Taking back your time

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tkbktmSince my near heart attack last month, I’ve come to feel that my time is more valuable than ever.  It’s just like anything else that becomes worth more when there is less of it.

My time is already limited and hard to come by.  Out of a 24 hour day, I have at most, three hours to myself to rest and restore.  I’m not even a workaholic.  Just the regular day has gotten very tiny.

I get up at 6:30 and leave the house at 7:00 to get to work by 8:00.  A 12 mile journey through traffic that takes an hour.  What?

Work is from 8 to 5.  I leave at 5 sharp because life is more valuable than work.  It takes me another hour to get home.  It’s now 6PM.

IF I have no time burglars to steal it, I have three precious hours to myself before I have to go to bed at 9 in order to be asleep by 10 so I can get at least 8 hours of glorious sleep which is still inadequate.

So three hours of life each day to myself.  Lately those three hours are being stolen by other people wanting something from me or otherwise wasting my time.  Today I have to go fix someone’s computer.  I’ll be lucky to be home by bedtime in order to start the cycle all over again.

Well.  I’m not going to allow it any longer.  My three hours are MINE!  No more computer fixing.  No more anything that involves the loss of even a minute of those wonderful three hours.  I’m taking back my time.  Don’t ask me for anything because I’m going to say no.  I have possibly just a few years left to live.  I’ll be lucky to see 60 so sorry.

The price of my personal time has gone WAY up.  I don’t think you can afford me.

Doesn’t it bother anyone that 21 hours of our day is spent at work, getting to or from work, or sleeping so we can go to work?  Why isn’t anyone doing something about it?  Life should not be like this.  Do you ever get the feeling that this universe we live in is some kind of alternate, evil universe where everyone has the evil mustache and beard?

Somebody do something and do it quickly!  Make it stop!

 

 

 

Back in Time

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wstavnToday I happened to be driving past the elementary school I attended back in the early 70’s.  I saw a the tiny children walking about on the playground.  That was me once.

 

Funny how the circle of life sneaks up on you.  I recall my experiences in that school as if they were just yesterday.  I remember specific incidents and locations in that school where things happened.  I remember the classrooms and even the school layout.  I remember the smell of crayons as you walk in the door.  I don’t remember being that small though.

 

I remember standing at the fence with my adorable little fingers hanging on through the chain-link and wondering what it would be like to be in one of those cars.  Now I’m on the other side.

 

I looked back at those kids and thought about how strange it was that yesterday I was them and today I am 48 with progressive lenses, three stents in my heart and chronic lower and upper back pain.  Just the other day I was 5 and without a care in the world. Suddenly I’m a lonely old man with the majority of his life in the rear-view mirror living an empty, pointless life with little to look forward to other than eating vegetables, working for health insurance and hoping I don’t have a heart attack until I get the chance to move to Colorado.

 

Would little Max in Elementary School even have a clue what was ahead of him?  Did he expect to be unhappy and alone for his entire life?  I don’t think that was his plan but I also don’t think he would have been surprised if I stopped my car and walked over to that very fence and told him.

 

I seriously don’t think there would be anything he could do about it.  First, he wouldn’t believe me.  Nobody believes you when you tell them about their future.  Human nature says you have to figure it out for yourself no matter what truth people tell you. Second, the values he set for his life wouldn’t allow it anyway.  Max was always a logical guy. No matter what, his life was destined to turn out exactly as it did.

 

I think Ferris Bueller said it best.  “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around for a while, you could miss it.”

 

He was right.

 

Sunday – Work or Rest???

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wrkorrstIt’s Sunday morning and I have a big dilemma taunting me.

Do I spend the day working on stuff that has been digging at me for weeks or do I spend the day resting because I have another week of work ahead of me?

During the week I feel stressed out because I don’t have time to do the things that I need to do at home.  I spend the whole week pining about it.  When the weekend comes, I am wiped out and need to rest because I don’t get enough rest during the week.  During the next week it just gets worse and worse.

What a first world problem, huh?

I am leaning toward rest and TV because that’s what I need most.  Maybe I’ll work in a few things between shows.  That’s usually the way it goes.  I sure wish there were more hours in a day.

Wasting our lives  at work is unacceptable.  Doesn’t it bother anyone?

Maybe Donald Trump will fix it.

