The countdown timer is ON! I shared it on my FB page for the book earlier this month, but I think no one really trolls around there like I do. Click on “timer” below…
I somehow convinced the CEO and the Board President of the Acoustic Neuroma Association that it would be a good idea for me to represent ANA at the 7th Annual International Acoustic Neuroma Conference being held this month.
This was my bright idea, thanks to an offhand remark made by someone at our last board meeting regarding the conference. I agreed to pay my own way. Did I mention it’s in Shanghai?
If I can survive brain surgery, I can survive a trip to Shanghai. Followed immediately by a two day board meeting in Dallas. At least I hope I can.
On a side note, I don’t have the skill set to surf, or ski, or run or bike or make music or fly an airplane like many others who have traveled this AN journey before me. But then, I never did. I always wanted my new normal to be as much the same as my old normal as possible. Honestly, I don’t care that I can’t hear out of one of my ears anymore. I don’t care if I never become skilled enough to surf, or ski, or run or bike or make music or fly an airplane.
But travel is something I have always loved to do. I have traveled to countries where I did not speak the language. I’ve traveled domestically with little or no sleep and functioned just fine. And happily, I think my children have inherited that same love.
What if I won’t be able to travel like I did when I was in my 20’s and 30’s?
35 or so years ago I went to Japan with a tour group. I do not know any Japanese (except counting to five.) After being there for about 5 days, I took a side trip BY MYSELF ON THE BULLET TRAIN to a little city with a big Temple. I got lost, but got found, and made it back home.
30 or so years ago I went to Greece with a tour group and I took a side trip BY MYSELF and went to a beach recommended by my friend Gail. I didn’t get lost, and I (obviously) made it back home.
THIS WHOLE TRIP TO SHANGHAI AND DALLAS IS A SIDE TRIP!
I’m older (ahem) and somewhat hearing and balance compromised. I need more sleep. I have no tour group leader meeting me at the airport to get me to my hotel. Or getting me from my hotel to where the conference is. Or getting me from the conference back to my hotel. I have no time to catch up on my sleeping.
This time, I’m more nervous.
I have to keep thinking and remembering all that I have been able to accomplish in the past five years. I took care of my mom in the hospital, twice, once with a 24 hour turnaround. I took care of Ken in the hospital last fall. I flew and traveled for hours to visit friends and family in California, walking all over town, sleeping in sketchy neighborhood hotels, renting cars, taking the train. I memorized and performed a 30 minute monologue. I volunteered many hundreds of hours doing various projects. I have, on recent occasion, multitasked. I survived.
I appear to be able to rely on myself.
I am posting this update on April Fool’s Day 2015. It would have been my mother’s 84th birthday. I know if she was here, she would be the first one to reassure me. And that is reassuring.
Life changes, moves on, we can choose to look at our past with regret for what is lost, or with renewed-energy for what is possible!
I depart on April 10. The conference takes place from April 12-16. The board meeting is on April 17 and 18. Then I’ll come home. Rumor has it there is no Facebook in China. So, for those who are interested, you can follow me on Instagram (mjbronstein) or Twitter (@marlabronstein.) Otherwise, I’ll do another post on my return.
If I can survive brain surgery, I can survive a trip to Shanghai. Followed immediately by a two day board meeting in Dallas. I know I can.