Self Sacrifice: Maybe That’s the Piece of the Puzzle That We Are Missing
November 8, 2021
It’s daylight savings and I never have really understood the entire concept. The chaos that it causes doesn’t really affect me anymore, because my body is in rhythm with the sun and moon and I get up at the same planetary time. The amount of darkness while I’m peering out of our energy efficient glass doors into the backyard is about the same. It’s starting to get light outside a bit. Everyone is asleep except my in-laws as they too are usually up early like I am to take advantage of the quiet.
Life has been all kinds of wonderful in my Dr. Plastic Picker world. I received my Moderna #3 COVID booster on Friday. It was hard to figure out timing and I had a suspicion that I would be tired after Moderna #3 and didn’t want to call in sick. I had already called in sick a few Mondays ago (which I think was the first time this year or at least one of the rare times I use my sick leave – but you should use your sick leave when you are sick, that is what it is there for) because of my bout with lactose intolerance and sour cream. So on a lark, I walked into the COVID vaccination center which is at my place of work and I politely but dramatically asked if they had anymore? They had one last booster dose of Moderna! I had been really affected by moderna #2 so was expecting a similar grueling night. I was definitely tired and slept on and off most of Saturday, but it was definitely better than moderna #2. And voila! Just like that at the 23 hour mark, I was fine. And that is when I started working on this puzzle the kids had gifted me months ago. I finished it Sunday afternoon with my daughter.
I used to do so many puzzles especially on my school breaks during college and medical school. I would sit in the breakfast nook at the house that I grew up, and work on puzzle after puzzle. I love working on puzzles because I remember now that I like to sort things by color and shape. You work on a spot and you have to let your mind wander (at least I do) to finish the puzzle. People will wander by while I’m doing the puzzle and marvel and comment, and sometimes help with one or two pieces. Yesterday, my teen daughter helped with a good at least third of the puzzle.
The puzzle got me to thinking about how we knit everything together. This climate crisis is literally like a gazillion piece puzzle with so many colors and shapes, and we have to stop to notice the pieces to be able to put it together. We have the answer which is us, and it will actually take everything to stop this existential crisis. Personal changes, systemic changes, changes to our personal flying habits (we are almost to the point of just saying no more recreational air travel and just driving to our Oregon farm for vacations), advocacy, focusing on healthcare emissions, regenerating the soil literally, and restoring the fungal networks in the soil and metaphorically in society to knit it all together. We as a people have to grow closer.
And it’s only by growing closer and together, that we can become one healthy organism. Growing closer with eachother and growing closer with the earth.
I was thinking about self-sacrifice because much of this blog is talking about the sacrifices that we do with joy as a family. I was reminded when I read Retireby40 Joe’s wonderful blog about taking care of his parents https://retireby40.org/help-aging-parents-financially/, that it takes a lot to take care for others and that often times in our modern society children do not do that for their parents. It was a hard thing for me to learn, and something Mr. Plastic Picker taught me. He sacrified everything. He picked his career and where we worked, because it was the best thing for his parents and the children. He never does anything for himself. I commented to Joe on his blog and describing Mr. Plastic Picker’s situatuon.
Yet it is my parents-in-law that have taught me about self-sacrifice. It took me a long time to realize how much they have sacrified for us and their grandchildren. Yes we support them, and they support us. We are a family unit, an organism and that is what a healthy organism does. And that is what a healthy society should do. So many part of our society are sick and one part of the forest of our country bickering with the other part of the forest.
Anyway, just letting my mind wander and trying to figure out the world and how to heal us and the planet at the same time. The fungal networks in soils is really fascinating.