Meditation Monday: Please Take What You Need (but no more), day 20 of 180

If there could be a theme for 2020, besides the general destruction, it would be the taking. The taking of more than we need, all the time. Back early when in quarantine I was down to my last two rolls of toilet paper…and I made those suckers last as long as possible. I ended up using kleenex toward the end there. When the stores finally had some again, I bought a big pack of 10, but only one pack. There’s only one butt around here that needs TP on a regular basis and I don’t believe in taking more than I need.

I did cheat with yeast. I bought four pounds online and have 3 left. Bread is my apocalypse item. I’m imperfect.

When did we get it in our heads (in USA culture) that taking stuff because “we deserve it” is okay? I’m baffled, and yet also fall prey to this ideology now and then. I actually get a big kick out of being thrifty and practical. I’m not always thrifty and practical. I’m not always focusing on those values by choice when shopping, either. I’m proud of being able to open my cabinets and freezer and eye the contents and make something healthy and delicious from what I already have. Yeah, I had to purchase those items at one point, so I do have those freedoms. But I’m careful with how I stock my pantry. I keep the budget Winco canned beans and bulk foods that have a long shelf life around.

(Do conservatives ever think like this? (why don’t they talk about it?) Do big business types EVER consider things like this on such a micro level? These are the things that keep me up at night.)

This is where my mind was this weekend, while being desperately sad about RBG. I was surprised by my grief. I didn’t know her. But she was an icon for me. And I do understand how icons and celebrities can make a huge impact on us.

For example, no matter what, when Bill Clinton dies I will be sad. Same with Jimmy Carter. There are some political figures that have meant a lot to me in my life, for better or worse. I know Bill’s history is messed up AF. I don’t care in my heart of hearts. I’ll still be very very sad.

I’ve been thinking about our country. Thinking about who we are, who we want to be, who others think we are, who we wish we were. My path into more purposeful anti-racist focus as an elementary school teacher has made me examine everything. EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING. The overuse of resources is a capitalist construct, something we’ve been taught is ok. And I don’t mean only the things that we BUY. I also mean the things we surround ourselves with and forget we have…so then we buy another. I am a woman that lives alone, and I can promise you I have way too more paint can openers than one human needs to open one can of paint at a time. When I got more paint on Saturday I declined the opener. “I already have way more than I need at home,” I said.

I’m sad. I’m super sad. Not only because Ruth is at rest. May her memory be a blessing.

On my door are the heroes John Lewis, Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Judy Baca, RBG, Deb Haaland, Standing Rock Sioux leaders. And Si! Si Puede!.
Because WE CAN.

I’m sad because there’s this deep feeling of sadness and “this is what life is like now” amongst the people I know and love. We’re tired and worn down…and all most of us have done is go to work and then go home. Or we worked from home and tried to teach our kids at the same time. OH THE CLUSTER OF THIS LIFE.

Going to work and going home is Herculean. AND I LIVE ALONE. My little precious tiny tidy housekeeping is nothing compared to yours and I know it. I cannot even imagine living another life.

I’ve had to teach myself to be someone that lives alone. Tonight I was getting household staples at the store (soap, razor, conditioner, etc.) and taking my time. I hear mamas and their littles in the aisles. I said a little prayer to sweet baby Jesus that my children are grown and don’t live with me.

Anyway, this way of living is making us sad. We don’t see an end, and it’s really hard.

My thoughts on this are NO.

It’s no different at school. There was an incident involving gunfire near my school over the weekend. The students had heard about it. There was chatter, but that was all. They’re at school and doing their work. They worked hard today. They mentioned the gunfire thing…and then it was gone. We’re so numb it just went “POOF!”

Is it okay to say that it feels like we’re all kind of on drugs? Like there’s something that is making us simultaneously pay attention and show up, but also keeping us from SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF OUR LUNGS?

I’m anxious and needy today, I have a health thing that has just popped up. I’ll share more when/if I need to, but it’s just another fucking thing at the moment. Maybe this neediness is making things weirder for me.

I wore my red cardigan around me like a blanket today and just felt warmth. I made myself into a tiny habitat of warm love and tried to hang on to my own energy. I don’t have to let the maelstrom of others and how they are handling the world affect me. I can let their Covid energies and politics stay outside of me. No. No. No. It’s not easy for a second. But keeping it out keeps me sane.


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