Sunday, March 27, 2011

Disentangling Puzzlement (Wednesday's post)

Disentangling the effects of aging from my brain remodeling is complicated. So many of the daily vexations of my life match natural aging processes, except of course that they also came on quite suddenly after the renovation project was completed and, at least in my view, I’m too young for some of them to be kicking in with such ferocity. The natural progression of time probably explains some of my forgetfulness and the places I lose track in conversation, except for that direct correlation between the onset and the surgery. The shoulder problems are also directly tied to the night following the surgery, though the bone spurs in my knee, which are similarly painful, are just aging problems that have no connection to anything else. This week is a medical week as all the scans are being scheduled, my regular annual physical blood work, plus some bonus exams of the shoulder and, new to this venue, blood pressure problems. Of course, the latter might also be related to my ongoing struggle to achieve a better balance as recent weeks have been stressful.

Figuring out the exact source of the stress is an ongoing and complicated task, one on which I’m not making much progress. Everything that’s going on is enjoyable and worthwhile. Very little of what I’m doing is dross or busywork, except the basic work maintenance stuff oflife: filing, calendaring, keeping up with the email. Everything I’m doing now, in short, is by choice, which has always, in the past, been a low-stress situation. It’s a puzzlement. This summer, while we’re away, careful examination of each activity is called for, and my sense is that something is going to have to fall by the wayside. Whether it’s a reduced capacity problem (possible) or taking on too much (also possible), this isn’t a good way to live. I’m not making as much progress on my book as I’d like, even though I have nominally set aside a day a week for working on it, because too much other stuff creeps into that reserved time, simply due to the pressures of other time-urgent things.

This, of course, violates the time management rule always to work on the important and urgent, and then the important and un-urgent before the unimportant and urgent stuff. I’m doing pretty well, though, at jettisoning the unimportant and un-urgent. I’ve pared out all the excess listserves, correspondence, activities, etc. that don’t match my values--and more needs to go. This is going to take better focus and a vastly improved ability to say “no,” even to people and projects that would formerly have made the cut. At this level of activity, I don’t always manage to stick to my exercise plan, and that means that my progress on the weight front yo-yos, which I hate. Time to regain the slow hare mindset, which really, overall, should be a good fit for this stage of my life. Why is achieving that so hard, anyway? I want easier. Where do I apply for that?

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