Resist- II

Since about October, I have struggled a little with balancing our new ‘reality’ with some of my Buddhist way of thinking. “Things are happening as they should and I need not interfere” is kind of the gist I came away with during my studies.  In fact I spend quite a bit of time with my therapist discussing that balance between life, and a fulfilling life.  You know, the whole Buddhist “root of all my trouble is wanting” idea.  Yet I want things to change.  So much.  So much more every day.

I want Trump–No.  Not impeached.  No, poor man is sick.  I’d like him put in a small hospital room for the rest of his life.  A soft room with bars and bullet-proof glass on the windows, the gentle light of a tv as it plays The Apprentice on endless loops.  I’m all for hiring the handicapped, but the man is absolutely certifiably delusional.

I know a little about delusional from personal experience.  I know he truly believes what he says.  I know he doesn’t think we’re stupid.  He doesn’t think of us at all.   He truly believes he is entitled to anything or anyone any time he wants.  He believes it when he says he thinks he’s doing a swell job, and accomplished so much in so little time.  His claims of being prosecuted.  The ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ fit in perfectly in the life and mind of the delusional.  You must buy into his delusion, or you are the enemy.

His brief press conference of yesterday has only hardened my resolve to be involved.  He thinks he’s a 5 year old and can stomp all over your sand castle if he wants, just because it was better than his.  He is still that spoiled, confused child.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a lot of sympathy, but just thinking about him that way makes me a little less angry, but a lot more scared.

I want us to get rid of Trump (and the rest of his swamp creatures if at all possible) as soon as possible.  It becomes obviously more urgent every day.  You did see at least some of his so-called press conference?  And still, there is this niggling feeling that I maybe shouldn’t interfere.  Shouldn’t be involved.  Maybe I’m just trying to find an excuse to stay in my own corner, complain and pass along worrisome memes.  It’s much easier not be involved.

Then today I read this article out of the Huffington Post:  They posed this question:

What can Zen Buddhism teach us about the art of effective activism in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency?

to  Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Zen master who has been a social and environmental activist for since his early days protesting the Vietnamese War.    This article addresses the issue of balancing Buddhist thinking with activism.

The article quotes from his book At Home in the World where he says:

“Mindfulness must be engaged.  Once we see that something needs to be done, we must take action. Seeing and action go together. Otherwise, what is the point in seeing?”

“Nonviolence is not a set of techniques that you can learn with your intellect,” he goes on to say. “Nonviolent action arises from the compassion, lucidity and understanding you have within.”

 

This article finally set to rest my qualms over my level of involvement.  And I hope I can bring his teachings of non-violent protests with me.  I hope we all can.  So teachers, parents, and concerned citizens, arm yourselves with the knowledge of peaceful protest and let’s get to work!

 

I’ve Been Thinking

I met with a number of anti-Trump people last week.  So nice to meet everyone and discuss rationally how we can work together toward a common goal.  We talked about phone calls, email and letters to our local Democratic reps.  One woman mentioned maybe we should call and write to the Opposition.  I thought it was a great idea. One way to change something is by force, which we are attempting by large protests.  We put enough pressure on our ‘own’ reps and they in turn put pressure on Congress.  That was the strategy in the ’60s and it worked then, but took a long time.

But we don’t really need to convince the convinced, do we?  Why are protesters not confronting the Opposition.  That is who we must convince.  Now.  I’m assuming this is the harder course, since it would involve far more diplomatic skill than most of us have, and we see just how long that might take.  But we need to invest that time and effort to convince our elected representatives on both sides that ALL of America is not fine with the new administration our elected representatives put into office.

My husband had the idea that we might petition the Supreme Court to intervene in their capacity as the holders of the Constitution.  Do they have that kind of power?  Can they arrest Dump?  Can they charge him with crimes against the Constitution and the US?   I did find the short answer which was essentially yes, but it would be difficult and messy. If anyone has information on whether this can be, or should be, done, please let me know.

 

An Open Letter to Trump supporters

Dear Trump Fan

You must understand that the anti-Trump group is not simply upset that there are questions as to foreign manipulation in our election process.  It’s not simply that my preferred candidate did not win.  It’s not because most Trump supporters are Obama haters.  It’s because the man is simply UNFIT.

