Escaping Xmas

Santa Claus does not belong in Bethlehem. So, dodging the stress and madness of Xmas in the Naked City, I find myself on the 23rd floor of the Nugget Hotel in Sparks, Nevada, just outside Reno, for $38 per night.

I like the solitude. It’s convenient. My room has free Wi-Fi and a desk. The fifth floor has a gym and a large glass-enclosed, tree-lined pool with birds flying around and the best Jacuzzi I’ve experienced (it has several different kinds of strong jets). And the food in the lobby is adequate and affordable.

Being away gives me distance and perspective, which leads to new insights. Better yet, being forced out of my routine helps me break bad habits and develop new ones that I hope to carry over when I return, such as: more exercise; stretching; writing at least 1-2 hours in the morning; avoiding late-night snacks; doing my late-night meditations; and, six days a week, staying sober while avoiding both caffeine and sugar.

In addition to forming those habits, I plan to use my time here on special projects, like reading real books, emptying my Inbox, posting my autobiography, and working on the budget for the rest of my life. In addition, of course, now that I’ve adjusted to the altitude and largely rid myself of a chest cold, on days the Warriors don’t play basketball I expect to win some money at blackjack (I did win $75 in ten minutes in an experiment on my way in, but haven’t yet been in shape to play seriously).

I had planned a road trip, including Canyon de Chelly, Joshua Tree National Monument, and New Year’s Eve on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. But I like it here so much I may stay until I return home early next year. The less time I spend driving and getting settled in new locations, the more time I’ll have to be productive.

This approach may help me deal with my post-Uber life. Previously, my monthly check included at least several hundred dollars from my share of our co-op’s net profits. Now those profits are virtually zero. Moreover, when I drive, I earn 20-30% less per hour.

According to my latest calculations, when I move up the first-come, first-served list and get a Section 8 rent subsidy in about five years (hopefully), I can sell my medallion, invest the proceeds, and have enough money to manage until I’m 94, while slowly consuming my capital.

With this plan, until I sell my medallion, I’ll have to drive taxi 40 hours a week eleven months per year for the first time in my life, which means I’ll have to stop trying to save the world. I can take the weight of the world off my shoulders.

Going back and forth to the airport in my taxi can be a bit boring, but it’s not all that hard. I can still work on my devices while I’m parked at the airport waiting for a fare (more than an hour on average) and take home enough money to make ends meet.

I should be grateful I’m as well off as I am and have been able to do as much as I have with my life. So unless someone offers me a part-time job doing social-change work, my goals will have to be much more modest.

My inclination is to focus on writing, with a priority on Wade’s Weekly. The 120 or so subscribers to that blog is not a huge number. But writers like to have readers, and I very much appreciate the feedback I receive, and hope to put more time into engaging in dialog with my readers.

Who knows? Maybe I plant an occasional seed that blooms somewhere. Or maybe we just bolster one another in our resolve to contribute to human evolution as best we can.

Regardless, I have numerous ideas for essays on my mind that I really want to write. They say if you have to write, you are a writer. Maybe I am.

So, unless some miracle happens with the Residents’ Council while I’m away, or “Changing the System: A Proposal for a National Conference” develops in a way that involves me, I’ll once again try to drop my self-identity as a “community organizer” and fade away into the sunset, alone, pen in hand.

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