#SoCS/FOWC: find a piece of happiness

Lenox Hill hospital in NYC plays, over the speaker system, the song “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles each time a Covid-19 patient is either successfully removed from a ventilator or is discharged home. The reason is because it’s a way of celebrating something good in this otherwise difficult time. I read this in the latest AARP magazine article titled Happiness in HARD Times and it’s all about finding ways to feel good, feel happiness, which, as the article states, gives us resilience to get through challenging times. I felt good just reading it. You might assume that finding happiness is difficult when we are feeling trapped, isolated, unsure and frightened but, as I’ve come to learn the hard way, we can find happiness in the most simple things in life; sunsets, pets, walks in nature, being creative in finding ways to help other people, and learning to do something we never had the time to do before the virus struck. No one is saying that this time we are living through isn’t hard, it’s just harder to feel hopeful but finding joy can help keep us emotionally and physically more stable.

Linda G. Hill’s #SoCS: song

Fandango’s #FOWC: assume

something to be obsessed about…

I’ve been suffering from an obsession lately. For the last 5 days I’ve been settled within myself that I will – at some point in the future – sell my home and relocate. I don’t have a plan except to work at Doing What Needs Doing to my current property to make it more marketable. But part of the work is also looking for a new space – no surprise there; finding a new forever-home means that it has to be just right. It has to have everything I need to make the hassle of moving – and incurring more debt – worth it. So lately I’ve been obsessed with looking at houses/properties, for example, I spent hours doing this yesterday afternoon (I didn’t keep track of time because it wasn’t my intention when I sat down) into the evening -9:30ish. I went to bed thereafter and woke at 12:30a to resume looking – until 3:30a!! I wasn’t even comfortable in bed doing this but I persisted in the search.

Part of what is making the search so extensive is that I’m not sure where I ‘want’ to be; I am looking at a shorter commute to work so that involves a radius that includes two states: Vermont & New Hampshire. I prefer the beauty of Vermont but that puts me farther from my family in NH – also, by staying in NH I don’t have to change anything besides my address (the two states are vastly different in taxes, politics, etc.) I am finding homes slightly less expensive, though, in Vermont. And with a 30-40 mile traveling radius from work, that’s a lot of properties to look through.

I’ve ‘hearted’ only two or three; they weren’t ‘perfect’ but I really liked them and I’m having a hard time finding anything that I really like. When I say they “weren’t perfect” I mean that either the travel to work was over an hour or the space was way too small – those are conditions which I won’t concede. One property was about five years ‘old’ and looked like it had never been lived in; it was absolutely gorgeous inside, cute as a button outside, nice landscaping, exactly the kind of land/property I want (rolling green hills, some woods, a babbling-brook, and in the country;  a cow herd was grazing on the adjacent property) but it was small and it had been on the market 3 days and was already under contract!

My inner conviction is that, “when the time is right,” the property will come. I’ve been shoring up my emotional strength and ‘faith’ in the last five-days with incessant audio-positive-reinforcement books, etc. I know that is “woo-woo” to some of you but I find that I FEEL better when I have hope; when I choose to believe that, despite what craziness goes on in the world, things will work out if I “do the work” or, in other words, stay positive and plug along each day working toward my goals.

It’s a matter of opinion as to whether or not having faith, being positive and keeping the ‘vision’ or ‘dream’ alive each day while working toward that goal has any merit in relationship to the direct outcome. There is no empirical ‘evidence’ of faith, optimism, and persistence being directly related to obtaining or reaching a goal but…too many people testify to this exact thing and I prefer to believe that working hard will pay off. Otherwise, what’s the point? What’s the point of having a desire and working toward making it come true if only fate will determine the outcome?

This has been an issue all my life. I’ve always believed that the world was against me; the world conspired to ruin everything I ever wanted and worked for and this made me incredibly depressed, living in despair, contemplating suicide options and “why not?” But I’ve had to adjust, I’ve had to WORK at changing my perspective and attitude DESPITE all else being the same. Eventually, over time, through cancer and other visceral disappointments, things have slowly been working in my favor; I finally have a job that I don’t despise but one that I actually like and that has made a huge difference in my life. Huge. I am trying to take one day at a time and express – verbally while on my walks or driving my car to work – my gratitude for what I do have and I visualize what I’d like my future to look like. But I also remain flexible to what comes along. It’s best to not be so stubborn about what I want that I miss an opportunity for something better; something I had not considered.

