The Cardiologist & The Book Of Life

It was late in the day and the Fast hadn’t ended and I wasn’t in shul so I had to find something to occupy me other than thinking of food.

Standing outside on a Saturday afternoon in Texas isn’t a good idea not because of the weather but because your neighbors are on their grills and the smell is overwhelming.

Smell is tied into memory for me and some scents send my brain into overdrive and on this particular day the BBQ made me think of this Yom Kippur 2013.

The house I went to for the break fast was filled with some amazing smells, some of which made me think of home, not in the sense of LA but just a place I could live forever.

And now four years later and a lot of Scotch to celebrate another day of life I am trying to decompress after a brutal week that tested me in every way.

But the Scotch wasn’t poured until recently and prior to the end of the Fast during that last frame I chose to distract myself with the finale of Lost.

If you weren’t a fan of the show or if you haven’t had certain experiences I wouldn’t expect you to understand why it hit me hard this time around so let’s state it did and move on.

The Cardiologist & The Book Of Life

Somewhere in the middle or near the end of the episode I thought about how I ought to call a cardiologist and ask him to look at my heart.

That made me snort because four years ago I had the opportunity to get my heart checked out and I did.

It got perfect marks.

While many things can change during a four year period some just don’t. Some just continue and you deal with whatever those things may be.

Still for those few of you who are interested it is worth noting that the blood tests I had earlier this year all showed good things and though some numbers were higher than the docs liked they still gave me a passing grade.

Ok, that is not completely true. My blood pressure was off the charts and they asked I was under stress.

I smiled and said “Atlas would do more than shrug and then asked for five minutes to compose myself and said I would retake the test.”

“Mr. Wilner you dropped like 30 points. That is crazy. Did you hypnotize yourself?”

I smiled and told them I told my heart to beat properly or to get lost.

They smiled back and told me to keep doing what I was doing.

I smiled back and said the one thing I am good at is trying.

****

Back in the recent past the thought about the cardiologist floats through my mind and I picture him/her telling G-d I am healthy enough to be written into the Book Of Life and hear him ask did you look more than just the physical.

That idea of looking beneath the surface seems to be something few are willing to do and I wonder how many people walk around feeling broken.

I feel it now and it is not because of how much I have had to drink, albeit quite a bit.

That is not something I do all that often, but tonight felt like a good night to have a little bit more. The bed is on the bottom floor and while the to-do list is a mile long I can give up tomorrow morning if I need to.

Hell, I am the guy who powers through over and over and sometimes you have to do something that enables you to recharge your batteries.

I’d take a vacation or have a long talk with someone but neither are options right now so this will work for the moment.

Tomorrow might hurt a bit but I’ll walk a bit longer and pretend that a man pushing 50 recovers like he used to 25 years ago.

Life Goes On

Some people tell me they dislike this song because it is far too sad for them.

I don’t interpret it that way but I see how you could.

Instead it is a reminder to me to take life by the balls and to do something to avoid putting yourself through a ton of regret.

There aren’t too many of those and the few that hold my attention are huge but simple. They are things I didn’t do because I let fear prevent me from going for it.

That is why if similar situations were to come I would do my best not to repeat those mistakes. I would do what I could to make different choices and then just roll with it.

But I also consciously work on not letting the regret from the past stop me from living today.

For example there are moments when I wish I would have sold my house in LA in 2007 and moved to Texas.

Had I done it I would have hit Dallas with enough cash to have purchased an amazing house for a mortgage that was less than I was paying.

And I would have been able to pay it off in 15 years.

Yeah, in concept I could have been living in that amazing house for the past 10 years and been five years away from owning it outright.

That’s assuming nothing changed or that any changes that arose wouldn’t have prevented that from happening.

Coming On Like A Freight Train

A couple of months ago my dad talked about watching me round third and run the catcher at home plate.

We were 12-years-old but the other kid was much bigger than me.

I won that battle mostly because I hit him at full speed and that was enough to compensate for the difference in size.

Two weeks ago I decided to try a sprint at the track at the gym and had another collision but this one was far different because they had no idea I was coming and I didn’t expect them to step into my lane.

They were reading or texting and I was coming on a like a freight train with about the same capacity for stopping and or switching lanes.

The good news is he must have weighed 260 and was well over six feet.

The bad news is I am not a little man and I was at speed.

I helped pick him up off of the ground and apologized.

I am sure he remembers getting hit and will for a long time.

That is probably a memory worth reliving, not the collision itself as much as the importance of being aware of what is going on at the track.

****

I am mulling over whether to have some more Scotch and thinking about what I am going to do to try to make this week different from last.

The challenges of the prior were not of my doing nor were they things that could easily be avoided.

That is some relief but the likelihood of some of those repeating is high and there doesn’t seem to be much I can do to help the others from sucking me into their vortex of stupidity and chaos.

Guess it is a good thing I know how to dance in the fire and walk through storms.

Every day is a gift, I am mostly looking forward to seeing what they bring. Some days the air is a little sweeter and sometimes less so.

Can’t know until the weeks starts.

Chances are I’ll hit it like a freight train.

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