Monday, August 24, 2009

Money ...the down side...

Unfortunately or...?.... fortunately, I'm not so sure, I was born and raised with a probably distorted notion of money.
Most of my life I was surrounded by people who did what they did free of charge. I grew up in a volunteer/ missionary world.
Even though services were sometimes charged, it was always for the minimum possible to allow affordability for the poor or for the coverage of costs.
All the work I ever did up until I was almost 25 was free! And I worked hard, very hard!
My reward was the number of lives changed by what I did. The reward was the job itself. The reward was the experience. The reward was..human!
Money ..was almost .....just another noun in my vocabulary at the time.
It bore no emotional meaning to me.
I was blessed to have a home and 3 meals a day, every day.
I was somehow never faced with the burden of "money" per se.
We always had just enough to live, eat, go to school...and feed others!. My mum never made it a big deal that we were ..just making it.... and somehow ..happy...
I knew it from my friends at school that there were some things I could not have ....and that they could have.
The one that hurt me most were school trips...but... it wasn't obvious in everyday life.
We always had enough food to feed an army.
People would turn up at home any time of day or night and we always coughed up a lovely..tasty... Italian meal in no time!
I learnt to do all kinds of things sewing, cooking, building and I mean "building", mixing cement , cutting wood etc...fixing almost anything...and the list goes on.
Some years later..... today...
I am in New York City!! Manhattan.... experiencing one of the meanest meanings of "money"..:." and that is: " it's everything!"
I am sure /hoping that it cannot be this way all the time but today I feel how money makes it all work. The machine of life...well.. almost...
I might have blown things out of proportion but it really did sicken me today!
If I were to go to school..... money, I If I were to choose my, I If I were to wake up and go to am probably exaggerating but maybe not as much as one would think!.../ hope...
I have had interactions in this city where I might as well have been dealing with robots/machines.
A simple thing like ordering a coffee could have been that kind of an experience.
As a foreigner..some time ago for me...."Hi, I'd like a cappuccino please?" ..."what size?..bla...bla..bla..."....." mmm.. small " ..."oh, ok u mean "tall"....?" .."ya o.k. "tall".."," skim or whole?"...." hu?" ..." the milk..".." oh whole is ok."
"For here or to go ? " .."hu?" .."
I still remember my first coffee order ..
It sounded like: fourheeertugo ? ????..I was a little startled and shy...what am I supposed to answer??..what are they saying..??....oh..mmm ..." to go.".
Reality is..
What saddens me most is that there are are actually HOSPITALS ..and all I can think Insurance companies. and all I can think is
The point is .. I wish I would not have to "look" for the humanity in all of this.. I wish I could breathe "humanity" rather than breathe ...mmmm whatever..... I am very over qualified but I really do believe in their work so I will surely be happy doing photocopies!!..even cleaning bathrooms!
Believe it or not!! ..NO reply.
If you had asked for MONEY we would have considered it !!
That's an extreme to me!
I don't know what to do with this..
I really don't.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

lots of heartfelt events today.
I did go to the Met ...Metroploitan museum of art in NYC with a friend and that was fabulous.
Also... a family friend passed away today.
That news brings on all kinds of emotions about. Unfortunately I cannot share them publicly.
They would be a source of unlimited International debate!
May his soul rest in peace!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Last night I watched the development of a fabulous storm! Almost hurricanish...( another new word) .
A loud thunder jolt was the beginning of a fabulous, unstoppable show of nature.
At first strong winds and loud thunder , then, as I looked outside my window. It seemed like anything lighter than a car was being blown all over the place..including people!
(I kind of felt good for one moment as the people working on a new subway just outside my window FINALLY stopped drilling and prayers were being answered???)
Everyone was trying to run home asap. In no time came the rain. Wind and rain, stronger than I have ever witnessed ..maybe cause I'm living in an area where as I look out the window I see "all the action".
All of a sudden the wrath of the gods was upon us or that's how it seemed. This went on for about 3 hours. Then the calm! All gone. Just like that! nothing..or I should say no ..anything..!
another sunny , bright, hot beautiful day.
So...??the point of the story.
Recently I got a piece of bad news that sent me in a spin of anger that was both overwhelming and seemingly uncontrollable...
Exactly like the storm. Lightning, thunder, rain, wind! Like a storm you can't really say oh I want it to stop and it will. Like this just came about. Like this storm it has a life and energy of it's own and it seems to have something to say, something that it wants to express.
Slowly but surely it fades...
maybe not the next day ...
but the storm does go away and the sun does comes out and life does goes on...sometimes but not always as if nothing ever happened.
I thought of this as I was again on the roof top of my gym where the view was once again fabulous, again almost the same as the day before...but speaking timewise there had been a nasty storm!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It's still today !!!
ha ha..
I was just re- reading my blog and for some reason I noticed that someone commented on it!
That was such a nice feeling and a nice comment.
Knowing someone out there chooses to read what I am writing.
It's kinda cool.
Thank you commentor!
Your comment was greatly appreciated Mr. Art !

My mind was already flooded by a long to do list by 8 a.m. today.

Within half an hour the to do list assumed a life of it's own and became pretty elaborate , very colorful, very... impossible.

It does often seem to me that my mind is able to construct very elaborate thoughts all by itself.

