Sunday, August 11, 2019

Investing An Hour Each Day

       It's my morning habit...a dog walk, a bike ride or a session in the TheraSauna. Moderate exercise for sure, but usually followed up by ten thousand steps at work putting bicycles on display and then putting them all away before five pm. The sauna fools the body... you are sweating so, you must be exercising. I sweat more in the sauna than I do on the dog walk or bike ride.
       Sauna time is precious for so many other reasons...solo in the sauna provides time to get back to the basics; stretch, breathe and encourage the toxins to flow. The more you practice the better you get at flowing freely through the pores. When sharing the corner cabinet TheraSauna space with friends or family,  conversations also become free-flowing...the naked truth is the only truth....resulting in reflections on the time we've shared and forward looking discussions on the days ahead.
       I've read that in Finland and other Scandinavian countries this friend and family "sauna time" is treasured and considered just as important as mealtime for folks to counsel and be counseled, therefore  revealing the emotional state of each family member. This closeness and honesty between family members is something Americans abandoned long ago. There is no room for criticisms and judgements when you sharing the hot box, we all have our flaws and our shortcomings but when we're this close (and naked) we definitely feel more compassion and tolerance for friends and family.
        Regular sauna sessions result in deeper revelations and confidence in the mental states than any other therapies could.  So, come on America, invest in home saunas and share them with friends and family. Get to know those around you, those you care about, better than you ever could any other way.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

For My Nineteenth Birthday I Moved To Hawaii

        Fifty years ago this week I was scrubbing pots, mopping floors and wrapping silverware for United Airlines on the night shift at the Honolulu Airport. Two months earlier I hadn't been west of Chicago. My escape from the Midwest was a decisive one. I needed a challenge and I wanted out from under the constant scrutiny that comes with living close to hundreds of relatives. I was allergic to Michigan air, freshly cut grass, ragweed and my stepfather (who I think was a descendant of ragweed). Ocean air, Desert air and Mountain air have all been very good to me since I left behind the humid, pollen-filled Midwestern air.
        Don't get me wrong, I love visiting Michigan and all of the hub-bub that goes with such trips...but no, I wouldn't want to move back there. I can breathe in the West. I can be a little different (liberal). I don't own air conditioning or a land line, I still commute to work on a bicycle. I survived thirteen years without owning a car. I didn't decide to have offspring until I was thirty-nine. I was a "strange duck"... a big kid who had no interest in playing football, shooting guns or snagging fish.
        I was the first in my family to graduate from high school or college. I took no scholarships or financial aid packages and I didn't go to college to avoid going to Asia to shoot at "Communist sympathizers". My number in the first Draft Lottery was 366...last, beyond pressure to stay in college. I went to Grad School, got an advanced degree in Education while working several part time jobs. I don't think I would have been given the space to do that had I remained in working class Michigan...there would have been too much pressure to get a "real job".

Saturday, August 3, 2019

A Week Without The Internet

        You'd think we went on a wilderness camping vacation...last thursday a faller dropped a tree on an important transmission line near Chester resulting in a twelve hour power outage. Frontier, our internet provider decided to upgrade along with it's reboot and subsequently blew out most of the older modems. Hey, this wasn't actually a tragedy...slightly inconvenient but not horrible. Not being connected (intentionally) to any microwaves was cleansing.
       Chester sits at the halfway point of the PCT and hosts an impressive variety of hikers who are either starting their trek in Chester, Ca. or refueling for he second half of their summer adventure. I have hiked several 100 mile stretches of the Pacific Crest and I never had the desire to text, call or fb anyone. I didn't want music or financial news or tweeting gossip. In fact, I imagined that I was free of civilizations' ability to keep track of me...even though my campfires would have been easily spotted by satellites, I didn't think anyone would be concerned with my whereabouts.
         The PCT hikers of this century are glad to be on the grid and complain when they find a canyon or hollow that blocks their signal. One senior hiker shared a story, "I hiked all day recently and hadn't seen a soul. The first person I saw that evening was sitting on a rock watching the sunset and I thought Great, someone to talk to and camp with. I said Hi, she nodded without looking at me and said, "Not now." She was typing on her phone. I walked into the twilight instead of camping, realizing I'd just encountered a Zombie."