Gratitude Sunday: In My Room

Gratitude * Sunday

Quote of the Week – “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” Maya Angelou

Sunday Haiku
Early winter moon
peaks through backyard trees, winking
promises of spring.

Sunday Musings
I have survived the latest round with Social Security. Between the state’s assistance and the on-line federal system that are supposed to be so helpful, I have a mess. It’s not all my fault it’s a mess. The on-line system is not easy or straightforward, and the state’s “help” has been chaotic and a mess as well. I think of myself as (maybe, don’t want to appear too boastful) above average in intelligence. So if I am challenged, what about other Americans?

Fortunately federal Social Security workers can consider it job security. If the web site doesn’t work well, or works in such a way that all inquiries result in a face-to-face meeting, those workers will always have work. Here’s the thing. The workers don’t have it any easier than us plain old citizens. The caseworker who helped me this week jumped through two hours worth of computer hoops, asking advice from workers with more knowledge, and ended up telling me she was going to have to do the input again the next day because of the challenges in the system. And I still have to have another appointment before I’m done. With this track record, I suspect I might not even be done then. I’m slated to get my first payment in a couple weeks, but I’m still in the I’ll-believe-it-when-I see-it stage.

I do understand the need for rules, regulations, and vigilance so the people who are supposed to be getting help are getting help, and our tax investments are not going to somebody who is attempting to or actually defrauding our government. The statistics I can find say defrauding Social Security is rare, but not non-existent, so in the main rules, regulations, and vigilance are worth the investment. I know I’m a bit cynical, but right here I am still thinking tax investments are being wasted. There are enough citizens needing help in our America Social Security workers would still be busy every day even if on-line stuff worked right and if the software and hoop jumping of the Social Security workers worked well and efficiently. America is growing and changing and our government needs to keep up without wasting our tax investments. It’s easy to be critical. I’d love to be able to suggest a solution, but I don’t have one yet. We’ll see what I think after I do my taxes this year.

Here’s where one of my mantras come into play. You know the one: Change is the only constant. I have to repeat this one to myself often, because I prefer things to stay the same, routines are my friend. That said, progress is important as well and I’ve been attempting changes in my own life. I like to think I have waaay more control in my own life than I do in our federal government. That might be open to interpretation.

Spring is right around the corner and every sly streak of light sliding in through the windows is showing the breeding piles of dust bunnies and abundance of stuff in my home. I have extra motivation to clean and tidy as my sister is giving me a new bed. When I’m ready.

So, I’m clean cleaning. No throwing things into a box or stuffing stuff into corners and doing the quick shuffle because I’m excited about the new bed. Nope, I’m going for the delayed gratification option and using the opportunity to find good locations for items I want to keep, and including the trash option for the items no longer sustainable, and giving items away to family or charity as I decide I am done with them. I’m not a naturally tidy person, nor am I a learned-to-be-tidy person. I admire people who are able to be tidy all the time. I’m grateful some people are able to be tidy. Obviously I’m not a control freak with my abundance of material stuff though I might be a control freak with other sorts of stuff. My style is tidy once and forever hold your breath, i.e., I am good at getting organized once, but challenged by staying organized. If I take the time to clean clean before the bed is moved in at least I can sleep knowing all underneath and around the bed is as clean as I can get it, even if the rest of my room and my home and my yard and my brain is unruly.

The cleaning process is long overdue, which compounds the task. My room has suddenly morphed into a TARDIS. Doctor Who fans, of course, recognize the acronym which means Time And Relative Dimensions In Space and refers to a space that looks finite on the outside, but is somehow infinite on the inside. The phenomenon in my room presents itself like this: For every item I remove from the room, multitudes more show themselves, though the room never looks any larger and it never looks like anything has changed in the degree of tidiness. The abundance seems, rather, to expand exponentially. Which begs a couple questions (or more).

To start: 1. How does one accumulate so much stuff? 2. How can one forget what one owns? 3. Can there be such a thing as too much abundance?

Answers: 1. It happens. 2. It happens. 3. Possibly.

No judgment bad or good. It is what it is. Right now I’m cleaning. And laughing at myself.

I’m grateful for those ten minute work windows, while I bemoan remembering the day when I was able to do more, and forgive myself for not being able to maintain that degree of work ability now. I get a bit done, then rest. Get another bit done. Work until the pain cannot be overcome by positive thoughts. Sit until pain retreats. Work ten more minutes. Multiple ten minute work windows multiplied day by day equals more work done and will eventually equal a clean space and a new bed. Simple math. I know, math, right?

Everything is about math, because science rules.

I will not torture you with the dimensional numbers of how I can get so much stuff in my room. My room exits in x, y, and z space, so I can get x, y, and z stuff in all those corners and heights and shelves. What the heck, let’s add in the other 23 letters of the alphabet for good measure, so much abundance algebraically as the letters can represent anything, so many anythings. I can hide stuff in cabinets and drawers and under tables; so much space to use. One saving grace: I’ve never liked storing stuff under my bed. Studies of feng shui say one sleeps better when air can circulate all around and under your bed. I didn’t want stuff for the night monsters to make beds in. Could be the same thing.

