Mary Beth Writes

Last week I had enough to say to write three posts. This week, not so much. This week I cooked and baked things to share with some friends who were having trickier than usual weeks. I wrote letters to the Third Graders. I always enclose some stickers (many from you guys) which are super cute, and I didn’t think any more about this, except, this week, one kid asked for a toy.

A toy? When a whippersnapper asks for a toy, one must cogitate. I found finger puppets online, cut them out, included a couple in each kid’s letter. Finger puppets here. 

I twice tried to exercise at the YMCA but both times fellow exercisers were not wearing masks (while ambling back and forth past the Wear A Mask signs). I gave up on the Y and went for long walks. Experts suspect vaccinated people can transmit the virus – and we are seeing some of our kids this weekend.

I thinned out more old files. I sat a while to remember my cousin who passed away recently. Char and I were each other’s first best friends. Those early years never leave one.

President Biden is competent at his job. Politics will be forever frustrating, and injustice stalks the earth like a colossus. But I no longer feel anxious and irritated 24/7.  I’m waiting to see what happens to the filibuster and then what happens to democracy.

When I was a support person to AODA programs, one of the things I learned was this. “Behind your addiction to substances is your addiction to the way you are used to feeling.  When you started drinking or doing drugs, it was to escape feelings of, probably, unworthiness, depression, guilt, fear, anger. There are a lot of rough feelings to feel, and if your life was arranged in such a way that you mostly felt negative feelings, and then you found escape through substances, well, you have some work to do now, don’t you? After you stop drinking or using, what will you go back to feeling?”

Those classes and seminars were powerful to hear from across the hallway as the counselors taught and I collated their reports.

This might be a good time to notice what your “signature feeling” is - and decide if you are okay with it.  Or if you want to experiment with, you know, feeling satisfied with yourself, or proud, or brave, or competent, or as if you have done enough and can just sit back for five minutes. Do you want to simply like your friends without having opinions about them? Do you want to think about your kids or siblings or cousins without making a list of what you ought to do for them or what they ought to do for you?  

I’m still thinking about Braiding Sweetgrass. (here)  Kimmerer talks about the way our first language and culture set us up for life. American/Western European culture tells us to keep looking at what we can get and do and fix. That Anishinaabe language enables a person to see how parts of nature, of family, of life itself mesh, interweave, and support each other.

Not sure how all these parts fit together. But it seems to me, lately, that sometimes the biggest risk is to slow down and pay attention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As usual your post strikes a cord. Pondering many thoughts. Thank you. Patricia
Mary Beth's picture

Thanks for responding, too.

Just got back from Mr. P's house... The spring bulbs that I planted last year as his Xmas gift have been popping out of the ground for two weeks, but nothing like they are today... He's antsy and excited as am I to see the results of my labor... Someone told me this weekend that I'm a nice guy (Not Mr. P)... I think that choosing that as my *signature feeling* works and I can live with that... I was also asked if I would think about opening a restaurant... That doesn't work for me, I cook to show my love for those I surround myself with... Cooking at my age for money doesn't sound like fun to me...
Mary Beth's picture

I like that as a signature feeling. Nice guy. I like that you picked a name for it. I'm going to think about that. And as a person who has done jobs where one stands up all day - I vote with you. Too hard!

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A-Z Barbara

Barbara 1/26/2023

A-Z means I’m writing short takes on random topics and I’m going in alphabetical order. I love this quote: “Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”

That’s the spirit I’m pursuing: Undisciplined, irreverent, and original.

A-Z, Alaska

1/25/2023 

I’ve never been to Alaska. I’m sure I’d love it but going there is not a big dream for either Len or me.

However, this. When our son was around 12 he developed a crush on all things Alaskan. Kid who lives in a ranch house on a Midwestern cul-de-sac wants to get lost in tundra and mountains with moose and wolves. Yup.

At first he just talked, dreamed, read books, and watched shows about Alaska. Then, at 14 he got a part-time job as a janitor at a vet clinic and he kept that job until he went to college. It was a good fit for a kid not drawn to homework.

A to Z

1/25/2023

I am not exactly depressed, but I can whip up a pretty good glum at almost any moment. There have been about three sunny days since Thanksgiving, and four colds, and I’m feeling it. How about you?

We can’t even properly whine. Not with the Atmospheric Rivers of Doom in California, and tornadoes in the south. And all the other glum and hateful news.

Sara Kurtz & Healthcare by Zip Code? Really?

1/22/2023 

Many of you have been very generous in the past. Please think about making a donation to the GoFundMe account of Sara Kurtz. Donate here. 

Who is Sara? She’s a friend of my niece Susan.

Len Explains Fusion Energy

The photo is of Lisa Meitner. The BFF of one of our kids is (quite likely) a great grand niece of this amazing woman. 

...

MB: Len occasionally explains very complicated science things to me or our kids in such a way that we actually understand it. One of our kids asked him what the big deal was about fusion. Len wrote this and I thought some of you might like to read it.

Long live curious people and long live nerds. 

 

Almost. Two Years Later

1/6/2023 

 I remember where I was two years ago this afternoon. Do you?

I was writing. I knew I had another hour to just work by myself and I was happy about that. I love no interruptions.

Len was downstairs. I heard him turn on the TV. We NEVER watch TV during the day so it was weird when he called up to me, “You should come down here. Something’s happening.”

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