Wednesday, June 11, 2014
On Not Giving a Flying Foo Foo
Let's get back to our regular business and forget, for a moment, the shameless self-promoting (although I'll have you know that my book is currently ranked #23 on the Amazon e-book sub-category of women memoirs, right ahead of Diane Keaton's). Thank you!
But back to "regular business." I'm just now coming down from a whirlwind of conferences and galas and public speaking engagements -- an exhilarating and overwhelming ride. I've spoken in public before -- many times, actually, when I was working for several collaboratives that addressed systemic healthcare improvement initiatives. I've also served on a few boards of a few non-profit foundations and even helped to found one back in the dark days of the last millennium. Going to galas and benefits that raise money for epilepsy causes is a mixed bag -- I am at once grateful that so many people support the cause, repulsed by the schmooze factor (especially on Wall Street and in Hollywood), and depressed with the acknowledgement that these are my people and this is my life. Frankly I'd rather be conjugating French verbs, to tell you the truth, or at the very least baking a cake and reading some poetry.
That being said, this past weekend in San Francisco, when I participated on the medical marijuana panel at the Epilepsy Pipeline Conference, I had a sort of epiphany or suddenly realized just how much things had changed. Generally, I'm a fiery and opinionated sort of woman, quick to mouth off and express my opinions, often sharp-tongued, and given the topic, frustrated and angry about the access to and quality of healthcare for children with epilepsy. I know there were some people at that conference who found me unbearable, and I winced, a bit, viewing the taped session, noticing how the female doctor and female nurse just might have motioned to the moderator to cut me off and allow them to speak. Contrary to what you might think, I'm not this entirely confident person all the time.
I confess, though, to realizing at the conference how my former motivations might just possibly -- OK, definitely -- have been about ego, about vindication, about hoping for and forever being denied a Power That Be who would step up and say, You are right! We are so wrong! We fucked up your daughter's life because we don't know anything and there's a vast and horrific conspiracy of Big Pharma and Western Medicine that we've been a part of, contrary to our Hippocratic Oath. You win!
My epiphany, actually, was this: I don't give a flying foo foo what They think.
I realize that Sophie's astounding reaction to Charlotte's Web has nearly everything to do with this, that I'm in a new and unusual (for us) position of not needing their help. It feels outrageous -- like I actually am on a tightrope suspended over the world, which -- contrary to before -- looks sparkly as opposed to dark. I feel graceful even, for this moment.
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Wow. That IS an epiphany. And a good one.ReplyDelete
This is blowing my mind. And your book - it's incredible - I'm halfway through and will finish it tonight. Love to you up there on that tightrope.ReplyDelete
Actually, that is the miraculous part of this: that what is helping Sophie so much is a plant you could grow in your backyard.ReplyDelete
A - yes. Exactly!Delete
LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I wish I could have seen you!!! I am ordering your book pronto and putting mine in the mail to you this afternoon!ReplyDelete
This is breathtaking!ReplyDelete
That's right. You do't need them. IAnd I watched the entire tape. I saw the NP and the MD motion that they had something to sy, but I'm not sure they were indicating you needed to be cut off (if indeed that is even theoretically possible) The NP was the voice of caution and the old school. Her points were not salient to the discussion of Med Marijuana becaue she never even acknowledged it. I was baffled by her craving for a relationshp with the school nurses. it seemed as though the parents were just a bother.ReplyDelete
Does Foo Foo mean shit?ReplyDelete
That is a great, the best place to be. And that is a beautiful picture of Sophie up there.ReplyDelete
As I watched you speaking at the conference I noticed the two women indicating they wanted to speak. I don't think they wanted you cut off at all. I really don't. From my viewpoint I actually thought they looked intrigued by what you were saying!ReplyDelete
Ah! So that's what I felt when I was watching you. I felt that you KNEW, from within. And that is wasn't about being right or 'winning'. It was about generosity and compassion.ReplyDelete
About the picture on the top of the page: you both in there. you both know.
xoxoxox. I am so thrilled for you and for Sophie. And you know this.....but I LOVE your book.ReplyDelete
Full steam ahead, dear Elizabeth. (And wow, #23!)ReplyDelete
Wow on #23! I'm 70% done with the book, my new Kindle tells me so! LOVE it! And wow on feeling graceful! Not enough can be made of that!ReplyDelete
YES to the flying foo-foos my dear!ReplyDelete
Congratulations on the ranking and all that. I want a hard copy. I don't read on a gadget. I am thrilled for you standing in your truth...you know you are there when epiphanies happen. xo S
Suzi Banks Baum -- It's an e-book, so unfortunately no hard copies are available. If I sell enough of the book through Shebooks and Amazon, though, I might get a publisher for the entire manuscript! If you have a cell phone, you can download the Kindle app on it for free and then buy the book from there --ReplyDelete
Your talk of the "schmooze factor" at epilepsy benefits sent me in search of this quote from Neil Simon's "California Suite" -- which you should definitely watch sometime if you haven't seen it already, being a resident of L.A.:ReplyDelete
"I went to a charity luncheon in East Hampton to raise money for the California grape pickers. There was this teeming mob of women who must have spent a total of twelve thousand dollars on new Gucci pants in order to raise two thousand dollars for the grape pickers... Why the hell didn't they just mail them the pants?"
I love the epiphany and I love your description of how you felt at the epilepsy benefits. There is something so frustrating about raising money for something you believe in within the existing power structure that is so broken and not being able to do a damn thing about it. I am so glad that you are able to not give a crap what "They" think and I am loving the momentum you're picking up.ReplyDelete