2011-07-15 - 2:46 p.m.
It's Friday, several months later. Actually, it's early Friday afternoon, and I'm seriously considering playing hooky. I haven't seen one of my colleagues in over a week - in summer I really am the only one who works here - so it's not as though anyone would really notice. I'm also having a horrible time concentrating, so much so that I paid a visit to the chocolate lunchbox. Bad T. BAD. I've lost 20 pounds since Christmas, and that success hasn't come from visits to the chocolate lunchbox!
What an eventful time it has been. This is a year of deadlines and transitions for me, which is probably the main source of my silence. I submitted my tenure package a month ago, and now I'm fully engrossed in the reams of paperwork associated with renewing my research chair. The whole process has me feeling horrible. Just horrible. So much time wasted on describing achievements when really, I could be out there actually, well, achieving things. Also summarizing the last five years has forced me to revisit how horrible my first years here were. All of those times of feeling like an eleventh finger or toe.
Perhaps I should be doing more yoga or meditation.
Actually, until about one month ago, I have been pretty religious about attending the gym 3-5 times per week. For the past month, however, I've needed an exploding alarm clock to get myself out of bed. This timing does seem to coincide with the submission of my tenure paperwork, doesn't it? A calm AFTER the storm perhaps.
There was indeed a lot going on this Spring. The scariest times involved my mother's surgery - quadruple bypass. She went in with a very good outlook, and in fact has no heart damage. But like both her brothers and her father, her arteries were majorly jammed. Sometimes you cannot argue with genetics. But now thanks to modern medicine you can at least fight against them. In spite of knowing her history, the need for surgery came as a huge shock. And despite the positive outlook (she has a very strong heart and walks 3-5 miles per day), it was still pretty darned scary for us all.
Three months later, my mom is doing extremely well - back to walking her normal mileage. We do notice little differences, though, as does she. She didn't anticipate that healing would be a longer process that involved pains three months down the line as the nerves around her lungs regenerated. She also hadn't considered that the midwest heat - which she tolerated previously - could be debilitating. Recall that heat warnings suggest that the elderly stay inside. My mom - a young 71 - has had one of her first realizations that sometimes she belongs to the 'elderly' category. I've had to face that realization about my mom now, too.
We had a wonderful, wonderful visit, and I'm quite certain that we exhausted my mom. K said that he noticed some emotional changes in her as well. That's not at all surprising - her chest was opened up. How's THAT for a major loss of control over your life and existence? But the overall character of mom was the same. She wanted to do and pay for everything for her daughter and grandchild. The positives WAY outweighed the little moments of friction, and we are thrilled that they are visiting this fall. Mom's first time on a plane after the surgery. That's a shocker, too, given that she went on 2-3 major trips (one to the southern hemisphere) in the months just prior to the surgery. Heck, she felt her first symptoms in the Atacama.
I'm looking out my window at the blanket of gray clouds, and the San Juan Islands in the distance. It's a gray day, but for Funcouver standards, not gray enough to create a downer. Hmm. I think that does it. I'm going to pack up my bags and race off to do some therapeutic shopping. A bandage for whatever problem is actually stewing around down there...but at least it's a fun bandage. Some teranika time. heal thyself, yes??
Off I go.
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...they are just words, Suzi... - 2011-08-29