Preparedness. That’s what I am trying to achieve; when the right property comes along, I want my property to be ready, I want to be ready mentally and physically for the move. What that means is that I am not ‘in a hurry’ for this change – it has to take place when everything is aligned if I want the perfect forever-home. That means I need to practice patience and persistence.

That means I have things to do today besides spending time on this little silver device. So, thanks for reading and if you have any opinions regarding faith, optimism, visualization, or working toward a goal, please feel free to share. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

#FOWC: glide

As cooler and preferable temperatures rise into the typical hot & humid of summer, as June slips away into July, as I am busting my hump every chance I get to ‘work’ on the homestead, I am reminded of my kayak – stowed up overhead in the garage – and I climb the ladder to pull it down, load it into my car (yes, it fits – barely) and head to one of the boat-landings near my home, pull it back out and slide it into the water and soon I am gliding along the barely moving, shallow river, watching the sun glistening off the ripples, hearing in the distance others enjoying the cool water, leaning back (a little – hard to do in a kayak) to look at the green foliage that lines the banks and the blue sky above as the very light breeze blows across my arms.

 

 

 

unconsciousness and other forms of rabbit holes

While I am doing things that are mindless, like painting & gardening, I like to have something to listen to…not always music but something that will keep my attention and my mind from wondering all over (and the thoughts getting more gray). I checked into my iPod app and found “Rabbit Hole” with the caption: What is the internet doing to us?

Being a big fan of reading non-fiction, I like to check out things that – usually – have nothing to do with me. I’ve read some really good books about things like lobsters, communicating trees, pigeons and the science behind texting/driving. So this podcast seemed interesting because we are not only ‘surrounded’ by the internet but, in my opinion, the internet has become its own entity; a living, growing thing. And like all things created by man, the original intention was “for good” but these ideas always devolve into “bad” because we will never be rid of people who look for a way to utilize anything ‘good’ and create chaos and pain.

About the podcast in short; the author(s) of the podcast do interviews (with opposing sides) about the manipulation via algorithms online…within everything; how easily it is to fall into a ‘trap’ when we are merely looking something up, how the internet (the podcast deals mostly with YouTube but I don’t think it stops there; it’s ubiquitous) is addictive and sucks your time, and how some people, online, are using this platform to deliberately brainwash (my word) people. So far I am on episode 4 of 8 (I don’t know if number eight is the last or just the latest) and it is very interesting.

Naturally, after reading the above, someone can comment that I am being sucked down a rabbit hole listening to a podcast about being sucked down a rabbit hole. The same can also be said about writing and reading blogs on WP. But here’s the thing…I am aware (or “woke” as a new saying goes) of what I am doing when I am online (or “plugged in“). I have limited time that I ‘devote’ to being online and I am limited in what I do online. I am cognizant of ‘ads’ alongside what ever it is that I am ‘shopping’ for and I am aware of “click-baiting” and I am aware of, as I’ve noted already, “algorithms” that stream ‘new information’ or things (as when shopping) at me while I am online. I don’t take the bait. I don’t go into more than why I plugged-in in the first place. I have other things to do with my time, with my days, with my life than surf the web. And it was while listing to this podcast, listing to this one guy in particular (but he’s just one of billions of people) who spends hours – all his waking hours and sleeping hours – online, he admitted that You Tube is playing even while he is sleeping, that I realized what an aberration I must be in the context of ‘our world/society’. When this guy realized that he’d “been had” (been sucked into a very bad emotional dimension), the narrator asked him if he considered just turning it off, turning off YT? The guy replied it had never crossed his mind. Not only that but he then started his own YT channel (I think that’s what it’s called when these people create ‘shows’ on YT and gain a following…and then an income) so he obviously “can’t stop now.”

What new hell this is.

I listened to a portion of the podcast on my way in to work this morning and, as I do whenever I’m listening to something that makes me think, I paused the show. I was considering our ‘civilization’ and it’s current unconsciousness and visions of a future where a handful of us, because we are not addicted to being plugged-in and electronically manipulated by AI, are truly outside the “norm.” What is consciousness between people who are plugged into a ‘reality’ that isn’t real versus people who are conscious of (only) life as a human doing human things (like abstaining (mostly) from the net or other electronics that absorb an extraordinary amount of time)??

