This is somewhat earth shattering — I am doing better. The other day I actually felt content with everything – where I live, people in my life, recent decisions I’ve made, and even accepting some of my current issues. I am no longer beating myself up for some of my recent mistakes. In fact, I have shed quite a bit of anger that I’ve been carrying around for the last six months or so. I am not sure what has contributed to these feelings other than a bit of acceptance, healthier decision making, and having recent events put things in perspective for me. I know I have several tests ahead of me (hello Las Vegas trip) but even that is causing less anxiety than previous conferences. I just know I am in a better place so I should handle things better. 

One of my ongoing issues is my fatigue. I was really discouraged last week with my lack of energy in the evenings. I would come home from work and immediately take a two hour nap. I would watch television since I couldn’t focus enough on reading or anything else. Unlike the last time with radiation, the fatigue is worse than the GI stuff. I’ve decided to try a few things to help in the evenings. I am going to drink a protein shake as soon as I get home to get me over the first hour of downtime. I am also going to try and go on a walk right after I drink the shake. I want to see if that helps boost my energy. 

The other good thing that has happened is I saw my sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and niece this weekend. It was a quick trip since they were on their way to Colorado. It was still nice to see them for an evening/morning. My niece seems to be doing better. In fact, I think we connected quite a bit on this visit. 

Finally, a nemesis from my early years passed away over the weekend. He was one of my teachers in 8th, 10th, and 11th grades. He was not a nice person. He definitely did not like me. I took him for 8th grade Latin so I would trek to the high school from the junior high, which was across the street. I really don’t remember much of that year or the class. It was during 10th grade when I started disliking him. It was outright hatred during my junior year. I took Spanish those two years from him. I can’t tell you one thing I learned from him other than how not to teach students. We started off each class with what he called “card grades” — a random assignment of vocabulary that you had to pronounce and spell. You received either an A or F. It was stressful for most of us, especially since he would ridicule students when they missed a word. It was not uncommon to have elaborate cheat sheets on our desks. It made up a huge portion of our grade.

During my junior year, he had me sit in the front row, right in front of his desk. We bickered a lot. It wasn’t uncommon to see him turn bright red when he would get angry at me. At one point, my parents had to meet with him because of my failing grade and attitude. They were not happy. So, I ignored all of my other classes and just focused on Spanish. I bumped my grade up from an F to a B. I still hated him. Later after I went away to college and took college level Spanish, I returned to the high school for a visit. I made a point of stopping in his classroom to tell him that two years of Spanish with him left me completely unprepared for a college course. I complained about the pronunciations and basic stuff he skipped over. He admitted that he dumbed his class down. Great. Rather than focusing on tormenting his students, he could have tried to engage us in the course material. He did tell me that day that he always respected how I stood up to him. Whatever.  I had a weird reaction to the news of his death — not sadness. I don’t know. I didn’t feel good about his death since I think he was just a sad, lonely man who hated kids. I guess I felt pity.


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