Big Change for 2011

For those who read my sporadic posts here on VMtoday.com with any sort of regularity, you know I love crunching numbers – give me some perfmon, esxtop, or vscsistats and let me go to town.  There’s something cathartic about poking, prodding, and analyzing some performance numbers to find the root cause of a problem, the perfect sizing for a new environment, the right number of spindles for my workload….  It’s easy to get lost in those numbers, forgetting to step back and look at the bigger picture.  So rather than write the obligatory post on VMtoday’s 2nd anniversary/Christmas/New Years/Three Kings Day/whatever-the-kids-are-celebrating-these-days, I figured I might do a little analysis of , well, me, and give you all a peek behind the vCurtain I sometimes hide behind.

Glass Half Full2010, simply put, was a very hard year for me.  Some of you know that my wife, Stephanie, has been dealing with a decade of a medical mystery leaving her in constant pain that affects our daily routines, relationships, faith, and family more than I ever could have imagined.  We’ve both been running on empty for some time, and I was ready to crack (Stephanie, being a much stronger, patient, loving, kind, gentle, self-controlled individual than I actually seemed to be faring better).  Stephanie and I decided to try one last ditch effort to get a diagnosis over the summer, starting with a detox of all of her medications.  Take a wife out of commission, throw in a couple of crazy kids, some increased work stress, and I’m done.  More pain, more frustration, more anxiety, no answers….  There’s no numbers to crunch, nothing to analyze… just the brutal realization that life is tough.  Tough being patient with my wife, friends, kids, and coworkers; tough finding time to blog; tough watching colleagues land some awesome new gigs as v-Something-or-others while feeling trapped by the realities of our situation…. But that’s me being a negative-nelly, working the glass-is-half-empty bit – something I’m too often prone to do.

You see, there is a bright side to all of this.   Over the past year, I have learned the depth of my love for Stephanie (and hers for me) as we have walked together through this trying time.  I have realized the goodness of so many people – family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, colleagues in the virtualization community – who have taken a moment to speak (or tweet) a word of encouragement, shown me patience and love, or have been there for a good laugh when I needed one.  An employer who has gone above and beyond to be sensitive to our situation, while rewarding my hard work with additional responsibility and unprecedented opportunity.  And we’ve received some good news – Stephanie got a diagnosis late in November that could explain, in large part, her various symptoms of the past 10 years (a chronic CSF leak leading to what is best described as an acquired Chiari malformation for those who want to know).  For the first time in a long time we felt hope, and many of you celebrated this bit of a victory with us.  There are some corrective procedures that we are currently investigating with Stephanie’s medical team.  An end is imaginable, if not yet in sight.  And we are better people for it on this side of the year than we were at the beginning.

So thanks to everyone who has helped, encouraged, and prayed for us.  I look forward to returning to a bit of normalcy, giving back to those who so freely have given to me over the past year, good health, faith and hope.   That’s the big change – I had given up on all of these.  But enough self pity is enough – I’m all in on embracing hope, on enjoying the little things, and being content with all the blessings I have (instead of worrying about what little I might have lost).  Oh yeah – and, for what it’s worth, I look forward to finding a bit more time to blog, give back to the virtualization community, and take on new challenges in the coming year.  Here’s to hope in 2011!

Comments

  1. Josh: This is good to hear.

  2. Great to hear and best wishes for continued improvment! I look forward to seeing you next week!

  3. Kenneth Hui says:

    Josh,

    Thank you for sharing something so personal and painful. My wife was diagnosed with late stage cancer last Summer and we are in the middle of chemotherapy.

    Hang in there, both you and your family.

    Looking forward to reading more from you.

  4. Kenneth Hui says:

    Josh,

    Thank you for sharing something so personal and painful. My wife was diagnosed with late stage cancer last Summer and we are in the middle of chemotherapy.

    Hang in there, both you and your family.

    Looking forward to reading more from you.

  5. I saw your post today after conducting a twitter search. I am facing a similar problem. My doctors believe I am suffering a CSF leak and I will be going to WVU hospital in the next couple of weeks. I am wondering what sort of procedure your wife has underwent and how she is now feeling? My family is praying for her. I know the closeness and stresses this can bring.

  6. I saw your post today after conducting a twitter search. I am facing a similar problem. My doctors believe I am suffering a CSF leak and I will be going to WVU hospital in the next couple of weeks. I am wondering what sort of procedure your wife has underwent and how she is now feeling? My family is praying for her. I know the closeness and stresses this can bring.

Trackbacks

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by VMware Planet V12n, David Broome, Blue Shift Blog and others. Blue Shift Blog said: Best wishes 2 U & family! Been in a similar place RT @joshuatownsend: New VMtoday.com post: Big Change for 2011 http://bit.ly/fnKnCj […]

  2. […] and encouraging over the past three years as Stephanie Townsend and I have worked though her health issues and the stress it imposes on our family (with Stephanie having improved over the past few months […]

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