Monday, February 28, 2011
Keep Calm and Carry On
Focus: Latin for hearth; the dwelling place of Lares & Penates the Roman household gods who observed and protected and influenced all that happens with the boundaries of their location or function.
A friend once called me “the most focused person she’d ever known”, that I just dive in and dig in until I got it done. No matter what the “it” was. If it needed doing I’d do it. Need your garage or closet cleaned? Need your project managed skillfully on time and on budget? Need to manage up or out that nightmare employee? Call on me. No task too dirty for me. Queen of the multi-taskers. My brain was a constantly shuffling deck of cards and I could pull out the ace of any suit with my mind’s eye closed.
Then my focus narrowed into one prime objective; keeping Dad alive. Managing his day-to-day existence of daily living, of weekly doctor visits, hospitalizations, transfusions and infusions. I became expert in knowing his intimate medical details and could recite the litany of blood pressures, symptoms/aches/pains, calcium, magnesium, potassium, white blood cell counts and radiological findings from any given day, on queue. I’d stand by his bed in the ER and rattle off the details to round after round of interns, hospitalists, consultants, and specialists who’d come in. They all asked the same questions and never wrote down the answers for the next guy. No need to, the daughter’s got it all. Don’t bother pulling the medical records-I’ve got it all here in my head. Guaranteed accurate. The doctors would look at me agog and ask, “Did you go to medical school?” Nope. Just focused.
My prime objective has been changed and it’s almost like learning how to switch from driving a stick shift to an automatic transmission. I’m stuck at a stop sign staring at the floor, wondering what happened to the clutch. Now days I can’t seem to hone in on any thought or task longer than twenty minutes before I disconect myself and flit on to something else that distracts me. I was going to write my blog every day-wait a minute-I had that thought last December! What happened in the meantime, and what was I doing instead of writing? I find bits of my thoughts and intentions missing as if my brain has been given the once over by a military censor. Big fat black splotches inked over critical details to keep the enemy in the dark. Brain exhaustion. Processor overload.
All I can do is Keep Calm and Carry On.