My -ness

We love it when people ask us how we’re feeling, rather than telling us how they think we are doing. We love it even more when they listen to our response, and receive it in the genuine, sincere sense it is expressed. “I love you,” builds. “I worry (all the time)” destroys. If worry is a manifestation of love, then why not cut to the chase, and just love, building up strength in all?

Recurring themes:

Pain is exhausting. I still tire fast/out of nowhere, dealing with tumor load, but I’m not rundown 24/7 like I was. I went through years and years of that chronic pain. Never did find a pain med that solved that (being at Notre Dame and around my nephews were great consolations, and I did learn a lot from experiencing that invisible load). At one point, after two more meds had turned on me, I insisted to local neurologist and then the pain clinic specialist, that I wanted to pursue working on movement, strength, and exercise. Both of them still insisted I try more meds. No thank you–I just kept going about my passions, like you are. FINALLY got my therapy on after another few years of pain, and going through the wringer with meningioma surgery (times three). Miracle of all, between recoveries and alleviation of most of the pain. True, much is gone due to numbness and lowered sensitivity, but here I am in the position of possibly acquiring more (hopefully short-term) pain with this surgery, than what I have going in. This is a first, other than my very first surgery. I do have the alleviation of pressure on my entire spinal cord, and more, to gain short and long term. I don’t think I’d be alive if we had started spinal surgeries on me in my teens, and I’m so thankful for even the advancements in knowledge and experience in even the past five years, not to mention the cumulative tools and resilience I’ve built over 22 years. The timing is feeling right.

Thanks for getting me on a roll, and listening. It’s always surprising how things work out over time. We are bombarded with messages that everything just gets worse with age/disease course/yada yada, and it totally neglects the reality of how adaptive our bodies and minds are. Tap your potential and give yourself some credit for how well you are holding up, all things considered. I hope your appointments go well, and your energy level picks up while pain plummets.

Love and Hugs,

*Energy* plus Flow equals synthesis of inputs and generation of life-enriching outputs.

A bit of everything is contributing.

Well, yes, it’s all about attention. And having an orientation to the world and experiences that is both particularly pragmatic and thoroughly meaningful.*

We all possess selective memories. Awareness and attention, perception, gets focused–or at least has fuzzy limits at a given moment of time–so as to encompass only so much. We’ll oftentimes acknowledge the variety of material and contradictions represented in such slices and mosaics of memories-of-lived-experiences and social interactions, but memory? Nothing more than our decision to focus attention on a generalized view or impression of a situation, person, environment, or constellation of factors that (which? hehe) come together in the unfolding of our lifetimes. Now, as with everything, we are capable of shaping our impressions sufficiently so that they are reduced to a complete distortion of the actual range of qualities they supposedly represent. What this reflects, however, because it is only a simplification, and now has attempted to distill a very large number of moments and social exchanges (or, alternatively, a–relatively or absolutely–very limited reference pool of the same, is far from many of the momentary constructions we actually used, and communicated, in original/spontaneous engagements. (In the case of limited exchange/s, the construction tends to be more dependent upon generic factors and individual sensitivities.) Oh wait–individual sensitivities is useful even in the longer term: We, and our environments, are changing on several scales at once. There’s the momentary shifts in moods and basics. Then we have “phases” that get recognized when more moments accumulate. And then, I suppose, the image of how those phases add up to produce who and what we are, once again, /in the moment/.

If we acknowledge the selective character of memory, enacted as a temporal process, we then see how much the act of remembering says about the actor eliciting and invoking memories. We can all recall positive, neutral, and negative aspects of the people, places, things, and ideas we (have) encounter (encountered). Where we choose to place the emphasis sends a signal of its own–and initiates other loops.** When we choose to empathize and confer the benefit-of-the-doubt, rather than construct an illusory tower of assumptions to fill in blanks, we open a discursive field that allows for deeper levels of mutual understanding.

* Read: receptive orientation.

** Incomplete, but wrapping it up for this moment, because I’ve already pushed through a few physiologically-generated stop signals.

AKA, the Summer of Anti-George

This doesn’t mean I’m against George Costanza, unless of course the Cubs should face the Yankees in the World Series. Rather the contrast in circumstances and goals, as I perceive them at this time.

This is a good kick-off for now. I think I’ll probably have other things to blog about, so I’m hesitant to make my blog all about personal development over the next several months, and hopefully years. But then, there are a lot of unique aspects that will likely coalesce into an interesting constellation of thoughts and experiences, which I may actually be in a frame of mind to work out publicly.

For pleasure reading, on the side-of-the-side, I’ve started Umberto Eco’s The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana. By started, I mean to say I’m only on the second chapter. It was a serendipitous find, a new copy for $5 in hardcover, at a local bargain bookstore. (I don’t have a severance package from the Yankees to bankroll my book buying, as much as I’m for supporting great works/minds/artists.) What makes a worthy novel is being able to identify with the protagonist, to empathize. Sometimes it’s in an abstract way that touches on universal themes. Sometimes details mirror more personal experiences, although maybe in converse ways. Sometimes it’s both. What’s interesting is that I’m dealing with the aftermath and continuing effects (and affects) of bilateral multilateral brain lesions and surgeries. It is only belatedly that I’ve come to realize the life-preserving function of behavior I engaged in that was, incidentally, healthier in the short and longer terms than banging my head against a brick wall, literally or metaphorically.

It still bothers me how much context flows through my mind, as I write, that I cannot manage to convey in a shortened and useful form. Still I’m setting out to revitalize both content and form. To merge them all. I am, largely optimistic. (This isn’t a broken record. There was merely a skip. Grand opportunities still abound.) I am primarily driven by various inspirations… and also more rationally fueled by readings in neuroscience over the last few years. Neural plasticity has certainly worked in my favor. Now to bring out the tools of another craft and synthesize it all again. (using the words… to bring things together, and to create something new, simultaneously; very cool.) Similar process, new product.

I just lost a long, thought-filled post. It was titled “this moment.” But this moment isn’t that moment.

I think I’ll be revisiting the topic soon, but figured something tonight’s better than nothing.