Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The Best of Everything

The day is done.  It is over.  There is no looking back.  Or so Faulkner might have said, only in the past tense.

I spent a pleasant day with my mother.  In the morning, we opened our presents and then drank mimosas and sat outside for a long time before we cooked a Christmas dinner and ate pumpkin pie.  The presents we bought were unwanted on both counts, and we laughed about that quite a bit.  All but the edibles (not those kind) are going back.  It is fine.  The presents were bought with love.

I am now back home.  The feral cat was waiting for some food.  I poured a scotch and watched her eat as the sun began to sink.

I took a long walk today on the trail I began walking when I was recovering at my mother's last year.  I walked a long way, farther than I intended.  Maybe I am getting dementia, but the trail seemed different and I didn't quite know where I was.  I was thinking about the future, what I would do in the coming months.  I will finish emptying my office at the factory right away.  Then, I thought, I want to go see things.  It doesn't have to be complicated, I thought.  Actually, it needs to be the opposite.  There are plenty of things to see.  I will sleep in cheap motels again (if there are any) or I will sleep in my Xterra.  I just want to have fun.  I have liked my job more than most people ever do, but I have been sitting in an office day after day, no matter how short the time.  I want to be "out there" again.  I thought about getting a travel kit ready, the clothing I would need, etc.  I thought about Google flights and how I could go anywhere anytime I wanted for the cheapest prices.  It need not be spectacular.  I just want to see.  I remembered how I used to sleep in my VW van at the beach, getting up in the morning and taking my surfboard down to the ocean at sunrise.  I did it because it made me feel a certain way.  Cool, maybe.  I thought about the cheap hotels I stayed in in Key West, on Riviera Island, anyplace, really.  I slept on my sailboat for years, cooking one pot meals on a gas stove.  I read with the light from a Coleman lantern.  I drank rum (cheap).  And I was happy.

Solitude has never bothered me.  I read an article today in the N.Y Times about how to make your life better in 2020.  Three of the recommendations have been staples of my life.

1) Spend time doing nothing.  Yup.  No problem there.  But that is where your best and most creative ideas are born.  I knew that.
2) Spend time alone.  People feel that there is something wrong with not being with others, but that is where you work out most of your psychological quandaries.  So say they, and so say I.
3) Cultivate casual friendships.  You know, the guy at the coffee shop or the guy you see on your daily walks.  I'm good at those.  The others. . . not so much.  My friends need to be very independent, not needy.  Strong characters are best.  And most interesting.

There is my retirement plan.  I look forward to getting into my car and going.

Maybe I'll buy another VW van.

My mother called while I was writing this.  She said that she had taken down all her Christmas decorations.  Well. . . she didn't have many.  Mine won't be up for long, either.  While on the phone, we talked about a documentary we watched about the evils of meat.  We both are going to be much more plant based, we said.  Sounds good, but it is a lot more work.  Still, if it cures us of all our ills. . . .

Good old mom.

O.K.  The computer is just about battery dead, so I'll post this and make a ham sandwich.  The plant based thing will wait until tomorrow.  So, here's wish you all the best of everything.


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