Saturday, April 10, 2010

Back in the saddle....

It's interesting to note the difference in myself as I age, when it comes to feeling ill. Back in the day, when I was working fulltime as a school counselor, I'd normally just pop a few cold tabs and go to school, despite a snuffly nose and laryngitis. I did take mental health days occasionally, as did we all, but I hated to take a sick day for "just a cold".

Those days are long gone, I notice! It's probably a combination of aging and the awareness that a neglected minor illness can develop into something more plus a sense that "dagnabit, I don't need to kill myself for this job!". It's also worth noting that since the 80's and 90's, when I was doing my thing as a junior high school counselor, we as a society have developed a much more acute sense of the wisdom of staying away from people when we are even slightly ill. Perhaps that sense developed as we were becoming more and more overworked as a society.

In any case, this morning I am feeling rather fine, still a bit hoarse and full-headed, but not enough to pop any meds. And I am feeling particularly smily after spending yesterday evening in a full-throated conversation with some Mensa friends about "what should be humankind's relationship to animals?" Richard and I started this gathering, here on Whidbey far from the center of Western Washington Mensa's activities in Seattle, so that we could get together with others and have a little fun without going to "the other side".

We initially just got together to shoot the breeze and have a beer, but small talk wasn't enough for most of us, so I got into the habit last fall of using my congregation's "theological question of the month" as a starting point for a more engrossing conversation. We didn't discuss it in religious terms, but more in philosophical terms. Everybody, it seems, has a philosophy; not everybody has a religion.

Last night's conversation started in the car between Richard and me as we headed north to Oak Harbor, where we were meeting with Ken, Helen, and John, plus maybe others who might drop by. What fun it is to share opinions and be asked searching questions about one's sense of rightness or wrongness when it comes to a topic like treatment of other living things!

Richard is particularly adept at asking good questions; he's a lawyer, after all, and I often tweak him about taking off his lawyer hat and putting on his ordinary person hat. But I do appreciate his questions because they make me think more deeply and not rely on pat answers. And he has such a good heart; he doesn't glory in making me feel foolish and he is kind when he disagrees. He's such a good friend. I wish more males were capable of this kind of friendship---undemanding yet reliable and stimulating.

Anyhow, it's good to be feeling well again after several days of minor misery. Today I have an afternoon gathering in Coupeville, at NEKK, our North End Koffee Klatch, and then a party at church tonight to kick off our annual canvass. Tomorrow I trek over to Mt. Vernon to preach for them and I hope to enjoy the tulip and daffodil displays on the way back from the Skagit Valley.

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