He lacks the knowledge of how to govern.  You might say, yeah, it’s one of the things you like about it.  But knowing how to govern involves understanding others’ points of view.  If I read a book, or several books, about government and how to be effective doesn’t mean I know how to govern.  But I would have a leg up on Trump.

He lacks the diplomacy that is required when dealing with foreign dignitaries.  Sure, you say, he knows plenty of foreign big wigs.  Yes, but those big wigs only deal with Trump on business.  They may respect that, they may not.  It could be they just put up with his lack of grace and humility because he is making them money.  Well, the government is NOT a business, and probably shouldn’t be run like one.  Businesses look at the bottom line, profit and loss.  A country doesn’t profit from its people, but is supported by them via taxes.

To be an effective leader, one must have empathy for the other guys.  Something Trump certainly appears to lack.  In fact, I’m not even sure Trump can define ’empathy’.  Nor can many of his supporters.

One must have compassion for ALL citizens, not just those who agree with you.  Belittling other groups is counterproductive, and makes one look small and childish.  Very un-Presidential.  Disrespectful.  Something Trump seems not to understand.  Respect is earned, and treating others disrespectfully diminishes one’s chance at being respected.

I don’t believe our President should be tweeting criticisms about TV shows, or people who disagree with him.  My President has more important things to do.  My President barely sleeps, has no time to watch TV, let alone have twitter wars.  It diminishes respect for My President in the eyes of other countries, which reflects badly on me.

For a democracy to work, it cannot be run like a dictatorship.  The American people will not yield their rights to a dictator.  Perhaps Trump and his supporters don’t know what a dictator is.  Well, it is exactly what Trump proposes with his refusal to meet with certain members of the press.  The elected leader of this country is bound by the Constitution to allow Freedom of the Press.  There are plenty of Trump supporters who know the Second Amendment very well, but many seem to be ignorant of the rest.

I won’t even go into the lies.  I don’t expect politicians to tell the truth, but I do expect them to own up to their ‘misstatements’ and offer a clarification, or an apology.  And an apology is not “I’m sorry you got mad at me when I called you stupid.”  It is “I’m sorry I called you stupid.  That was untrue and unkind.”

Yeah, your candidate won.  And since no charges are forthcoming from those who claim voter fraud or foreign influence, etc., I’ll go so far as to say he won legitimately.  That still does NOT mean he is a suitable representative of me, or people who think like me.  He can’t legislate people away.  He can’t ignore the majority, not for long, anyway.  One group of people does not have more privileges than another.  At least they shouldn’t.  Trump and his supporters seem to think it’s ok to ignore the rest of us.  The British didn’t take the resistance seriously either.  You do know how that ended, right?

Moving On

Despite my best efforts to ignore the holidays, they are still just around the corner.  I did manage to do a little holiday baking, for the sake of being neighborly, but not being religious, nor a rapacious consumer, it gets harder and harder to participate in the holidays.

I am thankful for all the things I have and continue to work on being kind.  To others and myself.  Thank you, all my readers, followers, and friends here.  I appreciate your time and effort in reading and commenting on my little blog, and for supporting me during my Midlife Crisis and Beyond.  I have been getting less and less active, both posting and reading and have decided, that, while I will continue to miss all of you, my mind is currently occupied elsewhere.

I send you all the blessings of the universe and fulfillment.  Thank you for being part of my life.  Remember to be kind, and if you can’t be kind, be silent.

 

Random Rants

I’m convinced the Tecfidera I started taking for my MS six months ago was causing these sudden weird mood swings.  They are like nothing else I’ve ever experienced.  It happened so fast, Jeckel and Hyde-like, from talking pleasantly and something went off in my head.  I became angry with Husband.  He could see coming, a small (relatively) meltdown.  By the time we got home we were arguing–sort of. When we got home I went in and took a long shower and a long hard cry while Husband ignored me.  I went from pleasant day to suicidal in under an hour!  That cannot be normal, but I cannot find anywhere on the internet anyone mentioning almost anything about this kind of side effect.  I saw one question on a community board but no one had responded to it.  I know when I tell the doc that I stopped taking it and why she’ll come up with an excuse that it can’t be the med.  Or will she be reasonable and listen to me.  Rare or not, while I’m not really done testing my theory, but the last time I took a pill was Thursday, I’ve been feeling better every day since, I feel more normal and balanced.  Cheerful even.