Am I more or less conscious than someone who is fed an endless loop of information that enlightens and creates more varied human experiences but only online? Do the experiences of other people now become my experience because I became integrated via the inter-net? If the (latest) social shit-storm is BLM or school shootings or anti-feminism and I don’t participate either physically (in person) or electronically, am I not conscious of the information?

OR….

Is my awareness of these events/information but my separateness from it creating a consciousness that is above or different than the consciousness of those who are absorbed with and being absorbed into the vast inter-net?

I’d like to believe that being aware of but not immersed in these current event discussions (or, in most instances, factions and chaos) makes me more objective about them and what’s going on in “the real world” and I prefer to believe that by not being a subject of what-ever argument is rising to the top of the tossed salad of humanity’s problems is sustaining a better physical and mental health than many people.

It’s not really imperative that I have answers to any of these questions and it’s not likely to change my mind or habits if I did have answers. I am doing things that are healthy and gratifying, if not always enjoyable or entertaining. I notice things in the world…real things like sunsets and when the trees foliate and the scent of baking pine needles on trails (my absolute fav) and the varied birds flitting about and my dogs’ funny expressions and my grandchildren learning things and my neighbors newest blooms. I really don’t care so much anymore about whether or not feminism is dead or who is leading in just-another-political poll. Do I notice? Yes. Does it make an impact in my personal life? No. And that’s how I like it.

Falling into a rabbit hole of any genre only creates tunnel-vision and that can’t be good for anyone.

#FOWC: cognizant

 

Deliverance

I hope you all are having an as-good-as-can-be Memorial Day weekend. I went away to a friend’s house, a couple: she is a follow-the-rules-for-safety gal and he is a it’s-not-that-bad kinda guy. I guess she decided that, despite the fact that I do work in a hospital, I was safe enough to spend time in ‘close quarters’ – mainly the kitchen (we did not wear masks), otherwise, we were outside.

Anyway…what prompted this post was the lingering impact of a conversation that we had. I’m going to skip the details of the dialogue, take a shortcut and just write about what’s on my mind.

Family – children – expectations – delusions.

My friend and I both have children and grandchildren and we’ve had our share of disappointments as most parents do. An interesting topic that came up, not for the first time, is the parental disappointment, hurt, and pain we experience from children who respond in a way that, not only did we not expect, but we found inconceivable. My friend refuses to give up, she keeps extending the olive branch, she keeps making invitations and giving gifts (some small gestures and some are gifts of the heart, made with her hands – quality gifts) and she keeps getting her heart broken by her child (and subsequently the grandchildren have learned/adopted/become imitators of the parent). My ‘understanding’ or what I ‘know’ is only what I’ve been told by my friend so it can be called biased or ‘perspective’ and it could be ‘totally wrong’ but….I know my friend and I can ‘see’ what she is saying and the consistency over the years of various ‘stories’ or ‘attempts’ has not changed one iota. I believe my friend. But also I know personally of what she speaks.

I told my friend that although I admire her tenacity to keep on putting herself out there I do not share the same opinion; I have no problem ‘writing someone off’ if they decide that I am not ‘good enough’ or they are embarrassed by me or they don’t want me to be a part of their life. My friend said that she doesn’t “believe in” doing that, ‘writing people off’; people are in our lives for a reason and she said that she would always keep trying.

I could have been offended but I am not. I am also not a martyr – which sounds judgmental and ‘bad’ but it’s the truth. I don’t believe that martyrdom is respected and I believe that this behavior exacerbates the cycle. I felt I had to explain what I meant by ‘writing people off’ but she deterred me from that by saying she ‘understood’ me. The whole exchange left me feeling like she was the better person – right or wrong, personally or existentially. I don’t really believe that is true so I had to ruminate on the whole thing.

One problem with being single and solitary is that I don’t have the ‘experience’ of a lot of communication, especially at a deep and personal level, so I don’t usually express myself well; I don’t always use the correct words, I don’t elaborate and I don’t allow myself time (or I’m not allowed time) to speak and convey my meaning more thoroughly.

