I would while away the hours
Conversing with the flowers and talking to the trees
Oh the thoughts I’d be thinking I would be another Lincoln
If I only had a brain
Oh I would wonder why the ocean touched the shore
I would think of things I’ve never thought before
And then I’d sit….and think some more.
Strawman – Wizard of Oz
Well folks I’ve been using my newly regained powers of reason to think. It turned out to be rather time-consuming. I decided to read Atlas Shrugged. It’s been on my reading list for about 50 years or the first time I heard Mom proclaiming that it was the worst collection of evil, selfish, thoughtless drivel ever committed to print.
So I read it and now I’m even more confused than ever. Ok confused is the wrong word. White hot furiously outraged may be a better description. It seems that Rand’s main point is that we are responsible not only for our own actions but the lack thereof. Furthermore, penalizing the people who do work and achieve is not a benefit for those who chose not to. And I agree with that! Being I child of the 50’s I believed in the “American Dream” that you can do whatever you want and reach whatever height you wanted if you put your mind, and your back to it.
What’s been bothering me in the back of my mind is that when I do achieve what I want I am supposed to feel guilty about my achievement. Because, after all, I only got there on the backs of others…right? None of my fruits of my achievement belongs to me and are for my own enjoyment, unless I’m selfish and greedy.
Now wait just a cotton picking minute! I never asked anyone for a free lunch, a free ride or anything else I didn’t earn and now I’m supposed to feel guilty and selfish and give it all away. I just don’t see it that way.
Parts of the book made my hair stand on end. It’s way scarier than any Steven King or H.P. Lovecraft story. Some of the characters in the novel said lines that word for word matched encounters in my life with my own family. I’ve heard “you’re just cold-hearted, you never think of anyone but yourself” in response to requests to borrow my car. Never mind that the last few times they did, they either wrecked it or parked it in a no parking zone so it got towed away and impounded, leaving me to pay for the fines, repairs, etc.
Incidents like this I’ve confronted my entire life. I used to refer to myself as the white sheep of my family. I was called a “stick in the mud” for doing boring things like having a job for more than a month at a time or having insurance, an unexpired driver’s license, an apartment and so on. I have a few siblings and descendants who think that the coincidence that we were born of the same mother or that I gave birth to them means that I am supposed to fund their entire life including drug and alcohol abuse related expenses.
Now I’m retired and it brings a whole new set of weirdness. My “friends” from work say “it must be nice” when I talk about my life now. The trouble is they say it in a sarcastic manner. People automatically assume that I should now fill my days running around volunteering and slaving away for some cause or other, even if I don’t believe in and it doesn’t matter what cause it is. The point is I should not be wasting my time doing “nothing.” Reading and writing has become nothing, evidently.
Well if it is nothing, I’m going to revel in my nothingness. Pass the bon bons, please.
Got a call from the pharmacist the other day. “We can’t fill your prescription…yet. It’s too soon.” Too soon? Well it’s been less than 30 days, so we can’t refill it. Sez who? Are you telling me that I can’t call in a refill until I’m within one day of running out? Well evidently, the answer to that question is yes. “We can fill it tomorrow.” OOOkkk, you do that.
I got to thinking about that. This too soon thing has gotten way out of hand. It used to be between my doctor and me when I filled or refilled my meds. Now the pharmacy, the government, the insurance companies, the national weather service, and the DEA are all involved. Who am I in this scenario? Only the hamster that gets on the med wheel and spins it for everyone else’s amusement and job opportunity.
When I went to pick up this prescription, I asked who exactly made the decision that my refill was too early to fill. The answer was the insurance company. Excuse me, but I pay with MY cash money for my prescriptions. No insurance plan, public assistance, retiree benefit program, health care savings account or anything else has a toe in my prescription process. So who is this insurance company that’s telling me what I can or cannot do with my medicine? The pharmacist’s eyes looked up, down, away, to the side. Ah Ha! He was lying and just pulling that out of his hat. It’s all computerized and he doesn’t really know the reason.
