Sunday, January 7, 2007


My mother called me today because she is worried that I am dying. Having observed me throughout the holiday season, when I was entertaining eleven people in my relatively modest house for a full week, all in the midst of launching a new business, she noticed that I seemed a little tense.

“Jane, you busy? Something I want ask to you. Something you not telling me?” She wanted to know. “You tell me anything. Your Daddy and I talk about it, we think something unusual.”

My mother is obsessed with death because one of her best friends had a son who was an investment banker and died at the age of 33 from a heart attack because he “work too hard, have big, big stress.” I think I was promised to him at some late evening “gae” night (the unofficial Korean small business loan program), when his father approached my father after several bottles of Johnny Walker and observed that despite my dark-ish skin, I appeared to be an acceptable and dutiful daughter worthy of his son.

“I’m not going to have a heart attack, Mom,” I tried to reassure her while feeding copies of my investor agreement into my copier. “I’m, uh, shit! The paper’s jammed again! Anyway, I’m fine.”

“You very lucky, Jane,” my mom said quietly, in a way that made me stop messing with the copier to sit and listen. “Button (what my mom calls my husband), I never see such a good father like him. When I see your family, you are so happy.”

“I’ve just got a lot on my mind, Mom. I’m sorry if I was impatient when you were here,” I admitted sheepishly.

“You just tell me if anything is wrong. Anything.”

“I don’t have cancer mom! My heart is fine! I promise I will tell you if I have a serious illness.”

“Okay Jane. You just telling me. Having a fun! Bye!”

I guess I have been out of sorts lately. I have been more irritable than usual at home lately, and my neck has started cracking loudly whenever I look anywhere other than dead straight ahead. So last week I started exercising to help channel out some of my anxiety.

It turns out that the treadmill is a pretty dangerous piece of equipment. Who knew. I was getting into a groove, running to George Michael’s “Faith,” when I suddenly remembered something so disasterously stupid I had said to a prospective investor. It made me want to disappear into a hole, which made me squeeze my eyes shut (first step to disappearing, as every toddler knows), which made me step off the rubber part of the treadmill, which made me hop ridiculously through the air and skid off the treadmill.

I stuck my landing, though.

My friend Kelly is always reminding me to celebrate the small victories along the way.