Stylocycle’s Blog

So long, 2011. So glad to be done with you.
January 2, 2012, 1:50 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Yeah, this past year just sucked.

My mother wonders what to do with her days now that she has no companion to share them. She went from the full-throttle demands of being an intimate care-giver to being a widow, all without ever having had the time to come to grips with the idea that her husband was sick… his cancer was terminal and advanced at the point of discovery in late March and he died in early September.

We made it through his funeral in later September: a quasi-Catholic service for the cremains. A very liberal parish was willing to provide a mass of sorts. “Of sorts” here indicates that most of the significant parts of the mass were omitted, and it left those of us with more Catholic upbringings a little confused, a little like amputees… But in early October we held a memorial for him at the Faculty Club on campus, and that was lovely. My dear friend, whom Tom had quickly grown quite fond of closed out our evening with a lovely story about Tom, and the chicken… Lucy, and how we came to be the joint custody holders of a laying hen.

But then in early November that same dear friend, who is quite young, was diagnosed with cancer herself, and so I found my heat and my time preoccupied once again. Fortunately, we have access to the best cancer care and surgeons and early detection meant that at her post-op meeting last week we were thrilled to hear that the surgeon fully expects her never to be bothered by this again and to live to a very old age. Thank you socialized medicine!

The two great reprieves of the past few months have been the weather, which has allowed me to continue daily cycling for commuting purposes, and that my friend got me completely hooked on rock-climbing (indoors — for now).

We have a new rock climbing gym in town, just about 3km away from the house, so it’s a pretty easy bike ride to get there. Each time I go I spend about 2 hours on the wall or on the belay side of the rope. It’s incredibly great exercise and it helps enormously with my tendency to get really neurotic. The only thing I can think about when I am on the wall is solving the route (and not falling off the wall); it leaves no room to think about the people who annoy me, or the projects that frustrate me. I am really grateful to have been able to learn to do it, and to find that I am reasonably good at it. Like cycling (which also helps me to avoid neuroticism), climbing seems to be a good fit with my ability and with my personality.

I hope that from wherever you are reading that your 2012 will bring some new surprise that is a good fit with your abilities and with your needs.