I’ve had my heart broken a couple of times by one child in particular and I ‘wrote-it-out’ until I exhausted the subject matter and then I had an epiphany, an awakening. Human beings, unlike most other animals, have the unique trait of expectations: parents of children and vise-versa. We do not view the human family as individuals; we view the human family as units of clans or tribes and, therefore, expectations and loyalty. Therein lies the problem.

I gave birth to humans. I raised humans. These human are now adults and are independent of me. They are independent of my care, my financial assistance, my beliefs and views and opinions. They are also independent of my expectations. My expectations originate with me and hold no power over other human beings. That is true of us all. Or should be.

When my child broke my heart it happened because I had expectations that were not met or reciprocated. As parents we make choices that are in our child’s best interest, we make sacrifices, we put our child’s wants and needs – a lot of times – above our own. Nothing wrong with that (it’s kind of expected). And as parents we anticipate that all the time and money and energy will ‘come back to us,’ we will reap what we sow, our children will be grateful and some day, when we need it, they will be there to help us, they will, in turn, ‘take care of us.’

I expected my child to be grateful for choices that I had made on her behalf. Because of those choices, I unconsciously expected something in return: gratitude, understanding, loyalty, and to an extent, even if I had not consciously thought it, I expected her to make some concessions or sacrifices for me. I didn’t just expect this, it was a foregone conclusion, it was. In short, when my now adult child exhibited her independence and preferences that were not shared by me, that were contrary to my reality, I was shocked, then I felt angry, then I felt abandoned and used and taken for granted. I felt my soul shrivel into a ball and shrink back into a dark corner of an abyss. She had (basically) informed me that those choices were mine to make and that she is under no obligation to show gratitude or reciprocate. Period.

You know what?

She is right.

Just because she is was my child, just because she is of my body and blood, she is not mine. She is her own, unique human being with her own mind and preferences and desires and aspirations. She does not belong to me. She does not ‘owe’ me anything. She is not obligated to tolerate my opinions, connect with me on any schedule or understand  my circle of friends or even participate in my life if that is her desire. It is not my right to expect anything of her at all.

Conversely, the same is true. If my child does not wish to share her life with me, if she prefers that I keep my distance and mind my own business, then that is her choice. I now have the option to fight it or to comply. I decided to make the most of my life independent of her. I am not obligated to worry, to remember birthdays or holidays, to drop by and visit, to call or text or keep in touch in anyway. I need not persist in making a relationship with someone who does not want it. I still have my own life to live, my own things to do and places to go. The only obligation I have is to create a full life for myself, a life that may not be what I expected but I had no right to have those entrenched expectations in the first place.

It’s a cultural and human delusion that others must live in a way that we expect because they are ‘family.’ Once we have done our ‘duty’ having brought another human life into this world and nurtured that being as best we can, they are fledglings from the proverbial nest; physical and psychological. We cannot begrudge another human from living independent of us. The concept that my children are no longer “my children” is outside of my comprehension; it’s like saying that I am no longer a mother. Of course I am a mother but I cannot ‘mother’ an adult child, I can only be a listener, an advocate, a friend, a confidant, a supporter just as I would another human being that I care about. And as any other human being (friend) has the right to remain close to me or not, same for my adult children.

Does it hurt to have a child that grows into an adult that wants a life independent of us, a choice that we had not expected?

Of course! But what hurts? Why do we hurt? Because we have been ‘trained’ to expect life/family to follow a specific path, because we’ve invested a large chunk of our life-time and effort into this other human that we have come to love so much that we would ‘give our life for them’ that it feels like rejection, that they are rejecting us, turning away and going off on their own path. A complete cutt-off is hurtful because we didn’t see it coming, because we had other expectations, because we love them and want them – want them in our lives and want them to love us back as much as we love them. We have expectations that, in reality, we don’t have a right to expect of another human even if that human is from us and we have devoted ourselves to this person. It’s my love of my grown humans that allows me to allow them to be who they are wherever they want to be, with or without me. It leaves a void but it’s up to me to fill that void with more in my life. And ‘rejection’ or separation isn’t forever. Respect them enough to let them fly without hovering over them and insisting on things your way. Let them be independent. Let them grow. Believe that they appreciate the space and time. Keep the hope in your heart that they’ll come back someday.

