INSITEVIEW- - tom shugart's weblog

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Back From the Almost Dead

When one has been absent from the blogosphere as long as I have, readers usually start to wonder, “Is he all right? I hope nothing’s happened, etc.” Eventually, someone will send an email of inquiry and concern, and express a wish that I get my butt back in here.

This time was different. First of all, I’ve had so many extended absences by now that, when I disappear, people have stopped wondering—not to mention the fact that there aren’t many left that would care anyway, given my many lengthy departures from this space (with the welcome exception of the intrepid Frank Paynter, who has just dropped an email, bless his heart).

A ho-hum factor inevitably begins to take hold.

Secondly, THIS time, I wasn’t all right. A scary brush with the Reaper and all that. I’m not going to bore people with the details except to say that one of my main arteries to the heart showed up 95% blocked. A scary ride that I hope will never repeat itself. But who knows?

The cardiologist blithely threw out the observation, “Wow! This one’s usually fatal. You’re a lucky sonuvagun." Wow, indeed.

I’ve been blessed with a youthful appearance and attitude. But the interior organs and pipes, and the family genes, are not fooled. They are beginning to do what they tend to do after seven decades--and in my family, usually before then.

I’ve eaten healthy, low-fat foods for over twenty years, stopped smoking thirty-five years ago, walked vigorously for over a mile every day, or nearly so, but the genes and the passage of time are what they are.

The life-saving (at least for the time being) repairs have been made and I’m now feeling fine. But the new reality is that I’ll spend the rest of my life with a bottle of nitro tablets within reach at all times—always with the hope that the other shoe doesn’t drop, but being forced to accept the fact that it could at any moment.

Hard to believe, given my devotion to living a healthy life style. But this IS what is—and I learned a long time ago that what is is, and what isn’t isn’t, and that’s pretty much all you need to know to keep your mental balance. To take a Rabbi Hillel quotation out of context, "everything else is just commentary."

One is supposed to have life-changing epiphanies after such brushes with oblivion—new insights on what you’re going to do with the rest of your life; new realizations about your life’s purpose, and so on.

None of that has happened to me to any dramatic extent. The skies have not opened up.

A few things, though, have surfaced. For starters, I’d like to give the blog another shot—even though the blogosphere is so different now—and I mean that in the negative sense--from when I first started out back in early ’02.

I’m not sure it’s worth the bother any more. But the isolation’s no fun either, so I’ll see what I can do with this baby. If nobody comes back to it, at least I’ll have the satisfaction of having not quit prematurely.

I scoot over to Paynter's blog and right there at the top is a quote from Dervala about her recent absence from blogging that puts my little whine about the same subject to shame. God, can that gal write! Another one of my lost conncetions that I used to enjoy in my fertile earlier blogging period. Thanks, Frank, for the re-connect.

Another desire has come through clear as a bell: to give my wife, Jill, whatever assistance I can in expanding her business. She’s a tremendous resource for parents—and for people in troubled relationships. Her skills deserve a wider audience, and there’s an audience out there—if they can be reached--that would welcome her skills.

The power of the internet and teleconferencing could help her broaden that reach. I intend to help her get there.

First step was to set up a web site—albeit rudimentary, it’s a start. Next step is to attend a Business Development Intensive with Super-Coach Melanie Benson Strick. Jill and I have signed up as a partnership so that we can function as a team and get aligned on a vision and a plan of action -- transforming this whole thing from wish list and good idea to concrete reality.

As for the blog, I’m starting by switching to what I hope is a more visually appealing format. Unfortunately, I completely overlooked the fact that when I switched templates, I would lose my blogroll and other links. Ouch! How unconscious can you be? But--in my defense--I have been distracted, no?

Anyway, to all those great bloggers to whom I was linked, I haven’t forgotten you. Your links will be back up in due course.

Maybe I’ll join the 21st Century and start posting the occasional photograph, now that Blogger has enabled it. And to get me back in touch with the blogger I once was, I think I’ll borrow a page from what I’ve observed some other bloggers doing—anniversary posts—e.g.,“on this day last year, two years ago, three years, etc”.—not every old post, but maybe some of the better ones.

My long absence resulted in the inevitable comment spam that befalls neglected blogs. I should have known better. I’ve tried to clean out some of the crap, but the good ones are gone forever.

It’s a sad loss to no longer have all the wonderful comments that people have posted here over the years. To my mind, it was at least two-thirds of what made the blog worthwhile. I can never adequately express how thrilled I was to get the number of quality comments that I received from a whole variety of fabulous bloggers.

For the time being, I'll have to settle for Blogger's comments. Later this week. I'll see if I can get Haloscan back. I much preferred it.

It’s good to be back, and especially good to feel the warm breath still coming out of this old mouth, and the still-nimble fingers tapping the keyboard.


  • Well, Tom ... glad to hear you are back and that the scare you had is behind you now!

    I had to look twice to make sure I wasn't seeing things when your name popped up in bold in my Bloglines subscription list!!!

    Welcome back -- even if the blogosphere is a slightly different place these days. Some of us "oldies" are still hanging in here...

    By Anonymous maria, at 11:53 PM  

  • Tom--PLEASE BE WELL!! I too thought you'd just taken a break. Wow. The break took you, but you are back and I am so glad! Your years of healthfulness are probably what kept you one of the 5 percent who make it. Keep up the good work.

    By Blogger Jeneane Sessum, at 7:05 AM  

  • look on the bright side, tom
    some of us blogger
    are positively positive

    I only came here as you were
    blog waning
    but you were on my bloglines roll too
    and so here I am this morning
    about the reaper's sideswipe
    at you

    keep tht bottle handy
    and keep posting

    By Anonymous suzanne, at 7:05 AM  

  • Hay, I think my brother had something similar a coupla years ago, Tom, that top artery is called "the widowmaker" because it usually just blows without warning. You both got lucky.

