Sunscreen & Perspective

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This summer I am fortunate enough to be vaccationing half a block from the Sandiego Mission Bay. I’m excited and relieved to be leaving the Arizona heat. But planning a long trip means organizing oxygen tanks for the drive over and making arrangements with the company to deliver equipment and tubing on arrival. It can be nerve-racking to know that if the truck doesn’t meet us on the right day, I could be S.O.L.

A few years ago as we were driving through the desert, our car over-heated and almost died. Luckily we were close to an auto-repair shop, which also happened to be next to a casino. Cha-Ching! I wish I could say that my inner Matt Damon from Rounders showed up and won enough to pay for the car repair. But alas, I had greater worries.

Anyone else could chill out and play some blackjack while the engine was being fixed. But I was too nervous to do anything except watch the clock and calculate how much time I had left before running out of oxygen. I hope they don’t take too long fixing the car or I could be buzzard feed! 

I’ve heard the worst thing to do in those type of situations is to worry. Worry leads to raised heart rate and hyperventilation so I sat down, took slow, deep breaths and cleared my mind.

When facing a challenging situation that causes worry or despair, I clear my mind and meditate on the Serenity Prayer:

“Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” 

Years ago I was flipping channels and came upon “The Big Kahuna.” It’s a low buget, independant, flick. With only 3 actors in a a hotel room, the plot is character-driven with little action to speak of. You’d think this is a recipe for bordom but no! The dialog is deep and emotional and makes one question their beliefs and judgements about life, relationships and how we view new experiences.

Perhaps the most insightful part of the film is the sage advice given during the end credits. Whenever I am feeling lost or down I give it a play and remember it’s all about perspective.

~ Breathe Easy ~

 

Memorial Day Gratitude

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When I think of a patriot, I think of someone who is willing to die for their country; someone who puts the well-being of society above their own. I don’t know if anyone would consider me a patriot, although I am patriotic. What I do have is a deep urge to serve a greater purpose. Call it destiny or a calling, I’ve always felt that my purpose was to help others in a big way!

Born and raised in the hot Arizonan desert, I have had a special fondness of water activities; swimming, fishing, boating and the occasional shower. It was only natural that I began thinking about getting into a water related profession.

A grandson to WWII vets, I heard their stories and became inspired to find my direction in life. I too would have liked to have joined the Armed Services; serving the greater good, learning a particular set of skills (see Taken), traveling the world and being on the open water. One day as I pondered a job that incorporated all my interests, something clicked! What could be better than joining the Navy?!?!

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Unfortunately, as my heart and lung challenges grew, it became clear that the Navy was not in the cards. I may not have been able to join the military on the battlefield but I can still serve others. It’s a matter of using my passions for the environment, humor and advocating for the underdog to fill the needs of my community and effect change.

We are all soldiers in the fight for a better world, however, we reserve today to celebrate those who risked their lives to prove it.

Happy Memorial Day!

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~ Breathe This Life ~

 

 

Sushi Night!

The day after classes ended (I’ve gone back to college to finish my degree), I decided to treat myself. There’s a sushi-n-steak house down the road called osaka and I thought, “Why not? I’ve put in the work this semester.” Picked up my order of rolls, wontons, miso soup and salad. “Thanks.” Walking to my car with a smile on my face, how could the day get any better??

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BAM! Right next door was a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts! Hmm…I’m saving my money for summer vaccation…..but who in their right mind can resist a warm, sugary glazed cake?! “Five good ones, please!”

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Lunch, dessert and a few episodes of Orphan Black: my afternoon’s planned!

Life is a constant struggle to grow and improve. Whatever you do, remember to take a moment here and there to reward yourself. You’re worth it!

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~~ Breathe Easy~~

Quality breathing for a Quality life

IMG_0112 Whether you have breathing issues like me or just seek to get healthy and build endurance, I have a few engaging slide shows that will give you the tools to restore your organs and improve your energy. But about that in a moment…..

It started when I was 5 or 6. After going through a series of corrective heart surgeries, my left lung collapsed and although it regained some functionality, it’s always been a little weak. To make matters more challenging, my scoliosis has slowly obstructed my right lungs functionality, limiting my long-term activity.

A turning point in my life came during highschool. I went for my yearly pulmonary doctor checkup and he suggested going on supplemental oxygen. Like those old people carrying around tanks with plastic up their nose? Yes and No. He prescribed an oxygen concentrator (A plug-in machine that makes oxygen) for home-use. Wearing it at night immediately cured my morning headaches leaving me to attend the few hours of school, untethered to an oxygen tube, like a “normal” kid. FH000015

As I grew older, my breathing became more oxygen dependant and my doctors tried to help by suggesting ways to improve my quality of life. Summarizing one doctor’s prognosis, there’s no magic pill to cure my heart and lung complications but I can work hard to feel good and be happy with the time I have now. Staying positive and motivated, I have discovered a love for cooking and gain a lot of pleasure from trying new creations. Other passions of late are yoga, pottery and gardening.

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Today I was fortunate to come across these highly informative slide shows on how to combat COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). This stuff will definitely benefit anyone who has trouble breathing! The last two slide show links help me breathe easier and have more energy to do the things I am passionate about. I hope they can do the same thing for you!

~ Breathe This Life ~ ________________________________________________________

Chronic coughing and wheezing may be early warning signs of lung disease. Our slide show explains the symptoms and treatments for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The more you exercise, the better you’ll feel with COPD. Breathe easier with these 10 exercises.

When you have COPD, eating right may help boost your energy. WebMD shows you how in pictures and words.

Make Life Extra-Ordinary!

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If you have kept up with my blog then you know about my Daily Gratitude Journal. In it, I ‘ve been documenting at least 5 daily blessings that have fulfilled my life in some way. Today, watching a preview for Penny Dreadful, Showtime’s new show melding literary horror stories together (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFXHfEqMcis), the character of Dorian Gray mentioned something that struck a chord. I searched for a link to this clip for your viewing pleasure, to no avail. Anyhow, what he said was,

“I like to see one extraordinary thing everyday.”

That is my new motto. I don’t want to simply look on the positive side of life anymore, I want to choose to be passionate and fulfilled. I want to explore the world around me and broaden my horizons.

I recently watched a PBS interview about YouTube and it’s effect on the dumbing down of America. We as humans enjoy being positive and sharing experiences with like-minded people. YouTube, as a resource, can allow people to do that but, in practice, creates a loop of laziness and misinformation. We search for what we know and enjoy and since we can’t search for something we are unfamiliar with, can’t break out of the box and appreciate new perspectives.

Well, not me! I want to Grow. Change. Explore. Improve. Become. And to  do that I need to set big, long-term goals, explore new adventures and push through the illusions of insecurity and self-doubts to grab hold of my destiny.

Check out the upcoming show of Penny Dreadful and keep me updated on your new adventures of the soul!

— Breathe Easy —