Scaling Cutting Stepping Back


Monks in the early morning by the beach



It is very slow in my hospital nowadays. The census is low. Florida economy  is reliant on retirees who flock in winter and fly back to north in summer. So people like me, who are per diems (by choice of course) end with less work-days, this somehow gives me a sense of how it feels to be retired. For those who rely heavily on big incomes due to heavy monthly expenses, these days will be mean and challenging. For me however, I have learned to live cheaply so these slow days aren’t that bad, and of course, this is my best opportunity to do  my ‘other’ work. Yes, I have a reason for choosing per diem positions because there is another field I am so in love with. That is computer programming. I have been open about this ‘other’  love in this blog, I call it a hobby but deep inside I am also hoping it will generate some value someday, at least enough to pay my monthly bills, so I can go on and on doing this. But that will probably take years, (if it gains traction at all) and one thing I know about programming : You should never think of it as a source of wealth because that is a hit or miss thing. To succeed as a computer programmer, you must first fall  in love with it. You know you are a programmer when you look forward to doing it in the morning  and something that gives you an inexplicable joy at the end of each day. I am also in love with PT but at a certain point in life, now that I am 54 years old, I needed to diversify. Diversification is the reason I took a second college degree in the field of IT.


I knew that at one point in my  life,  I had to cut down on PT. But I also knew that I will never leave the field because PT was my entire working world for the past 30 years, 26 of those in the US. You can not just abandon something that nourished you, that gave you security, that protected you just because it became too heavy or monotonous. I felt that I should find a middle ground, a happy medium upon which I can enjoy the best of these two worlds, PT/Health/Rehab and Technology. And here is the result:  my website Healthysport. Somehow, this website will give me a platform to develop my skills as a computer programmer and pursue more research in the field of health, specifically  related to PT.


There are a few things I am passionate about. The art of movement, activity, exercise, dieting, avoidance of diseases, management of conditions such as stroke, diabetes,  injuries. I love to review  journal articles on the many  aspects of “ living life to its fullest “ : balance, endurance, strength, mental alertness,  relaxation, spirituality, life enjoyment through hobbies etcetera. I am a proponent of proactive approach to illnesses. These are important to me. Building wealth (unfortunately)  is probably the last thing you want to read in this site. I am  particularly averse to becoming rich but  I have a full respect for those who seek wealth as a source of  joy. Being happy in whatever way you want  is what matters.


The good thing is - I can use computer programming to explore, express and demonstrate this passion. That is the happy medium I am talking about. Combining PT/Health/Rehab and technology is my ‘pursuit of happiness’. It is really great to be in my place right now. I wake up in a beautiful morning, opens my computer to write this and in a bit, I will proceed to a library to work on my project myPTClinic which is a virtual PT documentation stored in the cloud. I will discuss this project in more detail when I set it up in my other website ( I have been building websites via  cloud. I have created virtual servers and you can’t  imagine how sweet it is to build them at my pace. These are  what  I studied   IT for and I need to keep practicing on them because that is the nature of programming -  you have to keep at it to stay updated and relevant. And now you understand why I am perdiem in PT.


So what are my current researches? After completing the back-end of my project using php, I am focusing on javascript for its frontend. As a full stack developer, I build websites and  literally house them in a cloud. It is a ‘full stack’ job because just like building a house, I draw the architecture, obtain the lot where to build it, procure the materials to build it, design  how it is viewed at the front  and of course, make sure its internals are working properly to make it inhabitable. That is the kind of programmer I am trying to become.


I am reading articles on healthy lifestyle and obviously practice a lot of the things I preach about. I still run and swim and landscape and walk and sleep. I have been keeping my weight well under 25 BMI. Despite my diabetes for years now, I maintain quite a stable blood sugar, manageable BP, cholesterol and triglycerides. I am trying to train my brain to divert its attention from too much number/food/exercise-correctness-awareness because too much focus on anything to the point of obsession can also be dangerous. Sure I falter now and then but as I said in the past, “My ship may trip and swagger and shake and dip a little down the ocean, as long as it doesn’t sink, I feel alright.” My coming researches will be on self assessment of strength, balance, endurance especially those assessment tools for the elderly who are the most vulnerable to problems in these areas. Another area I need to study more is how to be consistent in keeping oneself healthy. A lot of our inconsistencies in habits are mindset-related, I think. There must be some kind of standard impetus to keep all of us moving and exercising and keeping healthy. These I want to learn more about.

I am living in my happy place for now until perhaps I need to get my butt  out there to  make some money to pay bills. But life is not all about earning money, for me (at least).  It is also  about cutting expenses and avoiding situations or conditions that will require big bills like hospitalization, medications, risky behaviors, vices, addiction, using credit cards beyond limits, and buying extravagant items. That’s just me. And I am not exactly the mirror image of everyone. Listen, there is nothing wrong with splurging and working a lot as long as that is your concept of happiness. Let me make that clear. I never think I am right and somebody else is wrong. In the first place, how many people will consider sitting in front of their monitor screen for hours working on a virtual project, spending  only for  bottled water and some cheap  lunch? And this, mind you, does not even make money. I feel I am the only one.  I have an old classmate   who referred a friend of his (via Facebook) to hang out with me.  I briefly wondered how that will work given my extreme focus (programmers call it ‘being in the zone’). I politely declined using my coding in my free time as an excuse(which is definitely true). In some ways I felt guilty for being a snob maybe? But there are people like me who can not simply go out there and be of social graces knowing their time could be spent more wisely in the program they work on. They call them people like me ‘nerds’ and mostly, ‘nerds’ are also associated with social awkwards. But each of us have a unique way of living. The point is - always pursue what makes you happy.