Local (Daily Prompt)

Today’s Daily Prompt is: Local.

My wife and I went to a farmer’s market last week. They hold it right here in town, right off the main drag, and we were expecting big things. Boy, were we disappointed. There were maybe 5 booths, and there was hardly any produce to be had. No tomatoes, very little salad greens, nothing we were looking for. It was just pitiful.

I know that buying local is a thing now, and people try to support their local businesses and farmers, and that’s good, as far as it goes. But what do you do when the local stuff sucks?

I’ve seen lists of people we should boycott, and while the lists make sense–boycott the Koch Brothers, and Fox News and their advertisers–it does seem that if you boycotted everybody you were supposed to boycott, you’d never buy anything. Hell, I should be boycotting Walmart for their shitty labor practices, but if we did that, we couldn’t afford groceries.

It’s all a dance between what you “should” do and what you’re able to do. I’m sure there’s a lot of people who would like to boycott Walmart, but who can’t afford to. Our only other option for groceries is Safeway, and we can’t afford Safeway prices on everything. It’s really that simple.

So, the Senate is supposed to vote on repealing Obamacare sometime this week–Thursday is what I heard. My Senators and Representative are already on the right side, and I should probably be calling them to bolster their resolve, but I haven’t. I hate using the phone. It’s part of my disorder I’m sure. I had to make three phone calls today, to make appointments for various things, and it nearly gave me a fit of the shivering hits. I felt very anxious and didn’t feel better until it was done and I could lay down. I really think the world, especially the political world, is going to have to keep spinning without me and my input for a while. I just don’t have the stress tolerance to deal with it. I feel guilty about that, but it’s what I have to do to take care of myself.

I still think the “health-care” bill will pass in some form, and take Medicaid away from 20+ million people. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems that this is what the billionaire class wants, and they very rarely get denied, especially by Republicans. I’m taking some solace in the fact that the Medicaid cuts wouldn’t start until 2021, in the hope that Bernie Sanders could take over as President in 2020 and force changes to the bill before it really begins to hurt. But that’s probably a fool’s hope. I’d love to see Bernie as President, but I know that the Establishment will throw everything they’ve got at him, and I question whether the American people are smart enough to see through it.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading. =)



Commit (Daily Prompt)

Today’s Daily Prompt is: Commit.

My wife and I have committed to improving our physical and mental health. We’ve been walking every day for the last week or so, eating better, and meditating at night before bed.

Now, if I had a dime for every time I committed to losing weight, I’d be a wealthy man. But it feels different this time. My wife said it feels different to her too. We’re more serious. We’re looking for ways to challenge ourselves to walk longer each day. We’re making time at night to meditate. We’re avoiding fast food and junk food. But this time I think we’re doing things in a sustainable way. We’re not following some Draconian diet where we can’t ever eat anything we like, we’re eating normal meals that we like. And we’re able to walk inside our building when it’s too hot or raining outside, so there’s no reason we can’t walk every day.

We haven’t been quite as disciplined about meditation. The only time our cat will let us meditate is at night when we lay down to go to bed, and some nights we’ve been too tired to meditate. We are using a meditation CD of guided meditations from New Kadampa Traditions. It’s a great introductory CD. However, I have bigger plans for meditation in the future. I’m a Zen Buddhist at heart, and after I’ve lost some weight and can sit more comfortably, I’d like to find a local Zen community and begin to meditate in the Zen tradition. I’d like to do a meditation retreat sometime. I don’t know if I can ever reach what Zen masters call “kensho”, which is a form of enlightenment, but I’d like to give it a try. My mind seems so uncontrollable, but I know that this is what most people experience. My main goals for meditation are to be in better control of my mind, to be more mindful on a day-to-day basis, and to reduce my worrying and ruminating.

Meditation and mindfulness are also wonderful tools to help with bipolar disorder. Obviously they don’t take the place of meds or therapy, but many therapies for bipolar and other mental illnesses and traumas incorporate mindfulness. Mindfulness is a great way to stay connected to the present instead of getting yourself stuck in regrets about the past or worries about the future. I’m trying to stay more mindful, but it’s a constant struggle.

Well, my wife is awake, so I’ll end this for now. Thanks for reading. =)