Quite humbly and respectfully, I’m both kidding and not kidding. I’m not speaking of THE Disneyland. I’m speaking of my own version of Disneyland. Selfishly, I gave myself a wonderful Christmas present last night on Christmas Eve.
Last night my wife was working her evening shift (2 pm to 2 am – she is off today – Christmas Day), e.g., she genuinely enjoys her job as an emergency room charge nurse at the local-regional medical center. So Henry (our pooch) and I were on our own. I’ve been a jogger throughout most of my adult life, and I was antsy to go on a long run. ‘Bright star (oh boy!)’ that I am, I decided to accomplish two things at the same time in this. I left at 7:15 pm and jogged all around our small city (about 30,000 population), stopping at the homes of my friends, family, students – AND last but NOT least, to steal a really great kiss (actually quite a few kisses) from my darlin’ wife at the ER. I didn’t stay long at any one place, just long enough to share a benevolent holiday spirit with my own VERY special version of “ho, ho, ho!” (Henry is getting on in age – about seven years, so I took him for a short run just beforehand.)
All of the people who I stopped to see (for over two and a quarter hours of meandering ten miles all around town) seemed very pleased to see me, but they expressed concern (except my wife, i.e., she knows I’m a ‘whacked-out dudie from outer space’): During my run it was 6 degrees above zero (fahrenheit), with a 5 – 15 mph breeze and gusts up to 20 mph, while snowing lightly with about one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half inches of snow and ice on the roads and sidewalks.
I was quite adequately dressed. Either way, that didn’t seem to matter. Again, SO quite humbly and respectfully, I was having a genuinely wonderful time…most especially just in mindfully/meditatively jogging along…alone in my own oh-so-light/bright sparkling spine-tingling winter wonderland! There was no yesterday, no tomorrow, no today…just ‘true appreciation of the miracle of the moment.’ It was more like dancing than running – I’m not even sure my feet were always touching the ground. Magic was in the air, all around and inside – warm and fuzzy and full of love…bright, light, childlike fun and wonder. And each time I rang a doorbell, it turned out to be the perfect time for them as such – glowing smiles and warm hugs. Each step, and each snow bank I hurdled over were better than the previous ones – and each one was perfect. Each sight, sound, smell, and feeling was a miracle. Each snow flake tasted…well some things can only be witnessed firsthand. I wasn’t cold, it was warm all over.
Am I selfish for going to Disneyland on Christmas Eve? I guess I don’t care…it was a ‘little bit of Heaven,’ e.g., it was well worth the ‘true effort,’ and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world (inclusive of those beyond-words wonderfully warm loving kisses I got from my wonderful dear wife in front of all the patients and her co-workers in the ER!). Does it get better than that? I don’t know – I’m just gonna keep trying (and trying and trying…). — Dr. Glen Hepker
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