drcpunk (drcpunk) wrote,

Pacing for a marathon

We still have at least a month of summer weather left.

After that, it's not as if we will suddenly stop using power or that the problems with various cables and whatnot will spontaneously resolve themselves. It's not like this will not be able to happen again.

That's why I was annoyed to read that NYC Mayor Bloomberg said, assuming he was quoted accurately, that we're almost at the end of the race, where "race" is, I guess, a metaphor for the current heat wave.

Heat wave aside, one of my parents has Alzheimers. The other has various physical issues. The advice I have been given, over and over, for coping with this and with other areas of stress, has been this:

Don't think of this as a sprint. Pace yourself for a marathon.

It's good advice. It is bot, however, comfortable advice.

What it means is that there is no obvious length of time the situation will last. It will be an ongoing factor in my life for years to come.

It is necessary to rearrange the mental landscape to take this into account. Things that one can do in the short term and things that one can do day after day for the forseeable future are different. Do not confuse one with the other.

So, the heat wave that culminated in a temporary loss of most of our power was not, in itself, for mneme and I, that bad, however much I whined. Our fridge worked. We had a few working outlets. It was cool enough and pleasant enough to sleep with windows open. ebartley let us crash with her over the weekend, and her mother let us take a shower in a feline-free place.

This worked fine for the short term. I doubt hiding out at ebartley's place would have worked as a long term solution. And, if power problems continue, how long would her neighborhood be immune to power outages?

This week, again, for us, not as bad as it might have been. The heat was brutal. Even with air conditioning, I don't think the apartment got below 85 degrees Farenheit. But, we've been surviving. We spent Tuesday evening at a friend's house, watching the dvd of the musical version of The Producers. Good short term answer. Not viable as a long term thing.

Today, I'm hanging out at crash_mccormick's, with lots of people. Lovely short term answer to the heat -- lots of folks in one air conditioned place.

However, the air conditioning is very low, as are the lights. This is still acceptable, but it is not as comfy as it would be with more air conditioning or less heat. Long term problems are affecting everyone.

What I can deal with in the short term is not necessarily what I can maintain in the long term.

And, my mind is still devoting neurons to the post-heat wave situation. Will we keep power? Will our home air conditioner be effective? Will my friends be able to use their air conditioners and other Devices? Will Con Ed continue to say, "Don't set your thermostat lower than 78" while people giving tips on dealing with the heat and avoiding hyperthermia say, "Set your thermostat to 72"?

Even best case scenario, this race will not end when the current heat wave does.
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