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venting, tired of it all.....time to re-evaluate

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venting, tired of it all.....time to re-evaluate

Old 03-28-21, 12:16 PM
  #1  
jamesdak 
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venting, tired of it all.....time to re-evaluate

Having one of those morning. Nice weather finally, clear roads so I decided to take out all four of the "new to me" bikes for full shakedowns.

Doing a function check with the David Kirk built fishlips and suddenly nothing would shift. Everything was working just fine. Figured I did something stupid when I wrapped the bars. Been messing with if now for 30 minutes and I can't tell what's going on. FD is working fine, I did get the edge of the bartape into the opening where that slot is and the gear is exposed. These are mint Daytona Ergolevers from a groupset that show zero wear. Same thing on the other side but with no bartape or nothing there it's still not working. Works fine with the hood pulled back but not when I put it back in place. Can't see it interfering with anything, so pissed off.

All this head injuries have me all F'd up. Can't concentrate anymore on any little task and get mad too easy. Add in eyes that can't see little details even with magnifiers and I'm about ready to just walk away from it all. Seems like all I've done this past year is fight the bikes that used to bring me so much happiness. Takes me forever to focus and accomplish the simplest task with any of them. I've listed a bunch locally to start clearing them out. May just keep going until I only have a few riders left. No use having them if they just anger me due to my own limitation.

Of course the fun of selling local isn't a joy either. Constant scammers and low ballers and then jerks that want you to take hundreds off the bike without even seeing it. And then want you to drive halfway to them or even bring it to them. WTH is up with people anymore? I've driven hours to get bikes and it never once seemed right for me to ask the seller to do anything more than let me know if it sells as I'm on the way.

Bad mood started this morning when I was heading out on the trekking bike to go to the store. For the life of me I couldn't find the lock for it. Spent 20 minutes looking all over the place before i finally found it. Wasted the best years of my life serving this country in the military. Now I can't hardly walk and by brain is freaking useless. And for what?? I don't even get this country anymore...what a waste.

Anyway, hopefully the first ride on the Team Z will bring some peace of mind. Right now I just want to get drunk....and I don't normally drink.

Guess I'm probably not the only to go down this path. Wish there was a miracle drug to keep the mind working. I can understand the body breaking down...but not the mind........

Ok rant over, time to ride.
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Old 03-28-21, 12:37 PM
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Concerning the head injuries ... the good news is your thread is perfectly coherent and well written. So you have that going for you.

Maybe post some pics of the problem child bike. People can then weigh in a little more easily.

So much easier sticking to the simple operation of friction shifting and bar tape free of any underlying cables.

As far as drugs, maybe try some mary jane. Listen to some calming music that has positive emotional resonance. Then go for a ride in quiet spaces. Works for many of us.
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Old 03-28-21, 12:44 PM
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Well, I was going to suggest you start drinking but you thought of that. Eyes? Yes? I'm considering prescription lenses for riding and I already use a headlamp to wrench in the garage.

But your our day started bad because---------Not C&V! You know there is nothing better than shifters that only and always shift.
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Old 03-28-21, 12:44 PM
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Well... I've got a scoped Red Ryder and a pie plate gong about 35 yards out for when dinking around with bikes isn't zen enough....
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Old 03-28-21, 12:47 PM
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Chalk it off to a bad morning and nothing more and know that the next one will be better. Injuries or not, we all have those days and for me, this pandemic is just creating more of them lately. I totally feel ya when things go wrong with bikes and as I said to a friend the other day, the problem with having more bikes is now i have more work to do! I just want to ride them. Seems like every time I go to change something, like wheels or brakes, then it causes a series of other issues ha ha.
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Old 03-28-21, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
All this head injuries have me all F'd up.
I missed the story about the head injury, but please take care. If for some reason you haven't sought out a neurologist, please do it. This isn't something to be trifled with.

If it makes you feel any better, I have had to spent the (perfect, 75°F) day cleaning dog crap out of my Di2 front derailleur and the bike frame.
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Old 03-28-21, 12:56 PM
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@jamesdak

First of all thank you for your service, seems like it is valued by others so much less now days if not an outright negative all to often.

I would see if a partial streamline helps, take it slow, try not to obsess, plan to take some losses and dial everything back with a conscious effort that will net a positive gain that you set and achieved.

