A mixed bag

Sick Ponies

I’m home with my younger daughter today. She picked up a classmate’s stomach bug and was feverish and vomited last night after complaining of a stomach ache all yesterday. Today, other than not being too hungry she seems much better. I just finished Margaret Atwood’s “Year of the Flood”, which is the follow up to “Oryx and Crake”and the second in a trilogy set in the near future where a man made plague wipes out most of the earth’s population. It’s much more involved than that(touches on genetically modified organisms, corporate take over of government, and other timely topics) but given the stomach bug that’s what I am focusing on. Trying to wash my hands as often as possible.

The time since the last entry has been mixed. My coach and I decided that I would take the space of a month without any scheduled check-ins or meetings with her. This is in line with her realizing that things needed to change, and me realizing that I needed to take more of a role in doing things for myself. It’s nice to know that I can reach out for help if I need it, but I haven’t had any pressing issues come up. I find this experiment kind of exciting. Perhaps some more assertive engaged self will come out of this, or maybe I’ll just keep plodding along and nothing will change, we’ll see. I have been a bit down, but I think that may be understandable, and I’ve taken some opportunities to make more time for activities that I enjoy.

The being down I think is related to the news that a friend’s husband was diagnosed with a particularly deadly form of brain cancer. The doctors are giving him about a year a half to live, but no one knows for sure. My friend and her husband are trying to remain positive and not give up hope. To add to the difficulty in her situation she is also pregnant with their second baby. Besides being upset about the news, it makes me try to imagine how I would cope if I were in that situation. I have a hard time trying to imagine it. It’s also made me realize that I really don’t know when I could lose someone, and that I should take advantage of the time I do have with the people I care about. It can be hard to put into practice, but I’m trying to keep that present. I’ve focused more on that aspect than trying to imagine what I would do if I told I only had 18 months left, I’m a little uncomfortable with what comes up for me. My first thought is that I would want to travel. I would want to go back to South America and Australia. I would want to surf and scuba dive as much as possible. Then I remember I have a family and people who care about me(woops), and I feel incredibly selfish.

I actually did get to go out surfing last week. Part of the plan my coach and I set in place was for me to come up with ideas on how to use the time I would normally be meeting with her. Last week the weather cooperated so I went out for a surf. It was good to be back in the water, and despite the long interval since my last surf session I still remember how to do it(as long as the waves aren’t too big). I did notice that being out of shape was limiting(in terms of paddling for waves mostly) though. So it’s kind of like remembering how to ride a bike in that the motions are kind of ingrained, but the physical aspect plays more of a role than bicycling. Overall it felt great.

In contrast to surfing, the martial arts class I am taking was not as much an overall booster as usual. I went to class last week, and was feeling kind of off. My reactions were either slow or wrong, and I felt that I a lot of stuff I was supposed to know already wasn’t completely accessible to me. We had a seminar/testing event later in the week, and some parts went well, but as part of the testing we had to come up with our own applications of what we were learning, and that was kind of a bust. The Sihing (teacher) used it as a good teaching moment, but I still felt disappointed in myself.

I tend to be hard on myself, and get upset when I can’t do something I feel that I should be able to do. Besides the martial arts class, I think it carries over into most areas of my life. I should be more patient and attentive to my kids and wife. I should be able to pursue a job search(no qualifiers needed!). This is where the saying “Don’t should on yourself” fits, but it’s a hard habit to kick.

Being at home with my daughter so far has brought a lot of these areas into focus. Part of me wants to get some projects done (like this blog post) or continue on the stereo repair (started the process of replacing capacitors(re-capping) last week). Another part thinks that I should spend more time with her since she won’t be young forever and I should enjoy her whenever possible. The problem is that I can only take so much of playing with stuffed animals or her toys. I feel bad about it, but there it is. I guess I’m aiming for a compromise today. Some playing interspersed with TV time for her (yet another thing I “should not” be doing) while I do my thing. Maybe I can try to find an activity suitable for both of us such as walk outside.

Either way, I’ll keep washing my hands.

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