The Wait

It’s human nature, I suppose, to wait. Everyone I know has waited for something. The first flakes of snow for the season to fall. Enough snow covering the ground to play in. Christmas, New Years, a vacation time. Or perhaps something more “important”, like news of a promotion, or test results or a good friend to arrive from out of town. I know I have had my fair share of waiting too.

I wonder though, have we always been creatures of waiting? Or at one time, when life was a day to day, or hour to hour or even a minute to minute struggle- just to stay alive, did we not even consider the future? Did we live in the moment as we all know is said to be so healthy for one’s mental state these days? I believe we did, at one point, pay little attention to the 4th dimension. In fact, I believe that we as a species did it for so long, that our minds were shaped for that. The creature comforts of today’s lifestyle have allowed us to not concern ourselves or even pay much attention to the present moment and thus we think about the future.

Such is the thief of much of our happiness. We wait and worry, or wait and become unsatisfied by the wait. Yet, all around us, wonderful things are happening. Sometimes it takes a tragedy in our lives to become aware of the simple beauty of just being able to go about life freely. To walk down the sidewalk, breathe in the fresh outdoor air, hear the birds in the trees, or the wind rustling the leaves. I have found myself in those situations many a time. Staring out the window of a hospital room, watching cars drive down the road, people walking down the sidewalk. Most of them not paying any attention to the moment at hand, but rather thinking about the appointment they are going to, the work that awaits them when they get to their place of employment, what’s for dinner, will their child make the team? In those moments, I have wanted so to run out there, tubes and wires still attached to me, and let them know how fortunate they are, just to be outside.

Then I take stock of my own fortunes. I am able to get up and walk around, look out the window, even take a stroll down the hallway. Others are not as blessed. They are resigned to their beds for one reason or another. Perhaps they have more tubes sticking out of them, or more wires attached to them. Perhaps they may never be able to get up out of bed under their own free will again. Suddenly my feeling of misfortune turns to a feeling of gratitude. My situation is only temporary. In days or a week or two, I will once again be part of the population that is breathing the fresh air, feeling the sunshine on my face and letting the wind blow around what hair I have left on my head.

Why am I suddenly so philosophical? Well, the truth is, I have actually had these thoughts since I was 10 years old and battling cancer. So it is not new to me. Being stuck inside and not being able to frolic in the great outdoors is much harder to take as a ten year old than it is as a 54 year old. Although for me, it never gets easy. I have watched magnificent snow storms rage outside while confined to my hospital bed or room. I have seen incredible sunrises and sunsets over Lake Superior while interned. I have even seen a bald eagle soar on the winds from behind the glass of my hospital window.

I am getting ready for my next spell of time in the hospital. I do not yet know the exact date that it will take place, nor am I perfectly clear on how long I will be in for. I had my phone consultation with a physicians assistant last Tuesday and she gathered all of my info and has passed it along to the Dr that is the specialist in matters such as mine. So I am waiting to hear back from them. The P.A. said it would take around a week to ten days.

So here I “wait” to hear from them. I put that in quotes, because I really am not dwelling on it much at all. It will all happen in it’s own time and I have chosen to just live in the moment. Enjoy all I can about the present day. So far, so good. 

Based on the verbiage in the report sent to the Dr. and what the Dr. is a specialist at, it is looking very likely that I will be having my third open heart surgery while visiting the Mayo Clinic/St Mary’s. Not exactly the most fun type of surgery there is, but I have been down this road 2 previous times, so I know what to expect as far as recovery goes. I am hoping it will all happen sooner, rather than later, as I would love to be well on the road to being fully recovered by the time summer comes. There is a TON of stuff I want to do with Grace and Nora and I will have quite a bit of extra time to do it.

The reason for the extra time is that this Friday, April 16th, I will be retiring from all of my non-website work. I came to the conclusion that I just cannot go through another open heart surgery and get back to work while still in the hospital recovering from it. None of my customers have ever required me to return that quickly, but I know in the case of some of my work that I do for some businesses, they need a weather report every day. So just a few days off has me worrying that I am leaving them in the dark. I cannot ask them to give me a month off for this go around and my primary care doctor has been trying to get me to retire since my second open heart in 2011!

The retirement will also allow me to sleep in past 4am in the morning and I am 100% convinced that sleep, or lack of it, has a huge impact on my heart health. The retirement comes at least a few years earlier than I was planning on, but will not leave us in dire straights financially. Nora supports me 100% on this and of course Gracie is excited to finally have her dad to spend as much time with as we want.

It will be interesting to see how I feel about it. I know I will LOVE being able to sleep in longer and thus stay up later. I also know that I will love being able to completely relax on a vacation and not have to work while on it. I will also enjoy the extra time to be able to work on the shop and house. What I do wonder is will I miss the sense of accomplishment of my daily work load? I will still have the website to tend to? That has been my greatest source of joy from working for quite sometime, so I think I will be OK.

I am also looking forward to being able to spend more time on the website. There is a handful of things that need to be fixed and while I am not knowledgeable enough to fix most of them, I will have the time to work with someone that can.

For as long as I have been doing this website, I have always dreamt of doing it and woodworking. As soon I get past this little heart thing, I will be fully living the dream. Living in my dream spot, having an incredible wife and daughter and having my only work duties be the two things I love to do most. Nora is excited that I will have lots of free time to tend to the house duties, which I will gladly do. I do quite a bit already, but will be happy to let her be able to come home, have dinner ready, then relax and/or take a nice walk around the hood. She is also excited for me to no longer have the daily stresses of those other work duties.

It’s amazing how you can take your hands off the wheel and end up in a better place than you thought you were headed while driving. I truly am a very blessed person.

Good Night From the Keweenaw..
JD

PS. Today’s feature picture is of the Laurium Glacier as of yesterday.

Stumped

Both