I went to Florida for a week for a conference this month. I remember back in the day when going to a conference was deliciously relaxing. It was a week when I talked to no one but waiters. I’d go to the classes all day and then hit my hotel and read. Now, I’ve decided to encourage personal growth in other people and suddenly my relaxing times are things I need recovery time from.

The husband’s family is from that area and he had stuff he needed to take to them, so he drove down. I flew down with three people from my office and a service dog on his first flight. The dog did well despite being properly concerned during the first takeoff. He sat up with huge eyes and tried to convince his person that something catastrophic was happening. He snoozed through the return flight.

I had talked before about the plan to cook for my coworkers on this trip. There was fear on their part. I eat a lot of weird food, like vegetables, you know. They did well though. I started them off easy with some pasta and garlic bread. The sauce had mushrooms and peppers added but it was fairly recognizable. Day two I went harder core. I made lentil sloppy joes with baked sweet potato wedges. There was a lot of discussion about if I would be offended if they didn’t like them. (I would not.) Turns out they quite liked them and – sit down for this – two of the three had never had sweet potatoes before. Day three was a minestrone-style soup. It had some spinach in it that prompted a worried, “I don’t know about this, Doc….” It also turned out to be acceptable when they tried it. For the last day there was make your own cauliflower rice bowls from left overs. Both of the major skeptics chose to add spinach and sweet potatoes to their bowls of their own free will. After we got home, the most worried messaged me to get the lentil sloppy joe recipe. Of course they went back to eating Taco Bell for lunch immediately but at least for a few days we flooded their bodies with nutrients.


There are two little lazy rivers at the hotel. It wasn’t crowded there. There were lots of innertubes floating down the river to grab when you wanted one. I saw the most infuriating thing there one day. I was in the hot tub when a man approached holding one of the innertubes. He wanted to get in the hot tub but he was hoarding the tube. He was looking for a place to put it where no one else would take it. Trying to hold onto it was interfering with what he really wanted to be doing. Remember, this was a freely available resource that was not in limited supply. But this man felt the need to grab and hold on to one when he wasn’t using it, just in case he needed it later. His family was trying to convince him that he should just put it back in the lazy river. There would be another one when or if he wanted to float again. He didn’t seem to grasp that concept. He ended up putting it behind some trees near his chair so no one could use it.

It just seemed like such a perfect metaphor for what is going on in the world. Don’t share. Grab onto what you can and hold on for dear life.