A personal note on KP

Lynne Kiesling

As Mike said last week, the summer “doldrums” have been in force in KP-land. I have been working on a research project unrelated to electricity, which I’ll be willing to share soon, so there will be more to come on that … and frankly, I’m so disappointed (but not surprised) in the direction that electricity policy and smart grid investment have taken that I have not wanted to write about it, because it would come off just sounding like griping. There I am also starting to pull some thoughts together that are more analytical and scholarly and less splenetic.

But there are two big reasons I’ve been so quiet that I should share, just to clear the decks and shake the fuzz from the KP-writing center of my brain. The first reason is that my mother died unexpectedly in April, and in addition to the funeral and grieving and contemplative time and space needed for dealing with that, I am an only child. This means, with my father having died almost four years ago, that I had to focus a lot of time and mental-physical-emotional effort on clearing out the house, estate sale, selling the house, integrating the furniture and mementos of a happy life with two beloved parents into our home, etc. The KP Spouse has been a real champ throughout, and I am grateful that I’ve been very fortunate to get a lot of help from our friends. But it has meant that I’ve not felt very chatty, very witty, or very “teachy”.

The second, much happier reason why I’ve not been here much is that I’ve spent the past year in particular being very focused on my triathlon training, and I am happy to report that in July I competed in and completed the Door County Half Ironman Triathlon in Wisconsin. That’s a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run, if you’re keeping score, and I did it (with two fairly slow transitions!) in 6 hours 31 minutes. I knew I was well enough trained to finish, and I was about 15 minutes slower than my target time because I ran out of gas on the run, but I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a “one and done” experience or if I’d want to do another. It was actually fun and I enjoyed the race, so I am sure I’ll do more races at this distance in the future, as well as the shorter sprints and Olympic distances. I think my focus for next year, though, will be on training for the Olympic distance (1500 meter swim, 25 mile bike, 10k run) and becoming more efficient at it.

And no, I am never going to do an Ironman. Yes, I am committing to this publicly. No interest whatsoever.

Now that I have accomplished those two personal challenges, it’s time to get the focus back to thinking, writing, and teaching about economics. I hope you’ll find it thought-provoking and useful.


7 thoughts on “A personal note on KP

  1. What a mess. My wife and I are both onlies and despite what Time Magazine, the NY Times, and scads of other publications say, it’s just damn scary facing the death of a parent when you’re the only one on the front line.

    This is a good time to remind you that well-respected people across the state, the region, and the country read your words and those words form the basis of public policy ideals shaping the future. You rock, Lynne. Rock on.

  2. Condolences from me, too. My mother died at about the same time, but I’m not nearly an “only.” You guys make me realize how much easier I had it.

    Your postings (and Mike’s) were sorely missed.

  3. Thanks to you all for your kind condolences! I really appreciate it.

    @Jeff: Hi! How are you? One silver lining of the past few months was getting to do some athletic stuff I never did in Columbus: the half marathon in May, biking around Alum Creek Reservoir and Hoover Reservoir, and so on. There are some great bike routes outside of Columbus! Next time you visit your folks, pop ’round and say hi to the new family in our house; they are very nice, and are looking forward to gardening almost as enthusiastically as my parents did.

    @Mark: I can honestly say that as an only child, I have felt more lonely since my dad’s death almost 4 years ago than I have ever felt, and even more so now. But I can also say that I have had enough friends have fractious and difficult estate and inheritance relationships among siblings that I can appreciate how easy *that* part of being the only child (and sole executrix) has been. And thank you for your reminder — being an academic in electricity policy usually feels like shouting into the wind on the beach, which amounts to shouting for my own enjoyment!

    @D.O.U.G.: my condolences to you too.

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