My daughter, after I gave her the space that (I thought) she wanted, after I showed her that I can live my life without being a barnacle on her side, that she can be independent of me in every way if that’s what she really wants, made tentative steps to re-include me in her life. I don’t think she really wanted a complete separation anyway but the whole ‘thing’ was a wake-up-call for me; I realized, in addition to all the above, that I have to learn how to live a life for me and not for my now-adult children, that I don’t have to ‘work to leave a legacy for my children’ because I should be using my time (left) to experience life in a way that I could not while I was busy being a mother. And I think my daughter realized that I realized that and now she doesn’t want to be left out or abandoned by me but she isn’t ‘needy’ either – we give each other space and when one or the other has noticed a larger than ordinary empty space between communication, we take the initiative but respect the ‘quiet’ if it persists.

I’m grateful that I had the experience of perceived rejection, dashed expectations and that I had to wherewithal to dissect it, ponder it, pull it and twist it until it became a new realization, it took a new shape that seemed right for me and my children without broken hearts and hurt feelings.

Catch-up Sunday

Every other weekend I spend 12 hours at work on Saturday, stay in the “call-room” overnight and then start my 24-hour-Sunday. Prior to now, at any other facility I would never have attempted this but my current employment is a small place with very understanding management – especially during this unusual time and the long shifts are, what I call, “do-able.” I suffer from ‘brain-fog’ all day Monday and usually some on Tuesdays but I don’t expect much of myself in general and more specifically after my work weekend. Fortunately, covid-time is more about ‘leisure’ activities; at-home hobbies, movies, reading, walking and napping ~ so I’m not missing much.

I typically have some ‘free-time’ within the 24-hour block to check the weather forecast, plan my next few days off and read/write on WP. I don’t have a whole lot to say as this time of quarantine, nearly zero-socializing and strict limitations on movement leaves a void where otherwise a variety of writing fodder exists (not for me, but in general). Because I’m limited in how I can spend my down-time while at work, I also check “news” on my weekends and other work shifts so I catch up on the latest shenanigans in government, vacillations and differing opinions on the pandemic decision-making front, and more lighthearted information that some news outlets have been adding to their continued over-coverage and recycled news so we don’t forget that there are other things in life that are not depressing and suicide-inducing.

I especially like the recommended reading that I notice each day that I check-in. The NYT, although they’ve generously allowed readers “covid-related” articles free of charge, all else is subject to a subscription (beyond the gratuitous three-articles per day or maybe per week; I’m not sure) so I am barred from reading more than my daily emailed allotment. But…CNN (daily email “5 things” you should know) today, of all days, made “15 epic reads” recommendations – which I thought was odd since now all but two states are opening up with in varying degrees and disagreements on how or what is safe so maybe the ‘epic reads’ should have been on the list way back when. Anyhoo, it reminded me that I have an old (my grandfather’s copy) of War and Peace so I’ll look for that tomorrow and dust it off.

I saw a new book release by Scott Turow (The Last Trial) and the description of which whet my appetite so I borrowed the library audio version of his Presumed Innocent. I’ve been going through a lot of audio books and I appreciate my wireless conduction-headphones that are NOT inserted into the ear but rest upon the zygomatic bone so you can still hear what’s going on around you while simultaneously listening (privately) to your music or books. I also checked out Walden – just because it seems/feels like a good time to read that too.

And since each work day is a glorious testament to spring time in NH, I always renew my decision to get-into-shape and think about some trails that won’t kill me (OMG! So winterized am I that stairs do me in) but, alas, days off have been cold, raw, windy, gray, and rainy; it’s still nice to think about anyway.

Okay, I’ve gotta get up and move. Fandango’s One-Word-Challenge today, “fickle”, just didn’t organically fit into this post so I’ll again try later.

what I’m doing lately

I find these times psychologically odd; there’s an urgent and expectant energy in the air and we all feel it regardless of self-isolation and/or social-distancing, even for those of us who still work and whose current daily life is very similar to our previous life: LBC and LAC (life before/after covid). I have repeatedly stated, in my writing and when asked via phone/text, How are you doing?, that my life is not much different now than LBC but despite that I still feel different; not depressed, not anxious, not morbid, no fear, not bored ~ not really. And I think that says something about energy, group energy, and in a more expansive way how historical landmarks effect evolution; political and social evolution definitely but individual evolution also. This pandemic, in this country, has created two different large group responses bookending the range of human emotions and reactions: those angry, afraid and compulsive who are acting out, over-reacting and becoming more paranoid and at the other extreme there are those who wait expectantly and obediently through this transition curious to find out what’s on the other side, opining if there’s an end or a ‘back to normal’ and suspecting the answer is No. I expect there are some historical sociologists somewhere out there who have some interesting answers.

