Friday, September 25, 2009

Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst

Today is going to be a very long day, with a set of potentially contentious meetings and then a four-hour workshop to lead from 5 to 9. In planning for the week, today is the day for the last of the larger steroid doses; after that, the tapering down to the half doses will be complete. We see Dr. Thoughtful again on Tuesday to assess how it’s going, which means, as I think about it to write this, that I’d better check to see if I need to have a blood test Monday morning before I take even the half dose of prednisone. Oops, that fell through the cracks: gotta get that on today’s list, as it’s entirely possible that it should have been done today.

Shea wrote a great note yesterday full of news about her classes, figuring out the laundry system and generally sounding happy, strong and engaged. The world of doing laundry at college sure has changed since the olden days: the machines are on line so it’s possible to tell remotely both how many are free for use and how much longer each machine has to go in its cycle. The laundry room has a wireless network, so kids take their computers and work, at least those who don’t start their wash and then monitor it from their rooms or the library or whatever.

Waking up this morning thinking about the day to come, and talking with Michael about the note from Shea brought to mind the realization that in many ways, especially with right now’s struggles, it’s nice not to be working at being the parents on a daily basis. We chose to have children (and know we were lucky we were able to without difficulty), loved being parents together, loved every minute of it. On the other hand, it’s also a lot of hard work and it’s constant. Especially given my current level of impairment, it’s nice not to have the dailyness of that job layered on top of other activities. We've loved almost every phase of being parents together. We recognize how lucky we are in this, too, as we know many who haven’t been this fortunate either in their parenting partner nor in their kids. Still, this phase is nice, with tons of rewards and only a baseline level of worry about safety, progress, health, etc. Our main task, laying down the foundation, is largely complete. We’ll always be parents. It’s nice right now for that job to be in a lower key and gear than for the last decades.

Today’s meetings should be productive ones, but have the potential to swing south. I’m hoping for the best but planning for the worst. It will be interesting, either way. Tonight’s session, a negotiation session for students enrolled in a leadership program, should be fun. It’s the second and last session with this group. It’s a good collection of students with great collaborators on the program, so even though it starts and runs late, assuming my energy doesn’t give out midway, it should be a nice way to end the week--and with the weekend to recover.

Our president who stepped down will revert to being a business professor, making only $300,000 per year. Michael wants to know where I can sign up for that. Me, too.

Here’s my wish to each of you that your todays involve only hoping for the best and don’t need any planning for the worst.

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