It has been a minute since I wrote in “Local Press”.
Was listening to NPR this morning and lots of news about states’ varying COVID approaches to distributing vaccinations. Afterward, when sitting down for the morning to write, I found myself reflecting on what I would like in regards to COVID Testing and Vaccinations.
As a citizen, it is easy to feel at the mercy of the man, at the mercy of a wise leader. And, to a certain extent we are. But when that position hears options as the only options and doesn’t sit and think and speak for what is good for them, their family and their community? Eh…. that’s why I started Local Press. As some sort of entry way into saying what I think about things that matter to everybody.
COVID Testing: I don’t have limitless funds like Kim Kardashian but I do have a similar need: to register a group of family and friends for coordinated testing and quarantined travel in order to celebrate life events. It’s an amazing thing she did for people with her executive coordination and communication abilities. So, how about this?
I can submit a family and friend application for Coordinated Testing and Travel. There is an agency, of real people, who see me and my crew through the end. All parties take responsibility and are liable should they misstep the terms and conditions. With this approach, I can celebrate my wedding, I can hug my mother, I can launch something for my small business. Seems great, right?
COVID Vaccination: It seems odd to me, in the news, that vaccinations – which require two doses – are just popping up here and there. Some states good, some states not good. Concerns about maintaining the temperature, coordinating the second dose, and prioritizing frontline, at risk, the rest of us seems – logistically – like quite the puzzle. So, how about this?
I can submit an application for vaccinated pod. I can be a group of nurses, a group of Shipt workers, a group of Uber Drivers, a group of flight attendants, a group of teachers, a group of administrators, a group of any known people who need to be mobile together in the public for the betterment of all we are getting used to. Restaurant workers, bartenders, waitresses, actresses, musicians, entertainers – they can submit as well. There should be some sort of notation of these things that you received in your taxes, and you should be rewarded if you are in a public service role or education because, my GOD, have you had a year. If you have more than 2 children in your household who were virtual for fucking *any amount of time* while you had to work at home, you should get a tax credit of $5k that is a deposit into a vacation savings amount good for Universal, Disney, Six Flags and Hotel, etc. Cities should be *all over this* and investing in infastructure that can handle a safe and happy FLOW for tourist season.
I am a born traveler. I have traveled my whole life. I have slept since August under the same four corners. I either need to start camping or painting to change things up. I look forward to moving about the country (hopefully the world) when the time comes.
These are just a couple of ideas to get society there.
Stay safe out there and UNDERSTAND the news, don’t just read it. erin
This has been an entry of Local Press: a type of post I do from time to time where I offer a flow of thoughts on the news and what’s happening without editing or spinning or thinking too much about it. From time to time, I learn rapidly and humbly after posting. For that, I encourage private feedback on the ideas. If you like it and want to talk more about it, this is the way to do it as well. In general, I get a lot of encouragement to share ideas with the world so…. here ya go.
I packed a backpack yesterday. I love my winter bag, with its beads and detail but the reality of 7 round trips to schools not only put some snags in the bag’s future but the time in the car meant – well, that I needed some gear.
I started writing a devotion series this week. I invited two friends to invest some time (3 come February) in learning alongside me as I study the planets and apply ancient text to their meaning. I chose to start off with “Generous Jupiter” and already am having some fun finding insights into Jupiter’s placement in my natal chart, the way generosity jives and does not jive in my life, and related scripture.
In yoga, there is this term for self study and for study of ancient text, “Svādhyāya”. That’s basically what this is.
I started out this post with a whole hour to write when a girlfriend of mine called me up. She is one of my oldest adult friends (about 15 years running). She moved away a couple of years ago and our Tuesday nights (when I went to her house after yoga, hung with her and her husband and kids, helped clean up kitchen, processed life, had a good time) came to an end and – with that – we stopped talking as much. Naturally, I stopped what I was doing to hear her voice and laugh about whatever BS was going on.
We talked a little bit about looking like our moms and our grandmothers and how it was both terrifying and sweet at the same time.
I shared with her about a story I wrote yesterday about two flowers: one ancient and leathery and eternal, growing more flexible with time and the other young, perky and fierce, growing stronger each day.
The ancient flower grows more flexible with each storm or beating from the sun, learning to fold and tuck and curl. The younger flower grows stronger with each storm or beating; muscling the sun and water into stem and learning to use its roots.
In the story, there are two passersby and the ancient flower hears the one passerby say to the other, “look at that young flower, doesn’t it look like that ancient one?”
In hearing this, the ancient flower folds and bows is reverence; humbled and moved in the heart. See, the ancient flower adored the young one, marveled at its youth and just thought it was absolutely beautiful. To hear somebody think that the young flower looked like it, was one of the purest deepest compliments it had ever received.
