Feeling soooo grateful for 48 years and counting

I was teased a lot as a kid.  

I was short, very skinny and extremely hyper (when Oprah ran a special on Attention Deficit Disorder, several friends called to say I had ADHD 🙂 ).  

But something happened late in my teen years.  I grew overnight to 5’11”, put on 30 pounds of muscle so I was trim instead of skinny, and calmed down.  I started dressing more stylishly.  Even my facial features changed (Wife M looks at pictures of me and says she can’t believe it is the same person).  Personality wise,  I become less impetuous, and my tolerance of others improved.  Suddenly, some of the girls who had teased me as a kid were asking me out in college, and I was approached by strangers. All that has no meaning now, except it is much better memories than the ones I had where I was teased, and it has given me a lot of confidence in myself as I age.  In the early years, I oversteered – I became a little cocky.  But after a few years that too calmed down into quiet confidence, and then I met my future Wife M.  

But my point is this —  if life had been taken away at 10, 15 or even 20 or 25, I’d never had a chance to change, to evolve, not only looks wise but personality wise (I am a much wiser person I think then even in my 20s).  My life would have been — and =eople would remember me as — a small, opinionated, high-strung, homely kid with glasses.

It is such a gift to be given a long life, to change and evolve, to grow as a person.  Not everyone gets that chance. So I am very grateful. And how many kids or young adults have died who didn’t get a chance to evolve.  Which is one of the many reasons I love the idea of forgiveness and thinking the best of young people, and why our incarceration and imprisonment of so many young men and women is devestating, and one of many reasons of why wars are so tragic.

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Feeling soooo grateful for 48 years and counting

I will never, ever go scuba diving. 

I’ve never been a fan of snorkeling. Not only do I worry about sharks and eels, but I don’t like the odd feeling of breathing through a small tube (I always feel like I am going to suffocate).  And that was even true before I came down with lung disease…  Now I am reading Michael Crichton’s Travels where they go diving, and twice he has nearly died because of oxygen-related issues deep down.  I can’t think of a worse way to die then drowning because of being stuck/trapped underwater (I am sure there are, but I don’t want to think too hard), so really can’t imagine a single scenario where I will willingly remove myself from land and put myself 10s of feet deep in water with only a small oxygen tank to keep me from a miserable death.  

I’ve always said I’d never join the navy.  I’d hate being bunked on the bottom of a boat (below the surface) when suddenly I hear an explosion somewhere, everything goes black and then I feel cold water on my feet.  That is far worse than any horror movie ever made.  I’d far rather get blown to bits, or shot or stabbed or even blown out of the sky, which all seem much more pleasant than going down (alive!) with a ship.  I also don’t like going in tunnels that go underwater, although sometimes it isn’t reasonable to avoid (I am going to try to avoid the 99 tunnel in Seattle when it opens, since it goes through landfill in an earthquake zone!!!).  I don’t think there is reincarnation, but if there is I must have drowned in a previous life, because I just don’t want to be underwater.  🙂  Now, the good news is, if that did happen, the misery wouldn’t last all that long — a minute or two and it would be over.  Still, I’d rather avoid that minute or two.

100s of millions of years ago, my ancestors crawled out of the oceans, presumably to avoid sharks and to have less competition for food.  And I have no desire to try to swim back against the current of that kind of evolution by immersing myself deep under water.  There is a reason that we crawled out of the oceans!

I will never, ever go scuba diving.