Thursday August 10th, 2006 - 16:31

It's interesting to live in a country that's so insulated that when faced with the news of men arrested in London for attempting to blow up international flights, the first thing I think of is how it will effect the wait time in the security line.

I'm flying back to Boston on short notice because my mother is in the hospital again.

This may come as news to many who may or may not read this what is now a sorry excuse for a website, but I realized that I hardly, if ever, divulge any personal information or happenings anymore that it's nearly at the point where I myself don't know what's going on.

So I'll be candid.

A few months ago we got a bit of a scare when Mom was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Initially, the doctors seemed kind of freaked out because of a handful of things going on with the cancer that they hadn't really seen before. Not a good sign.

After some chemotherapy and radiation therapy, things seemed to be looking up. The doctors was much more optimistic and things like "Oh, she only has maybe 3 years to live." weren't in conversation anymore.

At this point, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a job offer and return to Seattle. I got ongoing updates from Mom and Dad about the whole situation, and she was responding pretty well to the treatments.

Unfortunately, she wasn't feeling very well this week and decided to go back in for another MRI. I can't speak to exactly what's going on because, to be quite honest, I don't exactly know. The short version that I can muster is that the doctors say she needs an operation, but she's currently got an infection and she's a bit too weak to undergo surgery.

So what does that mean? I have no idea.

I guess we deal with the infection and then go into surgery? I'm not really sure.

I decided to book a flight back home. I'm not really freaking out, per se, but I am feeling a little weird.

For a bit there was a realistic scare that Mom might not be there when I call 5 years from now. I realize this is a possibility of anyone at any given moment, but that doesn't make it any easier. Then I breathed a giant sigh of relief when we got good news that she was getting better. Now - who knows?

I'm keeping optimistic about the entire thing. Mom's a strong chick and I fully expect her to kick the ass of whatever is giving her system trouble. Still - the whole scenario has altered my perception so fundamentally that it seems worth mentioning.

Lately when I talk to people I haven't seen in awhile, I realize that the person they're expecting to talk back to them and the one that actually is talking back to them are two different people. Sometimes only marginally so, but often the differences are pretty substantial.

I used to say that I was relatively happy how I turned out and, despite making a few mistakes along the way, I wouldn't go back and change anything because of how I am now. I'm not sure I agree with that anymore. I find myself increasingly dissatisfied with who I am and where I'm headed. So much so that I decided to actually do something about it.

The first step is exercise. I wanted to become strong in many areas and body was one of them. So many who have known me for many, many years who would never have expected me to go for so much as a bike ride will not really understand that I am interested in exercise and outdoor activities.

After strength of body comes strength of mind. Though I guess they're connected in a lot of ways.

I'm trying to clear my mind of unnecessary baggage. Fear, doubt, confusion - all of these things hold me back constantly. My goal is to have the strength of will to commit to a choice and hold strong with it without wondering if I should have taken another option. To put my fear aside and accomplish things that previously seemed impossible.

Now, I know this all sounds very new age and maybe even a bit preachy, but bear with me.

I've been quite unhappy for a lot of reasons, but instead of focusing on things that effect me, I'm trying to focus on why things effect me the way they do. If I can alter my perception further and let the things around me do as they will without letting them hold me back as they have in the past then I can simply move through life without being bogged down by petty things, people, and circumstances.

It's a slow transition. I still get frustrated with people and things. Especially lately. The whole situation with flying back to Boston has me increasingly punchy.

I'm not sure where to go from here. My hope is that I'll go back to Boston, see Mom and Dad, and get to spend some time with them. Mom will get out of the hospital shortly after I arrive, and I'll spend some time working remotely and generally enjoying the company of my family - which consists entirely of Mom, Dad, and Bella, the feisty dog.

In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out if I'm going to be on a 6+ hour flight with no laptop because of the situation with the FAA and the London arrests. It's interesting that no matter how hard one tries to shun the smaller things in life, we end up getting caught up in the mess of the society around us. It's hard to consider that when I was in High School that the girl I liked at the time wasn't the only thing in life that mattered. Of course now, I look back and laugh at how silly I was. Now I try to get that introspection before the event is over. If I can figure out that the thing in front of me isn't my only reason for existing, deal with it, and focus on the things that actually do matter . . .

Well, that's practically enlightenment, isn't it?


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