Monday, November 26, 2012

What's So: Thanksgiving 2012

      Creation requires vision, but it also requires an accurate appraisal of what’s so in the present. I’m powerless to create change without accepting the conditions from which creation starts. 
For example, if I want to restore a hurricane-damaged house, it’s important to have a vision of the restored result.  But it’s even more important to understand the house’s condition now – wiring corroded from salt water, drywall and insulation wet two feet up from the floor, patio cover scattered half a mile downwind, and roof shingles missing from the entire windward side. The path to the house I want begins with the house I have.
         So, too, in my life.  I have clear ideas about how I’d like things to be.  Some areas are not like those ideas at all, and “should be” different.  Yet the path to the life I want begins with the life I have.  What do I have?
         I’ve said that I want a life filled with love.  I want a marriage with a woman I love, a woman who accepts my loving her fully and who loves me.  With Jan, I have that.  In that area, my life is working beyond my most inspired dreams.
         I’ve also said that I want close, loving family relationships.  What’s so is that I live in Hawaii while my parents live in California and Oregon.  My sibs live in California, Oregon, and Vermont.  My children and stepchildren live in England, Indonesia, New York, California, and Hawaii.  My new family of in-laws lives primarily here on Kauai (we had 34 people for Thanksgiving), though my new stepson lives in Iowa.  I phone one parent and one sib weekly; the other parent, episodically; the other sibs hardly ever.  I talk to one son when he calls, my stepdaughter when she calls, my daughter when she e-mails with a purpose, and my other son and stepsons episodically, as the opportunity arises.  Relationships with my many new inlaws have just begun to move beyond cordial.
         I’ve said I want a healthy body so that I can participate fully in life as long as I’m here, and I’ve said I want to be here for a long time.  I lost 70 pounds on an enlightened eating program two years ago, and have coached several others to substantial weight loss on that same program.  I’m set to offer the program to employees of my hospital after the new year, as part of creating a pilot program that might encourage an insurer to pay people to stay healthy rather than fix problems after they occur. 
Right at this moment, I’ve regained 25 of those lost pounds.  Left over from the Thanksgiving meal, our house contains two kinds of pie, cupcakes, ice cream desserts, and leftover Halloween candy.  We have Hawaiian sweet potatoes and corn in the refrigerator.  We also have turkey, ham, vegetables of all sorts, and fruit. 
We eat as though we believe it’s more wasteful to throw food out than it is to convert extra food to fat, then break it down and flush it out of our bodies.  We dispose of extra food by eating it, and then we try to lose the fat deposits that result. 
My regular exercise program consists of a walk once a week or so, and I find walking affected by pain in one knee and one hip.
My doctor has left practice, and I haven’t yet made a move to find another.  Twelve years after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, I don’t have a doc and my insurance-approved supply of a valuable medication is running out.
         I have said that I want a financially secure retirement.  I’m still working at age 68, bringing in much more income than I will ever have in retirement.  I will be working less in 2013, but will still be fully engaged in the practice of anesthesia on the rotating schedule we have in our practice.
My retirement funds halved their value in 2000 and again in 2008 while managed by Merrill Lynch, so I created a self-trusteed 401K to avoid the equity market.  Though I have some clear ideas about investment goals and mechanisms, almost all of the money sits in holding accounts, losing its value to inflation, not invested.  Several small details hamper turning intention into action.  I am not significantly in action to create a secure retirement.
         I wrote a blog piece in April, 2011, celebrating agreement and moving on after a divorce.  As it happens, that hasn’t entirely occurred yet.  My ex filed a suit nearly a year after the divorce asking the judge to set aside our agreement, contending that I had fraudulently misrepresented the assets available for division in a settlement. We’re now passing through a prolonged discovery phase, with a hearing scheduled in January.  Since there is neither fraud nor misrepresentation to discover, I expect that the matter will be resolved early in the new year, but it hangs over me now as a failure to reach closure.
         So I do know what I want to create.  Much of it has been created.  And I see lots of places where I could be in action to create the results I want.  That’s what’s so today.