Friday, January 16, 2009

Taking a breather...

Just a quick update from the frosty corners of northwest Ohio...

This week marks a series of changes. Friday the 16th is Chris' last day at Hotel Hell; a local hobby retailer had an opening for a remote-control sales specialist, and Chris jumped at it. His schedule will be a bit screwed for a bit - he will have to work Sundays for a couple weeks, which has been our only "full" day off together. But he will be working 12-8 p.m., instead of 3-11 p.m., so I think it will be much better for his mental health. And being away from the children-of-God who run the hotel and the local-yokels who populate it and the waterpark will do him even more good. So we are celebrating that a bunch.

On Monday, I am starting a course of a new diabetic drug, Byetta. For me, it will likely be a double annoyance - a morning and evening injection, plus low-level nausea for the first several weeks. But it's a "first-step" issue - admitting that I am powerless over my appetite, and doing badly at blood-sugar maintenance - and the drug is proven as an appetite suppressant (in much the same way that chemo patients don't want to eat much).

I'm trying not to project how things are going to be, but I am also realistic enough to realize that I hate being the size and shape I am even more than I hate the prospect of (a) multiple injections and (b) throwing up, dead sober. One of my good friends shared his experience, strength and hope with Chris and I before Christmas, and last week my doctor OK'd the treatment. It's closer and easier (and cheaper) than lap-band surgery, too. So if you are the praying type, pray for endurance for me, please.

Much of the world is investing in the new digital-television revolution by purchasing digital TVs. In our household, we are the proud owners of an old-style 27" tube TV - a considerble upgrade from the 19" antique we each owned - and a digital video recorder with which to capture the new Supercross season. (That, thanks to CraigsList, was the sum total of our investment in the economic recovery.)

A recent piece of good fortune forced me to another realization about myself. Chris has Saturday, Sunday, and Monday free - his stint at Hobbytown starts on Tuesday. And the extended insanity of holiday and year-end payroll processing at The Somewhat Evil Empire has wound down considerably. So we were presented with the unprecedented opportunity of three whole days off together. Woo-hoo!

Of course, the three days comes dead in the middle of the worst cold-snap we have had in three years. My friends Peter, Erin, and Hope will laugh, but -13 F (-25 C) comes under the category of damn, damn cold down here in Ohio. (My northern friends have endured weeks of that temperature and worse, over the last month - but we've had two relatively mild winters down here, and have gone soft, I guess.) So our plans to travel south a couple hours to Columbus (where it's currently only -9 F) are somewhat tentative.

But back to the self-revelation. I asked Chris what he wanted to do with the long weekend, and he turned it back on me: "Well, what do YOU want to do with the weekend?" And I was just dumb-struck...I had no idea what I would do with a whole extended weekend and no commitments.

Since New Years Day, 2003, I have been working toward something. In 2003, it was working toward getting ready to go to seminary. In late 2003 and 2004, it was getting relocated to Chicago and getting into seminary life. In late 2004 and 2005, it was trying to salvage school, and surviving financially however I could. Late 2005 and through 2006, I was a workaholic deeply immersed in trying to restart my career.

Starting in October, 2006, I was relocating here to Ohio, and trying to salvage my sister and brother-in-law's home and jobs. In late 2007, my focus was on a new relationship with Chris, and trying to prevent my sister losing her home. But by New Year's Day 2009, school and ministry are but a memory, the job is fractionally stable, the home is gone, the relationship is solid, and I am working on digging myself out of the financial hole that seminary sunk me into.

And so the questions of "What now?" and "What next?" seem to be focused on self-care - something at which we've both been historically and notoriously lousy. And what else, who knows? My friends in recovery have so far only suggested the phrase from our Big Book which says "More will be revealed to you and to us."

For now, we will see where the weather puts us on Saturday, and (in the words of an old song) cast our fate to the wind.


Michael said...

To show what one can become used to, yesterday I asked Tom how cold it was outside.

"Minus 16", he answered.

"Oh, that's not too bad."

I have been in Wisconsin toooo long!

wilsonian said...

Dude... -25C is cold! -25C is even colder when you sleep alone lol.

Lots of changes for you both. Wow! You continue in my prayers, friend. 'What next' is a wide open field :)

Black Pete said...

No, your friend Peter won't laugh at -13 being damned cold for 2 reasons:
1/ you're probably talking Fahrenheit, with which you're still stuck thanks to Ronald Reagan, and that means -25 Celsius, and we'd agree that is "damned cold", even if we get more of that than you do;

2/ you probably have a higher relative humidity level than we do, as a rule; the higher the humidity, the more piercing the cold; our coldness tends to be drier; where we truly suffer is with wind chill. It is the beast of our coldness.

Hope said...

I nod in agreement with erin and pete. -25C is cold. And damp cold is much worse than dry cold.
Keep warm!