A really close friend of mine was a weather-head. He has passed now, but lived his life in Kansas and his weather condition records detailed his life in Ottawa for almost 1/2 a century. I am nothing like him.
I can glance at my smartphone weather app 100 times in the day, see the temp, and then forget it just that quickly. Or (as many RV’ers who concern themselves with the overnight low when the temps are near freezing) I catch the overnight low… and ignore the rest. I’m a very focussed guy; sometimes focus gets in the way of seeing.
This time of year I pay a little more attention to the forecasts than the rest of the year. Spring and Autumn we are usually spent en route from North to South and sudden changes are more likely to affect our travel choices.
- We avoid high winds when possible
- We avoid snow (which is to say driving in snow) and ice whenever possible.
- We concern ourselves with freezing temperatures. If we are connected to a water supply we disconnect and run off our onboard tanks, and we may hook up our heat tape to our water line and / or turn on our water bay heating.
- In Spring we try to follow the warm up, in Autumn we try to get South before the cold hits us in the North.
There’s no value for me to keep daily records like my friend did; it’s unlikely that we’ll be in the same place two years in a row. At one time I tried adding daily weather details to the blog and quickly realized that was a dumb idea. Too much work for no reward.
Planning pays off. Stay proactive and move before the trouble occurs whenever possible.
Obsessive planning doesn’t. Sometimes we make mistakes and pay the piper for not paying attention to the change of seasons. That’s what happened in the Spring of ’15 when we stayed in S. Texas longer than we should have. We hope to avoid the same this autumn — but now we’re dependent on a clear signal from the doctor.
We’re learning how to do this as we go; just like every other RV’ing couple.
Obsession is a strange human trait. About many things, obsession is not a good idea. About some things obsession is the only way to live. If you are an artist — obsession with your art might be your best friend. If you are an eater, obsession with food might be your worst enemy. Finding balance is the trick of all tricks.
This past two months my cardiologist has had me tracking my blood pressure and pulse. Let me clarify: he’s had me taking readings 10-14 times a day. Now think about that. 10 – 14 times a day. On one level that doesn’t sound like a hard thing. It only takes a minute — once you are sitting and resting. So, it’s not really the act of only a minute, it’s the act of a few minutes. And then there’s the part about remembering to do it about once an hour — because after sleep and eating, 14 or 15 hours are all that remain of the day.
What we’ve been doing — the doc and I — has been finding the right dosage of a medicine that slows my pulse, we’re messing with my heart rate. I have to tell you, that’s not something you do with out causing odd thoughts to pop up from time to time. Like: “what’s too low?” “Is this the way I should be feeling?” “Why do the numbers go up and down so much?” And many many more.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a hypochondriac. I think I have a level head and I can be very analytical — which in itself can be a form of obsession. But I have been healthy all my life, none of us escapes this world without dying and at some point in time that’s going to happen to me too. Preferably later rather than sooner, but about some things we have little or no control. We do the best we can, maybe we even alter our lifestyle to live a little longer, but in the end we all have an expiration date.
All this blood pressure checking gets into your head though… Our bodies are these very involved chemical factories and they are very much like this earth in the sense that how we live on earth affects how our planet functions the same way how we live in our body affects how our body functions. Like gravity there’s not much we can do about some things; genetics and our past living have their effects, and they are beyond alteration. About some aspects of life we are quite helpless. Obsessing about them helps nothing.
One of the effects has been to make me less patient with people obsessing about everything that is wrong or bad, and whinging about them incessantly. That’s life. Get used to it.
I’ll never stop caring about the weather. I love the seasons, I love the changes. Oh, I suspect I’ll never stop disliking the cold. I’ll never stop caring about my health, that’s a prudent and wise thing to do. But neither is it good to obsess about it, nor to waste my life whinging about what’s wrong, or right, or happening.
I have always been a bit obsessive. I know that about myself. My dad always told me I had a One Track Mind. He was right. Great powers of concentration do that. It’s easy to block out the rest of the world and concentrate on getting done what you want to get done. Retirement has been hard in a good way because I haven’t had projects lined up to be accomplished one right after the other. And it’s taken me four years of retirement to adopt a little more of a laissez faire attitude. Some of the projects I have tied up during our stay in Milwaukee have been on my list for over a year — and they just sort of all fell into place while we were here — without straining or stress. It was bothering me that the list of projects was still there — unchanged, or if anything growing longer. But the fact of the matter is that it didn’t bother me all that much; it didn’t bother me enough to change the situation. And that is the key. I could look at them and not feel compelled to do anything. And I was comfortable with that.
For so many years I had to have a deadline. If there was no deadline I made a deadline so that I had one to work towards. Letting go has not been a battle — because I haven’t exactly been thinking about “I have to let this go.” I’ve been enjoying other things. The ones that haven’t gotten done simply had less importance. And to me, that’s the best way to learn. Let something thrill you, inspire you, excite you — and the ones that don’t just fall away. That’s healthy. That’s what I am enjoying about retirement. I don’t have to, I just do.
We’re still hoping maybe we’ll get out of town around the beginning of November. We aren’t sure. Seems that 2015 has been the year of waiting, over and over and over again — each time for a different reason. Maybe all that waiting has helped me let go of things; maybe it’s all just a lot of hot air. Hey, I’ve never been accused of saying too little. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.