Today, a list of things I don’t understand (but I’m trying to):
- Hand-foot syndrome. Why on earth is the chemo leaking out the capillaries in my feet and hands? And are the burst capillaries all over my chest a symptom of the same thing? (My feet are so tender these days that by mid-morning, walking or driving hurts, and I’ve had to buy shoes with extra cushioning so that I can stand to pick up the kids from school. They’re comfy as all-get-out, but yeah, not really my style.)
- Catholicism. I found a church this spring that has everything we wanted — a close-knit community, a school, scripture-based service, prayer groups, moms and dads who volunteer — and my husband and I can go to church with the kids and not have to worry if they happen to ask a question too loudly or have to leave to go potty. There’s a down-to-earth priest, an honest-to-goodness community of nuns, and I love it. I’m just working through the catechism to make sure that I can get on board, as some of the more extremist interpretations are not something that I’m just willing to sign on to. (We could talk about this a long time. I’m not going to do it here. Oh, and comments will be moderated.)
- What to do about my NASA book. It’s sitting here beside me, 560 pages of text detailing the history of an 18-year-old program and all its missions. The trouble is, who wants to read 560 pages? No one, that’s who. Including me. I wanted to write a popular-type book, not a tome. But I don’t want to scrap what I’ve spent the last 2.5 years doing.
- The resistance to flexible work. The more that I interview women in planetary science for our web series, the less I understand why employers value desk-sitting so highly. If researchers don’t have to use equipment in a laboratory or sit in meetings every day, why can’t they (and we) do the work at another location? Why does my suburb commute downtown every day, clogging the roads, getting in accidents, and generally wasting time in traffic instead of working?
- Cancer. I’ve tried for years now, and I still don’t understand a) Why I got cancer, and b) Why there is not yet a cure.
Things I do understand:
- Love and friendship can help you overcome almost anything.
And today, for me, that’s enough.