Later Than Normal

All that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.

~ Lewis Carroll ~

Today began when I was awakened by the obnoxious sound of my smart phone’s alarm, which I set last night before going to bed. In normal times (whatever they are), I would have been awake before the alarm sounded. But lately I have been unable to depend on my usual habit of arising very early, so I set the alarm for 5:30. I was sound asleep, deep in a dream (about which I remember absolutely nothing, other than the fact that I was dreaming), when the noise interrupted my slumbers. The fact that I woke briefly several times during the night might explain my sleeping-in this morning. Or maybe not.

After showering and shaving, I followed what will become a new morning routine: Weigh myself, swallow a handful of pills, jab myself to measure blood glucose, take my blood pressure and measure blood O2 level, and record all the measurements. While my reaction to the new normal is not especially positive, I view it with some measure of gratitude; unlike millions the world over, I am able to invest the time and energy necessary to have a fighting chance of being healthy enough to live a reasonably comfortable life.

The reason I set the alarm, rather than simply waiting to get up when the mood struck me, was a commitment to attend a breakfast of the local branch of the NAACP. Recently, I wrote about joining NAACP and planning to attend the breakfast. The fact that the event was the 25th anniversary prayer breakfast for the branch did not register with me until a day or two ago. I have never attended a prayer breakfast, nor have I ever had the desire to do so, but we were committed, so we went. I have long since gotten over my overwhelming distaste of traditional religious ritual, having learned to tune out and tolerate when necessary, so I was prepared to ignore much of the program. Surprisingly (to me), the program was quite interesting and informative. Even the call and response interactions between speakers and audience were intriguing and entertaining. The speeches and entertainment, too, were engaging. I was pleasantly surprised to see the large ballroom of the convention center filled to compacity, too. I expected that my church group of 18 to 20 would be among the only White folks in the room, but I was happy to see quite a few other white faces supporting the positive work of the local NAACP branch. Live and learn.


The new acacia wood dining table, along with the wool rug now beneath it, was delivered yesterday. On one hand, I am delighted with both of them; they look wonderful. On the other, I am disappointed in myself for succumbing, again, to unnecessary acquisitiveness. Though the purchases represented a net zero increase in home furnishings (we donated the antique oak dining table and the throw rug beneath it), my lust for “pretty things” seems not to have diminished in the least. At this rate, I will never be a minimalist. Not that the label has any real emotional meaning to me, but I do wish my desire for things I do not need could be more aggressively reined in. Buying things simply because they are visually appealing illustrates a personality flaw in me. And doing so even in light of the fact that I have told myself, repeatedly, that I think it best to save money than to spend it reveals an aberration in my thought processes. Regardless of all that, though, the table and rug are beautiful.


It’s mid-afternoon. Not at all the time for me to be blogging. It does not feel right, so I will stop. For now.

About John Swinburn

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