Saturday, March 10, 2012

Walking Down Memory Lane

(I started writing this blog entry on Friday evening - but then I went out and didn't get back to it until Saturday afternoon.  So...  You might notice some differences in terms of how I talk about what day it is.)

For the last 2 days I have been spending a lot of time doing "heads down" work.  This is as opposed to my normal schedule which involves lots and lots of conference calls.  For each of the last 2 days I have only had one conference call.  On both days the call was very early in the morning, so that by 7:30AM the human interaction part of my work day was already complete.  So that has meant the rest of these days have been spent working on a variety of presentations and spreadsheets that are involved in the two projects on which I am currently working.

When I work "heads down" like this I need to take breaks every so often or my productivity takes a big dip.  If I were working in an office environment I would use this time to get up, walk around, chat/gossip with my co-workers - basically just do stuff that allows me to interact with people.  Unfortunately, since I work from home, I don't have those opportunities.  Instead I will do things that just take my mind off of work for a short time before returning to the grind of spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentations.  Today when I took a short break I decided to get my fix of interaction with others by logging into Facebook.  But instead of just looking at what people were doing right now, I scrolled the whole way back through my Facebook page to the day I joined.  For anyone's curiosity I joined Facebook on September 7, 2008.

It was quite interesting to look back at my photos and posts from back then.  My life was in a totally different place then as it hadn't even been 2 months since Patty had died.  Looking at the people who I connected with it is funny to see who some of the first ones were.  My first connections were with a lot of the people who are in my life day-to-day.  The second group of people I connected with were good friends who don't live around me.  Connecting with my friend Ruben from Costa Rica was a big thing as Ruben and I are very good friends but before Facebook our conversations were very infrequent because we didn't have a medium like FB to connect us.  The third group of people I connected with were people from my past.  I remember the day I found out that a girl who I had a crush on back in high school was on Facebook.  I was all excited by that - which is actually very funny if you think about it.  And no - I still don't have a crush on her. Not that she isn't nice, cause she is, but she has one major flaw in life - she lives in California.  That's a joke if any one cares realize it.  (LOL)  

One of the things that was most different about myself back then was my sense of self.  Though Patty had only died 2 months earlier my thoughts processes back then were much different and I seemed much more at peace then I do now.  Part of it is because it had only been 2 months since Patty died I very closely remembered all that we had been through.  I knew how hard I had worked to do everything I could for Patty in her final months.  No one could have done any better than I did for her.  So there was a sense of peace about myself as I looked at my next challenge - raising Zack.

Back in 2008 I didn't feel as weighed down yet by the challenges of getting Zack through his anxiety and OCD issues.  I can't explain it all but things just seemed more free and less challenging back then.

On the positive side of things, my walk down memory lane has served to remind me that life is good, it can be fun and I need to stop taking things so seriously.  I can clearly remember the feelings I had in the fall of 2008.  There were some feelings that were difficult to face, but for whatever reason I felt more up to the challenge then.  There was an excitement to the fact that Zack and I were starting out on an expedition that was going to see him grow up and see me challenge myself in ways that I had never been challenged before.  I need to go back to that sense of dedication and determination that I had in the fall of 2008.  My life will be much happier if I do so.

Speaking of walks down memory lane....  I am going far into my past for this next topic.  For the last month there has been an overwhelming number of ads on TV for the Disney Film "John Carter".  As a kid who totally grew up reading science fiction tome after science fiction tome, I am very concerned that Disney has done irreparable harm to the wonderful Edgar Rice Burroughs series "John Carter of Mars".  The fact that they have left "of Mars" out of the title is in and of itself a disturbing fact.  The whole story is premised on the fact that John Carter is a normal human being of Earth but becomes a warlord, hero and overall ass-kicker when he is transported to Mars.  Without Mars being part of the title the story from the get-go seems to lose it's foundation.  I could be pleasantly surprised and find that this movie is incredible, but I doubt it.  Burroughs was not an author who built nuanced stories with lots of twists and turns.  Nope - his writing was direct and to the point.  The gore, action and sex (not that there was much of that) was right in front of you.  I think the style lends itself very well to pulp science fiction books but I am not sure that it necessarily works in movies.  There are certain movies like Star Ship Troopers that it has worked well.  But sometimes when you have a movie and you don't have a real plot it can turn into a mess.  Perhaps we will get to see this movie sometime over the weekend and I can put my thoughts to rest.

It's been a long time since I have donated platelets or blood.  I have held off donating because of all the surgeries and medical procedures I have had since the fall.  Given our plans for spring break - going  to Costa Rica, I will be forbidden from given blood and platelets for the next year because of concerns about malaria.  I am planning to go and give a unit of whole blood sometime in the next week or two before we leave.  And then.....  Since the time requirements are the same - I am giving strong consideration to getting a tattoo.  Yeah - you read that right.  That is not something that has ever come out of my mouth before.  So why am I considering this.  First - when I was in the hospital for my last surgery there was some kind of LA Ink Marathon that day and I must have seen 5 or more episodes of the show while I was sitting around in my hospital bed.  That got me seriously thinking about getting a tattoo.  The second reason that I am thinking this is it would be a permanent way to memorialize Patty that would always be with me.  I don't wear my wedding ring any more and so I don't have any physical connection like that with Patty.  Maybe it's time to get a tat so that she will always be with me.  The other alternative is that I take some of her ashes and have them made into some kind of gem that I can have mounted on an ear ring and then I get my ear pierced.  Decisions, decisions....  what to do??

The weekend here in Denver is absolutely fabulous!  Though my Saturday started out nightmarish as the amount of pain I was experiencing from my back was hellish.  But you know what - sometimes when it is nice outside you just have to say "screw it" and live with the pain.  It feels so great to be outside today!   Tomorrow - Sunday - I don't care what the physical price I pay we are going to go for a hike. I don't understand how I could do any further damage to my back, so I am going to get on with living.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far!

Thanks and peace to all! ~J.

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