Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Begin again

I've written this update countless times in my head during the seven and a half (!) months that this blog has been dormant, so the arrival of a new year is as good of a reason as any for committing to writing it.  I never planned to shut down the blog as fully as I have since mid-April.  It just happened once I stopped feeling like I needed to post every day.

2012 was the year that I couldn't keep up with everything that I wanted or intended to do.  There weren't enough hours in the day, days in the week, weeks in the month, and months in the year.  I'm sure some of the inability to do it all can also be credited to whatever internal traction I couldn't or wouldn't overcome, but as December 31st approached, time was in shorter supply than will.  I've been very busy for the last month, which included being away from home for nearly the final two weeks of the year.  While that time brought fun and its opposite, it didn't provide a lot of time for reflection.  So, I'm carving out a little bit here.
In retrospect I suppose I'd characterize last year as a good one even if I might not have done so in the middle of it.  The work drama that has been carrying on for years received a certain measure of closure that (so far) has been positive.  The little health worries or nagging problems either turned out to be nothing or have mostly cleared up.  (Well, I did have two root canals, including one on a tooth that had been done once, if not twice, before, but at least that's settled.)  I still need to lose weight but, without a doubt, am in better physical shape.  I feel like I've just about overcome all of the lingering effects from the car wreck I was in almost three years ago.  That doesn't mean I'm left with nothing to work on in 2013, but I feel like I'm in the right place to make progress on what I'm most dissatisfied with.  We'll see how that goes, though.  

On the fiber front, I didn't knit a lot last year, but I managed to crank out a scarf in time to give to a friend at his surprise 40th birthday party.  In the sometimes frantic run-up to its completion, I was reminded of the pleasure that comes in making something.  I hope to use that as a springboard to knitting more regularly again.

Laptops offer the option to be put to sleep, to hibernate, to shut down, and to restart.  I'm using the arrival of the new year for the last option.  Plenty will be as it has been, but adding a few changes into the operating system isn't necessarily a bad idea.


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Saturday, April 14, 2012

An April update

I've been scarce around here but busy, which is the reason for the scarce part.  So what have I been up to?  Working and working out like a fiend, basically.

The job has kept me plenty busy, whether it's been with the regular ins and outs of it or the predictably regular uncertainty of how the whole arrangement will continue.  One answer appears to be close to agreement, which should resolve some issues in the situation and could provide some much-needed freedom and exciting opportunities.  Granted, it also comes with a significant budget cut and the need for some of that to be made up somewhere.  I tend to think it'll be a good thing, assuming it gets approved.  Clearly there are other things that will need to be worked out with another party, but I'm choosing to see this as a step in the right direction.  This has been going on in some form or another for, yikes, around six years, so it will be a relief to put it to rest.  (Or so I hope.)

After ending last year and starting this year feeling banged up, I'm happy to report that I'm feeling much better these days.  The couple of health scares turned out to be nothing (or the lingering effects from that 2010 car accident.) I've been diligent about working out for an hour at least five times a week, whether with a student trainer or on my own.  While I'm resisting doing a hard count of the calories I consume, I have a pretty good idea of how much I should be and am eating.  I can tell that all of this is making a difference.  Without having set foot on a scale, I'd wager I've lost 15-20 pounds so far this year.

I've also taken to trying to go to bed earlier, which is part of the reason why this blog has seen my contributions reduced to almost zero.  I am getting more sleep than I used to, in part because I'm tired by that point in the day and because it's been a conscious choice.

Extra time has seemed like a rare commodity, but I know I'm susceptible to wanting to overdo it to fit in everything.  I think I've done fairly well in balancing how much I can handle with my desire to do more than I'm sometimes able.  (There are always more movies to see than time to see them, for instance.)  Still, I've seen The Black Keys in concert and attended ten NCAA Tournament Division I men's basketball games, including the one in Dayton that President Obama and the British Prime Minister were at.  (I sat just two sections over from them.  That was pretty exciting.)  I'm seeing Bruce Springsteen next week and Radiohead in June.  I'll be making my annual trip to a festival later this month. 

So I certainly can't say that things are boring, even if there are times I'd like more time to catch my breath.  I'd like to be writing here more, and perhaps it'll pick up again on a more regular basis.

Anyway, I thought I'd pipe up for the handful (?) of people who might still peer in here from time to time.

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Saturday, March 03, 2012

Looking ridiculous

As I've been going to my appointments with a student trainer and working out almost every day, I've come to a realization about maturity.  You see, I know there have to be some days when I'm working out, especially with a trainer, that I must look ridiculous.  Pushing through the repetitions of squats and whatever else I'm asked to do surely doesn't show me to be a smoothly operating physical specimen.  And that's just on the first sets.  Second time around, when I'm more tired, must be even more amusing to those who can see.

Yet I've come to realize that I don't care if I look foolish.  Sure, if someone in the vicinity is laughing at me, then I doubt I'll be able to shrug it off, but I'll cross that bridge if it presents itself.  Instead I'll just keep trying to give my full effort and not worry if I'm amusing the others in the gym.

I was an "old soul" growing up, meaning that I was more mature in an outward way.  That's how people commonly think of maturity, especially during adolescence and young adulthood, but isn't there also an inner maturity, call it comfort with oneself, that may take longer to develop or is what follows the teenage and college years?

I'm not saying I have it all figured out or that I've shed my self-consciousness.  I do think, though, that reaching the point where feeling secure even when potentially appearing foolish to others is a sign of some kind of personal growth.

