Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice

Happy summer solstice. Today is the longest day of the year. And it feels that way.

If you are a reader of my blog you know that most of what I write about is travel adventures and travel information. I write about other things too, but I typically do not just write about my day or my week, but if you will allow me a wee little whine today...

I should be happy. My life is basically really, really good. But I am having one of those blah days. You know you have them too. We all do. Actually I've been having a blah week. I blame a nasty tooth infection. And being doped up on pain medication for 10 days. This is why I, who typically blogs every day, has barely written over the past two weeks. The great news is that the infection appears to be FINALLY clearing up, I am FINALLY out of pain and I am FINALLY off the pain medication that while mildly pleasant still never completely took away all the pain and made me want to lay listlessly in bed or on the couch and watch episode after episode of Hoarders.

All of that caused me to basically lose a week. Now I am behind on work and not feeling the motivation I need to crank and catch up. I still want to lay in bed and watch Hoarders. And I am nauseous from the second antibiotic I am taking now - some crazy scary medication that I think is reserved for weird tropical infections and other hardcore nasty stuff. The warning label says long-term use of this medicine has caused cancer in mice and rats. Fantastic.

I have so much work to do that I can't deal with it. I am majorly lacking in motivation right now. And I can't afford to really be this way much beyond this morning. The nice thing about working from home is that if for some reason you can't get your work done in the morning, well you could always do it at night. You can do it any time, you just need to get it done. But, again, I want to run to my bed and watch Hoarders. For the rest of the day. Maybe the rest of the week...

This stupid infection screwed up all of my travel plans too. I was supposed to go to Liberia a week ago for work and then on to Germany for vacation. I was really looking forward to getting back to Liberia and working with our team on the ground. I am sad I couldn't do this trip. Now I probably won't be able to make it back to Liberia until August as my July is all booked up. And this means I have to do all the work I was going to do over there remotely, interacting with our team on Skype and email. I do it all the time, it just makes it more time consuming and less effective. I love telecommuting, but it is good sometimes to be able to sit down with people face to face. All of this has been demotivating to some extent.

Part of my listlessness is probably  due to the fact that I am still coming off of this infection and a week of taking more pain pills than I ever have in my life, and that I haven't exercised in weeks and weeks. I am wondering if my joints and muscles still remember how they are supposed to work? I would love to go for a walk, but I can't risk getting my blood pumping and inflaming the tooth.

Isn't it crazy how much havoc can be wreaked from one tiny tooth? As many have said to me over the past week - well messing with the teeth is a form of torture. Remember Marathon Man? I was living my own version of that. I kept thinking about that movie Castaway with Tom Hanks where he is stranded on that desert island and during that time he gets an infected tooth and it is so painful he has to knock it out with the blade of an ice skate. Just thinking about it makes me shudder, but yeah, I would have done the same thing. You can't ignore tooth pain. I am grateful for modern medicine and dentistry. Grateful for pain medication. I think one could probably have just died from an infection like this if you didn't have antibiotics and pain medicine. What a stupid way to go.

In spite of it all I have also been very, very grateful that this tooth thing didn't come on mid-flight to Liberia or in Liberia. I don't know that I could find a dentist in Liberia. You can barely find a doctor. I think they would have had to fly me to Europe for treatment. That would NOT have been fun. That is a travel adventure I really do not need to experience. It probably would have made for some interesting blog entries, but NO. Especially as this was such a bad infection and so painful and so long running. Today is the first day in 12 days I've felt that maybe I could get on an airplane and not have my head explode. I don't know how I would have left Liberia to get to Europe with that kind of pressure and pain. I can't think about it. It is too scary of a thought.

Sigh, sigh, sigh. Whine, whine, whine. Ok I am done. Sometimes I just need to throw it all out there to realize how stupid my whining really is. These aren't real problems. I know this. Last Saturday we were out running errands and my tooth was hurting and I was feeling sorry for myself, sitting there in the car. And then we drove past a park where there was a really long (I mean really long) line of people - old, young, men, women, kids. It was a soup kitchen set up in the park. They were standing in line for some food. A flood of emotions - shock and sadness at what I was seeing and at their circumstances, gratefulness for what I have, and anger at myself for spending so much energy feeling sorry for myself about stupid stupid things. That was the kick in the pants I needed to get perspective.

So...writing and remembering that sad Byway Scene has once again given me the kick in the pants I need and has readjusted my perspective. I have it good. And I am so very, very grateful. Time to get back to work. May you enjoy every minute of today - the longest day of our year.

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