Of Feasts and Famine


Gratitude Day 13- My health

One of my good friends is spending your birthday in the hospital. Dogged by multiple and mysterious health problems, she always seems to be in to some specialist or another. She often complains of unending pain, interfering with her work and play. Hence the birthday in the hospital.

As for me, I'm pretty damn healthy. Sure, I had a quick cancer scare. (Totally operable, no chemo, no big deal). And I have had some minor injuries and infections (ear). But for the most part, I can carry a high deductible insurance plan and pay many things out of pocket. I try to safe guard my health. I eat fairly well, I exercise. But some of this is just dumb luck. Or dumb genetics. I seem to have a surfeit of both.



Gratitude Day 10- A reliable ride

My Honda and I have been through a lot together. A road trip to Utah, many 2 and 3 hour rides to see friends and family, and a couple stupid accidents that involved some body damage.

I've had the car for 6 years now, and it has been a reliable runner. Sure, I had to replace my timing belt a little early. And I did have some radiator issues. But other than that, it has only scheduled maintenance. And the paybacks? A car with a working defrost. (Have you ever owned a car without defrost? A cold night and BAM- you can't see out the windows). A car that hasn't failed to start when I turn the key.

Hopefully it will be with me for years to come.

Labels: ,


Gratitude Day 11- Community Sports

I have always had a fascination with martial arts. My father is probably to blame, he really dug the old Bruce Lee movies. Being his female son, I watched too.
Imagine my delight when I discovered in community college I could take Karate.

Imagine my sorrow when I realized I was not good at it. Not good at all. Karate is a carefully choreographed art. Beautiful in it's practice. Forms (kata) are practiced before a student begins to spar. Kata are hard. Like dancing, you have to know where to put your feet, your hands and your body. While applying everything you learned. I tried. Mostly, I'm sure I looked confused. After two quarters, I was promoted to yellow belt for performing the simplest kata... ineptly. I wasn't ready to be promoted, but that was how the dojo the sensei ran worked. I never picked up Karate again.

Enter four year college. Enter Judo. Judo is from the same country as Karate, but is different in many ways. Practical knowledge of technique is very important in Judo, and sparring comes first not second. Rather than a formula, students are given a template and encouraged to explore what works. Best of all, most Judo here is community run. A sensei has no pressure to promote people, or to stick to an agenda. The measure of a student comes during tournament season, when the students fight others of equal rank in timed matches.

I have been doing Judo for around three years now and haven't gotten bored. Formula is nice, but to maintain my interest, I have to innovate.

Labels: , ,


Gratitude Day 12- Birthcontrol

Need I say more?



Gratitude Day 10- Being currently employed

Sometimes, I just dismiss my job. I've been at my job many years, and it pays me very little. A very real fear of failure held me back for a long time, keeping me in the same place. Now, a very real slowdown in the job market does the same thing.

I still have the fear. Of failing. Trying and not making. Of being incompetent. The cycle of applying and being ignored for jobs just feeds my insecurities.

However, I do have a job right now. It doesn't pay anywhere near a plush wage. Intellectually, it isn't the most simulating thing I could be doing... but my bills are taken care of. Debt is being paid down. Fun is being had. Life is still good. Just need to push through the fear and keep trying for that distant goal. In the meantime, I'll pay my bills.

Labels: , ,


Gratitude Day 9- Government provided services

My grandfather once said- "I don't mind paying my taxes, I'm a citizen."
I have to agree. Tax funded services have done me a lot of good. Granted, I don't make that much money. I don't pay a ton of taxes.
With that being said-
I got grants to go through school
I use the roads
I use the libraries
I have received low cost health services
I enjoy park usage, local and state
I have been to many events sponsored by the municipal arts counsels

And that's only what I can think of off the top of my head. Some tax dollars may be squandered, but many of these programs do a ton of good.

Labels: ,


Gratitude Day 8: National Park System

I have been away beach camping. Although evoking images of sun, palms and sand, camping in Washington state is a little more... wild. The beaches of the north pacific are windy, often overcast and cold. Even in late July. The camping wasn't too cold, but was no tropical paradise.

Nevertheless, you have to love the park service. Firstly, they allow me to beach camp in the first place. Many of Washington's beaches are public land. Secondly, they keep the beach in a reasonable condition for every user. Thirdly, they regulate use to ensure everyone has enough camp space.

Now if only they could do something about the weather.

Labels: ,