## Friday, September 21, 2007

### Filling.

I went in for a “simple” re-do of an old filling yesterday. The filling was cracked and silver and my new dentist was going to replace it with the fancy white fillings that last forever. I was actually scheduled to get both of my old fillings replaced yesterday. So imagine my surprise when it all went to hell in a handbasket and I ended up with my jaw pried open for two solid hours with two people tugging, chipping, drilling, and cursing at my poor mouth. On ONE FILLING. They only managed to replace the one due to “unforeseen complications”, so guess what? I get to go back NEXT WEEK to get the other one filled. YAY ME.

I was going to write something deep about how what we think will fulfill us might end up being more complicated than originally anticipated, or how that fulfillment night not fit right the first time and might need adjusting, and blahblahblah – but you know, I’m not feeling it, so I'm just going to leave it at this:

I hate the dentist.

## Monday, September 17, 2007

### Risk Assessment

Risk assessment … is measuring two quantities of the risk R, the magnitude of the potential loss L, and the probability p that the loss will occur.
-Wikipedia

I write about this every day at work. I throw the words around as selling points to potential clients – that in order to make their data centers, servers, whatevers more secure, they must first let us help them take a risk assessment in order to gauge, well, the risk. I know, rocket science.

But I’m finding that this universal measurement also applies in other areas of life, such as matters of the heart. Think about it. All of us take a risk assessment upon the initial meeting of a Person of Interest (PoI), whether it’s conscious or not. The balance is delicate and intuitive; how does the risk compare to the beats of your heart per second (hbps), measured against the tingle factor (TF) and then the all-important kiss assessment (KA)? If the last three compare favorably to the first, then you pretty much have to go for it. It is, as they say, worth the risk. But. This doesn’t minimize the fear, ohhhhh hell no. Because let’s face it, there are those of us who would choose to forgo elevated hbps, TF or KA if we could be spared a broken heart at the expense of the PoI.

So we have the power to choose; to play it safe, to protect ourselves, to prevent further emotional damage. Seems like it might even be the smart thing to do, no? Most of us have done this at one time or another. We’ve let go of something based on the probability of the loss, no matter how badly we might have wanted it. We’ve cut our losses.

But have we? Really?

These are things that have been running through my mind for the past couple of weeks. The balance, the risk, the rewards, the potential benefits. I was told by a doctor once, when I was very ill, that if I was a “risk taker” I would choose the more dangerous, medicinal route that would either save my life or kill me; or I could be timid, choose to forego the risk, and live half a life instead.

I didn't go for it then so I could wuss out now.

## Sunday, September 09, 2007

### The Fall.

It's that time of year when the leaves are starting to turn and there is a definite chill in the air. It is Fall, and it actually feels like it, in more ways than one.

I have always loved Fall. Ever since I was 14 and fell in love for the first time, getting my first kiss, my first held hand, my first promise ring. My first high school football game, cuddled under a scratchy, musty blanket on the bleacher with a boy who made my heart pound out of my chest. Removing my retainer surreptitiously in order to kiss with tongue and not plastic. Wearing a borrowed letter jacket that smelled vaguely of smoke and teenage boy. It was so magical and powerful and new to me that I have forever associated this time of year with ... well... magic and power and newness.

But for the past [too many years to count], Fall has disappointed me. The excitement of the first cold front, the joy at pulling out the sweaters, the freedom of open windows, has been tinged with sadness and a feeling of being, well, anything but new. Year after year has gone by without the stomach butterflies I remember so well (although I can bring on simulated butterflies just by remembering the smell of my h.s. sweetheart's parents' van. mmm-hmm.)

The feeling associated with that most-special Fall of 23 years ago was hope. Blind, naive, stupid hope. The kind of hope you have before you've had your heart shredded for the first time. The kind of goofy joy you can only experience once, because after your heart has been shredded, you guard the pieces much more closely. You dole them out carefully, ever-prepared to come back around with a broom and dustpan and collect whatever might be left over from the next broken heart. And through the years, the pieces you are willing to hand out grow smaller. Consciously or not, you begin to only hand out the pieces you deem not as important, the ones you feel you can live without when they don't come back whole. Your capacity to trust is diminished, the spark of belief you used to have in the whole basic concept of love grows dim. You become convinced you will never be able to recapture that feeling of hope, that hope is for the young, for the innocent, for the careless.

But then, when you're least expecting it, when you have literally given up the silly dream of butterflies and blind hope, when you have accepted that your life will be a certain way and that's okay ------ you start to fall.

...to be continued...