Tuesday, April 12, 2011


A passing thought is sticking: if President Obama can manage, with his schedule, to exercise six days a week, then surely I can, too. I mean, really: nothing I’m doing approaches the work on his desk, so there has to be a way to do it. I’ve been trying and, mostly, succeeding. To pull it off, though, some other things have had to drop down the list, including writing here, even when there’s something to say and people are writing to ask where I’ve been.

My in-box regimen is also sticking, so far; I don’t want to get too complacent about that, because it has an alarming way of ballooning up in short bursts, but I’m striving to stay on top of it because it’s less stressful and it feels good to have it more under control. All the items still requiring some action or response fit on one screen on both my desktop and laptop--with some blank space to spare. That’s satisfying.

Reorganizing priorities to be less stressed is also a work in progress, and the results there are not quite as satisfying, though they show some promise. Before anything else for the blood pressure issues, I’m determined to try behavior modification, and it’s pretty clear what has to change, and that would be me. The exercise is part of that, but not all. As I said, a work in progress.

Once I dug up my article that had been cited on topics I couldn’t remember, I felt better on one front and less good on another. The cognitive holes that are so clear to me (all the time) are at least not so massive that I’d completely lost track of completed work. It took a while to work through it, but of the five places stuff of mine is cited, four are wrong, either a misreading, or (most of the time) citing as my work what was actually QUOTING someone else--with a full citation. The first instance, the one that was so alarming, is a total misreading of what my sentence actually says. Now, of course, I need to craft a letter to the authors, finding some nice way to point all this out. Is it too cynical of me to expect that the response may well be “the grad students were careless”? Probably. We’ll see. It’s all too bad because the article with the errors has some great ideas in it and isn’t trustworthy. If I want to pursue any of those ideas, it will be necessary to dig up all the underlying articles and see how many of them are similarly carelessly presented so it will be possible to parse through the ideas and facts--and errors. Plus, the authors are at reputable places. The whole writing to them task makes me tired, yet I’ve added it to the to do list, in category “another later.”

Overall, the goal is better balance, both physical and mental. One of the very first indicators of this whole medical adventure was when my balance started being poor enough that I was falling down all the time. Though all the personal training we did helped then and surely helps now (along with that other small matter of not having a big tumor still in my head), losing my balance is still the major indicator of having gone past my limits. I’m still restive about this, though getting better at accepting that the limits are real and, apparently, enduring. Doing all that I want to do isn’t going to be in the cards, so what I get to adjust about this is my attitude. Learning to like falling down is tough, so my focus right now is learning to like living a life where I don’t get into overload and thereby avoid falling down. There’s a lot to like about that life, if I can just hit the mark where I manage it without so much teetering. Stay tuned.

In just the past few days, the trees have gone green. The magnolias are in bloom. I lovelovelove spring in Urbana. The greening up generally and more particularly out out my bedroom window, makes me happy. Let’s hope it also makes me calm and resolute about managing my time and workload better and brings down my stress levels. Cheers to all.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Still Plugging Away

My in-box is down to 50 messages, proving once again that the slow hare can win the race, if persistent. My goal is to keep it all on one page of my screen, and it fits on my desktop machine, if not my laptop yet.

I’ve just had the odd experience of reading something quoting me that I don’t remember thinking, saying or writing. There’s more to write here, and it will have to wait, as I am off to unearth what I wrote and compare it to the citation. It will be interesting to see if the holes in my memory are actually this big, or if someone misinterpreted the article. Or something. More later.