Plump With Dilemna

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Analog toys. Good for when there is no internet.

I started this post last week in an effort to revive the wellness focus of the blog and then I lost my internet for a few days and didn’t pick this back up again for another week. Service has now been restored. Not that I’m reinstating any rules for what this blog must be, but wellness is still my religion. Keeping the topic(s) in my semi-monthly rotation helps me feel connected to sometimes using this space as a form of outreach. And having an extra week to work on this post rendered it rather plump. Who misses an opportunity to use the word plump?

Physical Wellness last week: I was able to hit some easy balls yesterday afternoon. Stopped when my body whispered that’s enough for today. Celebrated another step of recovery by soaking up every ray of winter sunset. Later, the application of a eucalyptus blend on the injury site. Plump with botanica.

Physical Wellness this week: After another week on the mend (and in the gym) I was able to go out for a run. Look what I found out there in the winter mix.

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It was Colonel Mustard, in the cul-de-sac, with an iron pipe.

I carried it home and recycled it.

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Mid-century magic wand; makes food disappear.

I carried it home and recycled it.

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Knight of the Hydrant

You’ll notice the knight lowered his/her shield when I approached. It pleases me that I was deemed friend and not foe even though I carried 1) an iron pipe, 2) a steel spoon, and 3) a beast with fangs on a leash. Somehow my vibe still said not dangerous. It probably helped that I lowered this arsenal before I asked permission to take a photo. He/she must be a fellow runner when not on duty.

As a show of respect I did not let my dog pee on the hydrant. He did not understand my explanation that this was a guard station and the knight surely wouldn’t like standing in dog urine for the duration of his/her watch. Doggo responded by knocking the cover off the next utility box we passed. I had to right this wrong lest someone else’s internet service be disrupted by my dog’s acting out. Plump with prevention.

Social Wellness last week: there are only a few nights in December the Santa Claus imposter isn’t stationed on the town square and last night was one of them. Since the crowding would be minimal without Claus Con, I made the annual pilgrimage in hood and sleeves to participate in the joy of light. Same lights every year (see below) but my dog loves it and the village children love him back. I enjoy it too, minus the carriage rides, corporate sponsors, and rednecks. New this year is a giant tree at the Farmer’s Market, so delightfully crooked. Rockefeller Center it is not, but it does class up the mural nobody had the foresight to paint on a wall not bearing a chorus line of AC units. It’s all just campy enough to charm my grinchy heart.

Social Wellness this week: started sharing my leftovers with my coworkers at lunch the next day. We lost our break room so we have to eat our lunches at our desks. The respectful ones are curious about how something so vegan could still smell so good. So I started sharing. So far they love vegan potato leek soup and vegan pasta salad. Plump with possibility.

Creative Wellness last week: Wrapped some handmade gifts and made all of these pretty images. Also yesterday’s (last Saturday’s) blog post. Note the collage effort.

Also note the creative effort to promote Jenny’s bookstore, currently still under construction and opening soon in San Antonio. I’ve got several reasons never to return to the streets of San Antonio. Soon I will have one reason to compel me to F it and go anyway. Independent bookstores are churches, y’all. Or if that doesn’t inspire you, this will be like Graceland for bloggers. For those of you who ditched blogging in favor of Facebook feeding and Insta-stories, you wouldn’t understand. It’s not for you. Plump with preference.

Creative Wellness this week: Self-portrait. Plump with fencing.

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Financial Wellness: aforementioned handmade gifts I did not photograph in detail because they haven’t been given yet. But if you are a member of my family you are getting honest-to-goodness brown paper packages tied up with string. Because wrapping paper is stupid. More on that below. Plump with frugality.

Lower waste gift giving.

Financial Wellness this week: I’m inching my way toward zero waste living, or at least lower waste living but I confess it is far more daunting than ANY other lifestyle change I’ve made — including veganism. This shit is hard, because we waste SO MUCH per day. It astounds me to be confronted with how much garbage I generate per day BECAUSE I BUY IT, especially in the form of packaging.

