Tuesday, November 2, 2010

More Progress

I have been a listmaker since I was small. During the massive attic-cleaning project I started the summer before this adventure began, we discovered a list in my handwriting that must have been made in grade school. The attic project ended prematurely, preempted by other goals, like recovering from brain surgery. One day, we hope to get back to that project and get the contents of our attic weeded out, pared down, and generally brought under control. That day is still a ways off, but I have a good feeling about the fact that it will, someday, come to pass, because of another list I found recently. This list is relatively recent, by the standards of the grade-school list, say, oh, only 10 or 15 years old. It is a house to-do list, optimistically labeled “things to do on the house this summer.” Happily, virtually every item on that list is either complete or well under way, which only underlines the reality that progress sometimes happens when you’re not watching.

This last weekend brought more indicators of progress achieved almost imperceptibly: I gave a long workshop on Saturday during which I felt more like my pre-surgery self than in a very, very long time. I was able to hold thoughts and make connections among important points without relying on the reminders and crutches I’ve been using--the points were just there, the thoughts persisted. It felt terrific. The structure and content of the talk itself, I didn’t like so much, but it worked for the group and it was grand to be firing on more cylinders than usual.

People generally dismiss my sense of being diminished because I put on a pretty good front, and indeed, I can and do compensate for most of the remaining deficits. That doesn’t mean they aren’t there. They are. Across the arc of this still-evolving story, the two single most important themes have been how incredibly lucky I and we were medically and in our community of family and friends. At the end of the day, my children still have a mother and I am still me. Everything else pales beside those facts. Still, even washed out, pale realities are not vanished ones, so this weekend felt like a big, big consolidation of recent gains.

It’s election day. If you haven’t already, please remember to vote.

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