The Twitter account “Shower Thoughts” has a good thought that is working for me. It reads: “Go to bed, you’ll feel better in the morning” is the human version of “Did you turn it off and turn it back on again?”
Sleep is a marvelous reset, isn’t it? I am thankful for my little bed. In this day and age, having your own place is a luxury, no matter how small the slice of pie. While checking out my groceries at Fred Meyer today I asked the check out person why they haven’t had large shopping carts for over two weeks now. She said these words exactly, “the homeless took them!” That’s about 30-40 carts! I wonder if there are fewer beds for the Bellingham homeless during the lockdown. When the shutdown began the Lighthouse shelter closed and was moved to the High School. The city refit the school into a homeless shelter.
Here is a poem by Wallace Stevens, published in 1923, the last two stanzas
Tea at the Palaz of Hoon
Out of my mind the golden ointment rained,
And my ears made the blowing hymn they heard.
I was myself the compass of that sea:
I was the world in which I walked, and what I saw
Or heard or felt came not but from myself;
And there I found myself more truly and more strange.
1) an observed joy- I saw these flowers today. SO perfect! I thought they were plastic.
2) a real concern- There are so many on a national scale.
3) a personal challenge- the challenges are the same, walk every day, keep to a regular work schedule, eat well. It’s getting boring
4) one personal success (no matter how small)- I’m finding myself more truly, more strange.
5) a random thought (no matter how silly)- When I walk around my neighborhood I think it is funny how we give each other plenty of distance, crossing the street, moving to the middle of the road.
Here is my current mood illustrated in a meme. Be well. -Shannon
As of this post, the USA leads the globe with 34,522 COVID-19 deaths.
Next is Italy 22,170, then Spain with 19,315. https://ncov2019.live/data
So, a while back a friend said she could finally afford to buy that bohemian coat she wanted. The use of the word “bohemian” spurred memories. I’ve considered myself a bohemian ever since my aunt gave me a turquoise & silver ring when I was seven. My aunt lived the bohemian lifestyle and getting that ring from her, in my simple-kid mind, meant I was in the club. My contributions to the movement were growing out my long straight black hair, wearing a bandana when I mowed the lawn and, as often as possible, sit on our couch in an incorrect manner.
Before the pale blues and mauves of the ’80s made their appearance into my childhood, I was surrounded by beatnik leftovers from my parent’s first home; my mother’s early ’60s style contrasted with her sister’s ’70s experience melting together into a sweet avocado green. Of course, I had no idea what either of those lifestyles was about! Our living room was crowned by a 3-foot round metal, astrological chart wheel hanging above a black and white leopard print flop couch, adjacent to a row of mahogany stained bookshelves and dad’s tobacco pipe cady. In my room, Barbie was living clean in her shoebox and lego “Dream House”. Literature in the home included encyclopedias, LIFE Book collections, sci-fi books and poetry by Kahlil Gibran. Music was predominately 60’s jazz albums, Bill Cosby, Helen Reddy, and Carole King.
But it wasn’t my stuff, it was the life and home that my parents built for us. It was warm and happy. As an adult, how do I recreate a modern art of living? Somewhere along the way, I lost it. I need to get out of survival mode and find my faux-bohemian again.
Turn those dreams of the high retired life down a couple notches. First, be honest with yourself. Instead of a dream retirement cabin on the lake, you can be just as happy in a studio apartment that’s 30-minutes away from a lake. Just visit the lake. You don’t need the whole lake. This isn’t the 50’s. No lake for you.
The west coast of Washington and Oregon offer a high quality of life, clean air, water including water in the shape of lakes that we can all visit. In WA we have all four seasons, mild winters, besides the scratchy track of volcanoes down the middle of the Cascades, we’re doing alright…except for the cost of living. According to the site costofliving.net the cost of living in Washington is higher than the national average. They report,
“Our cost of living indices are based on a US average of 100. An amount below 100 means Washington is cheaper than the US average. A cost of living index above 100 means Washington, Washington is more expensive. Washington’s cost of living is 118.7. Housing is the biggest factor in the cost of living difference. The median home price in Washington is $381,300.”
How do you add quality to your life on a tight budget? Of course, defining “quality” is person-specific. In this economy, in this city, I am trying to live a good life but I feel like most efforts bring me down, and I am starting to take it personally. This American Life has it out for me. I pissed it off somewhere along the line and it’s not giving me anything, no living income, no happily ever after, no satisfaction except in a sunrise, no joy but in my neighbors blooming trees, no love but when that orange cat comes by and rubs its cheek against my doorway, no peace but the ocean that tells me it’s always there—it goes out, but it will come back, it always comes back. No glory but a rainbow around the moon and my childhood friend the Big Dipper and Orion chasing each other in the sky. The world is a big and resourceful place if you are a tiny red ant working with a million other clones. It’s all about perspective.