I shared with my friend that it was a story I wrote in reflecting on my own awe of my daughter, Lucy. Sometimes I look at her and am amazed at her beauty and the brightness of her smile. I am blown away by it. When I hear people say, “she looks like you” I feel so deeply complimented and, in some ways – in most ways – I do not believe it.
I told my friend I wanted to capture this somehow in a story. The fascinating honor to have your beautiful children be called to look like you. Even for people like my sister, whose daughter is adopted, right? See? It’s something in the weathering… in the expression… its an element in and of itself.
“Wow, dude, that’s deep”, she chuckled.
I sent a call to voicemail while on with her so, naturally, checked for that after we hung up.
The missed call was from a Webster friend dropping off a wedding gift and “something I found in my basement that made me think of you”.
We chatted briefly on my front porch, next to the twenty some odd odds and ends that are being held there while life inside gets sorted out. The thing in her basement was a fountain, which the cats will love. I shared with about the Jupiter devotions and she gave me my favorite of her “that sure is something” looks. “Yeah man,” she said, “you know, you’re my most out there friend. Like you’re not like scientologist out there, but – for sure – you’re pretty out there.” I smiled.
If only people knew half of everything I have in my brain. David is at like 1/3 of knowing what’s going on in there… he calls me “special”.
So – here we are now – that whole hour is past but somehow I still got what I wanted into this post: the flower story I wrote yesterday and start a little thing about my backpack. More on that another time….
In closing, these two interactions with friends are very cooly connected with how I feel having heard from a co-worker from Enterprise yesterday. She reached out, left a voicemail and then texted again and I’m SO glad she did. I was busy (911 call on Monday night, shower wouldn’t turn off yesterday, the driving… the driving… ) and her reaching out a couple times kept her top of mind.
We exchanged today and it was really nice. She shared a picture of her cactus and work space. We texted easily and naturally, though never having connected via that medium before. It reminded me of a woman named Lisa from my work that wanted to stay in touch… “need more strong women in my life” she said.
In writing this all now, it is reminding me of my last week at work. As folks said goodbye and asked to stay in touch “about yoga”… “about God”… “I like this spiritual Erin I did not know you were”… “let’s write”…. “let’s hike”…. “would love to talk about kids”…. “curious your recipes, can’t wait to share mine”… I remember feeling like OH YEAH I TALK ABOUT OTHER THINGS WITH THESE PEOPLE.
I remember feeling like FOR SURE these people I enjoy at work are people I would enjoy outside of work.
The richness of friendship is where I love to give my energy: in relationships, in conversation, in experience.
So, that’s a neat “first real week after retiring and the holidays” gusto. I don’t know if my old co-worker who texted me about gardening, betta fish and cacti realized that she did the Lord’s work in reaching out. But she did. She helped connect the dots.
And now, on to my Adobe Procreate online tutorial on animation. Fingers crossed that my flower / plant story is a little Apple Tree Magic video soon…. Man, I want to know how to animate SO BAD.
More on that and my backpack again soon….
The end. Enjoy one of my favorite pictures of Lucy. Flying back from LA after her 10 y/o “mom and me” birthday trip.
My life is, as it seems, spiraling into control. I realized that this morning, watching The Flight Attendant.
I got up from the couch where I was eating a plate of breakfast hash. I felt it was time to sit and pull a post together.
Before opening up a blank page, I took a look at what was in my drafts:
Truth is, I have started and stopped a lot of thought trains. Trains trying to capture my current mental processing but there are a lot of threads to weave into a quick entry “hey this is life!” post.
How do I capture the humor of my current battle with my robots and the growing list of yet another idea for Google Home (and should I even share that without a patent?)
When I slay the mental math of “what is there to eat” does that officially put me in the mommy blog blogosphere? Like, nobody thinks I should start doing 10 Ways to Max a Pandemic Grocery Run life hack posts, n’est ce pas??
And when it is not how 3 meals were expertly served out of the same cut of meat, I have mindful living quips and anecdotal stories on how the furniture is arranged today to set up for the weekend. But these stories involve the learnings of a new, young marriage and HOW do you share a bit more about that or our house strategy without, you know, being public about our private plans? So those posts I don’t even try.
The only other little snippet suitable for Frozen Spaghetti is the regular processing of the whole why I retired thing. Little glimpses of the things I really miss about my work at Enterprise will pop up now and again. I’ll have an impulse to reach out off a flashback of hopeful moments talking shop on really, really good transportation ideas over exciting lunches in black blazers.
And this is where the rubber hits the road.
This is where self discovery would be at the core of all of this: who is the person that knows what to do with the ideas, has the functioning abode which ticks along a reasonably flexible but consistent schedule and that is actively in the publishing project each day? With so much going on, it is enough to make you think that I need to do that discovery work but the thing is. I actually truly already know that. I followed that self’s gut when I wrote my retirement announcement. I am in the aftermath of self discovery. I am in the living part. And it has been a long time since living meant doing whatever I wanted with my free time.
