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“Life” Intrudes This Week
Life often intrudes and makes a mockery of the “best plans of mice and men.” This week is one of those for me. I have no great, philosophical thoughts to share. Just some very normal scenes of life.
Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem
I ended up knocking loose an old dental filling. Just another small inconvenience in life that I have to take some time and stress to resolve. My dentist was also closed for spring break, so I had to wait a week to get it resolved. Thankfully I wasn’t in any pain, so that made it easy, but going to the dentist is one of the most unpleasant parts of my life.
Due to a dental trauma when I was quite young, I have an intrinsic dislike of all things “dentist”. I’ve had some great dentists, but it is the actual procedures and environment that set me off. I often feel like a young child with a deathly fear of dentists when I should be an adult who simply goes in and gets things done. I’m sure many of you have a similar situation that sets you off beyond all reason. We all have traumas that follow us wherever we go. For lack of a better word, Blah!
Now that that is out of the way, of course, it is time to refocus on life. It’s hard to believe that the first quarter of 2022 has already passed. The passage of the years has been mutated by the pandemic and time doesn’t seem to flow like it once did. Some days fly by. Some days drag. Some days you wake up and it’s a month later. Some days it feels like a year later.
Still, we continue. There is no other way, or at least no other way worth considering. We try to establish some sense of a new normal. I’ve taken the recent reduction in Covid infections as a sign to try and get out and live life more.
My son and I spent last Saturday in Little Tokyo enjoying all that it had to offer including unique food stores, cute anime stores, and even a little bit of people watching, something I haven’t done in years. We still kept our distance from people and wore our masks, as COVID is not over yet, but it felt good to be out in the world at least a little bit.
On Sunday, I was able to take a drive around the city, although it was because I needed to charge up my car battery after having it sit for almost a month. Just another small inconvenience but I was able to go to one of my favorite places in the city, Franklin Canyon, in the Santa Monica Mountains between Beverly Hills and the valley.
Smile for the camera
Both of these trips allowed me to engage in one of my favorite activities – photography. Yet another activity I have sorely missed. There are only so many pictures you can take of your garden and neighborhood, although I have made the best of that over the last 2 years.
We visited a small, yet delightful, Japanese garden in Little Tokyo. Although we couldn’t enter the garden itself, the surrounding plaza offers nice views and many photo opportunities
While I am more of a cottage gardener myself, I love the carefully designed nature of Japanese gardens and their peaceful qualities. I make a point of visiting them wherever I may be.
Finally this week, taxes were finalized and paid, IRA contributions made, and my civil responsibilities fulfilled. Unlike many, I don’t mind paying taxes. I have a clear understanding of everything that our tax dollars provide as a society. Did I wish taxes were lowered and/or better used? Of course, but this is why I vote for representatives that will, hopefully, support my desires in government.
I think in some cases, we have become divorced from everything that our taxes provide. I have had an idea for a long time that every piece of public infrastructure should contain a tag that explains how much of an individual‘s tax dollars go to support that infrastructure.
Imagine when you looked at a light post it said .00001 of your tax dollars went towards the maintenance and repair of this light post. Or perhaps our roads showed exactly how much of our tax dollars went to pave that block or mile. We need these important reminders to show us how our tax dollars are being spent so that we might better understand why we pay taxes in the first place.
So, this was a week of doing what had to be done. As we head into the weekend, what are you going to do that you want to do? What are you going to do that comes with no obligation and is only for yourself? It is time to slough off your work skin and find a little enjoyment for yourself.