I have often quoted the following statement as the best prescription for health that I have ever heard. It’s Gandhi’s line, “If you’re going to be somewhere, be there.” As much as I believe that truth, it’s always been easier to talk about it than to do it.

Today’s byte is my public statement that I’m going to take this healthful step and practice truly being where I am. I find it almost unfathomable that I’m getting close to 70 and increasingly being reminded of my mortality. I tire more easily and take longer to heal; I’m slowing down by every parameter. Slow is not stop mind you — I swim regularly, have a daily yoga practice, work and write. I want to relax more and do what I really want to be doing like teaching, traveling, fishing, and telling stories to my grandkids while they’re still listening to me.

It’s been hard for me to slow down; at first the justification was funding my retirement plan. Then it was those old tapes playing in my brain: slow is just a step away from stop; slow down and you‘ll loses the competitive edge, become less competent, yada, yada, yada. It’s time to get over it, tame the ego, acknowledge my truth in every moment and truly be where I am.

I will be gone for most of the summer. I’ll be working and fishing in Minnesota, showing my grandson New York City, playing at Oregon Country Fair, and taking my granddaughter to Peru with Patch Adams. What this means is that my Schlagbytes will appear less frequently. Having not missed a Monday morning byline in 12 years, this is a big step toward liberation. I’m going to focus on personal stories and include more pictures so that you can see what I’m doing and with whom.

I’m feeling good about this and I hope that you will too. Stacey (my editorial muse) reminds me that you may look forward to hearing from me even more. This is where I am and I’m sticking to it.