"It gives me great pleasure indeed to see the stubborness of the inorrigible nonconformist warmly acclaimed." - Albert Einstein

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I aspire to a stubbornly incorrigible nonconformity. The degree to which I have achieved my aspiration I leave in the capable hands of those whose wisdom and humilty exceed my own.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Remember to breathe, but be careful out there.

It is really smokey here in Wenatchee and the air quality is hazardous to people with normal lungs and more so to people, like me, with compromised lungs (I have COPD [Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease]). I have been staying in the house a lot and only rarely go outside to empty the trash or get in a car to go someplace. And when I do go out I am wearing my face mask. This is really inconvenient.

We are just back one week from our vacation to Las Vegas and Southern California. We had a wonderful time. We were in Las Vegas primarily to fulfill a promise and in California for a family reunion, especially with my new grand-nephew.

The promise necessitating a stop in Las Vegas was to have supper at Mario Battali's restaurant, "Otto." When I had cancer and was so sick one of my really dear friends, Kathy, was also going through Non-Hodgekin's Lymphoma in Oceanside, California. Kathy helped me a lot with reglar emails and occasional phone calls. We promised each other that when we were well, we would meet up at Otto for a meal, since we couldn't get to any of Mario's other restaurants in New York City. Kathy died and for a long time it felt like kind of a betrayal to go on this trip without her. With the perspective that only time can provide I came to see this trip as something I needed to do for Kathy.

We had supper at Otto; well Alice and Becca had supper and I had two glasses of very expensive wine. One for me and one for Kathy. This meal would really have been a lot better if I had had the sense to do it when I could still eat. Now that I can't eat I just get to sit and watch Alice and Becca enjoy the food and I will restrict my celebrations to coffee; beer; and wine - probably in that order too.

We then traveled to Oceanside, California. We belong to a vacation time share and we got the place in Oceanside, right on the ocean, for just our points, no money. While there we went to both the zoo and the Wild Animal Safari; had the family reunion; and took a tour of Warner Brothers Studios. A good friend of our's middle daughter is a tour guide at Warner Brothers and she arranged the tour for us. fortunately, we were the only people on the tour so she just concentrated on the things in which we were interested.

I fully intended to update my blog from Alice's iPad but was having too much fun and just didn't do it. Then when I got home I had stuff piled up to do. This is the first occasion I have had to write another post.

I am finding retirement easier than I thought it would be. I was actually afraid of retirement, especially on disability. I was afraid that I would be stuck home with nothing to do and bored out of my mind from reading and/or watching daytime television. What I have discovered is that for a guy with no job I am pretty busy. I am in two Toastmasters Clubs - I am coach for one of the clubs. I am on two committees at church, co-chairing one of them. I have random doctor's and dental appointments. I actually do some housework and laundry. And, especially lately, I get plenty or rest, which I need - that hasn't changed.

The new development is that my doctor no longer allows me to drive, so I have to get rides everywhere I want to go. I have been getting dizzy at random and unpredictable times and sometimes even feel like I am going to pass out. Apparently, this is enough to rescind your driving privileges.

Alice and Becca have been great about driving me around and when they can't there are people from my church who are helping.

Becca finally got a job! Yeah! Yeah especially for Becca's self-esteem and attitude. She got a job at Target, her favorite store. I just hope that she doesn't exhaust her paycheck on her employee discount and actually brings some of that money home. It is really good to see her so excited about going to work. Target was great about hiring her. They let her go on the vacation we had been planning for over a year and start when she got back; very considerate for a corporate entity. I understand that Target treats their employees well. I hope that is Becca's experience. Becca had her first day of orientation yesterday and she starts work on Monday.

All of this reminds me of my Buddhist teaching - everything is impermenant and "mu" or not being, not doing. Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans and everything will be what it will be. I find my life is a lot easier when I can implement that truth into daily practice. Just be still; and listen; and breathe - except not outside without an N-95 mask!

PS - I got a message, I don't remember if it was on Facebook or by email, from someone who was in French class with me at Bonita High School in La Verne. I briefly looked at and scanned the message but really didn't read it closely or reply to it, which I fully intended to do. Now I can't find it. It looks like I probably accidentally deleted it. I hope that whoever wrote that to me is reading this and will resend the message to me and I promise to try and be a lot more careful this time.