Diminished Capacity

January 24, 2005

Ever since learning my mother had inoperable lung cancer I feel as if I have been operating at a diminished capacity. My thought processes have become muddy and indistinct; the mental sharpness that I normally possess is not currently attainable. There are periods of time where I just sit and stare, not thinking about anything, not processing any stimulus, not being aware of the passage of time. I suspect that were my thoughts sharp and clear I would be disturbed by this lack of focus. However, the silver lining of this malaise is a general lack of concern. I am too removed from myself to work myself up over much of anything.

The mindless drudgery of daily chores is a welcome relief; making dinner or taking the trash out is comfortably mindless. And the minor sense of accomplishment that comes from their completion is very rewarding in my diminished interaction with reality. Of course, minor setbacks seem huge and insurmountable now. Yesterday's attempt at a pot of chili failed to have the flavor I was looking forward to enjoying. This "defeat" left me in tears. Not only is my capacity for cogent thinking greatly reduced, my resilience to criticism or failure is similarly reduced.

Michele and I have labored under so many sources of outside stress for so long with out a break that we are starting to seriously breakdown. We need an escape from all the large uncontrollable forces in our life for a time. We need to refocus on the little things where we can succeed and have some measure of control.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.