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Yes, my blogging here ground to a halt.  A quick check shows me it's just been a little more than a month since I last poked my head out to say anything.  So what's the deal, right?

I've been busy.  I've not always been feeling great and certainly not at the end of the day.  I've not felt I've had much to say.

The first excuse is self-explanatory.  I suspect this sense of not having enough time in the day to do everything emerged last year, but it's been a full blown phenomenon this year.

As for the second excuse, there was the tooth I had to have a root canal again on.  Around the time of that root canal I'd been having some pain and headaches on the other side.  A sign of another imminent root canal?  The dentist didn't see anything wrong.  That all has diminished this month, so I'm going to take that as a positive sign.  There was the mystery discomfort, which I did get checked out by a specialist to the tune of a sizable bill, a non-answer, and the suggestion to come back if it was still there in a few months.  It did subside, which means the initial diagnosis of "referred pain" was probably correct.  But yes, I've been feeling pretty banged up these last three months, which ate away at my motivation.

As for the third excuse, what else is there to say?  The blog had been not-so-hot content-wise for some time.  Since I wasn't feeling up to it, I could justify taking a break.  I still think it's valuable to do some writing on a daily basis, but I hit a wall with it.

Anyway, I just wanted to say I'm still here even if I've been quiet of late.  I think I'm probably going to take it slow with this site for awhile yet, but we'll see how things go.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

"Sick Day"

I got up bright and early so I could get a root canal.  Fun stuff.  I had decided that regardless of how I felt, I was going to take the day off from work.  I've been stressing over all the stuff that I need to get done, but I figured I could use a day to myself.

I've felt pretty good in general, which is nice, and I'm relieved that the endodontist just needed to go in there and clean everything out of the tooth.  In other words, there isn't a fracture.

So I laid around and watched TV, played video games, and took a nap.  I'll gladly give up days like this if a root canal is what I have to get to give myself one, but this was a nice pause before letting things go back to being crazy.  Plus, I'm feeling better physically, which makes a world of difference too.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012


So that sinus infection that I said came raging back?  Now I wonder if it was ever a sinus infection.

The swelling had gone down, but there was still an area that was blown up.  I began to suspect that this problem may be dental.  Of course, way back when this began in late summer 2010, I thought it might be, but the dentist and his assistant couldn't find anything to suggest that it was.  Like a dummy, I rolled with it and chalked it up to sinuses or allergies.  And didn't do anything about it.  Sometimes it was sorer than others, but it was never really bad.

At other regular cleanings nothing was spotted, so when I went to the doctor back in December, I mentioned that I thought I had a sinus infection.  He applied pressure where the sinus is, it definitely hurt, and he prescribed an antibiotic and nasal spray.  Problem solved, or so I thought until last week.

I've been dutifully using the nasal spray and taking the different antibiotic prescribed last week to beat the infection, but the last couple of days I began to wonder if perhaps this problem was dental-related after all.  Something didn't seem right--the swollen gum, namely--and when I finally took a peek at it, what I saw sure fit the description of an abscess, as previously explained to me by the dentist.

In a panic--I had mistaken the meaning of an abscess for a fracture--I called the dentist's office and secured an appointment for that afternoon.  About an hour later I felt the abscess deflate.  I was really worked out.  Mistaking an abscess for a fracture, I thought this meant I was going to lose the tooth.  (The abscess was near where I've had a root canal.)

What did the dentist have to say?  Yep, that was an abscess and had nothing to do with my sinuses. (Did it ever?  Who knows?)  He determined that I need to have a root canal.  On a tooth that already had a root canal.  Several years ago I had root canals on two adjacent teeth.  After tomorrow morning both will have had second root canals.  (The other one had a nerve left behind, which could have happened if I had an extra one and the endodontist didn't look for it.)

So my reaction to all this is somewhere in the middle.  I'm relieved that, at least for now, there isn't any suspicion of a fracture and the need for an extraction.  I'm aggravated that I'll be paying again to have a root canal on a tooth already treated in such a manner.  I can't say I'm looking forward to the procedure tomorrow morning, but I'm relatively at peace with it and glad/hopeful it isn't more serious.

As for the other medical thing that's caused some discomfort, I ended up getting in at the specialist on the day of the referral.  He didn't find anything and thinks it may be referred pain.  So that's a win in the interim.  But could this year ease up on the health/medical concerns, pretty please?


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Friday, January 20, 2012


Checking in to say I haven't fallen off the edge of the planet.

I haven't felt like writing here due to how I've been feeling.  It's not anything serious--not that I know--but I've had a bit of a painful start to the year.  There's something that has caused some distressing pain, although it hasn't been persistent.  I did go to the doctor after worrying about it a couple weeks.  I followed his advice for the past week, but the issue still hasn't gone away entirely.  Looks like I ought to call the referred specialist next week.

To top it off, a sinus infection that I was treating and seemed like it was mostly cleared up came raging back out of nowhere a couple days ago.  It's more painful than it ever was before and has kept me up for the better part of the last two nights.  I did get a prescription for another antibiotic phoned in, which will hopefully start taking care of business soon.  Half of my face is swollen, and yes, it hurts, sometimes a lot.  I do think I have that under control with some extra strength ibuprofen left over from a recent prescription.  Or so I hope.

I'm usually in pretty good health, which makes me more stressed about all this, not to mention feeling the actual discomfort.  Here's hoping this sinusitis calms down this weekend and I can get the other thing checked out in the next week.