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Senior Correspondent

Now that Labor Day is behind us, it is time to consider our personal agendas from now until November 8th. For those of us who keep our noses glued to the political campaign via the TV or newspapers, it will be difficult to think about anything else until the election. At least that is true for me.
But wait! When I was much younger I used to spend time almost every evening at my local YMCA swimming pool. While I lack the drive to engage in competitive sports, I often compete with myself. I have a passion to run each mile a little faster and stay on the exercise machine a little longer. At the Y I committed myself to swim underneath the surface half a length without breathing, then three-quarters of a length, then the whole length. But I wasn’t satisfied until I could make it down and back without taking a breath. I never made it, and about halfway back I had to come up for air.
That may be a lesson I need to recall. With all the energy I, and perhaps you, are putting into this election, it may now be time to come up for air. For the next couple of weeks I plan to forget the election—at least in these columns—and focus somewhere else. My guess is that this hiatus will clear my obsessive head and allow me to take a fresh look at the campaign. At least, that is my goal.
I take my cue from Steve Lopez, a brilliant columnist for the Los Angeles Times. For a long time Steve has had attention focused on what is going on in LA, mainly offering  human-interest stories. A month ago he decided to come up for air. So he and a photographer spent about six weeks traveling along the Pacific coast from the Oregon border to the Baja Peninsula, and his is an amazing series of essays on topography, climate, governance, animal life, human incursion and to going and what is happening to the shoreline. My guess is that Lopez will shortly will be back focusing on what is happening with people in Los Angeles.
So I intend to come up for air, taking a few deep breaths before I dive back down into the political world. Come to think of it, I may have already stared to gasp for air with this column.

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