It would seem logical that having 30 day prescriptions for meds that they would all come due at the same time. But the reality is different. Who picked 30 days anyway? Was it a nice even number? Over the years refill dates get off kilter for one reason or another. I drop some on the floor. Another day I sneeze right after putting a pill in my mouth and it flies off into the blue yonder. I do make an effort to find them because I don’t want the cat or dog to find them. But, occasionally they get lost or have turned into a little tiny fur ball and I don’t want to put them back in my mouth.
So now my meds all come due at different times of the month. It’s ridiculous that the biggest hassle about planning a trip is trying to figure out which pill I’m going to run out of on the trip. It’s a royal pain in the@@! A pain that I intend to fix.
So figuring this out is on my action list now. Maybe I’ll have to have a sit down with my doctor and ask her what exactly I do when I’m going to travel and the little slit of a refill window for my meds comes in the middle of the trip. This problem has been floating around in my head for quite some time. Now that I have it out of my head and out on paper I realize that it was putting a major cramp in my planning process.
So now I have to organize my meds? Oh geez! But if I want unimpeded travel I have to do this. At some point I can turn it into a larger plan that involves working with the Doc to get OFF the meds. I got rid of the blood pressure meds by losing 10 pounds. The head meds, well that’s another story. Those seem to be on the agenda for a while yet.
Baby steps, Grasshopper.
This Blog has turned into a festival of fabulous ideas. Some of comments, well many of the comments my beloved readers post, literally rock me back on my heels. A treasure chest of so many different perspectives and wonderful suggestions.
Other times they launch me into such an orgy of introspection that it sends me to the fainting couch. Yes, I actually have one of those set up in my office. Sometimes I go into a swoon from excessive brain spinning and need to get immediately horizontal. Technically it’s an Ikea guest bed with lots of pillows, but no one but me has ever used it…so far.
What I need to do is start taking action, and document the actions. This is a new one for me. I realized the other day that I spend waaaaay too much time living in my head. It’s getting crowded in there and quite frankly a little spooky.
My brain is starting to resemble one of those hoarder reality shows. Stacks of book ideas, blog ideas, where I want to go, what I want to do, what I think about just about every topic that I’ve ever heard about, old baggage, and card board boxes full of discarded plans. I think all the horrendous headaches I’ve been having lately are a physical manifestation of this problem. The doctor calls it a sinus infection, but I know better, hah! OK, I am taking his dang cooty pills, and on the 2nd round, but I know what really needs to happen.
I simply must move OUT of my head and out IN to the action realm. I’m going to start telling y’all what comes of your wonderful ideas in my little corner of the universe. Hey, it’s a start, go easy on me. At least I’m doing this before I have to rent some sort of medical contraption to roll my head around on because it’s falling off my shoulders. A scooter for one’s brain, now that’s a frightening mental image.
Action #1: Today I’m going to start boxing up all my books that are collecting dust. The intent is I’m going to get rid of most or all them. If I find some that I think I might want to read again, I’ll take a picture of them with my phone so I can get them on Kindle, and out they go. That will keep me busy and/or out of trouble for most of the day.
Update: While sorting books I found one that I thought was so terrible that I didn’t even want to give it away. Discovery: My cat peed on it. The decision is easy now. Toss in the recycle bin. Strange he chose that one specific book…life is interesting.
The comment that jolted me for this post was from Ed Helvey – The Professional Nomad
Sounds like Mr. Husband is a perfect example of what Thoreau was talking about when he said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” And, by default, you could replace men with women. Many of us who are single don’t have to concern ourselves with how a spouse (male or female) thinks, feels or acts. We just make a choice “to do.” Unfortunately, even the vast majority of single men and women of all adult ages are still examples of what Thoreau said.
Picture above from http://evelyn.smyck.org/2010/09/18/burning-man-festival/
Times flies by, there’s no escaping it. I read a post this morning by Brian on the Everywhere Once Blog called “7 Lessons From a Year On the Road”. Lesson number one made my hair stand on end.
