Last Week Vanished aka Life Update

so parenthetical…

life: examined is an exploration of curiosity and a compendium of thoughts, ideas, and questions about how to live a creative, intentional life. Thank you for your support.

Well, hello. Any idea where last week went? I’m sure it was here just a minute ago… 

I had my plan for last Thursday’s issue of life: examined, and by Friday, I realized I’d need a time machine to go back 24 hours or just publish a day (or two) late as I’ve done on occasion. 

And then, like magic, it was Tuesday of the following week. So, that’s this week if you’re keeping score. Now, here it is Wednesday, and I’m finally sitting down to finish this edition. 

This week I want to share a life update with you, so here goes: 

Accidental Tour Guide

First, a confession. I’ve become an accidental tour guide for my lovely and quirky little city (that’s Setúbal if you’re keeping score). 

Today I conducted a 4-hour tour (I hear the Gilligan’s Island theme in my head as I type this—yes, I know it’s a 3-hour tour…) of all my favorite places, hidden back streets, and public art for a friend who’s considering Setúbal as a future home. And we had lunch at Bloomy Market, of course. 

So, that makes three tours in four days. I think that qualifies me as a tour guide (words I never imagined putting together in relation to myself). What do you think?

Creating Community

At the current tally, eleven people, clients and friends (well, one just left), have moved or will move to Setúbal. And there are three or four people who are considering it.

If you want community, you must participate in creating it—at least that’s what I’ve set out to do.

And what a lovely community we have!

In addition to the people who moved here because I strong-armed them into it (just kidding!), I’ve met at least a dozen other friends and acquaintances from various corners of the globe. 

The one thing that people who choose Setúbal have in common, rather than default to the more obvious Lisbon or Porto, is the courage to step outside what all the cool kids are doing and step into a better quality of life.

Better, that is, if you don’t find expensive housing, overcrowding, and too DAMN MANY HILLS to be your definition of quality life. 

As my friend, Katie, says, “there may be prettier towns, but none more livable.”

Although she and I both agree that Setúbal is pretty darn purty. 

In My Spare Time, I Like Attending Doctor’s Appointments

So, in addition to playing free-range tour guide and racking up the steps, I’ve spent too much time with people in the medical field. So many appointments and tests and aargh! 

I’ve had consultations, blood robbed from my veins, and I even cried a little.

I’ve been prescribed medication, which doesn’t thrill me, but it doesn’t have to be forever, and… I’ve had a little heart scare. 

Previously, I wasn’t scared of my heart. But, the echocardiogram ordered by my new doctor was performed by a cardiologist noted for his heavy breathing, non-English speaking, zero eye contact demeanor, and a keen dedication to finding a particular problem.

After he finished with his dumb little ultrasound wand, he gestured that I could wipe off the gel and put my clothes on—and told me, “There is something there, but get the results from your doctor.” 

I waited/panicked for three weeks for that follow-up appointment. 

My doc says all her patients who see Mr. Congeniality have this same anomaly. She told me it’s pretty common and that I’d need another echo in January just to make sure this issue wasn’t advancing. 

My doctor also wrote down the names of two women—she said I’d have to call to request them specifically, and she pointed out that they were two of the top cardiologists in the country—right here in my town! 

Also, I have dangerously low iron levels. Hmm, maybe that’s the cause of my fatigue (you think)?

I still have four more appointments to go, but by then, I suspect we’ll have a general idea of the condition and landscape survey of this aging body, inside and out. Getting older is truly NOT for cowards.

And you were worried I might not be having any fun lately. :)

What Else? 

I’m making plans to travel to California to see my family and friends. 

I’ll spend most of my time with family, but I’ll carve out a a day or two to see a few people.

Unfortunately, since my mom recently moved, she no longer lives in the center of town, so I’ll need to rent/borrow a car. I don’t want to, but public transportation is not adequate in San Diego County. But maybe I’ll stay in town for a few days to see friends and walk, not drive, as is my preference. 

I’m not excited about flying back to the States; it’s cuckoo over there!

Yes, I want to see my people, but the level of aggression and conspiracy theory perpetuation is too much for me. According to the FBI, in 2020, murders were up by nearly 30%, with an increase in violent crimes, too. Not my idea of a relaxing getaway, that’s for sure.


Ahhh, it’s another audio vignette for you:

life: examined
audio vignette | 23 Sept 2021
Listen now (4 min) | I hope you enjoy this audio vignette featuring neighborhood sounds, talk of poetry, and small group sessions (coming, I promise!) If you like this episode and want me to keep going, you can support my work through buy me a coffee…
Read more

Let me know what you think of this new feature. I have fun making them, so I hope you enjoy them, too!

Thank you for supporting life: examined by subscribing, reading, and sharing.

These lovely folks keep me fueled to write: Danna, Pat, Gary, Sandy, Ron, Rich, Kris, Linda, Sara, Diane, Martha, Eliza, Bryan, and anonymous someones. You can be part of the caffeine pit crew by supporting me through Buy Me a Coffee. I appreciate it!