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Back in the Saddle Again April 21, 2006

Posted by becoming in Becoming Productive.

Well, it’s been just over two weeks since I’ve taken the time to write here. They’ve been a very busy two weeks. Probably not so busy that I couldn’t have found the time…. But, I kind of promised myself no recriminations if/when something like that happened.

The thing is, so much has happened that it’s going to be difficult to even summarize it all So what comes next is going to be more of a strange sort of highlights reel.

Going back to work on Monday the 10th was nice. Several coworkers expressed some genuine, sincere, really-glad-you’re-back sentiments. Some others felt more comfortable going the route of good-natured kidding: “It’s about time you got back,” or “Some people will do anything for a few days off!” It was all appreciated. It was very pleasant to sense that I had really been missed… and even that my absence had raised some awareness of just how hard I worked there, of the volume of work that I did.

Two months or more ago I had been promised that, just as soon as circumstances allowed, I would be transitioning away from my responsibilities in human resources and payroll into a new role — IT. No, not “it”… Eye Tea …the magical enchanted land of Information Technology. For me, in many ways, a dream job.

Basically, since about the time I bought my first “real” computer (a very used, very bare-bones 286 with a 40 Mb HD and not enough memory to run Windows 3.1), I have realized that I love working with computers. The more knowledge, the more skills I acquired the more I enjoyed time at the keyboard. I revelled in the fact that I was virtually entirely self-taught. But when I did finally take a couple of programming classes at the U of A, it felt like cominghome to a world I had never seen before.

So, on the 10th I was more than anxious for the transition to begin… and more than a little disappointed that it did not commence immediately.

In retrospect it’s clear that my expectations were somewhat unreasonable. I was sort of expecting our Director of Systems Administration to put everything else on hold while he got me up to speed in my new duties. The truth is that there was (and still is) MUCH for me to learn.

I’ve always taken pride in being a “quick study,” but these days that doesn’t seem to come as easily as it has before. I’m willing to attribute part of that to effects of the stress of recovery from the surgery, but I also suspect that part of it is simply…age. During these past two weeks there have been good days and there have been bad days in terms of how my body feels. Bad “physical” days hold me back mentally. I don’t seem to learn as fast, think as quick or as clearly as I should.

Staying on this multi-faceted (low sodium, low saturated fat, low cholesterol, no simple carbs & low-carb overall, etc., etc.) diet is just hard. I’m doing o.k. with breakfast and lunch by preparing my own protein shakes. I blend whey protein powder with a couple of raw eggs (or equivalent amount of egg-substitute) and either 6 oz. of nonfat yogurt or 6 oz. of organic nonfat milk. They keep my blood glucose steady and stave off hunger for 3 to 4 hours. By dinnertime, though, on most days I’m ready to chuck it all and eat whatever I feel a craving for.

Sticking with the progressive exercise program is proving to be at least as much of a problem. I’ve been experiencing severe pain and some swelling in my feet that seems to be a result of simply being on them more now that I’m working again instead of sitting at home all day either at the computer or in front of the television. My right leg (the one from which the vein was removed to be used for grafts) is still rather swollen and is painful much of the time. The incision wounds are healing, but seem to me to be doing so rather slowly. They are still very ugly looking.

Lara and I bought a recumbent-style exercise bike, in an effort to provide a “lower-impact” alternative to walking. Most of the time, though, I find myself feeling that I have zero energy. Most nights I’m sleeping poorly. I get up in the morning feeling tired and by 5:00 in the afternoon I feel exhausted. So the bike has not been being used much by me.

I know I have to find the will, however, to get back on track with both diet and exercise. It has to be done to help ensure decent long-term health for me. I also recognize that the better my body feels and functions, the better my brain is going to be capable of working. And this new, dream job is all about the brain.



1. Lara - April 27, 2006

YAY! you posted again!

I’m really glad you did.

And I wish I could do more to help, but unfortunately we both know the drive has to come from you. But if you think of something, let me know, okay?

I love you!

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