Friday, March 27, 2009

Working on carving me back into me.

My little hut on the mountain

OK, finally, I'm over it. The fog I've been feeling is gone. vanished. I was talking to a friend the other day about how social workers really do a horrible job of taking care of ourselves. Our lives, our work, consume us. Plus, I'm good at telling everyone else how to relax, but I stink at it. So, little by little, over the past 6 months or so, I've been feeling like my emo kids at school...I had the FUNK. And I couldn't get out of it.

So, 2 weeks ago instead of going to the desert to volunteer during my vacation, or to Disneyland with my sister and her family, I went to Cascabel Hermitage in Cascabel, Arizona. Yup, hermitage. On Wednesday, I hiked 1/2 hour up a mountain escorted by Daniel my caretaker, plopped atop a mountain mesa with two 10 gallon jugs of water, a table, cot, chair and tent ramada, and left to my own accord until Saturday. Daniel showed me how to use the "toilet" and said he'll see me down the mountain in 3 days. Bye Daniel! Oh, and I had 2 ziplock baggies of fruit and veggie juice that I juiced earlier for food. Yikes!

I went to the mountaintop and I worked on me. I was my own therapist, and I was my own patient. I can't say all that I gathered from the experience; it's wordless. It's more a sense that came over me, a feeling of calm and peace. I can say that what was wrong was big and complicated. It still is complicated. I thought I should be working on the Forgiveness thing...but I realized up there that I really didn't need to. I don't hate BF#2 anymore, so there's nothing to forgive. I feel bad for him mostly, and his poor new wife. I thought I needed to find better ways to relax, but I already know what to do and how to do it.

What I needed were answers to why shitty things happen to good people. Hard working, honest, good, real people. People who love to laugh, love to love, take care of each other, are nice to each other, smile at strangers. I believe that we become who we are in this world through our actions and beliefs and our own version of what it means to be good and honest and real. So, likewise, I'd like to believe that, through these actions and beliefs, we will be justly rewarded, by something, someone. I mean, I'd like to win the lottery one day. I probably deserve to win. And I'd do good things with the money. And most of the people I know deserve to win, too.

What I needed was not to feel burned out anymore. I needed to be re-freshed. Fourteen years of this work...it's long and difficult and I love it mostly. But I get lost in the details and I forget the big picture. So, I needed to get some grounding,

So, I sat, got super angry, I sat some more, I slept alot, sat some more, went on walks, and read alot. I think I'm getting there. I really didn't figure anything out or get any answers, but I came down the mountain feeling like the fog around my head has lifted. That's a start.





Thursday, March 26, 2009

The White House will have a garden.

An ode to Spring, I thought this is refreshing news. The New York Times is reporting that Michael Pollan’s dream will come true, as a 1,100 square foot patch of [useless] White House lawn will be dug up and replaced with 55 varieties of vegetables and fruits.

As I'm busy tilling my little patch of earth and planting more basil, summer squash, zucchinis and tomatoes, the White House decided that would be a good idea, too

I remember when having a garden was a hippy thing to do. Who knew it'd be the "in thing" nowadays to have dirt under your fingernails and find intense pleasure in pulling out a turnip, or discovering your grocery store is in your backyard. Well, at least for me it is.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the NY Times article:

“First of all,” Mrs. Obama said, “there’s nothing really cooler than coming to the White House and harvesting some of the vegetables and being in the kitchen with Cris and Sam and Bill, and cutting and cooking and actually experiencing the joys of your work.”

AND

“A real delicious heirloom tomato is one of the sweetest things that you’ll ever eat,” she said. “And my children know the difference, and that’s how I’ve been able to get them to try different things.

Heirloom tomatoes are just about the best food out there. If you can grow your own, you'll save lots of money, as they're in the fancy section of your local farmer's markets. But well worth both the price to buy or the energy to grow. Do you think the White House will consider putting a compost pile somewhere? Or a rain barrel? Or maybe some chickens?

Anyways, Happy Spring. [New York Times]