Face the Day

Habitually arising in the neighborhood of 5 a.m. seems to have ceased, at least temporarily (I hope). A habit I have had since long before the beginning of time appears to have slipped away, almost unnoticed. While some people would cheer at having additional time to rest, I mourn the time lost to the blandness of sleep. Today, for example, I got out of bed around 6:15, a hour after I woke and considered doing just that. Instead, though, I gave myself “a few more minutes” under the covers. A hour later, I cursed my lethargy and asked myself just how long has it been since I awoke and actually got out of bed at a reasonable hour? Too damn long! I have missed the emptiness of the house in utter darkness, though this morning I am experiencing it again–and it feels good! Still, I lost at least an additional hour of empty darkness and fortifying solitude. I must work on that.


Last night, I made arroz con pollo for dinner, an extremely easy—and delicious—dish to prepare. After dinner, I had a second helping. And this morning, the remainder is serving as a breakfast treat. A meal consisting primarily of rice is not highly recommended for someone with Type 2 diabetes, but you just have to break the rules from time to time in order to maintain a sense of control over your mind and body.

I had the second helping I mentioned during a break in watching the series, Annika. We do not have regular TV service, so we do not get PBS, which is the source of Annika. So, we’re having to stream it, after paying a hefty fee, by season. I am a fan of Nicola Walker, the title character, though after watching the program for a short while I was not sure I would like the series. But it grew on me; I rather like the odd second-person comments Nicola directs to the viewer.

Most of my time during the past few weeks has been spent inside my house. Illness and sloth contributed to my status as a shut-in, but I cannot blame illness any longer. I think I’ll need to shower and shave this morning, get dressed in uncomfortable street clothes, and explore a bit of the world around me.  This might be a good time to explore, inasmuch as today is a milestone of sorts.


Space flight is not the exclusive domain of the United States. Russia and China also have launched crewed spacecraft. India is said to be working feverishly on launching crewed craft into space, as well. According to the notoriously reliable internet, eighty countries have launched satellites into space. They are not all recent additions to the list of space explorers; the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, France, West Germany, and a consortium of ten European countries launched satellites by the middle 1960s.

According to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) records, there were 8,261 satellites orbiting the Earth as on January 2022, out of which only 4,852 satellites were active (as of the end of December 2021). Those figures were confirmed by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), which maintains the record of the operational satellites.


Certain milestones have the capacity to offer either opportunities or obstacles. Sometimes both. Depressing inevitability flows from some of those landmark occasions while others (and sometime the same ones) present welcome challenges. It is said that a person can take control of his own emotions. Perhaps that is true. But it is not guaranteed.


Time to face the day.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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