The Gift of Caring

I am sitting here recovering from my recent surgery.  Meanwhile many of my coworkers are covering for me as I heal.  They are handling my calls and my reports among other tasks that they so willingly step in to take care of.  And how does it affect me?  I am wallowing in guilt.  Guilt for not being there.  Guilt for the poor timing of this surgery.  We as an office are going through a very large and work intensive broker dealer change.   And here I am, sitting at home recuperating.

It was fortunate that my daughter is experiencing car trouble and tonight I drove her around to her appointment.  It was fortunate because I got to listen to her tell me how guilty she was feeling. It seems her coworkers and her boyfriend are taking care of her while she is without her car.  I could write an entire blog piece on the value of wisdom gained in conversations with our children but I’ll save that for another time.  The pearl of wisdom is the realization of what is really happening here.

When we allow others to step in when we can’t, we get to witness the actions of people who care for us.  In truth, our inability to perform our tasks gives them the chance to show that they do care about us and at the same time we give them the opportunity to demonstrate their worth as a coworker.

I have always been a responsible person and as such could not imagine making others do my work.  To that end I can pride myself in seldom if ever missing work but now, thanks to my daughter, I see that I may have just been depriving people of their opportunity to step in.  It is still not easy for me to shed this guilt, but in this new light, some of my anxiety has decreased.

If there is a moral here, it is to trust others and accept their willingness to help out.  Accept it for what it is, a gift.  Savor the gift, appreciate their efforts and try just a little, to shed some of your guilt.

110 Degrees

I just finished the home portion of rehab for my replacement knee replacement.  I am glad to say that I reached 110 degrees of flex today.  This for me is significant enough to record it officially.  At this point I am ready to tackle stairs again and that is a precursor to all those things that follow.  Maybe even being able to run again, not that I was ever a serious runner.  My idea of running is to be able to catch my grandson when he takes off or the ability to cross the busy street in front of my office on my way to an infamous butter burger at Culvers.  For the past year, while trying unsuccessful to recover from the original surgery, a fast walk over a short distance was all I could muster.  That was far from being able to play Frogger as I crossed a busy street.

All of this has taught me some degree of patience while clearly showing me what I had so callously taken for granted.  The knee is an incredible piece of our physiology.   One does not think of how much abuse it can take and how much it allows us to do.  When I watch football these days and I see an awkward tackle, I can feel the pain shooting through my own knee.  As I rehab to get stretch back and as I lie awake at night asking my legs if they would kindly go to sleep, I had to become patient.  Not much else to do especially as I recover from the surgery in the dead of winter.  I dream of skiing breakneck down the slopes or maybe climbing up a chimney hidden in the rocks of Devil’s Lake.  For now, it is literally one step at a time while my mechanical knee begins to replace what I took so much for granted.

I am getting there.  Slow but sure, I am getting there.  If there is a moral to this story, it is to take the time to treat your body right.  Maybe if I had heeded those words and given my knee the water it wanted for nourishment and the exercise it need to stay healthy, I wouldn’t be sitting here trying for 120 degrees.  I would be out on the slope, taking a jump here and there or just a graceful slalom turn and my knee would be saying “no sweat, lets do it again”.  For now I will be patient and know that soon I will be up to all those normal tasks. Heck, maybe even running.

New Years 2017


Happy New Year

2016 is over and 2017 awaits our decisions and actions. I for one intend to make this truly a happy new year. The wonderful thing about life is that we get a fresh start every day. Even if yesterday was not so hot, nothing requires us to carry it forward. We are all a product of our actions and with that said, make a decision to act positively in the new year ahead. But if you happen to run into me on one of those not so hot days, lets remind each other that tomorrow really does start anew. Happy first day of a Happy New Year.

New Years 2016


Wishing everyone of you a very exciting new year. Life is a story we get to read a chapter of each year. The trick is we are both the reader and the author. Take every opportunity to write your chapter the way you can be proud of and to be able to enjoy the reading of it a year from tonight. Make your story great and include us in it every chance you get. Happy New Year.