The slow steady engine of progress… We know not where it leads.
Another sound night sleep with the good feeling of having had the energy and discipline to meditate on either end. Today began on the later side with Eleña arriving at 8 AM. To be clear, 8 AM isn’t necessarily a later morning than usual, in fact the dynamic set up by our current scheduling conditions may have been rising earlier with better consistency.
Historically someone is on hand to get me up at 7 AM which is generally a good habit in case I have need for an early morning meeting or appointment of some kind. With our dynamic in this window of transition, three of those mornings have been pushed back to 8 AM in terms of care arrival. On a good day this now means that I’ve risen to meditate for an hour or so, have collected my thoughts, and even perhaps gotten a little organization or reading of emails out of the way.
[Looking out the window to the northeast just now, the sky is doing its painted wonder thing. Sunsets lately, perhaps just the angle in late January, have been dancing starkly with pastel brushstrokes across the evening clouds. This is a nice counterpoint to the weary/well spent brain sensation through which I labor these last words of the day to the page.]
I think I started this reflection with “sound night sleep” in response to that feeling of tired that is so much in the foreground right now.
In any case, I was up and off to the races by 9:15 AM today (that’s a good time, my favorite is 8:30 AM or so. 😉
On rising I was still thinking I might get out the door to tour and visit my first long-term residential care facility. The legal advocates I spoke with yesterday had recommended squaring away my estate planning process first, but I was still leaning to the idea of just getting boots on the ground as a way to further push off on the process.
As I opened a blank Word document and started squaring away my thoughts and questions for the visit, I started to realize more and more what I didn’t know, as well as to recognize the precarious nature inherent in our system. Retirement homes are one thing when one has a nice nest egg and retirement planning in place that focuses on such an outcome, but going into care for medical necessity seems to be an entirely different ballgame.
Of course our healthcare system is enormously expensive with multiple layers of complicated bureaucracy. As I got a handle on some starting questions, I decided to ring up the advocates again as the guidance I’ve been getting there seems on point and very helpful. As I spoke with the helpful fellow – a friendly attorney who had just turned his attentions from private practice to public service last December – I kept hearing phrases that really struck me. Forgive my soggy brain for not recalling precise wording, but the essence had to do with describing an industry of care facilities that had the reminiscence of dysfunction familiar from stories of the early 1900s.
Of course my brother Dave right now is hearing the very echoes of what he’s been advocating for me to avoid – “get on the ground and get your own sense of those places, rather than adopting the horror stories, projections, and echoes of others.” He has said again and again.
Nonetheless, I’m not surprised – I’ve always said that raw capitalism is the AI we’ve all been fearing in our science fiction horror stories. Capitalism, on its own eventually eats everything and everyone. (Think: GDP essentially equals extracting all of the natural resources available and converting it to landfill and floating plastic continents as quickly as possible.) In my view today, the breakdown of our governance systems of dialogue and negotiation, the rampant influences leading to climate change, generations with less life expectancy than their parents, etc., etc., etc. are all examples of this AI run amuck. Certainly the thing is taken on a life and intelligence outside of anything any of its masters might desire.
As I say, I’m not surprised to find this aspect of our healthcare system – long-term skilled care, even when only partially necessary – twitching and spasming under the pressures of chasing the almighty dollar and leaving the actual well care of human beings in its wake.
Realizing the paramount importance of having a clear and intelligent strategy in place to navigate that system, I shifted gears from a lacsidasical visit and started reading the legal briefs online (http://www.canhr.org). While the headline might be a bit ugly, their informational document repositories and articles appear quite useful and I spent about two hours of the morning just studying these materials in building my IQ on the subject.
The next step will be to follow up with a private attorney to get some clear estate planning strategy in place.
Next for me was a quick lunch in the sunshine, another of Eleña’s amazing salads, and they are amazing! Every time. It’s uncanny. 🙂
It was also quick, but the air felt a bit like summer today and was quite quickly quite rejuvenating. For anyone reading this in the northern latitude, or too far south, yes – this is late January in San Diego. Short sleeves and summer weather, don’t worry, how spoiled we are is not lost on us. 🙂
Then to the exquisite encounter of doing a formal debrief conversation with a STAGES client, which is truly one of my favorite ways to pass the time. This professional work is a privilege, in particular because it has to do with taking a perspective on a person in a particular place in their life, like a snapshot in the middle of a long movie. With this quick photograph (metaphorical of course) and a bit of narration on their part to set up the shot, we invariably have a conversation that describes their feet on the ground in the present moment in a way, compassionate to their history, and empowering to their next steps on the path.
In simple I get to appreciate the beauty of a human being in the 90 minute span of the dialogue, in a way that reveals remarkable sparkling depth to the gym that each and every one of us truly are.
In 2 1/2 hours (including prep) I got to bob deep into the waters of human appreciation before popping back up into the rest of my day dazed, and a bit soaked in the magic. 🙂 Thank you dear client friend, you know who you are. 🙂
From there the remainder of the afternoon was spent in the first hour and some of engagement in my new contract work, mentioned a few posts back. Out of respect for the clients are not going to say more about that, but I find myself wondering in the midst of this paragraph if some character of the day is suggested in these wandering words…
I guess I might say it was a day of formal and professional qualities… A little email and correspondence, but not so much, the studying of legal and formal advice, reflection in a professional context and formal guidance in that field, before rounding it out with some fairly plain matters of getting the business done.
Not a surge ahead, nor a slow slog – just the quiet hum of the engine of progress, moving forward with some sense of discipline and order. Fortunately we run on sunshine and salads here, so no black smoke over this factory today. Wish I could say the same for Washington. 😉
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…