Back to School

In recent years my interests have changed drastically – my own health issues, coupled with the trauma, illness and death of family members have led me to research a variety of subjects: nutrition, holistic health modalities, energy healing and the power of  mind and body.

Studying nutrition and Traditional Diets, I fell down the rabbit’s hole of organic farming, sustainability, local resilience, which in turn led me to politics, banking  and every form of sociopolitical and economic system that ends in ‘ism’…

Well familiar with my tendency to ‘think too much’ (to which I reply, “How on earth do you shut your mind off?!?”) I find myself, some moments or even for days, overwhelmed with all the new knowledge I’ve crammed into the file cabinets of my gray matter.

And fast on the heels of being overwhelmed, comes my natural defense mechanism, “So what?   It’s all going to end in 2012 anyhoo – might as well just float along…”

A friend whose job it is to tell people if they are neurotic, psychotic or pretty normal, informs me I am not suicidal – rather I’m caught in escapist fantasy – just as one of my friends longs for a hot tub and cute cabana boy in skimpy clothing, I sometimes think about what Yellowstone blowing will mean.

In other words, I’m trying to escape from my own cultivated knowledge base.

All that aside, my sabbatical made clear one very important fact:  I’ve changed.  Drastically.  The loss of so many staples in my daily life, in so short a time, has brought about changes that may or may not be good for me.  Nevertheless, I realized that what’s important to me and what’s not has moved about 180 degrees and trying to pretend it hasn’t causes oober amounts of stress.

To that end, I came home and set about re-organizing my life.   Trying to figure out how to generate funds to keep web hosting and email campaign accounts paid for with company funds went out the window – instead, I luxuriate in my desire to write via Word Press free blog.  (Thank you so very much!)  With that stress relieved, I found I could write to my heart’s content without worrying about if what I was doing was profitable or not.

(A friend of mine who has spent 50+ years supporting herself via her writing and editing talents informed me that before you write, you should know: what publication is purchasing your article, who their audience is, who advertises in their publication, how many words long, is the topic timely and informative, etc.   At that moment, I decided not to become a professional writer – who needs all that boring stuff to detract from an otherwise enjoyable activity?)

Next, I systematically started cutting out those activities I had pursued in order to generate spendable income.   Running any kind of business, even part-time, with small customer base, causes stress for me now.   Why that is so, I cannot say for sure, but I suspect it’s because of my lack of interest in time schedules, racing around to meet deadlines, etc.   I’m just no longer interested in the fast lane of life.

A lackadaisical approach to customer service seems to be working for many companies, (I mean, even with me boycotting them, they are still in business) but not really a comfortable way for me to function.   My ideas of what customer service should look like really does not mix with my current  dream of daily life…

I decided to keep the lackadaisical side of the equation….

So now, with my daily schedule wiped fairly clean, I peruse the choices of what to fill my days with.

I like my foray into container gardening.  Plants let me know pretty quickly when I’ve messed up.   I take steps to correct my sins and they respond.   Even with the disappointment of The Great Hail Storm of July 4th, some of my green friends have persevered and in turn, have given me hope that recovery can happen, even in the face of catastrophe.

So some kind of green-thumbing is definitely in order for my new life.  Home Decor via plants seems like a useful idea.

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I’ve also been intrigued by the concept of being able to correct imbalances in the body on a daily basis, solely by choosing what kind of tea to drink or what kind of foods to eat or which herbs to add to my soups.  In years past, I asked the Universe to please send a wise woman into my life to take me as student and guide me in the ways of healing via traditional methods.

The student must not be ready, for the teacher has yet to appear.

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During my recent trip to Cheyenne Frontier Days I stumbled upon a new endeavor completely by accident. (Unless, of course, you believe there are no accidents, in which case, I was led directly and efficiently to where I was supposed to be…)

Homeward bound,via Laramie and the beauty between there and Ft. Collins,  in search of a Chik-Fil-A  (and unaware they are closed on Sundays) I drove all along College Avenue in Ft. Collins –  not my normal route – too many traffic lights.

Driving along, searching for supper, my eye catches beautiful color on my left.   Turns out, I have been led by mistake or design to the very doorstep of the Annual Flower Trial Garden of CSU.  Whipping a perfectly legal U-turn, which is deemed acceptable by the passenger navigator (my mother, who loves flowers) we pull into a parking spot and wander through a paradise lit by setting sun and recently blessed by afternoon rain showers.

Oooohhhh!   The wonder and color.

Who ever thought impatiens came in that many shades of pink?  The diversity of Geraniums?   Or the medley of Coleus?

As I wandered through a little slice of heaven on earth, I decided learning Latin might be a good thing.

Just think, by knowing the root words and how they are put together, I can identify just from the plant name if it likes shade or sun, will grow small or large, likes to creep and crawl or shoot straight up – if it was originally aquatic and where it was first found.

Yup.  A new goal formed in my mind.   I shall learn Latin.

Rosetta Stone course is over $200.   College courses run $150-$327.

Instead, I settled on perusing my local library for a copy of Botany in a Day or Gardener’s Latin, just to start.

For a person used to doing and running herself into the ground trying to realize new efficiencies and accomplishments, so maybe tomorrow, she can rest, this change in lifestyle has not been easy.

I’m used to trying to eat the whole elephant in one gulp and if I don’t succeed, everything and I mean everything, is now labeled “Abject Failure“.

In direct contradiction of the old me, I’m starting with the beginner’s guide, for free (or if not available at the library, for $5.88 through used books online), instead of the Advanced Volume (read: 4 inches thick and designed to make me insane and question my intelligence)

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This spring, during an unsuccessful job hunt, I informed the panel interviewing me that, Yes, I am a life-long learner.   Apparently, they were not impressed by my self-education.

Fortunately, I’m currently in a position to pursue activities that may or may not be useful to future job searches.

But I shall be able to say, “Would you like Lactuca sativa on your burger?” (Wikipedia informs me that’s Latin for lettuce…)

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