Maybe take some satisfaction in knowing that you are a valued member here, I always check your posts and threads to get your input, we seem to agree on plenty.

Take a big break from the fiddly efen around that is getting to be such a pita and ride the bikes that are dialed in and ready to go.

Also maybe try the surferrosa method as well.

Take care, vent all you want, plenty of us here going down the same road whether we know it yet or not.

Last edited by merziac; 03-28-21 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 03-28-21, 01:05 PM
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Sorry to hear about these troubles, @jamesdak. Like others, I’ve always admired your beautiful bikes and your photography skills. Dealing with any kind of injuries, short or long-term, is really frustrating, as is dealing with mechanical issues that seem inexplicable (I’m currently trying to conquer a dodgy front disc caliper). I do have a Milwaukee Bicycle Co. single-speed in my fleet, and it’s what I ride when I just want to have fun on the bike. Flat pedals, under-geared to allow me to climb the steeper hills around here, 30mm Grand Bois tires. Sometimes you need a simple bike dedicated to one thing: fun!
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Old 03-28-21, 01:09 PM
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I get it. You are not alone. It comes and goes. Mostly going! Eyesight isn't improving, takes longer to heal, can't remember where I just laid the d...n tool down, can't remember specs, don't know why I was headed in that direction, have to write things down, have to see pictures to remember some events. Get to see movies more than once and still enjoy them!
Thanks for your service too. You likely know how to adapt to constant change, this really isn't different, just too personal and not as easy to accept.
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Old 03-28-21, 01:15 PM
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I’m with Merziac...put the construction types to the side until you are in a good mindplace to work on them.

until then just ride and let the air fill your lungs, listen to the sound of the tires on pavement, feel the shifts and vibrations, smell the wafting smells of flora and fauna, and sell a few bikes if you want, but only on your terms.
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Old 03-28-21, 01:39 PM
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Going through a "phase" myself.
Just yesterday, I gave my younger brother my NOS, BSC threaded, Stronglight 106 crankset with NOS Spidel 700 pedals and NOS aluminum Christophe toe clips for a Gitane build he is doing. These were hard to find (in NOS condition) components I had been saving for the next "Tout French" build that might come up, but I figured he needs them more than I do.
A few years ago, I wouldn't have even considered giving them away, but I'm at the point of my C&V journey that I'm pretty much satisfied with what I already have.
It felt really good helping out another C&Ver with his build, especially as it is my brother that shared my passion for cycling when we were both in college in the 80's. I added in a close to mint Ofmega Mistral crankset and Modolo Speedy calipers in the box I handed him yesterday to use on some of his bikes where he had to compromise using cranksets and brakesets that did not really "fit" the bikes. I'm also throwing in an NOS A9 headset for his build, as soon as he confirms that his steerer tube has English threading.
I might have thought I might be going crazy if I did this a few years ago, considering the time and effort that went into finding and aquiring these components, but I guess I've proven to myself that there's hope that I can land my C&V hobby to a saner, more "human" state as I get towards the end of it.
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Old 03-28-21, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
Going through a "phase" myself.
Just yesterday, I gave my younger brother my NOS, BSC threaded, Stronglight 106 crankset with NOS Spidel 700 pedals and NOS aluminum Christophe toe clips for a Gitane build he is doing. These were hard to find (in NOS condition) components I had been saving for the next "Tout French" build that might come up, but I figured he needs them more than I do.
A few years ago, I wouldn't have even considered giving them away, but I'm at the point of my C&V journey that I'm pretty much satisfied with what I already have.
It felt really good helping out another C&Ver with his build, especially as it is my brother that shared my passion for cycling when we were both in college in the 80's. I added in a close to mint Ofmega Mistral crankset and Modolo Speedy calipers in the box I handed him yesterday to use on some of his bikes where he had to compromise using cranksets and brakesets that did not really "fit" the bikes. I'm also throwing in an NOS A9 headset for his build, as soon as he confirms that his steerer tube has English threading.
I might have thought I might be going crazy if I did this a few years ago, considering the time and effort that went into finding and aquiring these components, but I guess I've proven to myself that there's hope that I can land my C&V hobby to a saner, more "human" state as I get towards the end of it.
Wow that is crazy, willingness and rationalization prove this out to be sure.

