Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spring in full bloom

The forsythia bloomed over the weekend, along with lots of daffodils. It was our wedding anniversary, and usually the daffodils bloom along with it.
I am on my way to Massachusetts for Vipassana. Will post when I return.....
Meanwhile, a happy spring.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring has sprung, sort of

Spring is coming to Michigan in fits and starts. Last week it got up to 75 degrees F and now today it is around 40 and there were even a few snowflakes in the air. My aunt, my mother's only living sibling, will be 87 on Tuesday, which is tax day in the United States. The day she was born, in 1921, the snow was so deep that my mother, who was 5 at the time, remembered being carried on her father's shoulders as they went to tell the news of my aunt's birth. So....it could be worse!

I got the results of my tests back, and debriefed these last week. It is interesting to see how they work--despite some of the weird questions, mostly the results were not too surprising. Now I am finishing the rest of the "homework" I had and will start debriefing that this week. All of this is used to construct a resume and an action plan. It is moving slowly but that's okay.

I still see Dad almost every day. About half the time when I go he is asleep. On those days I just sit with him for a few minutes. When he is awake, on some days he is quite cheerful, but last week he had a couple of days where he was sad and teary. His only sister in New Orleans, who is 94, had to be hospitalized, and I told him about that. I am never sure how much he understands, but I have to think that at least on some level it got through. He has lost more weight, but they have him on some medication that seems to be stablizing the TIAs, and he hasn't had one for a while. Most days I do not stay long--maybe 15 or 20 minutes, sometimes less.

During the times when I'm not there, I think a lot about my memories of my father. Small things will come up, like the time when we moved him down to Detroit, and he wanted to go out to the garage just to sit in his car for the last time. Despite his dementia, he knew that he would never drive again, and he wanted those last private moments of sitting behind the wheel. Whenever I think of that, it makes me really sad.

I am torn between putting things on hold, and continuing to live life even though it may mean not seeing him for a few days. Mostly, I am leaning to the latter . Next week, I am planning to do the Vipassana course I cancelled when Dad had the TIA in February. This one is in Massachusetts so I will drive out and then spend a couple of days at our place in Keene. By then, spring will have come to New Hampshire as well.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Easing back into the saddle....

This week I formally started the process of looking for another job, gig, or whatever it turns out to be....my former employer contracts with an outplacement firm, to assist people like me to figure out next steps---success in this program is called "landing." Feels a little bit like a trip to the moon, but I've strapped in my seatbelt for the ride.

The first step was just going through the process and getting a big binder full of exercises and "stuff." I have a lot of homework, including taking several assessment tests (you know, the ones with questions like, "I am fascinated by fire" or "I am afraid of deep water" or giving you a choice between being a fish and game warden or a clerk in an office--that kind of stuff). There are a lot of other questions about things I did in my career, as well as documenting accomplishments--these are used to help construct a resume and prepare for interviews. I finished the assessments and am now working on the harder stuff--it makes my brain hurt to think about what I did twenty years ago!

I am meeting with the consultant again next week to debrief all this homework. Until then, I'm also very busy preparing for Passover. Spring has finally come--it was almost 60 degrees F today--a regular warm spell!