I got frightened a previous time it happened and quickly went to my shrink.  He has seen me for about 6 months now.  I’ve always come in smiling and doing fine.  In fact last time we met we talked about lowering my dosage,  This time, I come in upset and crying and he just looks at me.  Nothing to say except to recommend counseling. Then he says, “I will refill your prescriptions.” and jotted something in my chart.  Clearly he is not the doctor I need.  I was so spoiled by my last doctor.  He was young and sweet and caring and actually talked to me.  He spent sometimes 30 minutes with me on a bad day.  This new guy, I’m in and out in less than 10 minutes.  He’s made his $500 an hour in ten minutes.  Imagine how many patients he can see in a day.  Cynical?  Yes.  But very true. Counting this one, I’ve seen four docs like this.   Perhaps it’s because II chose one of the least expensive health insurance options, I get the least “good” doctors?

happyBut it is what it is.  I know.  People hate the phrase.  I don’t.  I find it very much an Easter philosophy.  Like something Confucius might have sad.  I heard it first from my boss at the time.  IT was when my marriage was crumbling.  It really resonated, and I adopted it.  I don’t say it constantly, so.don’t hate me.

I posted the other day about diet and trying to change mine.  I’m addicted.  There.  I said it.  In some literature my Husband’s liver doctor gave us, studies have shown that sugar is more addictive than heroin.  I believe it.  I have been working on staying away from sugar.  But we had an apple pie last night.  Of course I had a piece (two actually, I didn’t eat much dinner).  And, of course, last night was halloween, so we have mini chocolate bars left.  I’m absolutely spineless when things like that are around.  I love to get the last piece, too.  What’s that about?

For those of you who read this far, I add the following photos.  A tiny mystery.  I have this plant growing in the yard.  It’s basically a weed, I guess.  I’ve been trying to identify it all day online.  I’ve seen a couple photos online, but not information about it.  My dogs love to eat it.  More than grass.  They haven’t gotten sick yet, so I know it’s not poisonous.  Plus I think animals are instinctive about that.and know which plants are safe to eat.  Husband says I’m wrong and shouldn’t let them eat the stuff.  So if anybody can tell me what this is and that it’s safe for animals, I’d appreciate it.

DSC03508

The seeds.

DSC03505

Growing bud. They open up more as the stem grows.

DSC03506When I told my shrink I regularly take 2 hour naps.  Pretty much daily.  He said a nap was 15 minutes.  Since I was a teen, if I took a nap, it was always more than an hour (barring sickness).  I’m trying to take fewer naps, can’t seem to take shorter ones.  If Husband wakes me after an hour or less, I am groggy and sometimes it’s so bad I have to go back to bed.

Hope you are all having a marvelous weekend!  I send you thoughts of happiness, peace and contentment.  And now I’m going to do yoga instead of napping.   We’ll see how that goes, I doubled my pain and anti-spasm pills this moring, the pain was too bad.  I’m hoping going back to yoga will help.

I had the last (small) piece of pie for breakfast.  I figure, at least there’s fruit in it.  I’ve only had three mini candy bars (so far).

Feeling Negative

I’ve been feeling rather negative lately.  Perhaps I am depressed about my back, which causes me pain daily for the past 6 months.  Standing at the sink for the15 minutes to do the dishes and my back is screaming for me to lay flat, or at least sit down.  The doctors do not seem overly concerned.  The last appointments I had with all three of my docs I felt I was dismissed.  They all said, ‘see you in # months’.  Made it sound like an order.

My back is causing me not to do things, like walk, though I can last longer than standing still for some odd reason.

Beach yoga

Beach yoga

Some days I can walk an hour before it starts to ache.  But at night, doing the cooking and washing after, I’m in pain.  I keep trying to get to yoga and tai chi, but the timing just never seems to work out.  I’m thinking about making up a schedule and promising myself I will keep to it no matter what for the month of November.  I know that’s a lofty goal: Committing to improve my health.

