On taking time to tend

I’ve had a couple of people, on hearing about what I’m doing for my friend who recently had surgery (currently in a transitional care/rehab center, and steadily improving), who say “I could never do that.”

And I point out that it’s not everyone’s gift to do the specific things I’m doing. (Scheduling and coordinating are tasks that take me time and energy, but that are not, in themselves, particularly challenging for the way my brain works: I am, after all, in the business of creating at least the simulation of order out of chaos.)

But today, I realised that there are two stories I’ve rarely told but that are key to why it’s so important to me to help in this way. One is a debt I’ll never be able to repay – and can therefore only pay forward. The other is a reminder of why it’s so important to … Continue reading

Being an external brain

One of my dear friends is currently at the hospital for hip replacement surgery. And so I wanted to quickly post a note to something I wrote (and she reviewed before I posted it) that’s about what I’m doing for her during her recovery.  We refer to what I do as being her External Brain. I talk about the details of how we make that work over here.)

Basically, I keep track of details so she doesn’t have to. So her husband doesn’t have to. So we know that there’s someone who can sit with her all the time while she’s in the hospital (my friend has adult hearing loss and lip-reads, so having someone there to both remind the hospital staff of that and of what’s necessary for her to participate in the conversation (and to do things like take notes of what’s happened, so she doesn’t … Continue reading

Vacation, part 1

I’m currently in Boston, wrapping up part 1 of my vacation to see family and friends out here. (I grew up in a Boston suburb, went to college in a different one, and most of my college friends are still in the area, as is my mother.) Later this morning, we’ll be taking off to see my brother, sister-in-law, and my 5 and 7 year old nieces in New Haven for a few days.

In August, I’ll have lived in Minnesota for 10 years. And yet, while I love Minnesota (deeply: I fell in love with the state on a visit about a year before I moved and have never regretted that choice), coming back to the ocean, to the glacial valleys, to the landscape of my childhood  is never a bad thing.