The to do list was one of them. All of a sudden there it was leaving no trace of how it came to be and I am left the job to question, keep or dismiss the thought construction.

So ...with some effort..I made a priority scale and started working through this list.

I haven't been working for a few months now.

Work gave me a structure.

One thing was certain, five times a week I had to be at a certain location between time a and time b.

Now infinite options are available to me.

It's both wonderful and overwhelming.

I am in New York and there is a lot to do .

Just walking in the streets is a very enriching experience.

I am constantly amazed at the life pulsing out and about in all its various forms .

People of all ages and colors and creeds going about with some mission big or small.

My quest to go slowly today took a completely different turn.

I usually need to slow down from moving too fast.

I did that for a short moment with my endless to do list but the biggest achievement for me today was moving slowly from a standstill.

Yes, after thinking/reflecting on how far ahead of me my brain had taken me I suddenly came to a complete stop. Brain and body.

After rebooting, I focused all my energy into mailing an important document. After which I made the super super effort to walk to the pool and swim..for me!

I did NOT feel like walking in the heat and all the way to the pool, let alone swim and no one was pushing me and I had to chose to do it !

So here comes the pole pole ...slowly slowly ...this is not negotiable! My other priority as the day unfolded was to consciously cut out sprouting to do lists from my brain and focus on feeling my environment.

I delighted in the view of the east river. Once I got to the pool I thoroughly enjoyed my swim and made the extra effort to swim just a little more.... do one more step..but alias I fell into the speedy thing ..and ended up doing a lot more...well that was a good more actually, I'm not as unfit as I thought. The only drawback is that it's a busy pool with lanes and people don't always respect the speed assignments so I was doing fine in my own lane until a lady popped into my lane and began mmm doggy paddling, yes exactly in a fast lane. What was she thinking?? I overtook her a few times and she still didn't get the message and the slow lane next door was empty!!!

So my mind starts flooding with thoughts of unfairness and disrespect etc... and I thought, either I tell her or I move so since I have trouble with confrontation.. ( am working on it though ) I moved to the slow lane and finished my work out...and swam extra! Good enough for today.

I used to swim everyday before work in Nairobi at a hotel near my work place and thus was pretty spoilt as I almost always had the pool to myself. This is a learning experience. Sharing space. It's New York...not only on the streets , even in the water.

In the locker room I had a very interesting conversation with a random nice lady who was coming in for a class.

Mmm I thought that was nice. What makes my day in the end are the good or bad interactions with other people.

I also made time to go to the rooftop and watch the river for a bout 15 minutes. The picture above is that view with my phone.

I am now going to head to the kitchen to prepare a lovely dinner for my lovely husband and I.

I am putting all my creativity to use to make a healthy, tasty meal with love.

The menu is ....:

Sicilian orange salad: oranges nicely cleaned and sliced and dressed with salt, olive oil, black olives and freshly ground pepper.

Healthy burgers: Beef patties cooked as desired and served in a "bun" made of grilled aubergine and romaine salad! Yummy!

So this for me was a good day!

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's till my first day...
mmm...I have more to say.
I had my blood test today..
I was in the waiting room..aware of all the people in there. The chatter of the nurses and technical personnel was in the background. Their very obvious gossip taking over the silence of the waiting room.
Every patient reading some sort of magazine but hearing and maybe listening to the same gossip.
An older woman walks in and has no time to ask her frail voiced question at the front desk. In no time she is told.."radiology is on the other side!" No attention is paid to whether she comprehended or heard!
We are paying a lot for this service. No awareness of this in the air.
My name is eventually called..misprounouncedly..if that is a word.
I am very friendly to the nurse and she is relatively taken aback by this.
Her job is very mathematical almost.
She is drawing blood from a human being ( last time I checked that is what I thought I was).
I am trying to make a human contact but there seems to be only machine on the other side.
No word is spoken through the process of collecting about 7 vials of blood.
At the end.. I hear a "that's it my love".
I am flabbergasted. That phrase throws me off. "My love"?
My brain is full and void of thoughts at the same time.
I leave the premises knowing that there has been an exchange of money between the insurance and the "care giver".
Somewhere someone ordered the test and maybe but not necessarily for a good reason.
Anyhow my life goes on.
I am lucky to have health insurance and hopefully I do not get surprises.
My biggest dilemma, though is that I am a care giver myself. I spent most of my life making sure that it is the uttermost priority to give the best healthcare to patients who need it.
Paying and UNPAYING!!
You are sick, I care..that is why I chose my career!
You are my priority.
Otherwise I go sell coffee or something.
There goes a reason for me to hurry.....
That is the purpose of my blog...
Hurry..take care of everyone... People are mistreated etc.... do something..
Yes. But...
pole pole....
slowly slowly... relax, you can't change the world...
the world will change if you change your self and can do ..
be more you.

First blogging day.

I was inspired yesterday when I watched the movie "Julie and Julia."
I have a problem finishing/sticking to projects.
Oh how I love starting them. All kinds!! I do finish some but with a lot of difficulty.
The point is , I want to start something and finish it.
Sometimes it's not about finishing but about being true to the commitment and doing the very best to honor it.
I will try in this blog to do that.
There is no finish line per se.. the finish line is the daily commitment.
If it lasts a few months, that will be a success.
If someone will read this I want it to be useful..that is the success.
So.. here we begin!