I’m just one person with a room that’s out of control, except it’s all in my control. We won’t look at the rest of the house which has its own issues with abundance, and the yard likewise. If I can make such a mess, it’s understandable how my bigger room of American government can be such a mess with so many fingers in so many pots, and so many interpretations of what’s there and how to do it; it’s been out of control a long time as well. In both cases it loosely echoes Alice in Wonderland as the more you get done the more there is to do. I’ve always hoped that within my lifetime, we’d get American government cleaned up a bit, simplify it and streamline it to the benefit of all, toss out some old stuff, such as promoting fossil fuels (apples), and thoughtfully replace them with new policies that work for all Americans, not just the wealthy, like an American Health Plan (oranges) that covers all Americans for everything. Because apples and oranges are not the only American produce: we have strawberries and kiwis and cherries and mangoes and tomatoes and avocados and all kinds of fruits and veggies, people and policies, in our United States we need to care for and take care of; we are only as good as the least of us. In my rooms, we have enough to take care of all of us.

It’s a matter of time. Ten minute work windows have to suffice for me; for my tax investment I want more for American citizens. Like a nice clean room and a new bed.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Color is different in the winter; I find it’s often about the shade or angle of the light. Naked brown branches against a gray evening sky. Warm reddish tones of a lilac a few weeks before the green leaf buds burst out. Birdly musical notation in a pearl gray and blue sky.

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Netflix’s Feminists: What Were They Thinking? (2018, not rated), an informative documentary about feminism in the 1960s and 1970s. * The Children Act (2017, rated R), Emma Thompson (love!) plays a judge who makes legal decisions regarding the lives of minor children. As her marriage falls apart, she must decide the fate of a 17 year old whose faith as a Jehovah’s Witness requires him to refuse a life saving blood transfusion.

Currently Reading – My Winter Classic choice this year is Scarlet Sister Mary (fiction, 1928), the Pulitzer prize novel winner in 1929 written by Julia Peterkin. This novel read faster than I thought it would. It felt like a slice of the lives of black people on a South Carolina plantation after the white family had abandoned the plantation, as culture was changing after the Civil War. It’s disconcerting to know the author was a wealthy educated white woman. The word scarlet is a euphemism for sin, as in the sin of physical pleasure and children born outside of marriage. Christianity is an over-riding theme in the novel, but the notion of individuality and the sanctity of individual choices come to play as well, with love charms from the local healer who is not a doctor. Fascinating how the author wove the old ways with the new ways coming in. * No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering (spirituality, 2014) by Thích Nhất Hạnh. Seeking ways to soothe myself in a chaotic world, some of which is out of my control. * A new acquaintance, who recently turned 60, mentioned she’d never heard of Kate Millett (Sexual Politics, 1970) and having just watched the documentary about 1960s and 1970s feminism, I recalled having read Kate’s work along with Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, and Germaine Greer back in the days of my early 20s as I struggled to work in a male-focused world while supporting a disabled husband. Between the casual mention by the friend and viewing the above mentioned documentary, I was inspired to peruse Emergence (1978, women) a photo-journal by photographer Cynthia MacAdams. I love picture books; this one documents radical women in the 1970s, such as Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Michelle Phillips, and there’s a shot of Gloria Steinem and Kate Millett as well. Women, well, what can I say? We were, we are, beautiful.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • Not having to drive sometimes, being able to sit and enjoy the kaleidoscopic world pass before my eyes: sky and trees and clouds and houses and stores and people and lights and corners and fences and shapes and colors and textures, so much delight in what fills my eyes.
  • Rain because we need it and it feels so lovely.
  • A little cold sunshine because we need it and it feels so lovely.
  • The angle of the cold winter sunshine.
  • Spending a short afternoon chatting with a friend.
  • Recent edible cooking successes.
  • Flexibility.
  • Learning to be calmer about plan changes and change in general, because: change is the only constant.
  • Ten minute work windows. Multiplied.
  • Small pleasures; a baby’s smile, a parent’s joy watching their child learn, a twittery bird in a puddle, fresh air even in town, the weather whatever it is.
  • Making decisions to let stuff go.
  • Getting to know my way around my new computer. Lighted keyboard! Who thought of that brilliance?!? Bless you.
  • January. Again. Looking forward to many more.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, Entertainment, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, History, Homemaking, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Politics, Science and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Gratitude Sunday: In My Room

  1. Michelle says:

    Hooray for the ten minute work window! I accomplish almost everything in fifteen minute blocks, because I have a very short attention span. Or maybe because I have so very many things going on in my head at once. We do what we can do. It’s good when we can be gentle with ourselves about it.


  2. Pingback: Gratitude Sunday: Doctor Mom Needs Progressive Technology | Sassy Kas

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