    He looks like he has a zipper down his chest. Do you?

    By Anonymous Sheila, at 7:48 AM  

  • Maria: Looking forward to catching up on you and your family's happenings. I can use your willingness to hang in there as an inspiration.

    Jeneane:Thank you for the encouragement! I'll do my best to stick around.

    Suzanne:Thank you for having me on your roll! I'll be reciprocating.

    Sheila: Hadn't heard that term before, but it's apt. I was doubly lucky. They didn't have to go the open-heart route.

    Thanks,everyone for responding. The good vibes are just what this 'ol heart needs.

    By Blogger Tom Shugart, at 12:48 PM  

  • Glad to hear you're back, and in a position to be back. You sure you want the stress of weblogging?

    Take care of yourself.

    By Blogger Shelley, at 2:52 PM  

  • Tom, you put the heart crosswise on us with that post, as we say where I'm from when we're worried. I'm so glad you're hale, and full of plans. Stay well.

    By Blogger Dervala, at 6:49 PM  

  • Shelley: Hmmm--you raise an interesting question. Anyway, thanks for thinking of me!

    Dervala:Thank you also. How great to hear from you.I will definitely have to catch up on your Bay Area adventures. Hope it's not been all work and no play.

    By Blogger Tom Shugart, at 8:13 PM  

  • So glad you're back and sound well recovered. Looking forward to many years of your comings and goings here.

    By Anonymous Ronni Bennett, at 9:07 PM  

  • Tom, I discovered you in the summer and have been returning on and off ever since, wondering where you are. Am so sorry to hear about your scary time and from now on I'll try and keep in touch more! Am grateful to Frank for pointing out your return! Welcome back to the "warm breath" of the blogosphere.

    By Blogger Tamar, at 3:42 AM  

  • Welcome back, Tom. Again. And again and again and again, if necessary.

    Over the last year or so, old Mr. Death has made a couple of calls to my family - so I wouldn't be surprised if he was also visiting my blogroll. Glad he's not, though (as far as I know, I'm not quite the blogger I used to be myself).

    By Blogger Richard, at 1:58 PM  

  • Tamar: thanks for the welcome back.I, too discovered you this pawt summer and am looking forward to catching up.

    Richard: As nice as it is to get all these warm comments from females (what am I, a rock star or something?), it's great to get one from the guy side, especially you.

    By Blogger Tom Shugart, at 2:19 PM  

  • Tom, I just sent the following email to your private email and it bounced back. Did you get the email about me being in SF Feb 14-20?

    Hello Tom,

    Just read your blog of Jan 29. Over the past months I had a feeling that there was a reason you weren't blogging. So glad to know you have created a body that's working properly. Keep picturing a healthy body and clear arteries.

    In the early 90's, the Abraham Teaching was around and I heard some audio tapes was was not taken with the teaching. Esther and Jerry Hicks have a book 'Ask and It Is Given'; Esther channels Abraham. I've started leading small groups to use the processes in the book. It's powerful stuff.

    Hope to see you in a few weeks,

    Sending love and hugs,

    By Anonymous Barbara Buchanan, at 5:53 PM  

  • Tom,

    So good to see you back and blogging. I was certain this would happen, and never took you off my blogroll. I figured that during the lapse between posts you were working on sentence structure and paragraph breaks for a future entry.

    Healthwise you've convinced me to never go anywhere without my trusty Lipitor.

    Welcome back!

    By Blogger DeanLand, at 2:58 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous blog, at 9:54 PM  

  • Welcome back to blogging and to good health!
    I came back thanks to Ronni at Time Goes By.

    By Anonymous Claude, at 6:16 AM  

  • Hello Tom...This is my fist visit here, but won't be my last. Found you today via Ronni's blog. I'll add you to my list and will be back to visit often.
    Wishing you many years of continued good health.

    By Anonymous Terri, at 8:46 AM  

  • Hi Tom,

    This is my first time to your site, but let me add my congratulations on being back. Life has a way of prioritizing whether we like it or not, doesn't it? One way or another, it sounds like you're a pretty busy guy. I'm relatively new to blogging (since last Aug.) so I can't compare what it was like back when; but I find it a rewarding experience in many ways, and the blogging community is a most generous and caring group. I already know with just your return post that I will be back here to visit. I think you were missed more than you know.

    By Blogger Joy Des Jardins, at 9:20 AM  

  • Hey Tom - are you okay? You seem to have disappeared again ...

    By Blogger Tamar, at 5:46 AM  

  • Good to see you back, and well, Tom - don't feel too guilty about the long absence, I was slacking for almost as long. All the best.

    By Blogger brendan, at 7:08 AM  

  • Give it another go, Tom. Most of the old gang's around...and, hey, if it takes six months between posts, who the hell cares? A lot of us count on you being around and being... well, you...

    C'mon, one more shot...

    By Blogger Mike Golby, at 12:53 PM  

  • Hi Tom,
    good to hear you are well. I've got one of those stent things too, to hold the artery open. Make sure you get it checked annually via a doppler ultrasound load-test.

    Welcome back to the blogosquare (that's like the blogosphere, but for us old guys ;-)

    By Anonymous Stu Savory, at 11:37 AM  

  • Well, we are glad that you are ok tom. Honestly, I was worried once not having to hear from you. But I am glad that you are ok.

    By Anonymous ca6, at 5:37 PM  

  • Welcome back Tom! We are glad that you've finally came back. You got as worried, big time.

    By Anonymous tinay4, at 5:11 PM  

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