Fall Schedule

 The corona virus is still here. So am I. I have been here longer.

This is the first week of my new schedule. The driver of this new schedule is my barista work. I now work in the afternoon instead of the morning. No more alarms at 3 am. Or exhaustion by 9 am. I now work from 1-5 or so.

Now, I have my mornings to use my brain for creative thinking projects, as well as do workouts before going to work. Typically: get up around 6:30, drink coffee and scroll through the headline on my phone, journal, meditate, today  read several pages of my difficult philosophy book, write several pages of my novel, go running, lift weights, shower, eat, go to work.

This actually seems like my ideal life. I was in such a circumstance this morning that a couple of pages of the novel poured out of me. It is amazing when that happens. I frequently happens when I have mornings to myself. My life has provided such circumstances.

Living the Dream

 When I was young, I was worried about how I would support myself. So when I went to college, I picked a career which had guaranteed employment. And I stuck it out more or less for the next 38 years. I moved around employers for various reasons, which kept me from being too bored or hateful of the men I worked with. I lived in a monastery for nearly 4 years, but ended up back in my career. I fit my life interests into the early morning hours, often rising at 3:15 am, or on the weekends. I never had more than 3 weeks of vacation.

But the career did its job from a financial perspective. I saved the money and got out at the earliest opportunity for financial self sufficiency.

My biggest lifetime dream was not to hike the Appalachian Trail. My dream was to continue to grow my intellect. The dream was to be a scholar and an athlete. I\’ve always been an athlete. When I left my career, it was specifically to become a writer and fulfill the scholar part of the dream. I have done much writing and produced one body of material which could be a book, but I lack the writing muscles to get the book to the next level of development. My brain just doesn\’t know how to do the next parts, and so shuts down.

Through a strange and convoluted path, I applied to be a student at a local community college. I thought I was doing it to take prerequisite courses for a practical certificate in a medical specialty. This interest in this certificate had only occurred to me 4 days earlier and now I was already carrying out the idea. But after the application was submitted, I laid awake that night being pissed off over some administrative detail. I realized that continuing on this path would fill my life with administrative idiocy which would continually piss me off. 

The next morning, doing my usual meditation and journaling, I looked at that thick and difficult philosophy book sitting on the table in front of me. I really want to read that book. If I decided on this new career, that book would never get read. I\’d be studying biochemistry and physiology instead. I would need to devote myself totally for at least 2.5 years to complete the certificate courses. 

I went for a run. The thought entered my head, \”now that you have entered this college, you can take whatever classes you want.\” Wait a minute. Oooohhh! Wow! What an incredible thought. I didn\’t want to take any of the prerequisite courses. The college had many courses on English composition which I sorely needed if I was ever to get my writing act together. 

What if my spiritual guidance system had used this medical career path as the means to get me to apply to college? I don\’t think I would have done it had it been suggested straight forwardly.

I stood at a cross roads. A decision was to be made. Should I take the prerequisite courses and shove my life down a completely different, possibly annoying, medical career path? Or should I take English and achieve the goal of writing a book, which I had diligently worked on for the past 3 years? Throw away what I really wanted? I found myself interested in the English composition courses. When my acceptance letter came through on Monday, it took me about 30 minutes to enroll in an English class and pay for it. I felt amazingly wonderful and over-joyed about getting this done. 

I am now a college student. It fulfills my dream for my life. I always imagined that I would go back to school at some point and take courses which were interesting to me but which didn\’t provide lucrative careers. I am living my dream. I even joked about this with my Starbucks partners: athlete, writer, barista. Isn\’t that THE romantic notion of life that everyone wishes they could pull off?

I am living the dream.

Keep Breathing – 2020

 Last week was focused on my 35th sobriety anniversary. 8/8/85 is my sobriety date.

I love being sober and I cherish my sober adult life. I love the fellowship of AA. It is a spiritual fellowship offering unending spiritual growth and conscious contact with a power greater than myself. Alot of people weren\’t even born in 1985. It gives people pause when they ask about my shirt and what 1985 means. I got sober in the last century.

I have a friend who makes masks. She made me some coffee masks to go with my job at Starbucks:

Speaking of Starbucks, I finally got my manager to move me to the afternoon shift. Yay! No more getting up at 3 am more than once a week. Actually, Starbucks may have outlived it\’s usefulness to me. Moving to afternoons may be a temporary measure. Quitting is inevitable as my personal wealth continues to expand and the health insurance game becomes less necessary.

What interests me the most today? Coincidence x 3? Part 1 of this coincidence: COVID is a respiratory disease. One thing I became aware of a few days ago at work was that I was breathing through my mouth more when wearing a mask, especially when stressed during a rush. Don\’t do it. Keep that mouth closed and force yourself to breath through your nose. Do this consciously. Ensure your respiratory health by breathing through your nose. Part 2 of this coincidence: I started reading a book called \”Breath\” by James Nestor. Very interesting the health and longevity proposals related to breathing. And then, part 3 of this coincidence: My hero Courtney Dauwalter had to end her attempt at an FKT (fastest known time) of the 500 mile Colorado Trail due to acute bronchitis. She ended up in the ER on low oxygen. Yipes! I cried. Too much dry dusty air through the mouth. 

Something about breathing. Everybody, take a long deep breath in, hold for a beat or two, the long slow breath out. All the way in and all the way out. Just like sex. Don\’t hold back. Feel better? I do.