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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

That Time Of The Year + Random Stuff

January 18th is the anniversary of my lungs collapsing.
In 2009, I suffered a spontaneous pneumothorax (lung collapse) in both lungs. I had walking pneumonia, didn't know it, which had a lot to do with my lungs collapsing.
Left lung, 100% collapsed. Right lung, 70-75% collapsed. 
By the time I got to the hospital the doctor told JP if I'd waited two more hours I would have been a goner. Terrifying stuff.

12 years ago on this day, at around 4-5am while in ICU, a doctor came in and inserted a chest tube through my ribs and into my left lung - with no general anesthesia. If you're thinking that having a 1" tube inserted into your body is excruciatingly painful, you would be correct. I remember the pain - which was about a 47 on a scale of 1-10 - and wondering why a doctor was kind of straddling me.
I was in ICU for 3 days and then regular room for 7 days; my memory of most of it is absent and I recall only bits and pieces from the entire 10 days. 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Insert Really Long Dramatic Sigh

So yesterday was pretty interesting.

Wednesday is JP's day off so we get to spend the day doing things that ensure we are together doing them.
His job/commute mean that his work/life balance winds up favoring the work part and so it's important to prioritize quality time over pretty much everything else during his limited free time.

Quality time for us has always meant hopping in the car and driving around aimlessly which works especially well during a pandemic when there is not a lot of other things to do.  Lucky for us we live at the shore again so meandering the coastline is just minutes away and is perfect for meandering. 

Our first stop was the charming town of Spring Lake (NJ - also known as the Irish Riviera) because they have a fantastic boardwalk alongside the beach and ocean and, even more importantly, an authentic coffee shop that has the best cappuccino I've had in a very long time, consistently. If you love coffee like I do, you know how important the 'consistently' thing is. If you're nearby, be sure to stop in at Driftwood because I need them to have a lot of business so they stick around forever because of my developing addiction to their cappuccino.

We took our perfect cappuccinos and drove over to the beach and sat in the car for a long time watching the walkers, the joggers, the seagulls, and the ocean waves rolling and breaking. You don't get more quality than that. We didn't walk because it's pretty cold alongside the ocean and we hadn't dressed properly. Next time, though.



From there we drove up through Belmar, Avon-By-The-Sea, Bradley Beach, Ocean Grove and, finally, Asbury Park. Our coastal foray took up the entire afternoon and we didn't get home until after sunset.

Little did we know that our lovely afternoon out together had the added benefit of rendering us blissfully ignorant of what was happening in Washington, DC.  I was alerted to the melee by my daughter during her dinnertime check-in call to me. With dread, I tuned in to the news and was rendered speechless by what I was seeing and reading - and, trust me, speechless is not a character trait anyone would ascribe to me.

I am not political. That used to not be the case until I realized that being politically tuned-in did not enhance my life in any way and, in fact, detracted from it significantly. Which begged the question why would I intentionally focus on something that only brought strife into my consciousness? That's basically a masochistic activity, no? Whatever it is, it's an activity that doesn't make sense to me. Focus on things that make me stressed, angry, frustrated? Yeah, no. I'm too aware of how short life is and how important it is to fill my limited time here paying attention to things that actually matter. Some would argue that politics does matter and I would ask them to please point out how politics has fixed anything in recent memory.  Seems the opposite is true to me nowadays which might actually be the problem. 

Alas, being non-political is not popular right now and someone somewhere might read this and send me hate mail which is fine



but I'll stick with what works for me which, by the way, has always been and always will be that which resonates and doesn't cause turmoil. Popular and its counterpart popularity, in any form, is not and has never been something I'm interested in or care about.

As for what is happening in my country right now (politically and otherwise) ...well, as far as I can tell, things are pretty upside down in a whole lot of ways at this time and there isn't a whole lot I can personally do about that except stay the right-side-up course and do my best to remain remain hopeful and faithful.

If you are at all in agreement with that but are maybe in need of a little help in the faith and hope departments at this weird time, I'll remind you of the final paragraph in Max Ehrmann's Desiderata:

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.


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