Monday, April 30, 2012

Analogous environment

"I am an analog man, living in a digital world." I heard that line in a song on a classic rock channel the other day driving home from my in-laws house, albeit with my head halfway out the window and the radio blasting just to try to stay awake. I felt pretty in-tune with my environment at that moment, especially when I rode the rumble strip for a while... Most days though, i've been prone to dragging around in a haze, so tired most of the time that I barely have the energy to manage chasing the kids around and picking up the house. That's exhausting in its own right, just ask my amazing wife who's had to do that so much when I was working away overseas. I have all the respect in the world for you darling, for having to do that and staying sane, barely. It certainly takes its toll on me most days that the rest of the world just gets tuned out and muted from my focus. It's taken a conscience effort to "get outside [myself]" as someone suggested to me.

I'm a pretty resistant-to-change, old-fashioned, traditional guy and definitely relate to being an analog dude living in a digital world. I was always resistant and the last to give in when it came to new gadgets, even buying my first cell phone years and years ago, I resisted. Now I have a MacBook (which I despise), an iPad (which is useful so I tolerate and is an easy distraction to give to my daughter to watch 'My Little Pony' on. Ok, I sit and watch with her sometimes too, and after she gets bored and leaves,) but not much else. I keep it pretty simple. I don't Tweet and my Facebook goes ignored for weeks on end. And i'm sticking with that same philosophy now, but it does have a tendency to shut you off from the rest of the world. Hence the time gaps in writing on a blog even though I know there are caring people waiting to hear updates and to hear what i'm thinking and feeling. I like my little shell, closed off from the noise and chaos and hassle of the world. I like quiet and dark and calm. I treasure it and covet it when I don't get it. It's part of who I am but I can't be me all by myself, especially now. So it's an effort to take a deep breath, focus outside of what every ache and pain may mean, and spend some time and energy outward. It's easy with kids. I cherish spending so much time with my children and love role playing and rolling around on the floor and playing tag. Treasuring the few quiet moments in the day to spend with my lovely wife talking about something other than the kids and my health; that means the world to me too. Other than that, we've more or less focused inward as a family too. It's too hard to spend the energy always being social and entertaining, especially now. But we need that in our life, to accept the generosity and to share ourselves with the multitudes of loving and caring and considerate and generous friends and family, near and far.

Alysha has taken a great step towards that for herself as she's just started up her own side business selling Norwex all-natural cleaning and household products. She's jumped into it and has already been very successful in it. I'm proud of her and happy she has another outlet to focus on and spend some time 'outside' of the closed-off nucleus we had created of our lives. It's hard for me to say that I really have any hobbies anymore, though I enjoy working on my bikes now that the weather is so nice though some days don't have the energy to ride, and have encouraged our family to bike more together and to nearby everyday places we would otherwise drive to. (I plan on biking to my chemo appointment tomorrow, we'll see...) My other hobbies were other high-energy sports and running all of which I can't do now. My true passion of mountaineering seems so far out of reach now that I don't know if my lungs will ever allow me to undertake the endurance and struggle of strenuous climbing again, especially at altitude. I long to be in those "high snowy places," to find the solitude and perfect calm and wholeness I only find there. I could see a long-distance hike being possible as I recover but again, all these hobbies were of my single life and take away from being with my family for long periods, though I still feel torn when desiring to undertake those activities.

A truer aspect of this rambling, is that God has a plan for me. Plans to use me to His glory. It's one of the hardest things that i've continually tried to be good at in my life: submit. Being the analytical, linear-thinking, in need of control person that I am; it's difficult to sigh and relinquish the reins to a higher power that you believe and trust in even when you know it is what is best. I certainly stress and worry myself enough with everyday things and now with the enormous added weight of a potentially terminal disease forcing itself on me, it's too much for one person to bear. My wife most certainly shares the burden, but it's too much for two people, for a family, for a whole group of supportive friends, a whole town. Only God can lift that burden and bring peace and comfort in its place, knowing that we're protected and will be stronger from the trials we face by trusting in Him.

So my goal now is to be more in-tune with the world around us, to see and appreciate the beauty around us, in my family, and in the generosity and caring spirit of those who have gathered around us in support. We've been doing that to some degree since the beginning, but to seek it and to see it with a clear perspective and a humble heart, we deliver ourselves from being trapped within.

Thanks for everyone's continued support and prayers.