Saturday, December 28, 2019

Moving at the Speed of Geology

Once again, it's that time of year when we reflect on our past and preflect on our future.

Given the significance of this particular calendar change, someone at work asked us to list our accomplishments for the past decade.

In the process of doing so, I realized that -- as much as we like to impose arbitrary timelines on ourselves and tally our successes and failures, a year was never quite the right measure for meaningful change. Just as geological time is most impactfully measured in eons and millennia, individual human evolution is better quantified by decade than annum. It's definitely been one of those Best of Times, Worst of Times decades (not to mention one I can pretty easily break down), as I:

  • Turned 40
  • Learned I had a brain aneurysm
  • Started this blog
  • Had surgery to clip and remove said aneurysm
  • Had a cerebral hemorrhage and stroke
  • Spent two months in the neurorehab hospital
  • Returned home
  • Spent nine months on medical leave from work
  • Returned to Work
  • Learned to drive one handed and regained my driver's license
  • Used my personal experience with disability to found and lead the company's Ability Employee Resource Group
  • Found my voice as a disability advocate
  • Rode multiple charity 5Ks on my recumbent tricycle
  • Developed a swallowing disorder and lost the 40 pounds I'd gained since the stroke
  • Had surgery to correct the swallowing disorder (still trying not to overeat)
  • Helped teach my sons the value of living a persistent, creative, empathetic life (hopefully, my greatest accomplishment)

With this exercise in mind, and with Age 50 lurking just a couple months away, I decided to broadly parcel my five decades:
  • 1970s: Became a person
  • 1980s: Became my own person
  • 1990s: Became an independent adult (i.e. college grad, job, apartment)
  • 2000s: Became a conformed adult (i.e. house, marriage, kids)
  • 2010s: Re-became my own person while 

I'm sure we'll be hearing plenty of, Hindsight is 2020, jokes for the coming year, especially in the past is prologue sense. So far, I've taken this approach to creating a Happy Holidays e-card which acts as a retrospective of all the cards I've made in the past , as well as taking a stab at staving off the planned obsolescence of Adobe Flash and hopefully preserving some digital artifacts which would have soon gone the way of the floppy disk:

Keeping with the theme of moving forward while looking back, I have the start of an adventurous year mapped out:
  • 50th birthday celebration someplace special (maybe Hamilton in Toronto or Miami?)
  • Rhino Encounter in the spring
  • 30th reunion with Dove Cottage friends and time to focus on writing in early summer
  • Alaskan expedition with the whole extended famn damily in mid summer.
  • What, that isn't enough for you? I'm ready for a nap just thinking about it.