Good on ya man.
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Old 03-28-21, 02:36 PM
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Regarding the noggin stuff, that's a multi-faceted issue. Especially forgetfulness, absent-mindedness, etc. It's not necessarily a symptom of some inevitable organic decline. It may be situational and a lot of folks are experiencing it recently.

Sure, concussions don't help. And the long term effects are unpredictable. Some folks seem to get by with few or no long term consequences (look at how sharp George Foreman was for years after retiring from boxing, despite mostly using his hard head as his "defense"; and I've suffered no apparent problems despite having been an amateur boxer in the 1970s, with very poor defense other than a head full of rocks), while others suffer serious consequences (boxers Meldrick Taylor, Terry Norris and many others; many contact sports athletes; and my mom from too many falls related to her poor balance, scoliosis, arthritis, etc.).

But the past year has been very stressful, even for folks who didn't contract COVID-19 and the associated "brain fog" that often accompanies serious viral infections. Many doctors and medical journals have noted increased reports of brain fog, anxiety, etc., related to the relentless stress related by the uncertainty of the economy, weighing the risks of the coronavirus vs the risks of the vaccines (not making any judgments here, just acknowledging a widespread perception), being deprived of regular socialization -- very important to many cyclists.

I was cruising through most of 2020 pretty easily. I'm a sociable introvert within a small group of friends, and usually did casual group rides once a week or so. Not nearly as much as many of my cycling friends. So the reduced opportunities for socializing wasn't a big deal for me.

But a couple of things occurred in October that seemed to knock my equilibrium askew. Neck pain from injuries (hit by cars twice in 20 years) was cutting into my bike ride time and distance. I had to cut back to rides of around 60-90 minutes. Anything farther/longer and I'd end up with painful neck spasms. So, no more weekend 50 mile rides with friends. No more centuries. Even solo metric centuries were a chore, as I had to stop more often to stretch and massage my neck as best I could just to finish a ride.

Then I had a Zoom meeting related to my last hit-by-a-car incident from a few years ago. I forget whether it was the discovery or something else. But I had a migraine that day, which already makes me foggy headed, and the combination of the video/audio lag due to my slowpoke internet and the whole grind of a legal process... something just snapped. After all that mess I didn't even want to ride my bike anymore.

But I didn't want to turn into a couch potato. So I started taking longer walks. Turned out cycling fitness wasn't walking fitness. My hips and lower back would ache after only 2-3 miles. But my full body bone scans showed no problems below my back (the upper body is a mess from injuries). So I figured it was just muscles rejecting new exercise. I kept going, did home physical therapy, and managed to be able to walk 5-8 miles by late November.

At that point I thought, hey... jogging. Haven't done that in 40 years. Can I still run? Let's find out.

So I bought some decent running shoes and started, slowly, with intermittent walking/jogging. Turns out I can still sorta run. That's what I've been doing for the past few months, jogging 2-7 miles per session, 3-5 days a week. I have a loose goal of 10 miles by the end of March or early April, no fixed deadline. And a half-marathon by May. That's doable. I probably won't run continuously, but if I'm careful I can alternately run/walk/jog/walk.

I still use my Ironman on the indoor trainer once or twice a week, usually while watching movies or TV.

But I've been riding outdoors only once or twice a month. Usually late at night. Traffic and rude, negligent and/or hostile drivers annoy me more than ever. So I avoid most traffic by riding after midnight. I'm a night owl anyway and retired, no family, just cats. So I can ride whenever it suits me. A couple of nights ago I took a one hour casual ride on a clear midnight with a nearly full moon. Saw maybe two cars. Very pleasant.

The only problem is a year ago for the first time ever I experienced some vision problems -- posterior vitreous detachment. I got lightning flash artifacts in my peripheral vision -- the first time it happened was on an evening with an actual t-storm approaching from the west, which coincided with my direction of travel. So I didn't realize until I got home and still saw lightning flashes indoors that something was wrong. And I suddenly had much worse floaters than usual.

I'm also a veteran and the VA got me in to see an ophthalmologist pronto, within a day or two, despite the pandemic. He wore full PPE, including Tyvek suit, surgical mask over an N95, the works. Very much appreciated because the exam is necessarily up close and personal. And he did a followup a month later. Not much they can do for PVD, it's usually more annoying than serious and there's no treatment.

