Triple Track

Dear J-

We’re well into October now and it feels sometimes like the year has blurred by, although I can tell you every etched minute and hour of the weekends lately. We’ve been staying at home in order to potty train the boy (get on the potty, every hour or half hour) and with the hot weather it’s been a challenge not going crazy in the house. I’ve been alternating between naps and being jarred to wakefulness by announcements both gleeful and not of whether he’s made it in the potty. Or not. We’re getting closer, so I’m not terribly worried that he’ll still be in diapers at his next birthday, but the anniversary of arriving here in San Mateo has been pretty quiet.

There’s a lot I need to do; we should meet up with my parents and save up for some trips (I have a few trips to be taken, and we need to find a way to make them happen). I’m intimidated by traveling with the kids — how do you entertain them for that long, and what do you do to keep them from bothering the other passengers — but on the other hand, you’ve got just as much right to be there, and they are people on their own right, able to be controlled as much as they’re willing to be controlled. I need to see the other worlds within this one, and we need to make some deep memories out of this, bottom line. I still remember, however dimly, trips I took as a kid and I need to extend that to the kids.

Last thought this morning: we lost a friend to suicide last week; she was a vet and was one of the regulars at the park when we lived in the apartments on Portage Bay in Davis and, as the cliche goes, was one of the last people you’d suspect of harboring such thoughts. Just as they say that chronic pain can cause severe depression, I wonder what chronic uncertainty — which is the bane of any veterinarian in practice — does to the psyche over time. This is unfortunately not an isolated incident within the world of veterinary medicine and I wonder what can be done, academically, to train for this; between debt and training you can feel obligated to continue in a career that doesn’t love you back.

Mike

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