Positive rewards for myself

Recently I have had some positive experiences that I would like to share. On my job I do a lot of walking. I take around 4000 steps five days per week relating to work. I walk up stairs, walk a long distance to the bathroom. I park some distance from my destination when I visit many of the people I visit and I walk around the office building where our agency is located. There is a small workout spa in the building that I use. These good habits have paid off nicely as I received good news at my visit with the doctor last week. I had lost 10 pounds over this past year. It was not that much of a surprise because I found that some pants no longer fit.

Another positive reward I received was from seeing or hearing from old friends again. I had found myself wondering what people were doing, and why I didn’t accidentally see them in the stores. But now through social media and getting out into the community more I am seeing more people. I went to an antiwar march yesterday and was able to see people who I had only been Facebook friends with. I had lost the habit of going to marches and meetings in part because of social media. It was so much easier to sit in front of the computer and hover over interesting posts and messages. Even better I was able to combine going to the demonstration with exercising. I went to the spa before and after the demonstration.

My next step will be to combine exercise with seeing one of my consumers. One person who seems like a good candidate has agreed to go to Planet Fitness with me. I listened to a Planet Money podcast about the psychology of exercise clubs. I learned that these clubs were designed to lure people in and without being regular users. We like to think that we exercise more often than we actually do. I mentioned my desire to add some weight lifting to the nurse at the hospital and she thought I could make do with strictly cardio work. But I read about the Notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her diabolical plot to survive the trump administration. She lifts weights so I figured, I could, too.

I went to a meeting for Elizabeth Warren a few weeks ago and I find myself looking forward to seeing these new friends again. I had made a few changes in my habits since the meeting, which takes place in a bar. A few weeks ago I stopped drinking alcohol. And I have found myself having more energy, feeling less depressed. This helps me get out of the house to see people so the good habits reinforce one another.  So maybe people will see more of me out and about. Let’s see. I will go to the next meeting, eat a healthy snack and enjoy everyone again.

Simple gifts

I am sitting here typing on a Lenovo Ideapad that was the centerpiece of last Christmas. It was so unusual to think of the impact that a small change in our lives would affect us every day.

My significant other and I are on our computers daily. But at this time last year our computers were giving us such headaches.The laptops we had were really not so old but it seemed that they were not built to last. Mine was an Asus which was highly recommended. I was complaining to people about Asus to people who wished that they had one. But durability was an important factor. I was literally taping the computer together. And the computer was at the most 3 years old. My significant other was going crazy with an HP. It would freeze out and need to be restarted. And both of these computer had been repaired.

Given the sorry state of our computer lives I decided to start looking around the stores. She had done some research that led her the Lenovo so I decided to see whether it was available locally. I was going to look around during October and November and compare a couple of different models made by Lenovo. At first I thought I should buy a computer for her and nothing for me. Then I decided I was fed up with the Asus.       Next I  thought we should have different models of computer and I was wondering about the slight changes in the prices of the computers. Finally I bought both of them at the same time and hid them. When it came to the holiday we probably opened the computer a day or two early. Because I was just so disgusted with having to use the making taped Asus. Now we are happy with the computers and the other things we have exchanged over the years. So while we have not had great wealth we have wisely invested in things that brought us happiness.

My first GA

 

kidschalice2

In June, I went to my first General Assembly, which is the annual membership meeting o the Unitarian Universalist Association. It was a electric experience. I thought to myself, after so many years of identifying as an atheist, I really am part of a religion. A very particular type of religion with certain basic tenets and and a wide amount of choice. This revelation comes after meeting with a dear friend recently who discovered the very same thing. The Unitarian Universalists lack a lot of things tat hold churches together. There is no fear of going to hell. In fact that was one of the things that drew the Universalists together. If there is no fear of eternal damnation, how do you hold people together?

I found in this gathering a lot of what holds us together. It is love. We have people who pray. We have people who are recovering from traditional Christianity. My friend is healing herself after having been part of a very strict cult similar to the Seventh Day Adventists and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. And, as the joke goes, “there are a lot of atheists who haven’t kicked the religion habit.”

One of my favorite hymns includes a line “even to question, truly, is an answer.” Going to General Assembly exposed me to a wide variety of African-Americans. I saw people who were part of a walkout many years ago when the church lost thousands of African-American members over its failure to follow through on a commitment it had made to them. I saw people the the Black Lives Matter to Unitarian Universalists and the Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Ministries. In my upcoming blogs I will describe some of these experiences in great detail. There is always more to the story.

I wish I lived in DC

I have been watching videos of a remarkable church in Washington DC the All Souls Unitarian. It is an intentionally multi ethnic multi cultural church that rocks. All Souls is a historic church that has been in forefront of struggles for civil rights. It has a staff that is a mosaic and the services, as far as I can see, are often lively. It is a welcoming place to  be and I would hope that other churches would take a lesson. I have posted many of their you tube videos on my facebook page. This is the first time I have ever posted something like this about attending church!

The Valentine’s day stomach flu

love

I have been home with a lot of intestinal nasties the past two days. I slept most of yesterday while my sweetheart used the car. When she asked if I needed her to pick up something from the store I asked for some homemade chicken soup and ginger ale.

She let me know she was on the way home and I slipped out to get her a Valentines Day gift. Conviently there are a bakery and a chocolate shop around the corner. I checked the bakery but they had closed so off to the chocalate shop I went with most of the black men in the neighborhood. I found my trusty debit card and got a nice pair of hearts. I slowly walked home and got back on the futon where I had been all day.

I gave her my gift and was somewhat surprised to learn that the Valentines day card I had seen over the weekend was for her grandson. I went to bed feeling a little sad. However this morning she showed me the card she had made for me saying I was loved. It was like what they say chicken soup for the heart.

I have struggled over the years with Valentines day including having a woman break up with me. Some small things lime this mean more as I grow older. I am listening to jazz, my intestines are returning to nrmal and thinking about being loved.

Learning from others

contemplating

 

I have busied myself since I returned home from work interacting with a few visitors and leaving comments on their blogs. I also changed the appearance of my blog and updated the tagline. For some reason I have not been able to let go of the slightly sardonic title A Little Local Color. I had chosen it because I wanted to alert readers that I might be commenting about race and racism although not in an angry in your face tone. Perhaps I have less to be angry about as I age.

The updated tagline includes a reference to unicorns which reflects another part of my personality. I like to throw in humor and funny pictures like this

weirdos

 

If you or your friends are in this picture, I do apologize. More likely, you’re off on another adventure with the zombies.

scary doll

 

 

 

I hope to inform, cause you to think about something I saw or even just have a good time and share your perspective. That’s what blogging is about.

 

 

 

Revitalizing my blog

My blog often goes dormant for weeks or even months while I remain stuck in my social media outlets, arguing about the elections. The people who are convinced that Hillary Clinton stole the primaries will never change their minds. And then there are the groups including various shades of introverts. Talking about the best places for introverted people to live, training to gain attention and sometimes talking about their hopelessness. No one will ever love them. It is hardly surprising that a diet of such discussion sometimes leaves me nothing to talk about.

I build up momentum by blogging regularly and then stop in the middle of nowhere. But last week I found a new energy due to a workshop I attended about overcoming racism. I saw that there were several books I could explore and managed to check them out at the library and before I knew it, I was off and running again.

Technically, I am hardly a beginning blogger. But it seems that I have not been using wordpress.com to the fullest. My inconsistency no doubt throws off readers. Sometimes I will just reblog something I read about mental health and or the Middle East. That probably throws off a lot of readers. But now my plan is  to be here daily posting something incredibly intelligent about race or mental health, my two main areas of interest.