But on bad days the floaters and lightning flash artifacts can be distracting on bike rides. I use mirrors on my left side -- helmet and bar-end -- but that's also where the PVD occurs. So I avoid riding outdoors on days when the vision problems are worse. Other days, no problems.

tl;dr version: Try another activity to keep the juices flowing -- walking, jogging, whatever works.
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Old 03-28-21, 02:44 PM
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I'm pretty sure it was a full moon last night. That'll do it
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Old 03-28-21, 02:48 PM
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We all go through periods of doubt and uncertainty. Yours is real and concerning to you at this time and the fact that you are honest and talking about it gives me hope for you. I can’t say I know how you feel , that would be unfair . I do know that everything in life changes and hopefully yours will move in a positive direction. For me , cycling is my “mental floss” and has helped me through some tumultuous times. I used to do what surferosa suggested quite a bit but due to medical reasons I can’t anymore , like for the last thirty years. I work on my bikes and ride as often as possible.
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Old 03-28-21, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post

If it makes you feel any better, I have had to spent the (perfect, 75°F) day cleaning dog crap out of my Di2 front derailleur and the bike frame.
...I warned you about Di2, but would you listen ?
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Old 03-28-21, 04:20 PM
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I am not a veteran and I am fortunate not to have suffered any major physical injuries yet, but I do want to add to the encouraging voices who urge you to get some help if you need it, and to have no shame in walking away from what frustrates you temporarily. As others have said, thank you for your service. I work for a health care concern, and there has been a marked shift in emphasizing access to mental health services over the past few years. I appreciate that you’ve taken time to vent in what I hope feels like a safe community — I often get the sense that we look out for each other here. If you are not seeing a behavioral health specialist, I encourage you to reach out to your primary doc or reach out to the VA.

I hope I’m not stepping out of line to post a link to mental health resources for the Salt Lake VA:

https://www.saltlakecity.va.gov/serv...tal_health.asp

Wishing you good health and peace.
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Old 03-28-21, 04:53 PM
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Such covid. It is real rough on everybody, but like that thing Lev Tolstoy said in Anna Karenina about unhappy families, every unhappy person in this pandemic is unhappy in their own way!! Although symptoms may be similar, nobody hits the wall at the same time, which isolates people instead of bringing them together.

As far as I know I've never had the virus, but man, I've been through a lot of these things mentioned above! All jumbled up and in a different order.
-Started riding at night to beat heat and traffic
-Got my mental equilibrium knocked askew/hit a wall (sometime in February for me).
-Started feeling really isolated.
-Gave away some previously-cherished parts to my little brother.
-Self-medicated from time to time, with variable results.
-Went to the doc for evaluation of ongoing nagging injuries
-Cross-trained when I couldn't ride due to weather (got a little bit back into an old pastime of telemark skiing in backcountry) which gave me some really nice days to remember, brought me closer to an old friend, and cleared my mind some.

I like this thread. It is a good way to see that we are all here in the same trenches.
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Old 03-28-21, 04:58 PM
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Regarding the ergo shifters not shifting, I've seen that several times. There's a tiny slot behind the gears and a corresponding tab on the hood that needs to fit it into it. If it doesn't you get the frozen shifter experience. It's very easy to get bar tape in the way. I've had some success cutting away a slice of bar tape there. Usually I just avoid the area while I'm wrapping and accept the bar spot it leaves on the side of the hooks. If you see one of my bikes with a piece of electrical tape on the side, that's why.
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Old 03-28-21, 06:02 PM
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Sounds rough, and hopefully as bad as it gets for you. Would encourage you to not self medicate.

But, perhaps take the opportunity to simplify as a positive. Let's face it - maintaining a fleet of bicycles is real work, especially when there's a big variety of builds/systems. Nothing wrong with trying to make that bulk more manageable to one's personal situation. And when the bikes become a PITA, there are lots of other things to do to help clear the mind. Sometimes when a home improvement/repair project or even a bike build is kicking my tail, I grab my cheap recurve bow, setup a target, and let some arrows fly. Doesn't take a whole lot of my brain power, and all I have to do is focus on that one small section of the target, and release. It helps calm my breathing. No loud noises. Even if it's just for ten or twenty minutes, it helps. Some days I shoot well, and some days I don't. But it never matters. And there are many activities that can provide that.

