What I learned from 8 weeks of medical leave

I am by nature a “get things done” kind of person and if I don’t watch out it breaks me. There is a balance I need to find between getting things done and pushing through pain till it’s a problem.

I can annoy people by asking them to do things I need done, and can be annoyed by people when they ignore my pleas and trigger my feelings of helplessness. Trying to figure out when and how to ask, when each person has a different communication preference/requirement, can feel like an impossible puzzle for someone like me, who doesn’t understand how a person could be standing right next to rotting food that has been sitting out for three days, complain about the smell, yet not make the connection that maybe they are the one who has the power to do something about it.

High deductible health care plans are a dumb choice for most people.

Just because I have a to-do list, doesn’t mean I have to complete it.

Given a choice between watching some sort of movie/TV/video vs reading a book I choose the book, 98% of the time.

The oven’s memoir

This year’s Christmas letter is written from the point of view of our new-ish GE profile gas oven and range.

I slid out of that cardboard box and was rolled into place in a crappy dacky kitchen, between an ancient fridge and a dishwasher that was on its last legs. The dishwasher barfed its last soon after my arrival, leaving a wet floor. The silly two-leggeds thought they could just buy a new dishwasher and slide it into place but soon realized the floor was totally warped and unlevel. This led to the discovery of stained flooring that extended in front of me, far and wide. The new boi dishwasher was put back in his box and hauled away to the laundry room. Thus began the summer of chaos.

After tearing up some of the flooring, the two-leggeds found a stinky cheese mold. A lab assessed the 1975 linoleum tile to contain asbestos. So day by day I watched the cabinets get torn out, the flooring, even the kitchen sink! The skanky old fridge was rolled into the living room. Soon, I was left by myself on an ugly linoleum floor. The asbestos abatement crew arrived one day, sealed up the room, and tore out the linoleum and hauled away a bunch of garbage. A couple of days later they painted the floor white. Then the ceiling got painted white, and the walls. So much activity around me! Even the skinniest of the two-leggeds got involved, using the power drill, painting, sealing up the wall. Heard them say it was “kitchen remodel summer camp.”

One day the kitchen was filled with boxes. There were so many boxes you could hardly move, even if you had legs. Two days later a man came and spent the entire day assembling cabinetry around me. I began to feel a crescent moon of hope. Next a new floor was put in place. Then the countertop arrived. Dishwasher came out of hiding and got installed along with a new sink. Then a new refrigerator showed up, intimidating me with its largesse. I thought we were done with all this nonsense, but a month later the counter was replaced with a different one. The two-leggeds now spend time looking at tiles for the backsplash.  I am already feeling pretty good as the royal centerpiece, the history keeper of this brand-new kitchen.