Living Your Best Life

Sheets of rain are running down the hill where I live. It’s an amazing sight. When I look out my dining room window, where I have a 180-degree view of the city and the bay, all I see is orange streetlights peeking through a gray haze. We need the rain after several years of drought, but we’ve been getting so much of it since the start of the year that it’s causing all kinds of problems, big and small, up and down the state. That’s climate change for ya, the weather turning extreme.

All this rain has caused the roof of the sunroom to leak. I climbed up there two summers back to fix the flash siding, which got us through the previous winter, when it barely rained, but now there’s no stopping the water from coming in. It’s getting into the walls, the floor. Which is a reminder that, yes, we may build houses to separate ourselves from Mother Nature, but Mother Nature will always find a way inside. My wife and I bought this house four years ago, and it’s been a constant struggle to keep out mold and ants and skunks and raccoons and tree roots. Which is also a reminder that by damaging the environment, we’re really damaging ourselves, because we’re the ones who have to live with the consequences. This planet will survive us, whether we exchange it for Mars or go extinct. In the end, Mother Nature will have the last laugh. This should demand respect.

Tuesday mornings are always hectic anyway. Besides the usual routine of feeding the kids, the dogs, and the cats, my wife and I have to get our son ready for a playdate. Twice a week we take him to friends who live in the neighborhood for a nanny share. This way I’m home with just my daughter, who is more self-sufficient, giving me time to work and, during her nap, run. I’ve gotten good, in the years since my kids were born, at squeezing some time for myself into the nooks and crannies and empty spaces of the day. During my runs, for instance, I listen to audiobooks, and there are books lying all over the house, so when I make coffee or food I can get some quick reading done. I write by hand a lot for that same reason. Last year, I completed an entire book that way.

Like the rain, like Mother Nature, like the raccoons and other nighttime visitors from nearby McLaren Park, I squeeze myself into the cracks of the day. We’re all just trying to live our best lives.