Friday, February 6, 2009


Last night we visited our dear friend who recently undergone a successful heart operation. He is doing well and will go back to our home country to recuperate for a few weeks. We realize that we get more fragile as we get older. We compared our predicament as I shared stories of being in the ward awaiting for the operation of my fractured arm. I stayed in the hospital for 4 days awaiting for the swelling to go down and for a chance to go up in the operating queue. My friends laughed at my stories although it was nothing compared to his open heart surgery. My friend's mom cooked Philippine dishes like laing and pancit. We ate a lot and shared the cake that we bought as a gift. I got home at about 11:30 pm.

Yesterday morning I was in the hospital for my check-up and the doctor mentioned that he will remove a wire in my hand, placed to keep the fracture in place after a few weeks. A steel plate was added to fasten my broken bones and the wire is to keep it in place. I underestimated the extent of my injury, thinking that I could regain the strength in my arm after a few days. But I think I will only get the full strength sometime in March when the splint can be removed. Earlier this week the stitches were removed and my arm looked very raw and fragile. Going to the hospital nearly every week for change of bandages, physical therapy, x-ray inspection and consultation has given me pause to think that my injury is grave. Not a simple fall where I could just dust myself up and walk away. The bones have to fuse and heal together before I can get back my muscular strength.

My injury made me realize my mortality aside from the heart surgery of my friend. Usually I did not care about my self, preferring to roller-blade, bike and do other active sports. Most of my colleagues are amaze that I still roller blade at my age and I realize that for some people I may probably seem to be reckless.In fact I am was just careless in matters where I should have placed more attention and seriousness. At the end of the day, I should not have roller-bladed without my wrist guard. With my injury, I realize that I take a lot of things for granted and I should focus on more serious things. Even listening to audio books these days seem to be a trivial pursuit. But I guess that I enjoy these audio books when I travel to and from home and helps me spend my time wisely.

My projects are a bit delayed because of my absence and I did not factor in the delay from IBM. I spend a lot of time trying to guide them towards the correct direction. I am also spending some time to train the person from Shanghai who would be replacing me. He came on board mid-January but we only started the training this week because of the Chinese Lunar New Year. He is a young guy who got married last year and his hometown is 3 hours from Shanghai. During the Chinese New Year, he went home to visit his folks. I remembered the news report from the BBC about the millions of migrant workers who return home the the cities during the New Year and I thought about him.

I have images of my life in my new assignment, meeting my new co-workers and trying to adapt to the environment. I also wondered why the office sent the mail last week requesting that I transfer on April fools day. I noticed that I get these mails a day after our global meeting. I don't know if the event are related although my active imagination think that it is. I am glad that I can assess these mistakes of thinking after reading about cognitive function from the book 'Manage your Mind.' There is a similar exercise in the book 'The Write Type' for writers to manage their right brain's emotional excess. The exercise calls for us to think of alternative explanations to our initial beliefs. So to key is to correct wrong thoughts and I realize that I have a bunch of them based on my prejudices and may have prevented me from enjoying my life.

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