I do have to.  Improve my health and that of my family.  We had all promised (many times, very many times) to eat better, treat our bodies like the temples they are.  Love our bodies as much as a spouse or child.  If we loved our bodies would we treat them better?  We seem unable, individually or as a group, to eat a more balanced diet.  We are addicted to sugar.  Most people are to some degree.  But today I ate an entire 1 lb bag of candy corn.  I had been angry at Husband when I bought it.  So instead of sharing this treat, I devoured it in secret throughout the day.  Yikes!  If that’s not a sign I need to change, I don’t know what is.  I’ve been doing things like that a lot lately.  Buying candy bars on the sly when off shopping by myself, then go out for an ice cream with Husband that night.

I’ve lost weight, mostly because I just don’t find anything very appealing about food lately.  I can go days without feeling hungry.  I want to keep the weight off, but by improving my diet.  Coincidentally, the liver doc told us sugar has been shown to be more addictive than heroin.  Scary right?  I’m a living example of a sugar junkie:  using excuses to justify eating a chocolate, lying to people about it, hiding my binging from family.

candy

My nemesis

I must take better care of myself, but lately I just don’t care.  If I were a day, I’d be chilly, damp and overcast.  The sort of day that won’t necessarily stop you from doing the things you have to, but nasty enough not to do things outdoors that you might want to do.  Like picnic.

They say the first step to beating addiction is admitting you have a problem.  And I honestly do.  I seem unable to stop myself from eating nothing but what’s bad for me in every way.  And I so don’t want to give it up.  But I’m promising myself, and using this blog to hold myself to it, the month of November will be my test, but I will try not to put anything in my mouth that is not healthy for me starting now.  I tell myself, I would do these things if I had cancer, right?  That’s what you do when your life is threatened.  Start taking better care of yourself.  Why invite cancer into my life by sabotaging my own health?  Why wait for a fatal diagnosis?

She Sells Sea Shells

Well, it took me a little longer to get these done than I anticipated.  Seems like I’ve picked up the shakes when doing fine handwork.  Very tricky threading a needle when my fingers are shaking in opposite directions.  But I got three pair of earrings done before I quit for the day.  Not sure I really like the results.  I’d be interested in any opinions.

First set I did. I sort of like these.

First set I did. These I really like. All white and crisp.

Another view of set one.  These are very long, I haven't measured, but they're likely close to 3" long.

Another view of set one. These are very long, I haven’t measured, but they’re likely close to 3″ long.

This was my second attempt.

This was my second and third attempt. This was the intended result.

Another view of set two.

Another view of set two.

These were actually a mistake. Some beads fell off as I finished the first one, and had to make a second to match. They were originally to be my second set.

These were actually a mistake. Some beads fell off set two, and did not realize until I finished the first one. Rather than waste the materials by taking it apart, I decided to make a second to match. Then I went back and created a second earring for set two.

Another view of set three.  These seem a bit plain to me.

Another view of set three. These seem a bit plain to me.

I’ll probably put these up for sale in my online store, even though I don’t care for some of them, others might.  Right?

I have been on WordPress more regularly lately, and bringing out my jewelry making supplies and working with my hands has started to make me feel much better.  I’ll have to try doing more tomorrow, earlier in the day, maybe my fingers won’t tremble so bad.

Emotional Well-Being

I need a prescription for Xanax or Valium or some sort of anti-anxiety drug.  Not that my docs agree, of course.  My emotional stability is of no concern to them.  Only my physical being.  That pretty much includes my shrink.  It is so hard to find a psychiatrist.  It is a very personal decision, picking a doctor.  When your insurance doesn’t provide you with options, however, you are basically screwed.

