Monday, November 21, 2016


The wildfires are better now, though not entirely gone. Yesterday's local Air Quality Rating, mid-afternoon, was 18, and I celebrated by riding my horse and then going to yoga. For the past two weeks, due to wildfires in the nearby mountains, we've had terrible air quality--I'm not exactly sure what the scale is based upon, but 1-50 is "good," 51-100, "moderate," 101-150, "unhealthy for sensitive groups," and anything above that unhealthy for everyone.

I'm a canary in a coal mine; I'm affected by poor air quality fast. I've proven this over and over in my lifetime, never more drastically than the past few weeks. Anything over "good" air just flattens me, lays me out with my asthma, and according to the information I read, being inside a sealed house cuts the pollutants in half, which meant, on the day our AQI hit 180, that being inside my house still made it hard to breathe.

So I did nothing to make my breathing more difficult. I stayed inside. I didn't ride, do yoga, do any sort of exercise at all. It was weird and a little crazy-making at first. I also fought feeling like a wimp. I mean, wouldn't a person with a stronger personal drive just not HAVE asthma? (Wouldn't a person with a stronger personal drive just not GET cancer? No, I know it's nuts to feel ashamed. I'm working on it.)

What I did mostly, was learn to be still. I hung out with my novel. I hung out with books I read. I took medicine and I was careful, and I avoided the ER and survived NCTE, the National Council of Teachers of English conference, which was in Atlanta, which was also affected by the fires. So overall it was weird, and I did well.

I'm sure there's some sort of personal lesson in all this, but I can't find it right now. If you see it, let me know.