird newborn thing," but the second his doctor took a look at him, she referred us to a pediatric ophthalmologist who immediately diagnosed Ollie with glaucoma. He was scheduled for eye surgery the following week. To say we were traumatized is an understatement. The day of his diagnosis remains one of the worst days of my life. I was completely caught off guard and it's safe to say that I did not handle the news well. I'd never heard of congenital glaucoma; I thought it was a disease only older people get. I also didn't really know what glaucoma was, but the doctor gave us a very thorough explanation; quite simply, glaucoma is built up pressure inside of the eye because of a faulty drainage system. So, Ollie's left eye doesn't naturally drain properly. If untreated, it leads to blindness. The disease is largely genetic but neither Steve nor I have any knowledge of any other children in our families who have had it. The idea of something being "wrong" with my baby- my poor, sweet, innocent child- was heartbreaking. But, Ollie, for his part, had no idea anything was up, and so I did my best to pull it together for his sake; a soppy mommy is no use to anyone. The first surgery went very well, but because he is an infant, and infants are very regenerative (usually a good thing), he had to have a second surgery a couple of weeks ago as his eye had "healed" the effects of the surgery. At least this time we knew what to expect. The surgery was super quick and he's recovered quite well. He will have glaucoma for life, but much like a disease such as diabetes, it can be kept in check with proper care and ongoing monitoring. And so, we put drops in his left eye twice a day to keep the pressure down, and we go about our lives. I'm not going to lie though, it's very stressful to live day-to-day, never knowing when his eye may suddenly appear cloudy again. It makes us deeply grateful for each day the eye remains "clear." And, truthfully, I am living in a lot of gratitude overall these days. In the grand scheme of things, it could be much, much worse. And, in bittersweet terms: when you are constantly focused on health (whether your own or someone else's), everything else sort of takes a backseat, and the usual status quo ends up feeling quite nice.

So, that's it for now. It's now 7:30 p.m. Ollie is in bed. And as soon as I hit send and inundate your inboxes, I plan to tuck into a bowl of greek yogurt and some mindless TV. Status quo. Just how I like it.

xoxo.

-Jesse

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