For the May 17, 2021 KGUA radio Morning Writer’s Hour hosted by Mark Gross and Peggy Berryhill in Gualala, California, we are asked to freewrite about what we have learned about ourselves during the pandemic. I give you my Top Ten!
10. I’ve learned that when I think I’ve hit a home run in life, I remember that as white guy I was born on second base.
9. I’ve relearned how much I love my Fitbit tracker. My Fitbit encourages me to continue to be the crazed exerciser that I’ve been ever since my days as a grad student working in the Human Performance Lab at Arizona State University.
8. I have relearned the timeless wisdom of Don Miguel Ruiz in Four Agreements that two of the keys to happiness are to make no assumptions and to not take anything personally.
7. I have learned that a margarita or two is just fine, but more is asking for trouble.
6. Rather than immediately react emotionally when I’m challenged by life coming at me, I’ve learned to take a breath and think about the truth of the situation for me. Giving myself advice in the third person helps (e.g., Dan, you know that…).
5. I’ve learned the importance of having a knife at every meal to cut my food up to avoid said food from lodging in my throat. I am not far from a steady diet of mush, oatmeal, and apple sauce.
4. I’ve learned that my longstanding passion for pickleball has been refocused. I love playing the soft game with opponents who see the game as a cooperative venture to challenge all players rather than a competitive battle where winning is all that matters. Also, I like to play pickleball not slamball.
3. I have relearned how fortunate I am to have good health and ample resources to really enjoy retirement.
2. I have learned that a beer with friends after ping pong and pickleball makes the experience a royal flush.
1. I am reminded that I have a traveler’s heart. I look forward to California’s sunshine and blue skies in the months ahead.