Meanwhile I have been chronically grateful for my work and my family; we all socialize with each other, which, judging from reading about some other peoples’ lives these days, many do not. I did have about two weeks separation from my daughter and her family but that’s as long as it lasted; I guessed we decided that we all have no other ‘connections’ with other people and, despite the fact that I do go to work, I am always in a mask (as is everyone else) and we are checked each work day. I know that is not a 100% guarantee someone else isn’t an asymptomatic carrier, including new patients, but I think the ‘exposure’ is so limited combined with our relative youth, lack of co-morbidities and good health – we are willing to take the risk. We can’t live in bubbles despite the comic and pathetic attempts that I’ve seen on social media of people wearing five-gallon containers on their heads or, believe it or not, plastic bags <– that is what fear looks like.

It’s a source of comfort to notice that people are finding ways to entertain themselves and fill up their otherwise *empty days: more creative ‘social’ media, work on their properties (inside and out), cook & bake, get more exercise, garden and discover other sources of stimulation and pleasure. It’s a refreshing contrast to the bitter and antagonistic rabble-rousers who can’t resist the impulse to inflict their unimaginative and ignorant views and fears on other people. But on a more personal level, and what intrigues me about my unhindered life is that I also feel the need to do things that I have not previously felt compelled to do such as gardening. I have thought about gardening and visualized gardening but I’ve not acted upon those thoughts before like I have this year. There’s a…getting-things-in-order feeling that I have and it isn’t (necessarily) morbid but ~ it is a little… like I need to switch it up, change things, get things done that, combined with my desire to use this time that I have (a post-cancer’s gift is a new respect for life), creates a plan for now and plan for the future intensity within me.

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During this time of year I am trying to take advantage of increased sunshine and more tolerable temperatures (60-70s), however, most of my free time seems to attract cold, snow, rain, gray skies or any variety of these, conversely my work days are sunny and warm. I have started some seedlings (is that what they’re called when you plant packaged seeds?) both vegetables and flowers and I’m buying some selective plants, preferably perennials but I can’t resist pansies for my window boxes.

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I’m taking my time but I have a vision of a relaxing and interesting garden for my property that will include a swing, a small greenhouse, a canopy over part of my deck, and taming the wooded area beyond the fence to include a little patio up on the ‘hill’ overlooking my back-yard area. My son has been a great help; once I delineated where and how I wanted the ‘beds’ to be laid out, he’s taken the lead on really digging up the space and spreading the bags of manure.

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I’ve also (because the weather has been uncooperative most of my free days) done some less vigorous and more relaxing projects inside ~ usually while listening to an audio-book (I never thought I’d so much enjoy audio-books!). I still have some painting to do and other more objectionable chores like cleaning out the basement and going through closets and empty rooms that contain odds-n-ends that need to be repurposed or thrown away.

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I really want to use my time to finish other projects (and there are many, many of them) that I’ve either started and left unfinished or purchased the materials for and never started: cross-stitch, quilting, knitting, and crocheting. Plus I have so many ideas of things to make for or do with my grandchildren!

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The one thing that I want to do, should do but I have yet to start is ‘getting into shape’: I have put on the pounds this winter and normally that doesn’t bother me too much but this year – must be my age – I have a larger muffin-top and more back fat not to mention the increasingly stiff joints. I am not self-conscious about how I look. I’m more concerned with how I feel and how I am aging physically ~ not well. There’s just something about exercise, a daily schedule of doing things that are sweat inducing that repels me and makes me *cave to my old nemesis, procrastination, which is why I’ve felt that – if I were able – I’d rejoin the group gym that I had used years ago (pre-AT endeavor). It’s just like any other thing that I don’t really want to do…I have to decide that I am going to do it, put one foot in front of the other and JUST DO IT.

#FOWC: empty and #SoCS: cave

What the world needs now….