 

 

The End of Struggling

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strglI think I’ve finally reached another level of enlightenment in the strangeness that I call life.

I’ve spent countless years, Well…48, in a constant struggle with or against life.  Struggle for things I want or things I think I need.  Things I know I will never have or achieve yet the struggle continues.

Letting go of the desire for those things can be particularly freeing.  I have come to a point in life where I feel that I may have the ability to succeed in letting them go.  I’ll need to start by making a list.  Lists quantify things allowing you to both remember and act upon them.  I like lists.

I started to write a list here but what I saw looks trite so I deleted it until I’ve given it more thought.  Maybe they are stupid and common but if they are important to me then then they need to be addressed.

  1. Loneliness – I’ve struggled with this forever and still haven’t found a solution.  Time to let it go.  If there is anyone out there for me, they will find me.
  2. Sex – This is a extra-difficult one.  The human brain is programmed for sex.  I know this can never happen so it would really help if I would stop struggling with it.
  3. Early Retirement – Live the good life?  Technically, I should be dead from heart disease so can I really expect to retire early, see the world, get some sleep?  I don’t know.  I should be lucky to live past 60.  I think I’ll just see what happens.
  4. Living in a small town – Not until my mom passes away.  I’m stuck here in Crapopolis for at least another 5-10 years.  There’s no point struggling with it.  There’s nothing I can do about it.  I guess I’ll just see what happens here too.  Plan but not struggle.
  5. I don’t even know what else but that’s a good start.

Stupid, huh?  If somebody else told me that such things were all they lived for I would probably laugh in their face.  Go ahead.  Laugh in mine.  It’s OK.

So what becomes of a person who lets go of all that he desires?  Does life lose it’s meaning or does it simply mutate?  I’m thinking it can go either way depending on your attitude.  I don’t even know what to think.  I’m entering uncharted territory here.  I’m not even sure I can make it happen but I think I’m about to find out.  I’ve made major mental changes before so I’m thinking I can do this too.  The first step was realizing that there was a problem.  Wish me luck.

 

Mow Naked!!!

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MownakedThere’s the right way and the wrong way to do things.  When it’s 100 degrees outside, you should mow naked.

Today I came home from work a little early.  The pool bottom was covered in settled algae so I stripped out of my monkey suit and vacumed the pool out.

After that I noticed how high the grass was.  The lawnmower was right there on the patio so I jumped right on and took care of it.

I can’t tell you how much better being outside is when you aren’t insulated with textiles.  When the air can caress your bare skin and evaporate all the sweat as it was intended, you are far more comfortable.

I wonder when the rest of the world is going to realize that naked is better.  Until then, too bad for them.

Buying Healthy Food

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hlthyfdNow that I’m a member of the Stent Club I am supposed to eat healthy food that has no cholesterol, salt or sugar.  Not an easy task.

Meat is pretty much out.  Salty snacks, gone. I was surprised to find out that I also have to avoid sugar and carbs.  That really sucks.  That leaves pretty much only vegetables, fruit and nuts.  Things that taste like crap.

Today after work I visited a health food store and walked the aisles for over an hour looking at ingredients and nutritional information.  I found a nice selection of vegetable-based meat and cheese alternatives.  YAY!  I bought a bunch of dried cranberries, nuts and some snacks.  I also found some vegetable-based mayo.  I’m amazed and gladdend to see that such things exist.  These weird things used to be for crazy people but now they are for real people.  I ended up buying $75 worth of stuff.  Sounds expensive but lonely guys have money to burn so what the heck.  I might as well eat.

I can see why humans are so unhealthy.  The stuff we eat everyday are full of bad things and we don’t know it.  It would sure be nice if they could completely replace all saturated fats with unsaturated alternatives.  Surely that could be done.

When looking for healthy food you find that salt is EVERYWHERE.  It’s almost impossible to find anything that doesn’t have salt.  The body does need some salt so I think if I just cut down as much as humanly possible I think I will be OK.

I don’t know.  I’m only 48 and this kind of thing isn’t supposed to happen to me. This whole thing is just a bad dream from which I will eventually wake and find myself where I’m supposed to be.  Just wait.  You’ll see.

The Doctor said I could have sex. LOL!!!!!!

