Finding normal–after summer vacation.

I had better write something. It’s butt to chair time.

A warning: this is a blog–and I’m practicing…blogging.

Time away is supposed to rejuvenate the mind and body. Rest is good; rest breathes new life; rest soothes the inflammation of over-achievement. Sometimes however, rest, like lots of things, runs amok. That’s human nature.

Dang vacation. Now it feels as if my brakes are rubbing. Or that awful sensation of pedaling uphill and shifting to an easier gear but then noting the chain can’t go northward. Alas, there are no easier cogs left. That’s how my writing neurons feel now. Though I must say, just typing these few sentences seem to have helped.

Wait a minute: what am I saying? Rest, and diversion, and the pursuit of balance form the foundation of improvement. If we relentlessly persist at one thing, like writing or training, or simply achieving, well then, we risk staleness–and perchance, AF.

Day 1 post vacation, two things poof into my mind:

The first was that taking time away from the white screen (actually locking away the devices in a safe) does funny things to the brain. Think reading and escape and imagination and, OMG, do you all know how many books there are out there?

Geez, now I can’t seem to stop. A friend tells me that reading isn’t a race. Hmm. To a cardiologist that races bikes, most things look like a race.

Erik Larson’s Devil in the White City has me entranced at the moment. I will find out what happens.

Before Chicago in the 1890s, it was New Orleans in 2005. Dave Eggers’ Zeitoun tells an eye-opening story of one family’s struggle to survive the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Cynics see it as anti-government. I read it differently. I wished more people read these kinds of books. It reminds one of the adage that when it comes to humans, you can’t judge a book by its cover. Mostly, people are just people.

You all have probably read All Quiet on the Western Front during high school. Sadly, I played basketball. Hindsight…If only I had read more and shot less.

Same with Ernest Hemingway, you read his works in school. I was playing. If I hadn’t read For Whom the Bell Tolls last week, I wouldn’t be so acutely aware that mindfulness, living in the moment and the utter madness of war are not just in vogue currently, but are indeed timeless concepts.

It wasn’t just the books that have me distracted. (Yes, I will be educated—in matters other than cardiology, cycling, fitness and healthcare delivery.)

It was something else.

If you have been there, you understand what I mean. It’s a malaise, a heaviness. Moving slowly and doing little that is productive looks and feels like the norm. Maybe it’s the climate, or the sugary drinks that must be consumed quickly before the heat turns them watery and warm. Or the rich and buttery food. That sun and heavy air slows you so. You sweat just thinking about exercise.

I saw a few businessmen trying to conduct business. They looked silly. I wanted to ask a guy who was tapping on his laptop whether he had AF. I refrained. Thanks frontal lobe.

If you like food, sun, humidity, un-seriousness, looking disheveled (and normal), Key West is the place for you. I have no idea how Senor ‘Hem’ got anything done down there. Perhaps it was that amazing blog room he had set up overlooking his pool and yard. (I would have snapped a photo, but the iPhone was locked in a safe.)

Vacation was nice, but it’s good to be back.

Today started slowly, but thankfully the catheters went to the right spot, the leads tracked nicely through the veins and the last patient I visited greeted me his ceaseless grin and upbeat attitude. That all felt good.

Almost normal.

Now to the bike.

Then normal will have arrived.


2 replies on “Finding normal–after summer vacation.”

Key West tops my list of places to see that I have not, and my love of Hemmingway probably the reason. Add in the amount of alcohol that man consumed and it boggles the mind how he wrote. Hmmm…maybe that’s why he went for short sentences. That’s all he could get out on a given day.

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