In a one on one phone call I made before my announcement, I was talking with a VP I had worked with for well over a decade. I told them that even if I had the perfect pitch for the right team or the right team had the perfect pitch for me, that I needed to evolve out of whatever thinking I have been in. Too long in one environment, I think, makes you start to believe certain things about yourself and about how things work.
I had come to recognize that there were things I believed about myself and about how things work that actually were only true within my place of employment. Not that they were wrong, bad or untrue – but what I said on that phone call when describing this was really, really necessary: I needed the saran wrap off my brain. I wanted to feel myself think and be unboundedly creative.
When I experience moments of shock or pressure that there is a litter box in the living room (basement being remodeled) or that it has been weeks since I have had that sweet “all the laundry is done and floors are clean” moment, I can get really hard on myself. It is a mix of feeling behind and out of sorts. I’m smiling now, editing this post, I totally get this now.
So last night, on NYE, the game I got out to play was super strategic and – though surely fun – virtual school and TikTok literally dissipated my teenagers’ attention spans and the comical groaning was just a little much while I tried to read the instructions. We called it and started a movie. I sat at the table, aware of how loose the seams were across the board. I let it make me feel really bad. Actually, I think I might have cried.
In hindsight, I think I felt like I didn’t execute the plan right. Felt like this on Christmas Eve, too. But as this pandemic holiday season serves a real lesson in knowing where you want to be and what you value, it is unique in that it shows you all the pieces without them all lined up and recognizable. << I think this is a universal truth.
I went and gave David a hug and cried about how stupid I felt trying to play that game. I lamented my choices and ruining the night. He rubbed my head and told me I didn’t mess anything up.
I felt pretty and full of love for my family. And even though I had this weakness, I felt like I was surrendering to the beauty of everything going on. I mean – my life has changed absolutely dramatically in the best possible ways. The pieces are not going to line up yet. The seams are loose and each day we get up and we do what we want and don’t do what we don’t want, we start to draw them in. David is teaching me this.
I went back out to the kids and Ellen gave me a hug. I apologized through tears that I didn’t have fireworks for them to shoot off at midnight. She looked at me like I was crazy and reminded me she hates fireworks. I laughed, she does hate fireworks – they make her nervous. It was funny because my distortion was proof that I was missing the moment, the point and the embrace.
She brought her guitar down to the table and started learning Walk Me Home by Pink while the other four kids came as if via magnets to the table, joined up teams for a round of Old Maid. (laughing now… a MUCH simpler game lol.. oh man, it feels good to laugh about when you know your kids and think “ok – Old Maid, not Risk”. I mean, it’s not that they’re stupid…. but… #yikes lol)
Ok – anyway, Ellen went on to play the chords to Hit Me Baby, One More Time as well as some Brandi Carlisle and of course Taylor songs. We played cards and sang until the ball dropped. (Which, Maddox pointed out, doesn’t actually drop and is either a conspiracy or a rip off.) Then, though I was tired as hell, I changed and curled up on the couch in the room with the litter box and watched Tangled with my teens, Ellen and Aria. I make Ellen laugh with my fatigued unfiltered and under the breath flow of consciousness commentary and she makes me feel good when she shares this with her friends.
Ah, my friends….
I am learning the relief of walking by a pile of laundry or not fussing about my tech stack: iPad waiting for illustrations, laptop waiting for words.
And, it is true: Google and Apple really do need to make these “stupid f*cking robots” (as I tend to mumble) a lot better.
But even if Siri and Hey Google don’t figure out how to intersect in some really wonderful life giving ways for me, they still at least take and display pictures of the unfolding of our wonderfully colorful life. Which is nice of them, I guess.
In watching the out of control spiral in The Flight Attendant, I realized how grounded I am in my self and in my life. And all the churn? The litter box and the constant need to tweak the system? This is the spiraling into control. And not corporate control like I have grown to know it.
This new kind of control requires NO estimates or timelines. It simply requires me to show up and be myself. Self control.
In closing, David told me this morning he does not make New Year resolutions. He simply “sets his goals whenever he wants and goes after them”.
He reads, he gets certified, he does new things with technology, he learns about what he wanted to learn about, he picks up a new instrument, he downloads the software and plays with it, he looks up the place, the recipe, the book and – boom: he evolves. He goes to sleep at 8 (9:30 on NYE), he gets up at 5, he loves coffee and his wife and his family and he doesn’t mind rinsing and repeating as long as there is an adventure around the corner.
And just like I know the truth that the best way to parent is to demonstrate not instruct, I think I recognize the best way to learn is to apply.
I am thinking husband may be an incredible teacher.