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dctrI went to the doctor for my two week follow-up after my heart angioplasty.  We didn’t have as much time as I wanted to ask all my questions.  I also forgot to write the questions down so it probably wouldn’t have mattered.  He received a text that someone was having a heart attack and had to leave for the emergency room.

One of the things he said nearly killed me.  He said, “It’s OK to have sex but take it easy.”

It took everything I had to bite my tongue and not say anything.  I appreciated the fact that he might assume that someone would want to have sex with me.  Or the fact that having sex was something I did.  Kind of like a regular person.

I wanted to say, “As if!!!”

Well?  The doctor said it was OK.  Anyone want some?

No?  I didn’t think so.

 

Don’t judge others

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dntjdgI’ve written on this subject before once.  Maybe twice.  I don’t remember.  But that’s the problem.  It is a life-lesson that I keep forgetting.

So what is wrong with judging others?  It’s much more than just being about letting others be.  Judging other people makes you feel bad because you end up just noticing how stupid other people appear to be and soon you are the only person left on the planet.

Judging others has become the national pastime of the United States.  There was a time when we were all good and it was OK to live and let live.   It was the time back a few decades ago when America was Great.  Slowly, and for reasons I haven’t been able to put my finger on, we all started to get up in other people’s business and do our utmost job to prevent them from being happy.   I think it has something to do with diversity.  Back in the day, all similar people congregated together and everything was normal.  As we were forced to integrate, we started seeing other people with strange customs and actions as “wrong”.  We have no option but to judge them according to what we know.

The decay or morality also has much to do with it.  Lot of bad people out there these days.

See how easy it is to start judging?  Maybe it’s human nature.  Lately I’ve been noticing myself doing it and it make me feel bad inside.  I feel better when I notice it and prevent myself from getting angry at the perceived stupidity of others.

I’m challenging myself to Live and Let Die.   If people want to be stupid and it makes them happy, they it should be allowed.  This is ‘Merica after all.   We used to be able to be stupid and it was OK.   Freedom!  FREEEEEEEDOMM!   Pursuit of happiness and all that!  I challenge you to recognize your jusgementation.  I’ll bet you will be surprised how often you do it each day.

First day back at work

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bktowrkToday was my first day back at work after my heart stents were put in.  For the first few hours I was still a bit woozy and weird but after I sat up for a while and had my mind occupied I started feeling much better.

Looking for a health lunch, I went to Souper Salad and had a huge salad with beans for protein and a fat-free french dressing that had no cholesterol and minimal salt.  After lunch I felt even better.

I still have some nasty bruises and a little swelling in my groinal-region but it’s not too bad.  I’m keeping an eye on it.

My order from BlueApron.com came in today.  It was three vegetarian cook-it-yourself meals.  When I got home I rested a little then hit the kitchen.   It was a fairly easy to cook the first meal.  Unfortunately it didn’t come out exactly like it is supposed to because I had to leave out the salt, butter and three kinds of nice cheese.  Awwww man.  It included crumbled goat cheese to sprinkle on top.  I tasted it just to see what I was missing and I am missing a lot.  The meal is for tomorrow at work so I only tasted it tonight.  It is OK.  Edible.  We’ll see tomorrow.   It seems OK without the salt.  The instructions mentioned “Salt and pepper to taste” on every step.  Sometimes twice.  Damn!  That’s a lot of salt.

I’m mostly doing well now.  I would say 75%.  As soon as the groin heals I’ll be ready to start exercising.  I already walked about 1-4 miles a week.  I can easily up that a bit.

Mentally, I’m still in a bit of a fog.  I have decisions to make about my life but I’m not really of sound mind to do it now.  I’ll just do what I do best.  Go with the flow.  It has worked for me for 48 years so we’ll see what comes next without worrying about it.

There are still a lot of things I don’t know about my health situation.  I have an appointment with my cardiologist next Wednesday and I expect he will fill me in.  I don’t expect anything he will say will be good.  I have some serious shit in front of me health-wise.  Funny how up to now I thought I was super-healthy.  They say heart disease will sneak up on you.  No shit!  It wasn’t supposed to happen to me though.

 

What is your future?

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thfutrI would be lying if I said my recent brush with death didn’t make me think.  It wasn’t an actual heart attack but I was definitely in the danger zone to have one very soon.  It was what they call Angina.  Pain caused by the lack of blood supply to the heart muscle.  The next step is heart-attack.

