Sunday, January 8, 2012

Of Geography, History and.... "Fear Mongering"???

My last post on Friday was devoid of anything significant because I felt so different than my normal self that day.  Thankfully that feeling only lasted for one day and by Saturday I was back to feeling like myself.  Based upon the timing of that episode I will chalk it up to side effects of the steroid inject I received on Thursday.

So there is much for me to write about this evening.  Thursday afternoon I had a very significant conversation with my manager.  In this conversation I talked to her about the challenges I have faced with my back and how much of a physical hardship it would be to travel to India this weekend.  She was quite understanding of all that was going on and told me with no uncertain terms that my health and well being needed to come first.  The potential impact to my back of 22 hours cramped into a coach seat on a 747 less than 72 hours after having steroids injected directly into my spine was enough for my manager to say without hesitation that I really needed to skip the trip to India for now. 

Prior to this conversation with her I had thought through a complete plan of action for how I wanted to handle things.  This plan of actions included taking a 6 - 8 week leave of absence to deal with the surgery for my back and recovery.  My manager won't hear of it and said that I just needed to do what I needed to do and work would take care of itself for those 6 - 8 weeks.  Basically, what she said was work as much as you can during that time and don't worry about it if some weeks you don't work at all, just continue to charge your time as normal.  As much as my company is a large corporate behemoth, I am continually amazed by the generosity and thoughtfulness of my individual managers.  My current manager certainly has demonstrated that quality time and time again.  For that I am so very thankful and I must say my determination to be dedicated to my job and work extremely hard has been reinforced 10 fold by my manager's actions.

After the discussion with my manager I was able to get an appointment scheduled with the surgeon for this coming Thursday.  Hopefully by the conclusion of that appointment I will have a definitive time scheduled to undergo surgery!

Our weekend has seemed to fly by in a blur.  Throughout the weekend I have been continually amazed and challenged by Zack.  I have been amazed by him because he has taken the initiative on several occasions to do a bunch of work that I never would have expected him to do.  This is by far not a declaration of victory, but he is starting to get the idea that he has to do things and take responsibility for things.  Getting him to this point has been a very hard battle but he really seems to be making some great leaps in this area.  For example on Saturday he decided on his own to go out and work in the driveway to remove the layer of ice that had built up since I wasn't able to shovel the snow after the major snow storm in December.  He did a great job and removed most of the ice and got it shoveled into the yard or the street.

But then Zack has also been a tremendous challenge this weekend.  Today he awoke with a lot of anxiety in his head.  We really struggled throughout the day as he had to deal with it and put it far enough in the back of his head to allow him to finish a large amount of homework.  By the end of this evening I was pretty much at my wits end with him.  As he went to bed this evening I sat down and talked with him about what was going on.  And though he had "fear mongered" for a good part of the day, in the calmness of the evening as he lay in bed he was able to own up to the fact that his fears were really caused by the fact that he been thinking a lot about Patty and missing her.  He burst out in tears and cried for a good long time.  This was one of the few times that he has been able to connect his "fear mongering" to his continued grief over the loss of his mom.  It wasn't the way I would have like to have spent the day with him, but at least in the end run he was able to connect his anxiety with his deep down sense of loss and grief.

 (Despite his "fear mongering" this morning, Zack has a very large project he had to get done for Social Studies this weekend.  The project was focused on the geography of Asia.  Given my love of geography I sat down next to Zack and watched him work on the project.  I used the project as an excuse to spout out all kinds of miscellaneous trivia and knowledge about the geography and history of Asia.  It was so much fun for me to sit there and explain to him the history of how Bangladesh became it's own country, how Bhutan has a Gross Happiness Index instead of a Gross Domestic Product, where the Silk Road used to run and how Russia was a key part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.  Maybe my college major should have been History instead of Economics and Business Administration!)

Much of the rest of the weekend I spent in major efforts to get things done around here.  I fell a little behind this week because of the stomach illness and the steroid inject, so I did have a bunch of catching up to do.  But on top of that I am beginning another round of purging.  The work that we did over the holiday break with the professional organizer has caused me to see so much else that I am ready to purge.  My feeling is this is going to be the biggest purging cycle yet.  The only thing that is keeping me from really getting it moving at this point is my back.  My back is keeping things moving a little bit slowly but as I heal the speed of the purging is going to pick up.  The need to become much freer from possessions continues to grow in me.  I see a future in which we are less burdened with our possessions and can find a place where we can truly start living a different life.

Now that my mind has recovered from the roller coast of the first several days of the New Year, going from an extremely excited, determined state to feeling like shit and having my determination go in the toilet, I think I have reached a fairly good equilibrium.  However, my mind is still haunted by feelings with which I really don't know what to do.  My first thought in the morning is the same as my last thought every night.  And despite all the considerable effort to put these thoughts out of my head, they just aren't moving.  Instead the strength around these feelings is growing.  I am realizing that they aren't going to go away and that maybe despite all the pain and suffering that have been encountered because of them, they - those feelings, are right for me.  This coming week I will write yet another blog post about these feelings, because after another week and weekend of working through them I just realize they aren't going anywhere.  I know myself well enough - if I were going to get them out of my head I would be making substantial progress at that already.  Instead every action I take is only validating these feelings to me.  That is all I will say about those feelings for now but I can't keep my mouth shut about those feelings and the person they are for, because I just know those feelings are right.  Oh my.....

The week ahead holds a tremendously busy schedule for us.  Given I did not travel to India, I am going to be working like a proverbial dog to make up for that.  On top of that, Zack's normal after school scheduled is resuming after the time out for the holidays.  We also have two events to look forward to next weekend.  The RV show is in town and the stock show.  We haven't been to the RV show since 2009 but we intend to go and take a look around.  We don't go to the RV show with the intention of buying an RV - instead we just go to marvel at all the stuff they put into those things.  (If we are ever going to get a camper it is going to be some little pop-up that we buy off of Craigslist or at an auction.)  On top of the RV show it is Stock Show season.  This year is the 106 Annual National Western Stock Show and Rodeo.  Zack and I have been attending every year for the past 4 and we intend to make it there again this year.  Zack got to go to the Stock Show with Cole and Celinde today, but he will want to go back with me when I go later this week.  My timing could be better as the llamas were on display this weekend and I believe they rotate out by Tuesday.  So it looks like I will miss seeing them this year - bummer!

I guess that is about it for the evening.  There is still so much more bouncing around in my head I will probably write numerous entries in the week ahead. 

To whoever was the very kind soul who took the time to shovel our driveway and side walk today, you are so very much appreciated!!  I don't know which one of my neighbors did that, but thank you so very much!  My neighbors are fantastic and I truly appreciate the way you have looked out for Zack and me while I have been hamstrung by my back. Thank you so very much!!!

I hope everyone has a great week ahead!

Thanks and peace to all! ~J.

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