January 11, 2020 4 min read

I’ve been in a serious funk lately! That always happens around Christmas, but it was especially bad this year. I know the spirit of Christmas is giving, but I cannot look past the materialism: holiday TV commercials killed me, ‘I damn well deserve that new BMW and I’m worth it’! That theme was widespread too. Now Christmas is overshadowing my fav; Thanksgiving. It broke my heart while driving home from my sister’s place early Turkey-giving eve to see Walmart open, actually our 20 mile drive took us by 2 Wally-marts. They were packed! Really? We can’t have just 1 day to be thankful? My funk was deeper than materialism though.

It was affecting my thoughts, my moods, and my sleep. After spending eight hours in bed I would awake feeling like I didn’t even sleep. My dreams were not pleasant and I would repeatedly wake up anxious and immediately think of all the things that I needed to do in the real world instead of drifting back into a blissful slumber. I even thought about seeking counseling for it. I’m a do it yourself(er) though so I made an appointment with my brain. We determined that it boiled down to my self-proclaimed Peter Pan Syndrome and fading visions of a modified utopia (I’d given up hopes for a true utopia a while back).

I realize now that I was a very naive young man around the time I graduated college. I honestly believed I had the thoughts, energy, wisdom and conviction to transform this earth and its inhabitants into a utopia. My heart was in a good place! I practiced conservation before it became en vogue: the outgoing message on my answering machine (for millennial's; it’s a small recorder that we used to receive messages pre cell phones) finished by saying “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!” Do you realize that humans are the only species on earth that accumulate and stockpile wealth for the future? It seems to me that for the most part we are just borrowing resources and opportunity from future generations. What do I know though? I’m naive (although I've upgraded fromvery tomildly). Therein lies the heart of all my trepidation: not only have I failed to make this world a utopia, I’ve been a participant while it’s gotten worse! No wonder my psyche has been in the outhouse lately. So, do I relinquish my Utopian vision?

I thought about it, but NO! It’s 2020, perfect vision is always a good thing! I’ve chosen to relinquish you (and all the other 8 billion of ya). Yep, you’re on your own now! I’m going to be responsible for me and you need to be responsible for you. I will try to continue to always honor our Mother Earth and our Father God. I hope we all do the same… but if anyone doesn’t, it’s skin off of their back, not mine! You can hurt utopia’s reality but you can’t touch my vision. I know I’m not alone in allowing the state of the world and climate change to affect my mental well-being. Anxiety and worry is counterproductive though, so now I’m simply focused on making good choices all day long, day after day. Let the cookie crumble however it’s going to....

I will make a plea though. My plea is to the rich and powerful; those that are often at the source of corruption and destruction. Not all of them are megalomaniacs however, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates seem like they understand the whole picture. They have promised to give away more than half of their money to philanthropic causes! The ‘Giving Pledge’ now has 14 billionaires… I think that’s pretty cool. My plea is in the form of a lyric from the best drummer this earth has ever known, Neil Peart: ‘And the men who hold high places must be the ones who start... to mold a new reality closer to the heart’. Please forward this to all of your billionaire friends!

I do have a selfish interest in keeping this planet sustainable… I want to dive it and I mean ALL OVER IT! Scuba Marco has three scheduled Caribbean trips followed by a 12 night jaunt to the Philippines in April of 2021. I thought about sailing us all there but I think we’re going to have to bite the bullet and fly. Check out our trips, Jessi and I love to take large / fun groups! So with the holidays behind me and the entire world ahead of me (to dive)… I’ve climbed into a really good head place right now! Moving forward; I’m not going to bite off more than I can chew, I’m only going to chew on things that taste good, and I’m going to chew thoroughly before swallowing!

As always; Live Love Dive – Jeff

Post script: to the best friend I never met... You were a rebel and a runner, definitely a signal turning green but please fly by night away from here; my inspiration and spiritual mentor! My eyes got leaky yesterday upon hearing that Neil Peart had been battling a brain tumor for 3 1/2 years and had succumbed. I had quoted him several days ago while writing the above and if you know me, you know how much he, and that band meant to me! Dammit my eyes are springing another leak.

They are tears of joy for a man that I truly believe understood people and the world on a deeper, different level, and he excelled at everything he did. What a fabulous unequivocal catalog of lyrics and drumming mastery! I could write this whole post script just quoting you… But alas you are a ghost rider now. I know you choose free will, and you’re free will was firmly based in love, and love is God… Rest in peace my friend!


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