Gratitude Sunday: Altruism And Selfishness

Gratitude * Sunday

Quote of the Week – “Think of the flu shot as installing virus protection software.” Unknown author

Sunday Haiku
Pale sun stripes between
gray clouds, white, silver, fairy
lighted sky stair steps.

Sunday Musings
I got my flu shot this week. I’m sharing because I do flu shots for you, not for me. Hwell, that’s partly true. It’s a sort of Mobius strip of thinking. One part twists back around to the first. We should be able to choose if we want a flu shot without impunity. Or not. Either way it should be OK. I didn’t used to get flu shots though I’ve worked in retail and customer service industries all my life. Only after my semi-retirement have I chosen to have flu shots. I have mixed feelings about vaccinations, and as my education has increased my feelings have evolved, however still mixed. I am pro-choice on vaccines. The choices I make are right for my body; the choices you make are right for your body.

The quote above is a somewhat clumsy analogy because though our “hardware” might be similar, some of us have unpredictable reactions to any new installation, software or otherwise. I don’t generally get the flu. I get upper respiratory infections, otherwise known as colds (when will we have a vaccine for the “common cold”?!?), which sometimes develops into bronchitis. The bronchitis used to be chronic, happening three or four times a year until I realized it was being caused by drinking commercially produced milk. I drank raw milk for five years without one bout of bronchitis and only a couple colds. I’d drink raw milk now if I didn’t have to travel a hundred miles round trip to get it. I drink/use very little commercial milk. I’d change if I had quick, convenient access to raw milk. Live food helps wellness.

In my years of semi-retirement I go out less than when I worked full-time; in the public service job I had I came in contact with all kinds of people. I learned to compulsively wash my hands with hot water and soap. Now I go to the local aquatic center, local grocery stores and thrift shops, the local lending library, and sometimes other adventures. That’s plenty of opportunities for the flu virus to hitchhike a ride home.

I’m not so much afraid of getting the flu, though like anybody else I don’t prefer being sick. Here’s my first reason for getting this invasive treatment: somebody told me their doctor said the people dying from the flu were people who didn’t usually get it. I don’t usually get it, and I’d like about twenty more cranky years, so I got the shot. Second, if I get it, I could give it to someone else. I’m the person who stays home from everything I can when I’m ill, but one often is not aware one is contagious during the first stages of the disease. I’m around many groups of babies and littles and do not want to be responsible for sharing nasty viruses.

Getting a flu shot is both altruistic and selfish. I want my twenty more years, I don’t want you or yours to get sick. Honestly, I’m not even entirely convinced they work at all, but I’ll decide each year as I go along and learn more.

There are occasions I advocate delay of a flu shot. For example, before I got the flu shot, I had a cough from hell for a couple weeks, so bad it kept me out of the pool a few nights; coughs are not friendly to share. It wasn’t quite bronchitis, but I’ve never had pneumonia before (knock wood) so when I couldn’t catch my breath a couple times I decided to see the doctor. I had done all my old home remedies with limited relief. Doctor assured me I didn’t have pneumonia and we brainstormed some additional relief methods without pharmaceuticals. Doctor offered me a flu shot while I was there. I declined. I was already sick and did not want another insult to my system. Such a relief for her to honor my decision about my body, and not apply the I-am-doctor-god-I-know-best pressure. Parents should be able to delay vaccines when their children are ill, without question, and not be restricted to a time schedule for vaccination.

I hope being proactive prepares me for the rest of the holiday season. I’m still a hand washer. Though I attend only a select few holiday events, I want to be well enough to enjoy them and not pay any illness forward. I like that my choice is respected as well: when, where, and if I should choose to have the shot.

Whatever your choice, I wish you health and comfort during this holiday season!

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – We had a brief sprinkle of Oregon snow: a flurry, a dusting, gone by morning, still pretty. A winter blooming red camellia. Snow in the crevices of my hens and chicks sedum. Like powdered sugar on my coral bells. Red poisonous berries of bitter nightshade hosting a tiny spider home.

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.} RFK (2004, not rated), a documentary about Robert Kennedy’s short life, brief, not in-depth, no sub-titles. * After Life (1998, rated R), a Japanese movie with English subtitles. The newly dead arrive at a motel in which they have three days to choose their favorite memory, that they then get to live with forever. With a twist. * Beware of Mr Baker (2012, not rated), a documentary about the life and music of percussionist Ginger Baker, who passed away in October 2019. He was one wild drummer, whom I loved in Cream and Blind Faith, and a wild man in real life. No subtitles, and British English and slang is enough different than American my old ears have trouble hearing the nuances.

Currently ReadingThe Butterfly Girl (2019, mystery fiction) by Portland’s own Rene Denfeld. I love the use of place in this novel; one is often partial to the place one grew up. The author’s descriptions take me back to my youth when I explored the downtown areas, with its many different neighborhoods: the old vast central county library, the restaurants, the gay bars, the multi-storied department stores, the new industrial areas and the old industrial areas, which now are in their third evolution in my lifetime. Progress can be both good and bad. The author provokes us with a few plot twists at the end. * Blowout (2019, non-fiction world politics and the oil industry) by Rachel Maddow. I like being smart enough to understand the nefarious greedy shenanigans of the wealthy. I am annoyed it bothers me so much. I am frustrated by being able to do nothing about it. I am grateful my academic and self-education have allowed me to think for myself and understand this history and the business of rigging systems to work for the rich and kicking the rest of us to the curb.

Salsa Dance Update
I have most of the steps down. It amuses me how some days I immediately catch the rhythm and all the steps move smoothly, all feels well and fluid. Other days I can’t catch the beat to keep from falling, and every step is off by a half beat. I also am laughing because I realize I learned the dance backward, like I’m a mirror image of the video. Doesn’t matter; I’m moving, and whether I catch the beat or not I move the whole four minutes; the pain remains either way, but I have the music in me. It’s something.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • Being able to have a flu shot for the hubster at the same time as mine. He is terrified of getting sick because he weighs about a hundred pounds when he’s wet and less when you dry him off.
  • Our community holiday light parade, which I have the luxury of being within walking distance, and a beautiful night for it, cool but not cold, cloudy but not rainy. Nearly as perfect as perfect can get!
  • Seeing an old friend I’d been thinking about in the parade. Hoping I can amateur detective her phone number since I can’t remember her last name at the moment!
  • My magically abundant house: the more I clean the more I find to clean.
  • Clean stuff, even if it’s only clean occasionally.
  • Finding more proper places for items to live in my house.
  • How a simple change like moving a mirror eight inches to the right can make such a difference in organizing stuff.
  • A new love affair with Command Strips wall hangers.
  • Not being restricted by the clock when cleaning or reorganizing.
  • Amusing myself with my dysgraphia, my brain thinks one thing, my fingers type another.
  • Experimenting with some essential oils seeking relief from dry skin and other pain. Sometimes it just feels good to massage your own muscles, at least the ones you can reach.
  • Discovering how much more I enjoy washing dishes in the afternoon light; I have the luxury of a window over my kitchen sink. I also changed my method of dish-washing I learned as a child, used all these years, and am much happier with the results.
  • Embracing change. Embracing abundance. Embracing the light.
  • Dark chocolate.
  • Excellent Comice pears this year.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, Education, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, Medicine, Nature, Nutrition, Photography, Poetry, Science and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Gratitude Sunday: Altruism And Selfishness

  1. piratesorka says:

    I nevermiss the chance to gety a flu shot. I just do NOT want to be ill and nor do I want my other fellow beings tp be sick because of me. Its just that simple.

    Liked by 1 person

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