August update

Well, I’m back in Baton Rouge, recovered from jet lag in China, and ready to tackle the coming school year. The bad news is the person we were recruiting to take my interim position permanently has taken a different job. Which means, I’m likely to be doing this for the time being. The worst of it is I was really looking forward to a sabbatical in the Spring. Alas.

This past Thursday, I turned 50. I think everyone who turns the big 5-0 should go to Hawaii (50th state?), or at least do something really fun. I suppose China fits that bill, but I’d really like to get to the beach with the kids sometime. But it has given me reason to reflect on what I have done with my life and what I might do better with what’s left of it. Overall, I can’t complain. I have a terrific wife, two great kids (one just entering high school, the other just entering middle school), great friends and a job that allows me to pursue my passions.

Are there things I could have done better, you bet. I often feel disconnected from the rest of my family. Some of that is just sheer distance, some of it is my own doing. I must do better. Could we do more to deal with our home? Of course. But I think our recent spending on updating the home is the result of a combination of finding a GREAT contractor (you can’t have him until we’re done with him!), and the auspices of this milestone (speaking of that, our new porch looks great). I need to lose weight, exercise more, and find time to just unwind. Part of it is just building it into my schedule.

On another note entirely, I’m very worried about my father. On Wednesday, he had an angiogram because of a suspected minor heart attack he had a couple of weeks ago. They found a small blockage, and inserted a stent. He began to feel much better, and was released after just a day. But apparently yesterday, he woke up from a nap with his blood pressure very low. He was advised to go to the ER where they are now concerned about a particular enzyme level. The cardiologist on-call isn’t telling him anything, and there seems to be a breakdown in communication (although they may not know anything). It might just be a situation where they need to adjust his blood pressure meds. But no one’s talking right now. My thoughts are out on the west coast right now.