Saturday, November 29, 2008

First day of "vacation"

I'm officially not at work now, as of yesterday at 4:45 PM. And I officially do not have to return until January 5th, in the afternoon. (L-o-n-g-.........-e-x-h-a-l-e.)

Part of me feels, oddly, very upset by the prospect of all this idleness. Clearly I seem to have, overall, lost touch with my inner irresponsible child parts.

It will be a first real break (longer than three weeks) from work in over 14 years. It will be the first time I will have been out from under the Dark Grey December Sky Lid of the temperate rain forest in 18 years. The part that feels upset is undergoing a taste of Freedom Vertigo, is all. It's a minor cognitive tilt-a-whirl that I'm sure will pass, once I get to Maui and experience immersion in high photon density. Maybe even before then.

I'm thinking I'll get some time to contemplate what I'd like to be when I grow up (a job that is never really over), how to safely disengage from the life I've constructed here and move on, hopefully to a more sunny location, and some kind of reasonable time frame to conduct this transition, make it gentle on everyone including me.

Does the economy worry me? A little.. so it's a good thing that I have never really worried a whole lot about stuff over which I have no control, like the value of money. When the opportunity to move smoothly presents itself, I will do so in a heartbeat, even if I lose money in the process.

If I were really concerned about money, I'd never spend any, and I'd not have become a PT in the first place, because you never get rich doing human primate social grooming. At best, you make a comfortable living doing honest work that's meaningful in the moment, involves helping others, and does no harm. I can do that anywhere. It's one of the things that attracted me to PT in the first place. Who needs more than that out of life? Really?

Speaking of doing no harm, I received yet another missive from my good friend and correspondent, "anonymous," who regaled me yet again on the blogpost I wrote concerning Sandy Nette and her lawsuit. See Alberta woman with chiropractic stroke sues bigtime. Sorry anonymous, I am not going to publish your comment. Surely you can read, and have already read this part:
"Since I put this blogpost up I've received a couple comments from one or two readers, both named "anonymous." I did not allow their comments to appear. They are glaringly pro-neck-manipulation, and I think the pro-neck-manipulators have already had far too much leeway in the realm of swaying public opinion to give them any sort of platform, however buried, obscure and humble this blog may be.

It's because of:
1. chiro training in a rationalized (as opposed to rational), deliberately propagated, bizarre belief system, combined with
2. a cultivated and honed persuasive attitude,
3. which appears aimed at propagating reckless enactment of a type of human physical social grooming (high-neck-manipulation) which is irrelevant and unnecessary in the first place,
4. against all common sense AND scientific investigation,
5. for the sole purpose of making $,

... that this woman became tetraplegic.

I have too much respect for the human nervous system to ever condone manipulation of its high-neck housing; therefore, "anonymous," I consider my prevention of your promotion of it on my blog, a positive choice - an action (however tiny) against letting myself and this blog be a vector for further perpetuation of your particular memeplex. And I happen to think it's an accumulation of tiny actions that count in life."

I suspect that my dear friend anonymous constructed his straw man argument in Word and is simply surfing his way around with the help of google, and like a crazed harpy (even though probably male), is dropping his load everywhere he can. I'm sure I've already read the exact same prose many other times, in many places.. anyway, no need for me to allow it here. I get to set editorial policy in my own blog, anon. Tough darts, but that's how it's gonna be. Try popping this delightful bubblewrap instead.

See? I just guided someone from a harmful activity over into an enjoyable and harmless one. That's part of what I help people figure out how to do in my work.

Another part is helping people figure out how to do what they want to do without having to endure pain while doing it. The last but not least part is teaching people about pain, and engaging with their physical nervous system to relieve it while they and their nervous system simultaneously learn how not to have it. Do I treat necks? Yes, of course I do. Do they improve? Yes of course they do. Do I pop them? Never. See?

Really, I do love my work. But also, really, I do need this trip to a Land of Photons, and I need it now. I want a big blue-dome sky over me and gorgeous glinting light ricocheting around, vigorously bouncing off surfaces of everything instead of feebly allowing itself to be sucked straight into them. I want vibrant color all round, color that here would seem garish but there will seem blanched in the vibrancy of ambient blue-sky light. I want to see light bending off water and water that looks blueblueblue, not this dark green black stuff that we call "the ocean" here where I live, that up close reminds me of wrinkled, liquid trash bags rippling slightly in the breeze, weakly fwapping at the shoreline, sucking away sand, depositing dead cold darkgreenbrown slimey seaweed. I want sharp contrast, not fuzzy edges. I want black shadow, not a dull grey haze. I want light that hurts my eyes, burrows directly into my brain, forces me to wear shades to protect my peepers from sheer sizzle. I want to be dazzled by direct light, not fooled by artificial street lights tossed haphazardly upward from puddles on the street, not placeboed by a sun lamp with which, frankly speaking, the honeymoon was over long ago. Let there be light. Real light. Honest. Sun. Light. Puhleeze.

Update Nov.30
My friend "anonymous" has written to me again. This time, he said he agreed that avoiding neck manipulation was a good idea (which is a step forward), but said I was off the mark on chiro education. Come on Anon, get over yourself. Perhaps your chiro school was (relatively) wonderful, but I have it on quite good authority that there is no particular standard amongst U.S. chiro schools. So don't presume to speak on behalf of all chiro. Go read Chirotalk, where I get all my info about chiro from ex-chiros who are fighting their way back to sanity, who engage true believers in hilarious discussions. It was you who drank the chiro koolaid, not me - I see no reason to change my overall opinion of chiropractic.


Kent said...

Hurray for you! I think you will love Maui. Of course I am a little envious, but I am very happy for you. There is nothing like sunmade photons (I still use my lamp, but it cannot compare.)

In my 33 years at HP, I think I only took 3 week vacations a very few times and once I took a four week vacation. I had to brace myself for each one. That feeling of wrongful idleness definitely tried to insinuate itself.

Since I "retired" from HP, I have really had to confront what I will do when I am not driven by a structured existence. What seems to happen so far, is that I keep inventing new structures, trying them for a while and then discarding them. It is actually pretty unnerving. Now that it has been 18 months since I was last constrained by a corporation, I am just barely beginning to really believe that I have this freedom. Now I have to truly believe that my sense of well being does not depend on the Dow Jones Industrial Index. I can say it, but I have to live it.

I hope you have a great time. I hope you get a chance to explore the island. For a small spot it has an amazing diversity of mini environments, topology, etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

I can hear you Kent. I find the idea of total "freedom" a bit too daunting to even think about quite yet. Because I have this particular way of making a living, I literally can design a way to work until such time as I drop dead, probably. I feel lucky to have a number of options.

To retire completely would mean having to face that cognitive jolt (which you are currently grappling with by the sounds of it) that comes along with removal of familiar structure and not knowing what to do with oneself. Is the "river" the water enclosed by banks, or do the riverbanks define the "river"? If a river had feelings, how would it feel when it found its banks suddenly gone, found itself spreading over a whole plain or else being absorbed into an entire ocean? It would suddenly have to deal with not being "river" anymore.. it would have to face the fact it was ... water, I guess.

I'm not ready to go there quite yet - I'm still about the banks defining the river as river, I guess, not ready to be... water. I don't want to work as much. But I want to work when I want to work (I want it all). Whatever I end up doing will have to jive with a move to a different (sunnier) part of the country. Semi-retirement is looking like the most attractive option right now.