Thursday, May 17, 2007
Finally, one of those ah ha moments . . .
I had to go to my office Monday to learn a new task and then back home to work on it. The timing of this new project is good because it's tedious work but I get a break for a planned vacation. I'm on vacation today. That's nice too. The way it's working out is I have some days off before my trip with Bill to the mountains so I can blaze some trails through my flowers. Being led down my garden path requires a bush axe not because of weeds but because the flowers are taking over. Boy do I love that but I am trying to keep at least a few of the paths. My ah ha moment took place in my car on the way to Durham in rush hour traffic. I allowed about three times as long as it should have taken because of how unpredictable rush hour is and because I figured I'd rather get there early and check my box and drop off some stuff at someone's cubby etc. as opposed to not allowing enough time and risk arriving late since there were a group of us getting remote training. That was too weird with speaker phone and someone in CA going over it with the people in NC who took turns at the computer. So I set off bright and early and ended up in the traffic pile up from hades. The weird part was it didn't bother me at all. I listened to NPR, I listened to music, when I realized I might not make it on time I called the office and was told I almost certainly wouldn't be on time because the person I called saw the accident scene which caused the back log in the direction I was driving. She got there because she was coming from the other direction but she told me that there were fire trucks and ambulances and that the traffic wasn't moving at all in the direction I would be driving. As it turned out I was only 20 minutes late since I set out so early but a 30 to 40 minute trip took me over two hours. I was sad for the people involved in the actual wreck but I was totally relaxed about everything else. It simply didn't matter in the scheme of things whether I had to spend the morning in a traffic jam. That's when I went ah ha and realized that a few years ago, before I was diagnosed with Stage III melanoma, I would have been having a fit about being stuck in traffic that long. I know because those kinds of jam ups were one of the reasons I couldn't stand it when I used to commute. I've struggled a lot with why I didn't have a sense of gaining perspective from being a cancer patient. You read about that all the time. My feeling has been that the annoyances are still annoying and that having cancer hasn't miraculously made my life better, duh. This whole week has made me feel like maybe I know what people talk about when they accentuate the positive of a lousy situation. In my case I guess I'm a slow learner but I do think that my experiences over the past few years have added up to my being able to be low key when confronted with something outside my control like a traffic delay. I am able to realize that I wasn't the one who had a bad Monday morning because I wasn't the one being rushed to the hospital after a pile up on the highway. I got to listen to music and talk radio on NPR and it simply wasn't that big of a deal. I guess I have a slow learning curve but I am learning. That doesn't mean that if my job had depended on me being there on time that it wouldn't have been pretty awful but my job didn't depend on me being on time and it was obvious that I couldn't control one of the worse traffic jams in some time. There have been computer issues all week too but there again, I've done my best and everyone has been dealing with them both in NC and CA in connection with this project. I've been lucky that after the initial training, I'm in the comfort of my home working when I start getting those system exception messages. I guess I'm feeling pretty damn lucky in general. So far my cancer hasn't recurred, I get to work from my computer at home, I only have to deal with rush hour traffic very occasionaly. My garden is growing like crazy. All this and a trip up the mountain to look forward to.