Sometimes Mother Nature Screams — Look At Me!

Springtime Peach Blossoms - a Minnesota (4/48/2015) Photo - Clarence Holm

Springtime Peach Blossoms – a
Minnesota (4/48/2015)
Photo – Clarence Holm

For fifty one weeks a year, my neighbor’s tree stands quietly in his front yard blending in with the suburban neighborhood, an unremarkable background tree just off an asphalt driveway. But for one week, just as winter’s frost has lifted, it blossoms into a show stopping canopy of fragrant pink and white flowers that slows traffic and warms the coldest heart.

Springtime Peach Blossoms - b Minnesota (4/48/2015) Photo - Clarence Holm

Springtime Peach Blossoms – b
Minnesota (4/48/2015)
Photo – Clarence Holm

Then, just as quickly as it burst forth, a steady breeze ends the show, plummeting petals of softness into the night, clearing the stage for spring’s next performer.

Springtime Peach Blossoms - c Minnesota (4/48/2015) Photo - Clarence Holm

Springtime Peach Blossoms – c
Minnesota (4/48/2015)
Photo – Clarence Holm

(My best guess as to type of tree)

Facing Reality and Social Security

The NBA, NFL, or the MLB may not have noticed, but I officially retired this week. I did so by filing an on-line form at the Social Security Website and picking a final “at work” date. It was physically surprisingly simple to do, but the angst accompanying the decision remained high.

It is hard to admit to yourself, you are no longer at the top of your game. For me the annoyance of physical pain was surpassed by the realization that mental mistakes were taking their toll in my productivity. Add in the knowledge that my skillset has become dated and progress is being held up by my inability to adapt to new software and systems.

It is also becoming plain to me that the generational differences are beginning to show as preferred methods of communication are changing quickly. What were once a very “hands on” business has changed to a digital format. The value of the grip of a handshake, eye contacts and spoken word has diminished to the point where actual contact is considered artificial and wasteful. Today’s emails, tweets, and blogs have replaced face to face meetings as primary communication methods. The dance of coffee and cookies accompanied by handshakes and introductions is no longer necessary for a coast to coast five minute webinar.

Consumer and employee loyalty are now less valued as online sales are now predicated on price and convenience. Knowledge is a luxury that can be purchased on as-needed bases centered on short term results.

As I have achieved a long list of past accomplishments, the reality is “What can you do for me now” is ruling the business world.  While for some consumers this might turn out to be a much better solution for their goals, it does not fit my passion. So while I have spent a lifetime of picturing tomorrow I now find myself turning the other direction and becoming involved with today and completing my yesterdays.

I was sent home without a balloon and a sucker!

If it isn’t on the checklist, turns out doctors and nurses don’t have to listen.

-Clarence Holm, (upset patient who has a blog)

(caution – whining in progress)

My same day surgery was postponed today.

I had gotten to the point of donning a backward pajamas top which left my derriere exposed to all. A passing nurse noticed some bruising on my leg. After a quick examination by my nurse and the surgeon, it was confirmed the risk of infection from all the clotted blood in my legs was too high to continue.

I should have known better, even though I had specifically told two doctors and two nurses during two separate previous appointments that I had fallen and had badly hurt myself, no one thought it was a big deal. Apparently I was just a fat old man complaining again! In fact, after the second appointment, I told people at the office where I work that obviously when you get old no one listens and to just stop whining.

To be fair, the main reason for my hospital visits was for knee pain and possible orthoscopic surgery, however, I did tell both the doctors and the nurses that I had recently fallen and had hurt myself badly. In one of the cases I raised my shirt to show some of the resulting bruises, but no follow-up questions were asked.

What’s next is a few more weeks of pain and painkillers as well as two more weeks of not being able to work because of the distraction caused by throbbing pain.

Do I seem bitter?

Before Simple Surgery

-Clarence Holm (last thoughts before orthoscopic surgery)

Coasting through the pre-op check list
Restricted fluids, solids dismissed
Simple surgery done with scopes
Correcting damage restoring hopes

Months of limping, stinging pain
Cured in minutes, no more cane
Modern medicine at its best
Small incision, three days rest.

No cause to worry, nothing to fret
Simple procedure; no need to sweat
Counting the minutes till the nurse calls a name
I’d sooner be elsewhere, a cowards reframe.

Mere minutes to go till the needles inserted
I look for an exit, a hallway deserted.
They’ve taken my pants I’ve got nowhere to run
I’m here to the finish, it has to be done.

Cherish my memory, take care of my wife
Prepare a headstone, I’m going to the knife.
Last second worries clutter my fear.
Thank God I’m wearing clean underwear!