Since Thursday I have written on my plan of the day, “Try to write something today.” I did try but I didn’t succeed. Now I’m rolling up on the end of the month and facing the dilemma of just a weekly post or using the time to get a good Work Release published. It would be early but since I’m late for a weekly post, why not let the effort satisfy both conditions? As you know, work release is my clever name for showing my work — my wellness work — for the month. We are well because we work at it. We constantly and consistently practice wellness. This is how it happened in October.
I voted early. You read about that already. I got all the women in my office to vote early. I canvassed the men as well but the women were obviously my target demographic.
If you haven’t voted yet, please do. If you are not sufficiently informed about issues or candidates on your respective ballots, this is easy to remedy. There is no shortage of easy-to-access info to sway your vote one way or the other. Social media is rife with it. News media as well. Or ask someone you trust. Or Google it in private. Or try Vote411.org. Just don’t let any lazy-ass excuse keep you from your civic duty and then think you are entitled to abuse people when your nation doesn’t suit you. Educate yourself and vote.
I attended my first local LGBTQ Pride fest and parade this month. I went with friends, as is the custom when friends are gay and uncoupled. Had a great time. Met a nice girl from Alaska, transplanted here by her vocation. We hung out for a while. Got some vegan fare from the food trucks. Watched the live entertainment. Shopped the vendors. Bumped into more friends. The overall experience was uplifting and love-affirming and community-enriching. I would definitely do it again.
My big gay BFF thanked me for accompanying her to her first Pride with the sassy pink bauble crowning my index finger. I joked on Instagram that since she gave me ring at Pride this probably means we got engaged at Pride but she was right when she joked back to me that the world could not handle it. You couldn’t.
The biggest Pride surprises other than jewelry were 1) the number of political candidates who participated in the event in person and managed to keep every word, message, sign, and supporter positive and peaceful; and 2) the number of local churches which participated and managed to do exactly the same. Even in times such as these it planted seeds of hope in my scorched heart.
Intellectual Wellness & Creativity
To stimulate my intellect I studied DNA testing this month. I did this for the purpose of understanding how they work and identifying the differences between the various companies who offer them. There are a bunch of recreational home-kits available now. I ended up choosing LivingDNA. I swabbed my cheek this morning and sent my specimen away to the lab. I’ll get my results in 10 to 12 weeks. In the process I learned more about genetics than I’d ever bothered to explore before, which will enhance my understanding of the results when they arrive. This was worth the effort even if I hadn’t gone through with a purchase.
If you decide to try one I recommend making your choice not only upon the test parameters themselves but also upon how much control you have over your data once it is compiled. Not all companies will treat your data the same. Not all companies have the same policy regarding storage of your data, and they don’t all give you the same level of control over your own information if you decided you want it destroyed or shared (or not shared with unknown relatives) or used for research.
To stimulate creativity I finished The House of June. This is the bluebird house I received as a gift from a lady named June. You’ll remember I received it unfinished; naked wood, rough and knotty. My plan to paint and stencil it in a Moroccan style died when I realized how much sanding would be required. The wood was too rough to take a stencil. I thought about it for a few days and decided to leave it rough. I let one coat of sexy lipstick red sink into the nooks and crannies because I hope bluebirds will breed in there. Then added some colorful blobby blobs to give it cheerful curb appeal for the hatching of bluebird chicks. The paint wasn’t dry when I took these quick and dirty snapshots but yes, I did go back and clean up that one yellow drippy drip. A little; I really didn’t want it too perfect.
I’ve decided to wait until Spring to install it in the garden so for now it is a house within a house. The House of June will spend the winter inside until the homeless bluebirds migrate this way.
Also for creative wellness I took all the photos sprinkled throughout this post (and my other posts throughout this month) with the exception of the Pride parade. That one came from the newspaper.
Still vegan. Still content with it. To my great joy this month I discovered a couple of companies offering ethical wool choices, Allbirds and now Patagonia. Allbirds has always been ethical. Patagonia has declared ethical wool practices staring with Fall 2018 fashions. This is relevant as we march into winter because I am quickly wearing out my pre-vegan leather shoes and woolen accessories. Don’t point me toward vegan leather, which is not leather at all. It is plastic vinyl shit shaped like shoes. Vegan leather shoes SUCK so bad. So bad. Every pair I’ve tried has failed me. Enter Allbirds. If I can get them to make a Mary Jane style my cup shall runneth over. So over.
Yoga, as usual. Never gonna give it up. Never gonna let me down. Never gonna … you know the rest.
My favorite shadow yoga trick. In triptych.
Run, as usual. Here I am eyeballing my neighbor’s hot tub after a good hard run on a sunny Saturday.
Lift, because it takes strong muscles to carry the weight of the world, y’all.
It is finally cold enough that I am frantically picking and drying the herbs we grew all summer. I learned how to dry them in the oven on low heat so all I have to do is jar them up and save money all winter. This is the harvest of one variety of our basil. We planted three varieties this year. We planted multiples of just about everything this year. Hence my harvest frenzy.
Basil costs about $1.50 per ounce. You do the math. And then do it for mint, rosemary, oregano, sage, chives, and thyme. And it’s not just the flavor savings. There are the medicinal properties as well. And the blooms kept our local bees happy all summer as well, so good karma.
Stop telling each other not to cry. Tears are not a byproduct. Think of them as notifications from your nervous system. So far I have identified Rescue Tears and Truth Tears and Magic Tears. Tears of pain are my body asking for help — Rescue Tears. Tears of sorrow are the soul telling its truth — Truth Tears. Tears of joy are the spirit working its magic — Magic Tears. If one of your Uh Oh dashboard lights comes on in your vehicle, you don’t go pull the fuse just to kill the lights. You seek out the problem. If you are squelching your tears just so you don’t have to be bothered by them (or bother someone else), your small engine problem is only going to get bigger.
Stop telling each other not to cry. Stop telling children not to cry. Stop fighting your own built-in notification system.
I’m keeping these private, but it is important to acknowledge that Spiritual Wellness is still an aspect of wellness to be practiced. No less than the others. I’ve simply decided to stop detailing my spiritual practices in public. But if you need a prompt to inspire you think simple, sacred, strong.
Alright, folks. I’m calling this done. Conventional Halloween is slated to be heavily rained out in Mercyburg but Samhain can still be observed indoors. Give it a try. Either way, I’ll see you next month.