Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Metaphor Du Jour, a note to a colleague explaining my health

p.s. I found this image just googling "metaphor car lungs images"-weird huh?

Note to Readers: I'm a post ahead of myself so this is the Wednesday night post.
It went up, unedited, last night on accident :)

Tonight, I wrote this to my longtime colleague regarding our current project and her worries that my work is getting too intense, as hers is getting less intense while she deals with family health issues that are pressing. I share it with you because:

a) it contains the metaphor du jour

b) it is a good sample, i think, of how to articulate quickly why I want to work as much as I can work right now

c) it's a good reminder that within whatever a CFer deals with, s/he must also remember that personal challenges surround us. We can do for others what we need done for us.

d) It shows that in a short time, one can become comfortable with something that once seemed insurmountable, as I have become comfortable wearing oxygen in front of my students when I need to.

Here goes . . .

"L--,thanks for this message and we'll talk (hopefully) more tomorrow. On my health issues- the only thing I'm really having trouble with is sustained cardio like walks, when I have to wear my oxygen, and mornings are sort of rough because of the oxygen issues. Other than that, I am really in good health and spirits and being active is the best thing for me (and my spiritual health/mind) right now. So I love that I'm able to help you with this project, seriously. Also, now that I have my Handicapped parking, my entire day has gotten a lot easier.

[I wish I had applied for it when my sister told me to, a year ago!]

I think of my lungs like an old car. They can go on lots of short drives but when they go on a road trip, they are in trouble until they make it to the shop. The oxygen is the shop :)

I am fine with regular activities and even being very active in class and rehearsal, but long bouts of formal exercise are what wear me out, and I need to use the oxygen to keep from feeling very fatigued. With our teens, in particular, I would not hesitate to wear it in rehearsal if I need it. They really don't care. Some of the kids we will have, have already seen it at other rehearsals around town. I'll wear it if I need it, and when I wear it, I can do whatever I want. It's really a great freedom for me.

I'm more used to this now because it has been this way since the winter, and even worse since about May. I don't really know what my year ahead holds, but I could be in this sort of state for a few years even, so I want to make sure that I'm being as active as I can not only because it's the best for me, but it is also the best for my lungs. :)

Let's talk more and just know that the [artistic institution I work for] family will rise up to meet you if an emergency arises or if you are behind in the planning. We are a teaching artist ensemble! We should practice what we preach. :) I am honored to do whatever I can, that you need. Seriously."

Feel free to use these words (or your edited ones) in an email to your colleagues when they say,

"I feel like you're doing too much."

and you read or hear

"Stop doing what you love."

Because I know, that can be a hard conversation to enter.



  1. VERY NICE!!!!! Stuff like this can be an invaluable resource...I'll make sure to mention it on my blog tomorrow. If I don't, please remind me.


  2. Your resource is my resource :)

    Thanks, Ronnie. I hope you're doing well among the germy civilians. :)


Thanks for commenting! Your comment will be posted ! -CG