what would you miss?

Yesterday I completed my one year scan. It was both anti-climactic and stressful all the same.

If this comes back with results similar to the last test then I’m in good shape. If it doesn’t then I’ll need to see where things stand. At minimum there would be another biopsy involved with a round of interpretation and all that entails. Has it transformed into something scarier? Is it growing? …?

This time I had the appointment scheduled at Kaiser Oakland. Thankfully it didn’t involve a trailer. I learned by asking the tech that Kaiser outsourced their PET/CT services to a third party, hence the trailer and somewhat variable service in the past. The Oakland offices were downright plush.

I was anxious all day. Too anxious to even write this post. I ended up doing some small tasks that needed to get done, and many others that required little brain power. After several failed attempts to be productive I gave up. I decided instead to make a jar of homemade Ghee and play with the kids. As I scooped the frothy milk solids from the top of the melting butter I was reminded how the small pleasures never really make it to the top of the priority queue. But they are mighty important. A focus on craft, toward elusive perfection, transcends any given activity. Perfection is more a state of being, less an output. Making that Ghee was probably the most satisfying part of my day.

Find as many opportunities to practice perfection as you can – regardless how seemingly meaningless the task. Actually, the more menial activities might be better because there’s no pressure. I’ve been lately trying to build in as many of these moments as possible to combat my natural tendency to do things just good-enough. I think I created this pernicious habit in misguided attempts to squeeze ever more into short days… which may achieve that aim. I can tell you that this comes at the cost of satisfaction! This habit of focusing on perfection is a good antidote. The trick is to choose those areas of focus wisely.

What is it you would miss if your time was cut short?

That was the main question I sat with in the darkness, as the radioactive isotopes mixed with my blood and organs. It’s easy to get caught up in nonsense when pondering the big ideas. This question cuts through most of the cruff. And good answers here seem a solid input to pipe into the bigger, more ambiguous questions such as, what do I really care about?

While I aspire to more the truth is today I’m trying to remain calm while waiting for these results. Frankly, I’m not doing a very good job of it. But I did make some pretty great Ghee.

Test results by Friday.

Ghee whiz