Print Story Happy New B'ak'tun!
By ana (Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 01:54:30 PM EST) Christmas, year in review, PHLusi (all tags)
And so we go on into the 14th long-count period. And another year. Now! with longer days!

You probably noticed the world didn't end.

There's a story variously attributed to various wise guys, notably St. Francis and Gandhi, and I'm sure many others. Wise guy is weeding his garden. Disciple asks, "If you knew the world was ending this afternoon, what would you do?" Wise guy thinks for a moment, and answers, "I expect I'd finish weeding my garden."

I guess there's something to be said for living each hour as if it were one of only a few you have left.

Otherwise, how are things? I'm off work after today until well into January (the 3rd, to be precise). I'll be singing for the afternoon Mass on Christmas Eve, and then winging away to Colorado for about 5 days (six, counting travel time) to visit.

The parents moved into a retirement center a year ago August. My elder brother J also lived there, having done his Last Move Evar when he retired a year or so before that. He's been most helpful herding them as they decline with alarming rapidity. Which I guess is to be expected for 88 year-olds, but still. Dad's been in and out of hospitals and rehab centers (i.e. nursing homes) this summer and fall. At the moment he's back at the retirement center apartment, where they have home helpers who come three times a day to get him in and out of bed, help with showers, etc. etc. He's never been that talkative, so I don't really have much of an idea about how he feels about where his life has ended up. Mom's a bit more loquacious, and also significantly more forgetful. She understands what the questions are; she just doesn't remember talking about them twice in the last hour. It's not clear how to give her information she can digest and remember. So sometimes it feels to her as if she's been railroaded, even though she was actually consulted at every step.

One interesting metaphor from a writing project I've been kicking around is having a Doppelgaenger who lives part of your life, makes choices you might have made, but whose actions you can't remember at all. I was thinking in terms of multiple-reality time travel universes.

Anyway. I'm not really looking forward to this much at all. In some ways, they're both becoming children again, though in different ways, and that's at least somewhat endearing. But much of the parent that I knew, in both cases, is gone already. The trip will give me something to do on the holidays, which is good, I suppose. Also useful is that there's a decent hotel nearby with a special rate for visitors to the retirement complex, so I'll have my own room. I'm told the bar in the Cajun restaurant in their parking lot is quite nice. Which is also a good thing, since I can't consume a bottle of whiskey in a week by myself (and I think J doesn't drink, though my ex-sis-in-law does).

I think, on the whole, that this year has been an improvement on the last one, with the notable exception outlined above.

I'm more emotionally stable, more able to think beyond the toes of my shoes. Able, sometimes, to remember that life is really about creativity: figuring out how to live within the constraints one has been dealt. And how to kick out of the constraints when they're not something that can be lived with.

Which is not to say that I'm not depressed most (much, some) of the time, and still not very good at all at separating the musing that's part of my job (about data, processing, and instrumental issues) from the musing that's part of my personal outlook. The habit I've developed of not living my life as it goes by? That has to change.

Most of the time, I'm pretty much fine. Other times, I get the perverse notion that it's important to feel awful if I feel awful. I think the Strange Attractor is off that direction.

As I did the last two summers, I'll be in Philly for some weekend late in June. Current thinking is the 14-16th (which would include my birthday). I'd love to get together with Husiers while I'm there.

And perhaps we can arrange something sooner. Aphrael suggested Presidents' Day weekend, like Feb 17. Which has the advantage that at least some of us don't have to work the following day.

Any such arrangement requires the StackyMcRacky Seal Of ApprovalTM

And maybe the Massive Blizzard of Advent 2012 is winding down, with perhaps an inch of wind-driven rain and 50-ish degree temperatures. Sorry about you Flyover Zone folks who got dumped on. With snow and wind and blizzardry and presumably polar bears and baby seals.

I'll have an internet connection on the trip (plus I'm not actually flying out til Tuesday), so I'll be seeing you around on the webs.

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Happy New B'ak'tun! | 3 comments (3 topical, 0 hidden)
June date noted by LoppEar (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:06:10 PM EST
And any weekend in February will almost certainly work here - the 17th we may have father-in-law in town, but I think he might even join in a bar outing etc, so no holdup.

Happy cycle!

Must be difficult by flowergrrl (4.00 / 1) #2 Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 02:49:20 AM EST
to watch the parents change so :(


February is good by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:01:06 PM EST
I can request off that day, if I know ahead of time.

Happy New B'ak'tun! | 3 comments (3 topical, 0 hidden)