April 16, 1998

Death and Changes

Kent Jenkins wrote to tell me that, for him, nearly all my dreams went from brilliant, dangerous, beautiful lives to worlds shattered or lost or somehow different, often through death. Had an odd dream this morning that was a whole adventure setup and university and this island where people committed ritual suicide but came back to life, and it ended with a gang of us deciding to drown ourselves and my seeing the lake bottom with all its dark pebbles, feeling water in my lungs, breathing out definitively and thinking, "Okay, it's time to go to sleep." and then waking up.

Death in dreams is not really supposed to auger death, it's supposed to auger great change in ones life, which would make me laugh if I weren't already laughing. I mean, I've been living three months of pretty obvious change, and the surgery itself had completely changed my life, ever try to cook with two crutches? Can't carry *anything*, you gotta just transfer things six feet at a time. Try showering with a garbage bag on one leg, or where you can't balance at all on one leg. Try walking around with a brace that goes from ankle to hip and see how people look at you. Or not.

Life's already changed. I've changed. My thinking has changed. It's the first time I've ever really been broken and while I know that the reconstructed knee is going to be a lot better than the broken one, it's still not going to be the *same* as what I had before. There are still going to be limitations, and it's still going to be a bit more fragile, a bit more stiff, a little less powerful in some ways. If I work really hard, it could actually be more powerful in other ways.

I now take the time to sleep when I need it. I don't push myself impossibly. I'm making time to write again, making time to dream again, trying to sleep enough so that I can dream. I eat less, I exercise less, I haven't had a solid, screaming competition in three months. And I haven't had enough exercise to make me really sweat for two weeks, that's something that's hard to put up with. I'm making more time for real-time and real-life friends to be a part of my life. I actually asked for help for the first time I can remember when I asked Raven for the backrub and Regis to bring her reading stuff. I'm now starting to be part of a local pack instead of always flying down to the Bay Area to be a part of the Horde's.

I make the time to game, now, with Maya and with Keely. I am also better focussed on work than I've ever been. And my life's really changed when I started measuring time by ice packs and painkiller affects.

And I get minor miracles like being able to walk.

So, yeah, Kent, life's changed. It's going to change more. After going from a time when my life was nearly entirely work, soccer, and eating and filling in the gaps with sleeping, it's likely going to be moving away from soccer and eating and more towards writing and doing the things that I need to be healthy, including plenty of sleep for the first time in my life.

Small changes today, went to a single crutch, which is a lot less awkward than two crutches, but also less supportive, so I'm definitely putting more weight on the leg. Did a lot of things at work with regards to building class structures and actually designing the classes before writing them. Yeesh. Real software processes. How keen.

Going to have a demo tomorrow. Likely going to do the experiment of washing all of me tonight, for the first time, after Rick made that comment about the tape coming off in the shower, it seems to be something that's possible, now. I don't like being sweaty and sticky on one leg.

Design reviews are good. Found a lot of stuff that needed fixing and it makes a lot more sense with the fix. Kinda keen.

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

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