#FOWC: Fortitude fowc

With our “first world problems” history, many Americans are having a hard time coping with the restrictions placed on our movements as seen more lately with the protests – in organized groups or individuals blatantly disregarding the mandated restrictions – and this is causing yet one more division in our Divided States of America. I’m an admitted pacifist, not because I don’t care and not because I’m afraid to stand up for what I believe in or what I believe to be right – but because I am able to view both sides of most arguments and because I am not always sure which side is more right or more wrong – at least, not enough to make noise about it. I have also come to know that I have control over nothing; not in my personal world or the world at large and neither does anyone else. In the case of this pandemic, no one really knows for certainty how many people are carriers versus those who succumb to physical and debilitating illness/death – since we have not been able to test everyone. If I can believe what I read and hear, we do know that the numbers of those who have died is much higher than the flu, although many argue this point as well – another division. In my opinion, where death is concerned, it’s best to ere on the side of caution. And how much do the restrictions of where we go (masked) and how many people we fraternize with really cost us, individually? It’s an inconvenience at most. {I’m not addressing the economy at all; only the perceived ‘infringement’ of our ‘constitutional rights’}

My employer takes into account the impact of, not only our work (sick people), but how this pandemic is effecting us personally. Recently a memo/video with our facility’s chief HR person and the director of anxiety disorders services highlighted some ways of coping with the current situation and one point of advice stood out for me – and this is not rocket science but since, as I said earlier, most of us have only had to deal with ‘first world problems’ – Accept the uncertainty.

Everyday – if we are cognizant or conscious – we accept uncertainty without even thinking about it: driving on roads with other drivers, going up or down stairs, going hunting or hiking or boating, climbing ladders or doing other physical activities/work, annual checkups, buying a house, and so on. Anything can happen, go wrong*, at any time and it’s just a ‘normal’ part of life. We may not like it and we may piss-n-moan about it but, eventually, if we’re smart, we deal with it and move on. The fact that this pandemic now effects all of us, all at the same time, should be a unifying moment but some people have placed their own so-called liberties above other peoples’ lives – typical America; selfish and short-sighted, like a small child.

We, as a group/a nation, no longer recognize nor value fortitude. Apparently people who follow guidelines, even if we are yet unsure exactly how this pandemic will play out in the long run, and display a selfless attitude, make compromises, and use this unique opportunity to experience something greater than ourselves and our typical American lifestyle are just sheep. I try to take advantage of unexpected and inconvenient moments or situations to develop character muscle: patience, humility, active listening, resourcefulness, gratitude, and identifying what is most important to me and re-recognizing that life is an opportunity to see how I measure up to adversity; how tough am I, do I have grit, resilience, and who am I really at my core? I take pride in my fortitude. My son-in-law’s word echo in my memory at times like these: “You are the toughest person I know” (sure wish I had taken a screen shot of that text!) and I am proud that this is the kind of example that I have provided for my children – when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

I think if people want to protest these restrictions, that is their ‘right’ and they should if that is how they feel; I have no quarrels against it at all. But I think people who disregard the restrictions, as in this  video / article of a few people letting their children play on the playground that has been taped off and then harass police officers who ask them to leave and please follow the state’s mandates about distancing and avoiding certain public areas/places, are just shallow, ignorant and inconsiderate asshats. They are not tough or strong or resilient or patriotic or smart or clever, nor do they display or set an example of fortitude for their children or others. I am not impressed by this type of behavior – not because it’s ‘against the law/rules’ or because it’s ‘dangerous’ but because it just reveals a level of stupidity and self-serving that the whole world recognizes as a singularly American trait. It disgusts me; I could barely tolerate watching one minute of it (and I signed the petition). These are the people who should justifiably get sick but the world isn’t ‘just’ or fair.

Well, that went to a place I didn’t intend – oh well.

Fortitude. Good word.

Addendum: * is there such a thing as “go wrong”, really? Perfection is the absence of something going wrong, or a mistake, etc. and that isn’t life. What we perceive as ‘wrong’ or a ‘mistake’ is merely reality telling us that we are wrong to have (rigid) expectations.

browse: #FOWC

I’d put it off long enough and had to face the fact that I DO need to go to the grocery store. It’s not a favorite chore of mine anyway so knowing I’m going to have to insert myself into the sea of insanity made me a tad bit testy. I made of point of: only browsing the aisles that I needed, not looking at other people or their carts, and staring off into space as the woman in front of me (cart loaded with water and a load of other stuff – normal? who knows) checked out (needing to use two different cards). I considered going to another store because a few items —not toilet paper —were no where to be found but I decided to return home and then go for a walk before the sun completely disappeared.

