NEVER! Since I retired at the end of 2002 that has not been a problem for me, though as a former “work-obsessed American,” what I did with my “free time” was at first very important to me, making sure I was “accomplishing something” all of the time! Not now!
This so-called “Free Time” was brought to my mind Wednesday as I read this article in The Washington Post: Why having too much free time can be as bad for you as having too little and I apologize if you can’t read it as a non-subscriber, but I think they allow you one article for free. That article is mostly focused on people still working and not us retirees. But it motivated my little essay here on free time:
“Country Lane” is in quotes because it’s my personal name for the extension of 8th Avenue Atenas through what has been farm land but getting more houses. It ends as a gravel road at Radial 27 Highway across from the Farmer’s Market. I’ve shared photos of many things along this road but maybe not just the road itself, so here are my shots of the actual road in different locations. For more photos of one of my walking places, see the gallery titled: “Country Lane” – Avenida 8. Walking is sweet! 🙂
And a slide show of the road from Saturday’s walk . . .
As a kid some pushy boys would challenge you with “I double-dog dare you to . . .” do whatever outlandish thing they thought I or someone else was too scared to do. Well the linked article below in The New Yorker Magazine is a very long article (taking time to read), but if you are really interested in the health of people wherever you live, then I “double-dog dare you” to read the whole article! 🙂 I believe you will be impressed!
It tells the story of a doctor almost my age from Atenas, Costa Rica (my current home town) who revolutionized Costa Rica’s health care system to make it arguably one of, if not the best in the world by blending public health and medical care. It’s a life-changing story for Costa Rica! And it could be for rich, self-centered countries like the U.S. who need to quit fearing “socialism” and start thinking about what is best for ALL the people and not just the RICH few as it now works in the states. I applaud The New Yorker for this excellent article! May America soon wake up! And thanks to Steve for bringing it to my attention! 🙂
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”
– Mohandas K. Gandhi
So what does an old man “Retired in Costa Rica” do with his time? Especially since cancer and the dreaded cancer treatment forced a slowdown? In short, I have slowed down! And those who know me well may find that hard to believe. 🙂 It is easier said than done for the hyper-active little boy who is sort of who I am. So this blog post will be My “Essay on Slowing Down” or more accurately on “what it is like for me to slow down.” I have now learned to “Enjoy the Moments” here in Costa Rica and hopefully I can share the joy of living slow in Costa Rica! 🙂
From my “Merriam-Webster Word of the Day” email today:
And this is the effort or goal of my body right now, much longer after the radiation treatment than I expected, as my trip the last week of July showed.
For the rest of the year I have only 2 trips, both very relaxing places that I have already explored, so I plan to truly “take it easy” in September on the Caribbean or Atlantic Coast of Costa Rica in maybe my most relaxed hotel here, Banana Azul. I have reserved “The Howler Suite,” like a tree house on the second floor with a large private deck overlooking the forest and the beach where I plan to hangout more this time, with my “hikes” limited to beach walks and I may even use room service for some meals in my room and use the in-room Jacuzzi this time! 🙂 I was “too busy” the last time there! 🙂 Maybe read two books this time!
Christmas week I’m back on the Pacific side at another favorite hotel, Cristal Ballena in Uvita, overlooking the bay of whales and the “Whale’s Tail Beach” (feature photo at top) along with a lot of birds right outside my room and with even better food! As much as I love where I live, I function better with a change of scenery every couple of months or so. And I believe both these places will help me immensely with my continued efforts of “Resilience” after cancer! 🙂
“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.”
As much as I hate to omit it, I was not well during my week on the Osa Peninsula, still tired or low on energy with limited taste due to 7 weeks of radiation treatment and not my usual “gung ho” self! I chose to not talk about how I felt and I still got a lot of photos, and some are pretty good in spite of my limited mobility on the trails (I fell twice). You can find my efforts in the Photo Gallery, under Costa Rica TRIPS, or click the seascape image below or this web address: https://charliedoggett.smugmug.com/TRIPS/2021-07-22-28-Bosque-del-Cabo-Osa-Peninsula
“Climb up on some hill at sunrise. Everybody needs perspective once in a while, and you’ll find it there.”
Feeling tired is a common experience. It can be caused by disrupted sleep habits, a change in routine, or the appearance of stressors in your life. No matter the reason, tiredness can push us to our limits emotionally and mentally. In some cases, extreme tiredness sets in. This is called exhaustion.
Or in my case, I think I was just doing more physically than my healing body was ready for. When I finally got home Wednesday night, after a delayed flight and 7 days of hiking up and down hills through the rainforest, I collapsed in my bed and slept for 11 hours! Of course I had errands to run yesterday and then today I’ve just chilled, not leaving the house, with laundry my most strenuous activity. 🙂
I still recommend Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge, but now add the disclaimer that it is an “active place for healthy people” that requires a lot of walking just to and from your cabin, not to mention all the trails and other activities, etc. My cellphone said I walked more than 14,500 steps one day – which normally is very good! But I was not healthy enough for that, not fully recovered from cancer treatment. But I will be soon! And by the September trip to the Caribe, I expect to be my normal active self, enjoying more walks wherever I am. 🙂 Pura vida!
“If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees.”
― Hal Borland
And oh yes, more photos yet to come from this trip!
Along my “Country Lane” extension of Avenida 8 road they at one point cut through rock to make the road and just a week or so ago it looked like this:
On yesterday’s walk I noticed that much of that rock was now covered in a new fern to me that the best I can tell from an internet search is the Delta Maidenhair Fern – Adiantum Raddianum (Wikipedia link). Please correct me if you know better. It was the closest match on the web and I don’t have a fern book! 🙂 Here’s what much of the rock looks like now, followed by a small gallery of more images. Very beautiful plant to me!
Mostly my real time journal and blog posts plus photos and other information that is meant to be inspirational for someone else going through cancer, especially my specific Parotid Tumor Cancer with 68 pages and 87 photos, including a few of my nature posts during that time. 🙂
I also emphasize the value of nature in healing for me. And the title “True Grit” is explained in the book and on back cover, kind of funny! 🙂