This year has been stressful.
It seems no one can agree. And everyone not agreeing seems to have permission to be nasty about it. I wouldn’t say fuses are short. More like tempers have no fuse at all – they are just bursting into loud and flaming
assh explosions everywhere.
Two images I saw this week summed it up pretty well.
First, I was at a very nice authors’ event and when I went into the restroom, this is what I saw:
Here’s a closeup:
Yes, it is a screen built into the sink. You can advertise here.
I thought that mobile ads at the gas pump were too much. But now I can see ads as I wash my hands after peeing. I am a bit surprised they did not mount it right at eye height in the stall.
This is not good. I am trying very hard (and failing) to unplug from the media. It is all I can do to not bring my phone to the bathroom. I have gone back to the era of my childhood when I read the comet cans in the can. I can go (literally) for 30 seconds without looking at my phone. Do I really need screen time in the bathroom?
Here is the second image from this week:
Hilarious, yes. Scary? Definitely.
Like in the image, I do not even know where to begin to manage my stress.
I have mentioned before that a good, knowledgeable friend told me that the solution does not include sticking my head in the sand. As an intelligent, caring person, I cannot just ignore the terrible things that are happening in the world. I need to participate in the world, not withdraw from it.
I will quote again what she said – because we all (especially me) need to be reminded:
“You are a citizen of this world,” she said, “and you have a duty to live in the world and understand what is happening. And deal with it. Participate.
“But you also have a duty to be kind to yourself. Your health – both mental and physical – requires you to protect yourself so that you will be strong enough to participate.
“So, yes, pay attention to the world – but not EVERY MINUTE.
I need to pay attention to the world and also pay attention to me. I need to balance my stress with kindness. Kindness towards me.
I need pampering.
So do you.
I think pampering means paying attention.
Paying attention to the moment, the sensation, the immediate. The small detail, not the big picture.
I eat too fast. I pay no attention. I tell my dog as he’s scarfing down his kibble, “Savor!” But I hardly ever do. I have all but lost the satisfaction of the first crunch of the apple, the aroma of the pizza, the saltiness of the cracker, the slow dissolving of the chocolate. Can you eat peanuts one at a time? I find I have not even finished chewing before I am taking another. That poor peanut’s life is wasted because I did not even notice it.
But I am trying. Right this moment I am sipping tulsi tea. One tiny sip. It smells heavenly. the taste is exotic in my mouth. I am using a beautiful mug and it warms my hands. I am not drinking the tea to wash down a meal. The tea is an experience of its own. I respect it. I savor.
I shower too quickly. I pride myself on “in and out.” I soap up the shower scrubby and start at the top and quickly hit all my parts. Rinse off. Done.
Today I take a long slow shower. Yes, I use more hot water than I should. But, oh my, just for today. I stand under that shower head and feel the steamy spray on the top of my head, the back of my neck. The little rivers cascade down my arms. They splash onto the tiles. The soap smells like coconut. I savor.
I am reading a book for a friend’s book club. It’s a great book I read years before. So I can just skim through, and I am running out of time before the meeting. But I can read pretty quickly. I am a speed reader. I pride myself on this.
But I have a few credits on audible.com. So I download the book. I listen to someone else read to me. He reads so slowly. He reads about terrible events and still it relaxes me. And when he reads about lovely events, I think, take your time. I’m savoring this.
My dog whines to go out. He is a good boy and if I say, “Hurry up, we don’t have time,” he’ll stop immediately and do his business. No fooling around, no dawdling. He’s efficient.
Today I let him sniff every tree, search under every bush. He stops and puts his nose to the air and smells the breeze. He listens for the movement of a bird. I listen too. I bend and give him a hug. He is soft and warm. He smells slightly of popcorn. I savor him.
Back to my tea.
I savor the day.
- Posted in: Humor