Lane change ahead…

Don’t you hate it when you miss your turn-off?

Yes, i know, many of us use GPS now. But i still like to study a map at home before heading to the airport.
I tend to become anxious about catching the information in time to get to the lane i need, so it calms me to have an aerial view in mind as i’m trying to follow the signs and instructions.

The idea of planning for changing lanes came to mind when i noticed the date first thing this morning. Today marks seven years since the name change which precipitated the title of this blog.

I like it when dates sneak up on me like that. This anniversary wasn’t one i’d been looking ahead toward, as i’m prone to do, hand at forehead shading my squinting eyes.

It feels good to be reminded by surprise that returning to my birth name represented a lane change i eagerly chose, emblematic of setting off for a fresh future, and reconnecting with an earlier selfhood.

What a wild seven years it’s been.
Taken alongside other arbitrary blocks of time, it has been marked more by disrupting and blindsiding turns and twists than by planned lane changes.

Regular readers will understand the reference to surviving cancer along with its attendant losses. To the years it took to navigate the obtacles and detours, getting far enough through them for the eventual silver linings to make themselves plain.

Here’s to finally landing, for now, back on a main road — where dreams can re-stir. Dreams of venturing to new places, of telling the stories, of influencing my own direction among the lanes left open.

Not just external options have changed, but also ways of seeing.
There are lanes to choose internally too.

A post five years ago listed a few take-aways from that time.
I have a few to add, being down the road a bit farther…

…Some but not all seemingly small moves turn out to be momentous, for good or ill.
And i don’t usually get to know which ahead of time.

…I can’t compute a percentage of an unknown number.
In other words, pondering how to spend the number of days i might have left is hampered by not being privy to that figure.

…Unlike my trip to the airport, any life map i purport to go by keeps needing to be redrawn as i go.

…Missing a lane change isn’t as bad as i feared.
There’s usually place up ahead to get back on track.
It might take extra time, i might even miss my flight, but, well, see the above take-aways.

As it happens, the past several weeks have brought about a few unanticipated medical and financial detours. But nothing close to the level of difficulties of a few years ago, just faint echoes.

Those reverberations, along with the seven-year reminder, nudge me to pause, take a good look around, and then pull way up to get the drone view, a fresh aerial perspective.

From up here, it’s easier to see the layout.
And it looks like things are going to be alright.

Best Laid Plans…


Is it true that your life is primarily made up of what happens to you?

Or is your life rather more composed of how you respond to the conditions and events you are confronted with?

A few years ago i wrote this song about the interplay between the two.

Though i’ve been meaning to post this for some time, being ready to do so this morning happens to fall on a significant anniversary. Today marks five years to the day since cancer surgery. Five years and counting of “NED” status — no evidence of disease.

(See below for the lyrics.)

Thanks for reading and listening.

Always lookin’ for a reason

A rhythm to go with my rhyme

But every answer brings more questions

They’ve got me steppin’ out of time…

Cuzz my best laid plans

They’re not quite in my hands

The best that i can do is be ready…

My best laid plans

They’re not quite in my hands

The best that i can do is be ready

To make it… a dance

Oh they were good plans in their season

Full of reasons they should come through

But life takes its turn, then you take your step

In that minuet something rings true

Cuzz your best laid plans

They’re not quite in your hands

The best that you can do is be ready…

Your best laid plans

They’re not quite in your hands

The best that you can do is be ready

To make it… a dance

…Step lightly, and make it a dance

A Hansen observance…

lightning rainbow

Four years ago today i returned to the surname Hansen after many years away from it (as noted on this blog’s About page). Thoughts about the significance of that change formed a large part of the rationale for starting this project.

As chance would have it, less than three months later, i was diagnosed with cancer.  In a longer post a year later i discussed why i wasn’t making that a prominent blog topic.

Anniversaries have a way of spurring us to take stock, to big-picture our everyday experiences. This one is compelling me to ruminate about all that has happened since then. About the way the passage of time can make the exact same event seem like yesterday and like ages ago.   Continue reading

Long overdue…

Hello readers!

I hope this is the last time that i’ll have to express regrets for a long absence.

In my inaugural Ruminations post of December 2014, i explained my reasons for not making the cancer diagnosis a major topic of the blog. Unfortunately, it does make sense to refer to its ramifications occasionally, particularly after i’ve been prevented from posting regularly.

Returning today from the longest sabbatical since i started the blog is just such an occasion…


Winter is coming. I never used to mind that.

But now with winter’s approach come dismal emotions that accompany anniversaries of diagnosis and treatment.

This November 1st marks three years since the declaration. I call it the great Time Marker.

I am, as far as i know, cancer-free. The subsequent string of severe complications from the treatment appears to finally be over, but has resulted in permanent discomforts and limitations — which is why i am only now getting back to writing. They make the anniversary a bit more challenging to grieve over and move beyond.

Continue reading

But if i *were* going to write about it…

When I started setting up this blog, I had lots of ideas for topics I might want to post about. Sometime later, when I hadn’t yet got around to posting anything, I was diagnosed with cancer.

I decided quickly that I wouldn’t post about it, and correctly anticipated that others would inquire as to whether I would. I’ve since then been crafting my answer to their next question, “Why not?”

The first thing that occurred to me is that it’s such an obvious choice of topic, which is reason enough itself to decline. Second, it’s just too tailor­made for heart-tugging and sympathy-engendering, leading to many obvious responses from others as well. “There but for the grace of god go I,” and all that. Third, of course the topic is interesting to me in rather specific ways, but outside of the easy melodrama, it’s hard for me to believe it’s that interesting to others. And even if it were, I would like to think it’s not the most interesting thing about me.    Continue reading