I can count on one hand how many times I've shared pics of myself, or my family, or my home. Actually, there are none. And we're not about to start now.
For years it's been really hard getting away for vacations, this year worse than ever. All summer long patients talked to me about their trips, things that went wrong, what went right. Rain forests. Africa. Mexico. I'd listen and wonder, "How do they get to do it, get away like that, and I can't?"
The rule has been that when we do go, our vacations aren't vacations. FD is on the phone with patients, other doctors, nurses, lab techs. I'm checking messages, too. We have micro-practices, and although there's coverage, letting it all go never seems possible.
Plus, the get-away is to see kids, grandkids, in-laws of kids, an exertion that simulates a vacation in many respects. But isn't.
|United to Israel|
To air out more often, it seemed prudent to start a business with a psycho-educational mission. Educate people in other cities about abuse and neglect, what a number it does on one's mental health. Not exactly getting away from it all.
My nephew made it possible to get away, however, by not staying single. If you have a chance to go to a nephew's wedding, you don't blow it.
You try not to blow it. To say that we almost blew it is no exaggeration.
But we got on that airplane above. When you leave the country, travel very far away, even if it is to see relatives, you are on a real vacation.
If you're me, reunions make you just a little self-conscious. Friends and family, people who haven't seen us for years, are probably shocked to see so many more creases in my skin, a little bit of a craggy look. Without "work" it can happen to anyone. Whereas FD still has baby skin.
People are forgiving, in any case, don't mention things like this. I've always said that by not looking good, other people think they look good. What better gift than that?
2. Will He Make It 30 Years?
Even far away, news travels. Jerry Sandusky! Going to jail for the duration! 30 -60 years. He'll die in jail! And still, he tells us, he's innocent of abusing young boys.
|Jerry Sandusky, throw away the key|
We can only hope that those institutions with "everything to lose" (seriously?) under the pall of a scandal like his, think twice before covering one up.
3. Stripped of Sir
|Jimmy Savile, not a Sir|
Technically we don't call people who sexually abuse adolescents pedophiles. A pedophile is an adult who is sexually interested in children under the age of twelve.
Jimmy Savile was an ephebophile, an adult who is sexually obsessed with and sexually assaults young people between the ages of 13-17 (18).
Consider that your psycho-education for the day.
Savile, a British television star, is guilty of at least 30 counts of sexual assault, and more appear to come to light daily. First women came forward, now men, too, are saying that he raped them as young adolescents. The story is too gruesome to repeat on a clean blog like this.
If I stayed away from television, from stories like these, it would be okay. But seeing Law and Order and CNN with foreign language subtitles is a nice way to reinforce a second language.
4. Losing Ground
Why not just a little more about me.
Before leaving, no question, the nerves were frayed. No day a good day. The feeling? Like I'm slipping. A descent, a loss of grounded-ness, Being grounded is everything to a therapist, it is the essence of Yoda. When problems build up, as they do in middle age, sandwiched, as they say, we tend to sense it dissipating, as if the ground is literally crumbling beneath our feet.
We become less like Yoda at the end of the day. And everyone depends upon us to do an imitation, certainly, during the day. Being grounded is why they come. Why bother with a therapist who isn't?
Don't ask questions when yours tells you she needs to get away, even if it sounds like an extended absence.
Throw her a party.
And don't envy the money she will spend to go. She's supporting the world's economy and the economy of the United States, each and every day, with her taxes. Nobody in this profession ever gets out of the middle class. The first candidate to fix this gets my vote. .
5. The Western Wall in Jerusalem
Ah, there is nothing better than walking toward, approaching, coming close to this. Perhaps you understand, have an idea.
|The Western Wall-HaKotel|
Only a few hundred yards away, people eat and drink, buy and sell religious objects. Things probably went down differently well over two thousand years ago when millions made holiday pilgrimages. Kings, queens. Everyone had to see what was happening here.
|The Judean Hills at dawn|
Those are the Judean hills on your left. Pretty obvious why cultures clash over this land.
There used to be a commercial for cigarettes that referenced Marlboro Country. And a beer commercial about God's Country, maybe Wisconsin, probably.
They got that one wrong.
7. Going Green
The pic on the right is what you see on the dash when you charge up your electric car.
Why isn't Israel polluted?
People actually buy electric cars, not just hybrids. Of course, the tax exemptions help. It is like driving a real car, without the exhaust or the noise.
But don't get stuck in traffic. That's all I'm going to say.
|A Kosher McDonald's|
8. Don't Super-size Me
If you live in this country you have to join the army after high school. There you learn to stay in shape, and to eat right, generally, which is why everyone, young and old, seems thin and can eat at McDonald's.
McDonald's in case it is lost on you, is not kosher anywhere else in the world. I don't think.
And no, I didn't eat there. Are you kidding me?
9. Coming Home
Sure, sure. I'll come home. Just not yet. You wouldn't want your therapist insufficiently, not totally, grounded.