I don’t necessarily spend my money on junk but even food automatically comes with garbage wrapped around it. Even if I throw it away it never really goes away. My hippie heart can’t stand it but there’s SO MUCH. Right now it feels manageable to try to make one zero waste (or lower waste) choice per day. I can do one a day, yes? Yes. It ends up also saving me money because if it is already in my possession (and it can’t be recycled) I must reuse it. If it is not already in my possession, how can I have the sustainable version of it which creates no garbage? If it creates garbage, can I choose something else or live without it? This also counts as Environmental Wellness, for those of you who like bonus rewards.

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Zero waste skin care.

Intellectual Wellness last week: Watched Broken and Bikram on Netflix, and currently reading They Could Have Named Her Anything. Also researched the difference between scotch and rye whiskey even though I drink neither, because when I asked a drinker of both to describe how they are different, said drinker couldn’t do it. My heart weeps for such people.

I realize this sounds mean but dammit people, why are we allowing our powers of communication to erode to the point we can no longer verbally contrast or compare something as simple as two beverages? Or understand something cannot be like literally? It can be like or it can literal. It can’t be both. Go ahead and weep for me. I am obviously the only one left alive who cares about such things. Plump with banality.

Intellectual Wellness this week: I’ve got to figure out what to do about this. The cat did it; hurled herself across the kitchen, collided with Eureka Pig and crash-landed. Eureka Pig crashed to the hard tile floor. Kitty survived intact. Until I picked up these pieces I truly believed this pig was made of wood. She is not. She is plastic. Deceptively hard, heavy, faux grain plastic.

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I don’t have any super-glue in the house. Super-glue creates toxic waste when it is produced and comes in packaging which cannot be recycled and must be thrown away. To repair this pig I would have to create waste by buying waste. To not repair this pig I would have to throw her away (create waste). She does not bear a recycling symbol so if I try to recycle her she will be separated from the other plastics and either sent to a landfill or incinerated, which creates toxic fumes. (Sigh) Any ideas? I’m open to suggestion. Plump with predicament.

Spiritual Wellness last week: A good hard cry and introspection on the question of joy. By question I mean whether it is something we are or is it something we have. Can joy be taken from us? Can it be separated from us? Can we forfeit joy? Or do we simply fail to connect with it or fail to experience it? Do things or people really bring us joy or do they activate joy already within? Because it is always within; like I taught my students about peace. Nothing brings us peace or gives us peace. Seek within. Peace is there flowing like a current underneath all the crap making us believe otherwise. So it is with joy.

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This was all brought on because although I did not grow up with the tradition of Advent I was invited to speak on the joy aspect of the Advent observance. Not a coincidence by my standards. Deep in the throes of my recent struggles I caught myself speaking a non-truth in the form of “But _________ is the only joy I have right now.” (Cringe) Nope. I don’t really believe that. I hope you don’t either, about any one thing that isn’t already you.

Joy is an intrinsic element of my existence as a sentient being. It cannot be removed or separated from me. Nothing gives it to me or brings it to me. I can’t go find it or go get it because it is never gone. I may not align with it or feel connected to it but it is always there. I’m still here. Joy is still here. I can’t lose it. I think all four aspects of the modern version of Advent are inseparable from our existence. Hope, peace, joy and love; birth to death, regardless of your god or your religion.

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Spiritual Wellness this week: It came disguised as Occupational Wellness. I got my annual review and bonus. As I was handed my check I was informed this would be the last end-of-year bonus given. End-of-year bonuses are being phased out, effective immediately, along with overtime, effective January 1st. But to keep me motivated I will be given more/other/different incentive-ized opportunities to earn rewards for performance throughout the coming year. Plump with gratuity.

When processing this later I decided it doesn’t matter either way. I don’t do good work because I’m bribed to do it. I do it because good work makes life easier, prevents crisis, and makes it easier to solve unforeseen problems. Good work is its own reward. Wellness at work directly affects wellness in life. I do it because it is part of the practice.

Join me.

— Mercy

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