DI buttonsSo my shrink is merely a drug pusher, merely refilling the ones I have and making sure I check in every three months.  I have seen at least three crappy psychiatrists, and one great one.  I’ve had four therapists.  Two were pretty good, one was downright a waste of my time, my last one was absolutely the best.  Guess that’s why I’m so picky.  I know what a good therapist can do, and I know that a poor therapist at a minimum will not help you, and a bad therapist can seriously hurt you.  Again, my insurance only provides one therapist to choose from.  I met with him once, and am pretty unsure about him.  Don’t know that I really need one.  Still after my breakdown last week, I’m not sure.mental health

So I am stumbling through this emotional minefield on my own, my poor family unable to help me.  Except husband has a script for Xanax and he demands I take them from time to time, like today.  I’ve been sort of snappish.  Actually, I’ve been snappish for the past couple months.  Moody, depressed, angry, anxious, and a bit pissy with my reactions.

Of course, the reason for my moodiness is one of so many things, it’s hard to know where the root problem is.  I suppose it’s menopause, but I’m not convinced it isn’t due to the change in one prescription, and the addition of two new ones.  I haven’t had time to check all of my meds for emotional side effects, but I’m working on it.

Meanwhile, just to keep the rest of the family from hiding from me, or vice versa, I’ll continue to self-medicate with Husband’s Xanax.  At least until something changes.  Which it might, since it is enrollment time with my insurance and medicare, so who knows what kinds of changes will be coming my way.  Trying very hard to be Buddhist about it.  Trying to just let things go.  I work on believing that everything happens as it should and nothing is permanent, not even the US.  om

I struggle trying to balance my love of Bernie Sanders and hope for his election, and even plan to go watch the upcoming Democratic debate.  Part of me feels this is so important.  So integral to what is wrong with the US government, and putting my hope in Bernie Sanders. Though the cynic in me believes no such thing.

tai2When my Buddhist side kicks in and I  wonder; will anything I do really make any difference in the greater scheme of things?  Even if by some miracle Bernie gets elected, do I really think he can face the Regressives in Congress and make any real changes?

I can feel a political rant coming on, but to what end?

Congress has been thwarting every Democratic move for each Democratic president we have had for the last 15 years. Will our next Democratic president, regardless of who they are, actually be strong enough to kick the Kochs and the rest of the corporations out of politics?  Will he/she ever be able make churches pay taxes?  And what about the voting laws changing in the South East US, basically stopping people from being able to vote because they have no proper ID, and then close all the government offices that handle IDs in the area. The people in the south have been so manipulated and kept so uneducated, they have little chance of making any change on their own. Sort of leaves you wondering?  Just as in the Sixties we had to stage protests and strikes and sit-ins.  Peaceful resistance.  Am I using my Buddhist mindset just to stay uninvolved?  I suppose a lot of people would see that as a cop-out.

I Don’t Want to Go

Tomorrow morning we are planning to go visit Mom at the assisted living home.  Husband’s niece and her daughter will also be there.  I don’t know any other way to say it, but I don’t like Niece.  I’m probably being ridiculous and silly, but 15 years ago she did and said some things that really bothered me.  Insulting and angering things.  It’s not like I can’t forgive and move on; I hold no grudge.  But these things told me something of her character, which I found unappealing.  religionSo, in s nutshell, I don’t want to visit Mom, because I don’t want to spend time with Niece.  We don’t see her often, but the last time we did, I didn’t exactly have the best time.

Am I being silly?  Am I holding a grudge, but calling it a character flaw?  I’ve tried a Buddhist approach, and tried to let it go.  You know, who am I to say the way she behaved was wrong of her.  She obviously did and said things she felt were necessary or true at the time.  Maybe I’m just looking for an excuse for just not liking her.

I’m thinking of invoking a migraine in order to get out of going tomorrow.  I’ve had a migraine all day, so it is possible I will still have it in the morning, but if I don’t I may still say I do.  How childish am I?

Thankful

It was a beautiful day today.

Me, happy.  1979.

Me, happy. 1979.

I got up, walked the dogs with Son as we always do.  We all had breakfast together.  I was exhausted and went to lay down for 1/2 hour or so, but Husband let me sleep.  So when I awoke I found it was 1:30 in the afternoon.  It felt like I wasted a lot of time, but I made up for it.  Husband and I spent most of the afternoon in the yard, listening to music, and watching the hummingbirds and butterflies.  It was wonderful!