Signs of recovery

Which of the following would you agree with?

a)      I’m retired
b)      I’m busy
c)      I’m overcommitted
d)      all of the above

If you guessed d), you got that right! This post talks about what that means.

Now that Thanksgiving’s over and I have a little more time to think about my busy-ness, I’ve been doing just that – thinking about it. I think it’s mostly healthy, and I’ll be working on how to eliminate c) and still keep the commitments I’ve made.

First, let’s deal with the “mostly healthy” part. I seem to have been able to move on, by and large, from the melanoma misery. Don’t get me wrong – I know the risks remain. But we have done what we can, and now we are in the “watchful waiting” phase of being a cancer survivor. And, despite what I told our friend Larry on Sunday, I am not actively terrified that melanoma will revisit us any time soon. Robert will have scans and doctor visits as often as prescribed to make sure there’s no evidence of disease (my friend NED), and we’ll both go on living our lives.

I wrote in March about the philosophy I’ve adopted – to be realistic and optimistic at the same time. I wasn’t sure I could achieve that goal, but looking at my current state of mind I think I’ve done it. I’ve been able to make commitments and to complete projects on realistic schedules, and that demonstrates my optimism that we aren’t facing an imminent recurrence of Robert’s melanoma.

That is measured optimism, to be sure. A melanoma patient I met through the Melanoma Research Foundation’s Melanoma Patient Information Page (MPIP), Paul from the West Coast Washington, had a satellite lesion removed shortly after he finished the vaccine trial Robert was enrolled in. But other satellite recurrences I’ve read about on the MPIP recently have come nine or 10 years after the primary lesion was removed. I’ll take nine or 10 ... 20 or 30 would be better, though! More time for us to do things together. More time for a cure ...

Progress report

I started my quest for a more normal, less melanoma-focused existence by taking on a small project for work. This was not a lucrative venture – I spent many more unbillable hours than the time I got paid for. But I learned some new things, met an interesting neighbor, and had fun, so I have to consider it “time well spent.”

I’ve also made some other commitments to organizations I belong to. Actually my commitment to get the Kehila website redesigned and updated is very self-serving – once the project is done others will be able to take over more of the work to maintain the site. Still, it’s a big project – it will include a workplan, a Request for Proposals, and then the actual work. Months and months, not enough resources. And, I’m still maintaining the old site.

The other commitment I’ve made is to the Society of Professional Journalists. I’ve joined the SPJ freelance committee, which is committed to morphing into a “freelance community” in the spring, another big website project. Up my alley on all fronts. I volunteered to write several sections of the online freelancers’ guide, currently published as a PDF but planned as an HTML subsite for the community relaunch. Writer’s block is no fun. I’ll have to get over it ...

And perhaps this blog post is the first step of getting over it. Only part of my inactivity on this blog  since September has been because of over-commitment. I’ve thought through several blog posts over the last two months, and in the past, when I’ve thought them through first, I’ve been able to sit down and let them flow. That automatic scribing hasn’t worked recently – until today, that is.

So maybe this is a good sign that I’m conquering the PTSD that I wrote about in April. A big step forward. Another sign will be if I am able to keep writing blog posts, so please check back from time to time if you want to know what’s up with me.