I have yet to meet anyone that I have any conversations with who believes we are headed into the end of the world and feel the need to supply their cellar or bunker with completely unnecessary items such as ass-paper. So, either it’s a rare few fucktards who just think about their own ass or people are lying – like the ones who won’t admit that they support Trump. And, just to throw it out there: ultra-violet radiation from the sun is a disinfectant. When I was backpacking, a common use of bandanas for female hikers is to wipe after urination and then hang it on the outside of our backpack. The air dries it and the sun disinfects it. Google it. Also, when a hiker comes to a water source, the bandana can be ‘washed’, you remember, soap and water? and then hung to dry. So, for everyone who can’t find any toilet paper because dumb-asses have filled a spare room with it, use a washcloth, cloth scrap, old sock, whatever, and wash it in the sink and hang to dry for the next time. Easy-Peasy. No one on the trail carried an 8-pack of toilet paper with them. That is just as stupid as people hoarding it because there’s a respiratory virus (not an intestinal virus). Idiots.

I can go on to shed more of my enlightenment here but I’ll save it for later.

Okay. I’m done.

fowc #FOWC: browse

 

 

 

 

#FOWC: treatment/healthcare

Fandango’s been on a roll lately what with all his questions and one-word prompts. Today the #FOWC is ‘treatment’ which follows the heals 😉 heels of his question prompt I can across just yesterday (but posted a few months ago) about healthcare. And THAT prompt elicited a bevy of comments, one being that if “free healthcare” exists for everyone, people would take advantage; as in be greedy because people love free stuff (my words). There was a comment or two in rebuttal that is much better written, coherent & more informed, than anything that I can put together but I do have an opinion. I work in “healthcare” and I’m not saying that makes me more informed about how the industry works, where the money goes and what we should/could do to make it better. I am just one person who spends days every week in a hospital setting with real patients (not TV) and have done so for over two decades. Based on the aforementioned I think I can say that most people who will ‘take advantage’ of “free healthcare” will be people who need to see a doctor, a dentist or need medication or physical therapy or – the best reason yet – mental healthcare. I don’t see a lot of people lining up at the local doc-in-a-box or hospital for ‘free stuff’ in the way of medical attention. Most people have better and more interesting things to do in their lives besides hanging out in a waiting room to then be relocated to yet another room to do some more waiting, have needles inserted into them, have to give stool or urine specimens or asked the same questions a million times by various staff.

Are there some people who will “needlessly” visit the ER or clinic? Why, yes, there will be: they already exists. They are flagged for multiple (questionably unnecessary) visits and, now with the ever widening electronic charting between facilities, their negative impact upon the facility, staff, time, etc. is minimized. There are answers or solutions for the outlier in every situation if people/organizations are willing to face the problem, determine the origin and then solve the problem. Some people repeatedly visit ER or clinics because they are homeless and/or hungry and want warmth and food. Some people (usually elderly/shut-ins) are lonely and ‘act out’ of frustration or fear of loneliness. Some people revisit the ER/clinics because they are underinsured or have no insurance and don’t have the options that we, the entitled, do have. There are scenarios ad nauseam of why people – seemingly – go to ERs or clinics when the rest of us believes it inappropriate but I’m not going to list them.

If people had available physical/dental healthcare and mental healthcare and would be able to receive appropriate treatment appropriately they would then not be the burden on society that so many fear (and resent) already. And for those that think some people will be greedy about ‘free’ healthcare, having worked in a ‘soup kitchen’ I can attest that even there people are ‘prevented from abusing the system’. Stop being led by the fear-factor of what some people might do and think, for a change, of how we’d all benefit.

For anyone interested in a little light reading, here is a link I got from another blogger’s comment (https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/s1129/BILLS-116s1129is.pdf). I have not read it …yet, don’t know how much I will read but it is relevant information about one healthcare plan proposed by one candidate.

#FOWC: treatment