The Ranch in Nunnelly, Tennessee

Two years into my marriage my wife was living in Idaho due to a calling from God. I was continuing with with the stress and anxiety issues around my marriage. I went into treatment to have a break from the stress that I was receiving from my wife. She was pressuring me to buy a house and continually nagged me about not having a job. The treatment was therapy with animals at The Ranch. I found working with animals far more rewarding and productive than I did with years of talk therapy. My favorite horse was one named Salt.  We worked on boundaries. I learned how to ride a horse. I learned how to trust another person on a horse. I learned about push and pull in relationships with a mule named Albert. I lived in the Spring House, which was an all male home. I enjoyed the community and having meals together. It was nice to wake up in the morning and view the ranch next door. I never knew cattle would start talking when their food was not on time. We were exposed to adventure day, meditation,12 step meetings in town, and spiritual practice. And good country views. It was one of the best investments I made in my life. I would love to go back today for a refresher because it is very easy to fall back into old patterns. I was told I am a co-dependent in treatment. I learned about borderline personality disorder. Asbergers males do have the tendency to be in abusive relationships like I was. What attracted my ex wife to me was my natural nature of being kind. Since treatment I have had to struggle with my kind nature and prevent myself from being taken advantage of by people.   It is hard to just be me some days.   

My Thoughts on the Covid Pandemic

What I am experiencing at this point in time with the Covid virus it something I never thought I would see in my lifetime. When I was in high school, experiencing the Vietnam war on TV every day was very anxiety provoking for me. I knew if I went to Vietnam I would come home in a body bag. Two years ago on a Semester at Sea program one of the ports was Vietnam.  I was able to see first-hand why I was grateful I did not have to go fight a war in that environment. Covid for me is more anxiety provoking than that time in high school due to its effect on the whole world.

I see similarities between this period of time and 9/11. During my work career I experienced many job losses due to a number of reasons. I saw how 9/11 destroyed the hotel industry I had been working in for many years.  During 9/11 we had to take extra days off without pay so people would not get laid off. We were asked by management to donate vacation time or sick time so the associates at the demolished property could get paid. Jobs were lost over time and the company became leaner after 9/11. Today, the whole industry has almost shut down and wonder if large companies like Marriott are at least providing health coverage for laid off staff.  Just like 9/11 this will streamline the industry even further. After 9/11 we had to do more with less.

I often wonder what my father would think if he were alive to experience this pandemic. The 2008 financial crisis put him in the hospital. He saw 40% of his hard work gone. What would he think of the behavior of our current leadership in the country? What would he think about the impact on the economy and the people? How would his experience with the polio vaccine, the great depression and WW2 impact his thoughts today if he was alive? He always believed in what was best for the country.