1) How easy it is to not follow your dreams. Inertia is an incredibly powerful force. It’s far easier to follow a routine, even a hated one, than it is to do something risky, unfamiliar, and meaningfully different.
Yikes! Self-examination gives me indigestion. It occurs to me that I’ve turned go with the flow into an art form and an EXCUSE. When I talk to Mr. Husband about something I want to do or a dream, his standard answer is “we can’t afford that now, or well someday…maybe….” So I let it ride. I stuff it back in my head and think of it no more, cause I’m a right now kind of gal. Maybe that’s why I have so many headaches. Too many unrealized wishes stuffed in there. My head is going to explode. He says he wants to travel and we will, at some point. Well, it’s been 10 years now and I’m still waiting. ***taps foot, with hand on hip***
Perhaps I have not made myself clear, to myself or him. When I say travel, I don’t mean some huge herculean effort and a whirlwind exhausting effort to cram eleventy seven activities into a week at an outrageously expensive resort that takes 2 weeks to recuperate from and a year and a half to pay for. I mean hit the road and live on the road at a leisurely pace. This might include mundane things like drinking beer at a laundry mat while waiting for your clothes to dry. Or spending a whole day reading a book in the shade with not a thing on the agenda but relaxing. You can’t do that on a “vacation.”
I want to spend a good part of a summer somewhere in the great northern half of the United States or Canada. Mr. Husband still does not have a passport, just for the record. (10 years later) Why spend an entire summer in Texas where it gets so hot that it melts the cornea off your eyeballs on brief trip from the front door and the mailbox? There is absolutely not one damn thing we need to do that requires us to be here all summer. Everything single thing that Mr. Husband does for his business can be done elsewhere. He could run his entire show from a coffee shop in Shri Lanka if he so chooses.
But, nOOOooooaOOo, we must remain…in…this…house…because that is what respectable conservative people do…in his reality. Sometimes I feel like a hostage. We have plenty of money right this minute. But almost every last penny of it is committed to the purchase and upkeep of things we don’t need, have no place to store, and services we don’t use.
We have the most expensive Direct TV package that it is possible to have. All the sports add ons. Every movie channel. Do we need that? Hell no. Do we even use it? Again, NO. Any movie worth watching we already saw at the movie theatre and probably have on Blu-ray. The sports channel? Ahem, that’s touchy territory for Mr. Sports fan. But let me tell what really goes on in this house. Hubman turns on the game on the big screen. Then he goes in his office – shuts the door – and listens to the game on the radio while playing on the computer.
Getting rid of the TV package alone would make a payment on an RV. I know, I checked! Then there is the 80 zillion dollar utility bill for the air-con. Granted that is important if you stay in the house for 3 months. What I can’t seem to get through to Mr. Hub is that if you keep the air-con turned down to zizz, it just seems that much hotter when you go outside. 73 degrees inside and 95 degrees outside, that’s a 22 degree change in temperature and it’s a shock to your system. Couple that with his habit of waiting until the last possible millisecond to take a shower so he’s already hot and sweaty before we walk out the door. It’s no wonder we don’t want to go anywhere. He’s hot and nasty and I am hot and have to listen to him complain on top of being hot. Bleh!
Last Christmas and for my birthday he asked “what do you want for your present?” My answer: “an RV.” He laughs and I get another item of jewelry or a coach purse. I’m not complaining, ok maybe I am, but I’d much rather put that money in savings account to save for what I really want. I WANT AN RV – I WANT IT NOW, or as soon as is humanly possible. No I don’t want a hot tub in the back yard. I want a parking space for my RV. OK, I’ll park it on the hot tub deck if I have to. Hopefully it won’t come to that. I don’t want or need more stuff. I don’t have any place to put it as it stands now.
What to do, what to do. Stay off of amazon.com, start a plan, work on the plan. Take action. Everything I own is going to be put to the test from this point of view. Do I like this enough to cram in the camper and haul it around the country? If the answer is no, out it goes.