Saturday, July 26, 2008

working too hard

I had a strange experience at work last week. I have been working on a presentation for about ten days--nonstop. There was simply too much work to accomplish in the time allotted. Oh, I had help---expert consultants, an intrepid assistant, who copied and faxed, proofed, and collated--- but the pitch was mine. All the mistakes, overlooked risks, misunderstood opportunities were mine. I felt my inadequacy acutely.

So the time came to present, and it went beautifully. Amazingly well. I'm not sure how it happened, exactly, but it really all turned out great.

Hmm. I'm sure it was a fluke.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Laughing Out Loud

I am a WXPN Kids Corner listener without a child in the appropriate age group.  In fact, I am a huge fan, and often go out of my way to listen. I drive home after a long day at work, and listen to Kids Corner and sing along to the Cheese Song ---also known as the "Homage to Fromage." My favorite verse is 

Mozzarella Mozzarella Mozzarella! 
 I love Mozzarella. 
 It makes me a happy fella
It's the world's number one sella (it is!) 
And that's why I love mozzarella!

I love it!  The Gorgonzola verse is good too.

check it out on the Bubboon's Tunes web site --  it's addictive!

Last night was the Silly Jester song, which is set to the tune of the sea-chanty "what do you do with a drunken sailor"  Some of the verses made me laugh out loud, which was fun in and of itself.  Also last night was the Kids Corner open stage, where children call in and perform on the radio---they play the piano, sing, tell jokes, . . . .whatever they want to do. It's indescribably touching.

I also got a good laugh out of the jibjab video which is posted on Pitt Rehab, along with many other spots on the web.  That's where I saw it first, though.  Thanks Greg!  Its good to be laughing.

Monday, July 14, 2008

looking around

Coming out of a pain episode is hard and takes more time than I like to allow.  The universe, however, has indefatigable rules about these things, and it takes what it takes.  A famous philosopher, I can't remember who (!) opined at length once about the folly of trying to accomplish things in too short a time frame.  Fine wine, good scotch, and re-emerging from pain all take time.  One rushes such things at one's peril.

Anyway, I'm now re-emerging and it's going well.  There are very interesting things happening at work  (terrible, yes, but interesting--to quasi-quote Mr. Ollivander the wand-seller) the landscaping in my front yard is done, the purple-cone flowers have bloomed during my time in seclusion, and in general I'm glad to have another go at things.

Some lovely things have happened recently.  We had a nice backyard picnic with neighbors we rarely see, and spent a lovely evening outside eating steamed clams and talking.  A friend (I must write a thank you note) brought me back 15 year old single malt scotch from a recent trip to Scotland.  He doesn't even like Scotch (or so he claims) yet he went to distillery after distillery to find one he thought I would like. very peaty and dark . . .  Now that's a good friend!

One day, perhaps, I'll go there.  It's fun to dream, and it's nice to have room in my head for something good.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

musings on pain

I'm in a lot of pain today. It happens. I'm getting better at managing it, and haven't been to the hospital in over a year. Sometimes pain creeps up on me, and I can divert it, redirect it, or subvert it. Other times, like today, it arrives full-blown, without warning, and it's harder to manage.

Pain is a funny thing---your body sending you urgent messages that something is wrong. I'd like to tell it that I know, that I'm doing all I can to address the problem--which isn't really correctable. It seems like you should be able to talk to yourself like you would talk to a child to reassure them, to calm them down. "I know something is wrong," I tell myself. "Everything will be fine, we're doing all we can and you don't need to worry anymore. There is no need to keep reminding me of the problem; I'm on it, I promise." I try to distract myself, (perhaps by writing) just as I would try to divert a child, try to get them thinking or talking about something else. I must admit that I have better results with a child than with myself.

In my family we have a retired service dog, a wonderful Labrador retriever who has been unable to work since he was three. He was in several car accidents in a row, and became too anxious to work. He also endured a surgery to repair some accident-related damage, so he knows a thing or two about pain. He now lives the life of a pet, and he's a wonderful dog. A little idiosyncratic, perhaps, but wonderful.

He hasn't entirely forgotten his early years as a working dog, and he can tell when I am struggling. He stays very close to me, stays very quiet, and puts his head in my lap when I'm sitting. He brings me Kleenex boxes, which he learned to do in his early days as a grief-therapy dog. It's not grief, but I guess pain is pain, regardless of the source.

So, what's the next step? I don't know; maybe he knows. Maybe it's being quiet and letting the storm blow over, although as Andrea has pointed out in A Small Group of Thoughtful Concerned Citizens, that can be illusory. Maybe later I'll feel well enough to sit and smell the thyme and that will help. All I know right this minute, is that I have to take it one minute at a time.