It is amazing how much the moments before a Job Interview are like the moments before a sports game for me

Before lung disease forced my retirement, I loved play softball and flag football.  And when I was a kid I loved playing basketball.  What I remember are the day and moments before games: I’d control my diet, pre-game activity and mindset all day long, and then in the moments before a game I tried very hard to focus on the game, to visualize it, to not allow myself to get distracted by chores, work, etc.

When I interview for a job, it is the same way.  I make sure I get enough sleep the day before, I try to rest as much as possible the day before, then the day of I regulate my caffeine, diet and exercise to maximize my performance at the time of the interview.  In the moments before the interview, I think through all the questions, I put away my phone and I focus on my breathing/energy so that when the interviewer arrives/calls and starts asking me questions I am at 100% of all I can possibly do.  For awhile, before my illness, I didn’t have to worry about it quite as much, but now all those things are extremely important.  The actual job can be done with inertia and experience, but the interview takes 100% clear thought and energy.

I am glad I played sports.  I feel like it was a good prep for interviewing.  Along those same lines, one of my favorite feelings in life are in those final minutes before tip-off in basketball: the sounds, smells (of oiled hardwood), and the possibility of a great game.  My favorite moment in sports has always been lacing a line drive over shortstop where I know I have a chance to turn a single into a double, and when a shot basketball starts to fall through the rim into the net.

Advertisements
It is amazing how much the moments before a Job Interview are like the moments before a sports game for me

I am an Uncle!

My sister had twins over the weekend, which means I am an uncle.  I am very excited about this.  The good news is we saw them the day they were born and they are beautiful (of course 🙂 ).  The bad news is that my sister hasn’t wanted guests the past couple of days, which means we haven’t seen the babies since delivery…  As someone who suffers from post-illness chronic fatigue, I’ve had to put a lot of thought into how I can be involved – I just don’t have the energy to make meals, run errands, etc.  But I do love babies and kids, so have decided that I will be available to watch the kids as needed, which is less stressful for me than cooking, cleaning and running errands.  Right now, she doesn’t want guests, but I know from experience that after the excitement (and nurses) dies down, people watching the kids is a god send :)…  My family — starting with my grandma — is strange about guests.  They just don’t like having them. My mom can’t relax when she has guests, and is a wreck before guests and exhausted after them, and I know that my grandma was the same way (I remember her complaining about my aunts and other guests when they’d stay with her).  I too didn’t look having roommates or guests in my early adult years, but with my very-social wife’s influence plus having a cabin where guests like to stay was able/forced to learn to relax and take guests in stride.  Also, there was a wonderful wonderful wonderful Dear Abbey letter where a woman wrote that she lived in a remote area with 4 kids and 2 dogs so loved having adult guests, and they were welcome to stay and make themselves comfortable but they would just have to deal with the mess and the dogs etc.  I love that letter – it reminded me that what is important is not having a perfect house, it is the people, and if having a slightly dusty house is what is required to relax around guests, so be it.  I am glad I’ve learned to accept (and embrace) having overnight guests.  I used to want to spoil them with good meals and a perfect house, but now have just learned to spoil them with my interest in them and embracing them 🙂

I am an Uncle!

I learned to spoil my family from my dad and my grandma

When I was a kid, my grandma loved spoiling her family.  What I mean is, it gave her great pleasure to do the little things: make us wait in bed so she could warm up the house for us, wash our clothes for us, stop by with a little gift, make us dinner…  She always loved doing that, and I always remember her doing that, and now that I am older and have autoimmune disease I am amazed that she could do that while battling Type I diabetes, which killed her (via stroke) at age 69.

My dad was like my grandma.  My sister and I would often go to our rooms at night to find that our dad had turned down our bed, or he’d quietly slip us 20 bucks for a pizza, or he’d wash our car for us while we were sleeping. Little, forgettable things that expressed love.

When wife M and I were first married, and then when the kids were kids, I did a lot of those same things, I think.  I’d light candles for M, put her PJs in the drier so they were toasty when she put them on, put a little extra treat in the kids’ lunch box, etc.  Little things I don’t remember.  Everyone does thos things I think, but I also am pretty certain that I did it more often than the average person.  (Wife M does, too, which is probably another reason why we click so well, since we’re always spoiling each other 🙂 ).

But those things have evaporated since my illness in 2012. (I remember when M’s friend first commented  to M about it in 2012, how there was a time when you didn’t have to worry about anything when I was in the room and now it was not like that at all, how it was like I was barely present. I remember how hurt at the time I was by that comment since I was in the throes of lung disease and prednisone at the time – but in retrospect, what she said is true, I am not the spoiler that I once was, and no longer can take pleasure from serving/spoiling people). 

I miss doing those things for my family.  And love those momentary bursts like last night where I was able to do that for my family.  And really truly can’t believe my grandma was still able to spoil her famil when she was sooo sick with diabetes – I feel amazed and humbled by that.   

I learned to spoil my family from my dad and my grandma