The practice of mindful happiness

Mom called me at home asking if I could call back Dad's oncologist's office and BlueCrossBlueShield to attend to an unresolved claim in which BCBS was trying to retract its payment.

I found myself in the midst of a BCBS rage when I had to *once again* attempt to resolve a claim from September 2007.  I keep having to reiterate to some sad BCBH rep that Mom was still working full-time and BCBS was the primary insurance until she officially retired in October 2008 . . . so there's no reason why BCBS should be trying to retrieve the funds for a $7K+ claim that BCBS paid out in 2007 -- way before Dad was on his deathbed.

"I've seen this has been an ongoing issue," says Jessica, the rep.  "I will be sure to submit it for priority review."  

Yah, I've only called about a dozen times about this same claim.

"Is there anything else I can do to resolve this claim," I ask.  "Can you include in your notes that Rizalina was still working full-time during the claim date and did not officially retire until October 1, 2008?" 

"I have that in the previous call notes, but can write them in again," Jessica says.  

See me banging my head against the wall?

A great friend of mine recently sent me an issue of Yoga Journal featuring an article on calming techniques taught in fertility yoga classes.  Naturally, I immediately read through it . . . and in the past, I've also received suggestions for breathing and meditating when you're trying to get pregnant and have done those intermittently.  But as I paged through the 'zine, what caught my attention was a piece on practicing mindful happiness.  As I began to take mental notes of the three kinds of happiness we experience, I happily realized that I have already been gladdening my mind through daily meditation. Surprise, me!

Practicing mindful happiness starts with where I am, where I be. For me, it has meant prayerfully asking for humility, persistence, patience and good humor.  Not a coveted secret, this practice of mindful happiness. It has allowed me to be open in my tone, words & actions.  

So before I immediately answered Mom with an impossibly annoyed tone, I stopped and took a breath . . . reminded myself that it wasn't Mom who didn't have it right in her records, it was the incompetent BCBS folks.  I am just thankful that Mom is who she is . . . Mom who loves to chef homemade dinners for Al & me . . . Mom who brought home so many pasalubong for us from the Philippines . . . Mom whose courage has taught me so much about being the woman that I've become.  How can I possibly rage towards Mom?

It sure does take practice.  Even when I am in the midst of a BCBS unpleasantry, I can be fine. 

Keyport's Visit
This past Sunday, Al & I decided to enjoy the finally! warm weather and venture out to Keyport.  It was nice to visit with Dad's memory at the pier.  Al treated me to my afternoon coffee, and we shared a whole wheat bagel with hummus & tomato.  As we sat on the bench looking out at the bay, I said to him, "I don't care if you never take me out on a date to a restaurant ever again.  I'm happy to be just doing this all the time." 

My moment of mindful happiness.