Good Day, Dear Friends!
I hope this message finds you healthy, and hanging in there!
[All photos today, of stonework I recently admired above the doors of Evanston’s Northwestern University]
As a first mention, I think it right to encourage today, a prayer for your leadership.
Our leadership, President Trump, has fallen ill with Covid-19. This is utterly terrible. I believe, (and no matter how you sway politically), it is important to pray for your leadership. Pray for their health. Pray for their strength. Pray that they will make the best choices for your nation and communities.
God’s hand over you, President Trump. May you be well and strong, very soon.
I myself, am presently scrambling through the thorns of transition, soon to emerge on the other side. It is very exciting, really. A promotion in position that will shortly have me working from home, barring a few brief jaunts to the office each week.
I’m currently delivering some training to the individual stepping into my previous role, while also learning new processes myself. In fact, I’m entering a new ‘field’ entirely. One I would never have imagined, given what I had always believed were my strengths and weaknesses.
Life is surprising, isn’t it? Or rather, sometimes we surprise ourselves.
I am very happy.
Even if, I’m going about everything rather clumsily, shedding a few public tears, and feeling rather exhausted.
What have these pandemic months done to us?
But hey, I’m doing it. And so are you.
Speaking of tears, I grew weepy over the news this morning. Items of one man helping another man. Even typing those words right now, and I need to grab for the tissue. We really need to love each other more than ever right now.
It makes me ask, how can I show someone I love them today? How can I help, someone other than myself today? How can I even, spread a smile?
In other thoughts, I was dismayed this morning, to see that my monthly Netflix fee went up. You see, Chicago and Evanston have adopted a streaming tax, a part of their entertainment tax, as I understand.
The reason I am dismayed, is that taxes and fees and fines and additions, and whatever…have begun to make me feel squeezed lately. And that feeling must be crushing, to those in any sort of honest financial strain.
I of course, believe in taxes to support the upkeep and betterment of our public spaces and communities (and accept that I also live in an urban area where taxes are often notably higher).
However, lately I’m feeling rather nickle-and-dimed. I’m afraid to write out an actual list of these items (sales tax on food, spiking real estate tax, mandatory city permits, streaming tax, etc.) to see what I’m really paying. But it’s truly starting to feel that the price of what it takes just to have a basic life anymore, is quite smashing against what one can reliably draw in. Especially if you want health coverage (but let’s not open that roiling and spoiled can of American worms). Certainly the idea of ‘saving for the future’ is no easy task these days.
To boot, I’m speaking from the point of view of someone who is still blessed with a good job, and is not by any scope of the imagination, much of a consumer. But seriously, looking at the numbers…
I really may have to consider moving my nest at some point down the line, for more financial security. I gather many people are thinking like this nowadays.
I will also be considering extra steps to frugality this winter. But, I’m going to try and make it fun, rather than allowing it to feel like a drag.
In other news, and I’ve shared this here before, I have the propensity of being over-sensitive to extraneous noise. Something I’ve better come to understand as I’ve gotten older. While lately considering not only this personal factor, but also the notion of general stress (to which we’ve all been exponentially dosed lately), I started to think on how I can ‘drown it all out’ while remaining focused.
I looked up ‘white noise’ music. Life saver. I downloaded some many hours worth of rustling leaves, streaming water, chirping birds, blowing wind, and whirring fans…
I am already a huge lover of classical music. I personally can’t listen to music with words while I work (I lose concentration). But, as music can soothe stress and level the mind, I have found that classical is the winning card (with the exception of any especially erratic or high-strung pieces)…
Additionally needing however, something even more basic to drown out the urban sprawl about me, as well as my own mind-chatter, I wanted to see what else was out there. White noise. Check it out. I understand some folks use it therapeutically. Now I will be. This is good stuff, folks. I never took to meditating or yoga. White noise has won my medal.
With that, I wish you much peace and contentment this week folks.
Be sure to drop a line! Tell me what you like to do to alleviate stress. Have any fun frugality tips to share? Any nice stories this week?
Best to you. You Stay Inspired, now.