There was a moment when the pain caught me by surprise and I wondered if maybe it was something more serious than digestive distress.
I forced myself to straighten up and started pacing around the room, all the while my right hand was squeezing the hell out of the hand grip I use to build hand strength.
Somewhere in the midst of the surprise I thought about whether it might be enough to warrant a trip to urgent care or the ER and decided I didn’t want to go.
I was going to gut it out and try to go to sleep.
If things still hurt in the morning, well I would go get checked out.
Health Scares, Bad People & Life In General
I woke up the next morning feeling worn out physically and emotionally.
That is what happens when you have a dream that you have contracted some nasty disease and aren’t sure if things are going to go your way.
It was an odd dream for me, especially given my belief that I am going to live to be 130.
But having known friends and some acquaintances who died young and or who have battled some terminal illnesses there is an understanding that I am not as bulletproof as I would like to be.
Don’t mistake that to be my way of saying I am sick because as far as I know the biggest health issue I have is the need to drop a few extra pounds.
But the dream did make me wonder what I would do if G-d forbid I did get something nasty.
My gut feeling is it is not something I would want to talk or share information about and if things go my way I’ll never find out if I am right or wrong about that.
Some friends and family and I have been talking about a resurgence in antisemitism and what to do about it.
I stated firmly that we cannot allow it to take root and that I will protect my friends and family. We are not victims.
But to a certain extent I have as much control over some of that as I do over my health.
I can exercise, eat right and take steps to try and maintain good health but I can’t control everything.
There are things that could happen that are beyond my ability to prevent from happening, but I don’t walk around in fear of those things.
Be Proactive Where You Can
I tell my children it is important to be prepared and proactive.
Do your best to be ready for what comes and be willing to roll with it. If you can’t control it, well you can usually manage it.
Or so my theory goes.
It is disheartening and scary to think there are people who want to hurt/harm others because of race/religion/creed etc.
I don’t think that is a description of most people and think the majority are content to live and let live.
But I am not naive enough to think the bad people won’t take action or that given time and room to act they will always choose not to.
It is part of why we have armies and police forces.
But I also believe there are things we can do to combat the ignorance and to change minds.
And for those whose minds can’t be changed, well we can take steps to discourage them from trying anything.
Sometimes deterrence is all you have, but if it means our kids stay safe that is a pretty good reason.
What Comes Next?
In a couple of weeks the US will have a new president and we’ll finally see what a Trump administration is really like.
It is no secret some of us have set the bar quite low or that we expect him to fail.
That is not something that pleases me because as POTUS his failure(s) can have a significant impact and I would prefer not to be hurt because an unqualified oaf is in office.
So I am rooting for him to do better than expected, but what I really want to see right now is simple.
I want him to tell the neo-nazi punks that love him to STFU and go away. I want him to disavow them and to make it clear he doesn’t want their support.
Even if he does as I ask they won’t just go away, but maybe that will help keep this on the fringes and not give them more hope they can try and become part of the mainstream.
I did battle with a bunch of them on various social media platforms this past summer and it was ugly.
Some people have told me not to worry because they believe they are few in number and some because they don’t believe these guys are willing to do more than talk.
I am not going to panic, but I am not going to ignore them either.
When the number of antisemitic actions rises I pay attention. Better to be proactive than reactive.
Better to work now to build alliances and ask for help. Better now to spend time on self defense.
And that includes health, better now to focus on doing things that will help an almost middle aged man live not just a long life, but a healthy one.
It is why I am going to brave the 28 degree weather to go walk on treadmill and lift weights.
Here is to health, happiness and safety in the new year and the years to come.