So basically, I caught it in time before permanent muscle damage was done to my heart.  I knew that my Father died from a heart attack when he was 48 but I didn’t know that it was as common in his side of the family.  His brothers and his father also died the same way at approximately the same time in their lives.  Talk about a time bomb!  I had no idea it was that serious.

Other than serious heart disease, I’m a rather healthy person who ate relatively well, got some exercise, was not overweight, did not drink or smoke.  This is very hereditary.

With improved, strict, eating habits and medical attention, I will outlive my unfortunate ancestors but probably not by as long as I expected.  My life-expectation was to live to at least 80 in good health not really wanting to go any further than that.  I planned my future accordingly.  Now I think I should not plan for more than 60 at the most.

So, then.  What do I really want out of whatever is left in my life?  One of the ultimate questions I’ve been asking myself for so many decades.  I thought I had it figured out but age and recent incidents may have changed it completely.

Let’s review my life goals.  However stupid they may be.

  1. Sex.  Yes.  I’m a virgin at 48.  Possibly the oldest virgin who ever existed on planet earth.  The pope has had more sex than I have.  The Dalai Lama has had more sex than I have.  I guess it’s not really an important goal.  It’s not like sex is something special that not billions of people have experienced before.  Sure I could go to a prostitute but I don’t think that is really sex.  If I died without ever having experienced sex, I would regret it but I don’t feel that would really be that important.
  2. Love. Obviously, as a 48 year old virgin, I’ve never experienced love either.  I’m not sure I’m capable of love.  I just don’t feel like I have it in me.  Love is also something not unusual since billions of other people have experienced it.  Would the planet be any better for me to have ever loved or to have been loved? I would regret not experiencing love but again, I don’t feel that it would have been that important.
  3. Having children.  More of the same.  You can’t have 3 without 1 and 2. Billions and billions, etc.  I think I would regret not having children mostly for the love and experience of it all.   Many people think that having children “carries on your name”, extends your bloodline, etc.  That’s just stupid.  Why would that matter?  I think it’s the love and experience.  I guess I regret it now because my time for that is passed already.  Technically, it could still happen, but realistically…. No.  So there is no doubt that I will die without having children.  Sucks, but on my deathbed as my heart stops and I slip away into oblivion, it won’t really be important.
  4. A house in the country in a cool climate. Material, but it has been my dream for 30 years.  Every time I pursue this dream my hopes are dashed.  I wanted to build my own house.  I wanted privacy to run around the property naked and happy.  I can still make this happen but now I’m not sure I want it anymore.  I do, but I don’t, but I don’t know.  I’m not counting this out for now but I’m going to back-burner it for a while again until I figure shit out.  It’s not like I don’t have a house now.  It would just be different. It’s that really a big deal?
  5. Early retirement.  Like billions of others, I’ve spent the majority of my life, in school and work.  By the time retirement comes around, you’ve wasted your life and have only a few years left to pack in a little enjoyment before the end comes.  I really don’t want to die while still a slave to society.  I want to be a free man for at least 10 years.   If I can’t expect to live to be more than 60 then I’d better figure out how to escape very soon.   Financially, I could do it right now if it wasn’t for the cost of health-care. Especially now that I am diagnosed with heart disease.  All my hard-earned savings will be quickly depleted on health insurance rather than the good life.  I’m really hoping that Hillary can put together some kind of socialized health care very soon.  Either that or some kind of actually affordable health care that costs less than $200 a month.  I think that’s fair and affordable.  Should that suddenly happen, I’ll be suddenly retired.  If I died without having experienced life without work, then I will be devastated.  (For a minute or two).

I guess that pretty much covers what I wanted out of life.  It’s pretty basic. I don’t want power or money except the money I need to live a basic but comfortable existence.  I don’t want fame.   I don’t want fancy cars or a big house.  I don’t want a super-model wife.  I really just want some time to myself to experience life.  Maybe do a little traveling or try some love and sex.  I just want to live free for a little while.  Is that too much to ask?

So if you live in a house in the country in a place where the summer highs seldom go above 93 and in the winter you spend your evenings in front of the fireplace with your family while the snow falls gently outside the window and you get to have sex with your wife before you go to bed…..you are THE happiest man in the world.  I hope you appreciate it.