Saturday, March 7, 2009


Things seem so much better as the six-month mark approaches and we seem to be recovering from our extended bouts with a nasty cold. (Michael is still coughing and hacking and sleeping a lot, but at least he seems to be improving) For one thing, the relentless self-absorption of all-symptoms-all-the-time is fading. That’s a tremendous relief. Aside from the self-critical voice whispering constantly that selfishness is A Bad Thing, it’s nice to have the energy to notice and care about the rest of the world. The challenge of this phase is (still, again, always) not to over-reach. The moving-target aspect of managing sensibly is complicated, because as my expertise at estimating the possible is improving, so is my energy. This leads at times to over-ambitious goals, as I’m prone to self-deception along the lines of “sure, it didn’t work the last time I tried this, but I’m so much stronger this week than last.” Thus, two or three times a week I overshoot and smash into the wall of fatigue. It’s not within my capabilities to power through this; I’ve tried. Still, it feels like moving out of twilight into sunlight.

[Re-reading this post, let me just insert here that the irony doesn’t escape me how the first paragraph asserts that the self-absorbed phase is abating only to be followed in the first draft by two more paragraphs of here’s-my-universe-right now. Sigh. In my own defense, the absence of posts the last few days is because I’ve been working on other things and, I think and believe, actually making some progress. I’ve even been able to help some others when asked. I’ve now compressed the original two paragraphs of the status report to only one more paragraph. Does that count as emerging progress in a blog created to record the meningioma/craniotomy experience?]

Daily life is a stripped-down affair compared to BBS (before brain surgery): work and mentoring pretty much consume all available capacity. The predominance of the work must occur at home for the full range of it to be accessible. There’s an odd component we don’t really understand that seems to be related to visual stimulation. In familiar places with familiar people, my energy goes farther than it does in new settings, with different people or (worst of all) crowds. We haven’t been able to pinpoint the exact elements that cause overload, but it’s happened often enough that that we’re pretty sure the core of the cost lies in that combination.

The outlines of the memorial service for my dad at the end of the month are coming together, so the weekend agenda includes organizing all the information to send out to the whole family, figuring out what loose ends still need to be attended to, and thinking seriously about the right tone and content for a eulogy. My chapter in progress feels like a mud-wrestling match right now, the part where a lungful of air is becoming essential after too much time submerged in the muck. Still, there are actual words and sections to wrestle, for a change. My email is WAY behind; with new resolve, I’m going to archive everything older than a month, deal with everything newer and generally seek a clean start. Zero in-box management schemes don’t strike me as realistic or desirable, but given a contest between those and where things stand right now, they would be the winner.

Right now we have sunshine, but rain is coming. Time to make hay.

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