I wish you well and hope you get a handle on this.
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Old 03-28-21, 06:20 PM
  #21  
The Golden Boy 
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Best wishes.

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Old 03-28-21, 06:35 PM
  #22  
Chombi1 
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I have a Trek OCLV 5500 in kind of a limbo state of build right now. It was kind of an "thinking out of the box" project I took on, because its 90's vintage is out of my C&V era range, never mind the requirement for alien to me things, like ergo bend bars and brifters/indexed shifting on it. I got the bike to close to 50% complete, with just the handlebars and correct DA drivetrain needed...... But dang, I just couldn't get myself to put in the effort to find and aquire the DA group for the bike to complete it.
Some health related issues (Which did include some sight problems) did not help, but combine that with having to look for a new job twice because of the COVID pandemic slowdown, the related loss of income and the general depressing state that all came with it, I just don't know when I'd be ready again to stand in front of my bike stand and start wrenching on it and other pending projects again.....
My brother did give me some very encouraging comments when he saw the Trek hanging on my stand during his visit to me yesterday. Maybe I just need to do some more C&V bike discussions with him to finally get me off my keester.....

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Old 03-28-21, 07:18 PM
  #23  
seedsbelize 
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Well. I can relate to every post. Two broken helmets in the past six years. Poor eyesight. Poor hearing. Today I did my first ride in a month due to a nagging knee injury. Lost most of last year to shoulder and hand injuries. We here in this thread are getting old. To the OP, I also seek out your threads. Here I am now because jamesdak's name was on it. Over the course of the past year I have gone n-4. I have two road bikes, an off pavement road bike, a coupled bike and a town bike. One of them has indexed shifting. It's a relief having so few to maintain. I wish you well, jamesdak. Hang in there.
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Old 03-28-21, 07:36 PM
  #24  
RiddleOfSteel
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Fleet maintenance and bulk shakedown test rides--I definitely know how that element of "bikes are fun" passion can turn into "must accumulate data and pass test" drudgery, especially if one is chasing inexplicable mechanical issues. Or looking for something they just put down (raises hand). Like others have said, thank you for your service to our country. It is a mess right now, Covid and non-Covid elements combined, and I echo your general sentiments (without going P&R). The combination of working from home, furlough, grossly extended furlough, wacky job market (depending on expertise, but also in general), and everything else floating around and above that, has certainly been a trying for a lot of us, myself included. I will 100% credit my Faith, relationships with family and friends, and (functioning) bikes helping me through this. Though, if it isn't struggling to get a bead on the job market or practical future of things, it's been struggling mightily to get bike components and resulting builds composed and completed. Like I'm trying to get out of a straight jacket and escape the padded room. Or just eternally chasing...something. Still playing the "Does my knee like me?" game, though I've made great progress in getting it from "Can I ride 10 miles?" to hitting the 50 mile mark several weeks ago--though Cinderella's carriage definitely turned into a pumpkin the last several miles, onto a 53.1 mile total. Progress is not always linear, and that is frustrating.

Thank you for letting us know how you're doing, even if it isn't upbeat news. There are a number of great suggestions, encouragements, and things to engage in posited by other members, so I'll let them speak. In a little bit, I'll get out on my Trek 620 and head up to the top of Discovery Park to watch the sunset again. It's been a rainy and blah kind of day but in classic Seattle fashion, has cleared up to the lovely combination of brilliantly piercing afternoon sun breaks through gaps in lagging rain clouds. I have really grown to truly appreciate the constancy of nature, sentimental as it may sound. The snarl and tentacles of technology and connectedness, while good in their ways, can trap me and all of us; and disconnecting (via bike, especially ) to see nature carry on without paying any mind to anything else. It's a great reminder of "this too shall pass" and new mornings/days bringing about new opportunities.
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Old 03-28-21, 08:13 PM
  #25  
Charliekeet
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You sound like a real, feeling, human being. That’s a good thing, as in my opinion we need all of them we can get, imperfections and troubles and all. Sorry for what you’ve been through, and hang in there.
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