San Diego

Another wonderful Thanksgiving week with my son and daughter in San Diego, which is no small fete because my daughter flies in from London. For me it is a time to rekindle my love for the Pacific Ocean. My surf boarding days are mostly over, but you would be amazed what you can spend on a good boogie (body) board. It is just reinvigorating to get in the ocean, taste the salt, and be a kid again. Of course when you have incurable cancer, you do tend to enjoy the moment. And before I go any further, the meds I am taking make me fairly symptom free, so I am one very lucky man.

First, restaurants. I will just give you a few. There are so many good places to eat down here. I will just give you two. One is Puesto in La Jolla. It’s tacos and Margaritas take Mexican food to a whole other level. Lobster tacos is a favorite. Then there is Eddie V’s where my little family and some of our extended family met for the famous Thanksgiving feast. I cannot recommend this place enough. Super fresh seafood cooked to perfection. A side called crab fried rice was a meal in itself. Wine list is excellent and reasonable. No it is not cheap feeding four, but isn’t that why we work in the first place?

The two other nights were good, but unremarkable. Jambalaya, and beers for me in a pub that was nowhere as good as I can cook at home. The other night was Sushi for 9 take out and I have no idea what I ate, but it was good. When we get down here we always spend one day shopping because the stores are close and where I live in Northern California, the stores are far away and less well supplied. Time to get the discount new belt at Marshals and new shoes at DSW. Oh, and did I mention a new boogie board to be left with my son for future visits?

It was nice to be with 2 of my 3 children and talk with them about my cancer. There are some many things that go unsaid that should not and we had a chance to talk about how we were all feeling. I am fairly fatalistic here, life will be what it will be and it has been a great ride. There is no choice but to take it one day at a time and enjoy the moment, and right now the moment is great. I hope I can pass that on to my kids. I myself have been a fairly type A person, called the “planning Nazi,” and I guess I still am. But when things do not work out, it does not bother me near as much anymore. I don’t yell at drivers anymore, just note their interesting perspectives on driving. It is the things you can’t control (just about everything) that you just can’t worry about. You can plan for the worst and take steps to ameliorate what happens, but you still have to roll with it.

I remember a book I read way back when, written by a psychiatrist about surviving in the death camps (Viktor Frankl’s Man Search for Meaning) and he made an observation about those who did not give up in circumstances too terrible to describe. It went something like this: They can take almost everything away from you except your freedom to chose your attitude. You can choose to survive. You can choose to smile. You can choose to not get angry. You can choose to do good and you can choose to be kind. It is what makes us human and what makes kindness and forgiveness the truly noble human aspirations. It is so much easier to get angry and blame, so when you see kindness and forgiveness, understand you are seeing transcendence.

Now we are all going our separate ways again, as I write this on the plane going home, my daughter Serena heads back to London, and my son Andrew gets back into the routine of his San Diego existence. I will miss them dearly, but we will find ways to connect and it was an absolutely wonderful 5 days. Oh, and did I mention all the truly interesting and nice Lyft drivers we met going here and there, even to the beach. Unload that rental car. It is one more stress producer you don’t need.

I will leave you with one final thought. When the pilot leaves the seatbelt light on the whole flight because there is some very light burble, people just start to ignore the seatbelt sign because when you got to go, you got to go. Puts the whole flight crew versus passengers in a bad situation because they have to warn people to stay in their seats, and of course they can’t. Why they can’t just say we would prefer that you stay in your seat with your seatbelt fastened, but if you need to use the restroom, you do it at your own risk? I mean, after all, we check our bag at our own risk. And another thing, how many people actually put their phones in airplane mode? We set ourselves up for people to ignore the rules and we make it easy for them to justify it.

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