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Fog of War

May 10, 2011

“They” say that it takes one month for each hour you were under to recover from general anesthetic.

I believe it.

I was under for four hours this time, and I still feel like I’m moving through life in a fog, that somehow the rpm on the record player of my day is aaa liiitlllle toooo sloooowww.  I’ve been here before. I know the drill.

I can’t write as well as I want to.

I know I’m not as witty nor as shrewd as I want to be.

My clothes are probably funny looking, and at 42 I can’t blame it on my mother.

I’m glad summer is right around the corner. I’m planning on all kinds of fun hijinx, but the kind that takes less, I don’t know, je ne sais quoi.

Ten years ago, in a job interview, someone asked me what my worse qualities were. I gave two answers. I said that I was an obsessive perfectionist, especially with details, and always with a good amount of pad-time before a deadline to fix the things that I knew would go wrong, and it made me hard to work with. I said that I don’t suffer fools. Not gladly. Not at all.

Five years before that, a roommate and friend once looked at me and said, “Beth, I don’t think patience is one of your strong points.”

Then she said, “In fact, with you, I don’t think it’s a point.”

I’ve changed. I’ve changed on all three points. My weaknesses have become my strengths. I feel like a mountain with seabed fossils on the craggy crests.

I don’t know if it’s maturity, or cancer, or a combination, but I have to learn who I am all over again.


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  1. Mary Knapp permalink

    Your ability to craft a brilliant, multi-faceted metaphor has somehow emerged from the fog like….oh, wait — you’re the metaphorist and similer.

    The apostle Paul noticed what you’ve experienced, that your weaknesses are your strengths. Or, that God manifests his strengths through your weaknesses. Likewise, I think constraints and limits give rise to great freedom.

    I cannot express how proud, and amazed, I am that someone reared by me can reach such depth. You are an inspiration. I want to be like you when I grow up.

    And yes, blame your clothes on me if you like.

  2. Similier? Smilier? Somilier?

    • Mary Knapp permalink

      One who makes a simile….trying for a neologism here, but how about we go for sommelier?

  3. lovethroughexample permalink

    I so hear what you are saying. Post surgery fog seems to go on forever and just when you think you may be moving forward the fog descends again. You are so brave (and articulate) to share this time with others.
    I think post cancer one has no choice but to learn to know themselves again and to find a way to embrace the changes. It is my challenge and sometimes my success on a daily basis. Both physically and emotionally I am no more the person I was.
    Your writing has become one of my many inspirations. Thank you. Kerryn

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