Can you hear it? It’s nature and forgiveness.
May 2, 2020
The days are running into each other during this Covid-19 shelter-in-place. Many of us are working from home. Our homes have become schools. Last night was a Friday evening, but on Thursday our daughter thought it was Tuesday when I asked her what she wanted to do Friday night. I had requested a vacation day months ago, as the children originally had one of those school Professional Development Days. Due to concerns for budget, our upper echelon management has not allowed people to “give back” their vacation as the pediatric outpatient clinics are busy. So yesterday was Friday and I was home on vacation but still doing work, which is the nature of middle management. I don’t mind as I am grateful for my job.
In November, Mr. Plastic Picker and I went to a regional meeting to celebrate our 10 years with our health organization. https://drplasticpicker.com/dr-plastic-picker-agitates-for-the-ocean-at-a-regional-meeting/ It was like a free date, as we stayed in a fancier hotel than we would ever had paid for. During that meeting, one of the speakers addressed the Science of Happiness and Power of Gratitude. It’s funny how work and life are intertwined, because our Girl Scout Troop was earning our Science of Happiness badge recently. I did a short presentation for the girls reusing those slide contents from that regional meeting. What struck me is that 50% of happiness is genetic. I believe it because I am generally a happy person. Dr. Dear Friend is too, which is why we get along well. I should really interview her for this blog soon.
I am grateful for the little things. I enjoy eating the last bits of food my children leave on their plates. I think to myself “yeah, I get to prevent food waste!” I am grateful when I get a hole in a piece of clothing and think “wow, I really used this thing to the end! Look how much water I saved by not buying so much new clothing.” And I am very grateful for my Upcycled Presidential Bird House which I made from things that would otherwise have been thrown away, a shoe box, the plastic from an old mousepad cover, and a broken hanger https://drplasticpicker.com/an-upcycled-presidential-bird-house/. I remember when that hanger broke, and I still kept it in my closet for 6 months until that moment of inspiration. I figured at some point I would fix it or make it into something. And now our backyard is filled with little songbirds that visit from the neighboring palm tree.
Yestserday afternoon I was sitting on the floor of our combo living room/kitchen and looking through the closed glass doors that look out into our backyard. I had our crazy black puppy in my lap and watched those birds. I can never get a great picture of them because they fly away quickly. I sit there and watch their hops and short flights, as they try to get into the bird house entrance. I started to tear up yesterday, I found it all so beautiful. Perhaps the Covid-19 quarantine is getting to me.
All I wanted to say today is that plastic picking and adopting this persona Dr. Plastic Picker has made me a less judgmental person. I has helped me become a better listener. Writing, picking up trash in the early mornings whether it be at the beach or on the street with a metal grabber, and focusing on something beyond myself – has made me happier. I was already a happy person, I believe genetically presupposed to it. But now I have a steadier kind of contentment. This happiness is not euphoric but constant, and I think better for me. I have a lot of work to do today eventhough it is Saturday. Mr. Plastic Picker is also reading plain films from home, as our bedroom is now a reading station with expensive monitors and an external power supply in case of black outs. I need to review more schedules and more workflows. Home is work, and work is home now. And it’s Saturday but feels like Friday. But the memories of my early morning walks and the birdhouse – enable me to get through it and find joy in it all. I hope you are well and finding your own contentment.