I’m an introvert and to some extent a highly sensitive person. That means I’m alone a lot. It means that there are places where I’m not comfortable and people I’m not comfortable around. You’re probably thinking, well, that’s everybody, and you’re right. It is. Everyone has their discomforts and I don’t mean to discount anyone’s sensitivities.

So last weekend I went into a fast food restaurant. I was one of maybe four or five customers. In fact there seemed to be more staff than customers at that moment. The workers were in kind of a hurry, there were a couple of orders being held up, and the cashier was pissed off about something. I walked in a little annoyed. This place is notorious for getting orders wrong, and I went inside this time instead of using the drive-through. This same order was something they’d screwed up a couple of weeks before and I wanted to avoid having to come back. So I went in not at my best…with preconceptions as to how my order was going to be prepared.

When I got in there I felt uncomfortable… agitated.  I guess I was blending in quite well with the overall atmosphere of the place. I just wanted to get my food and get out. I used to think that my discomfort was always me, like the way I hate being in really loud, crowded, enclosed spaces. But at that moment I had a thought that maybe the the energy of the place might be contributing to my discomfort. Maybe it’s not just me…not just an introvert/HSP thing.

We’re always somewhere between chaos and calm.

Any high-traffic venue probably going to be kinda frenetic as far as it’s overall atmosphere is concerned. There are several things affecting that. Wherever we are, moment to moment, we leave a little bit of ourselves in any space. Our residual energy and thought-forms perturb others on several levels. As one friend put it, they’re like ripples in water. The people occupying the place are dealing with all sorts of things just by living. Then there’s me. While I’m not the only one I have an effect on I am the only one who can take responsibility for that. What are my mental, emotional, and spiritual states walking into the door? What have I been dealing with all day, the night before, on the way there? Did I sleep well? Did I sleep at all? Have I exercised? Have I meditated? Have I taken a few minutes to sit quietly and alone? Whatever carry in with me is what I’ll be leaving behind for others to deal with. Therefore I need to take a moment…to get my bearings…to breathe. Think of it as a form of spiritual deodorant. Maybe if I’m in a better state my energy will balance some of the chaos instead of making it worse.

This is something I’m just starting to pay attention to.

Dryer vent

The dryer hasn’t been working properly for several years, and I’ve been putting up with it instead of getting the vent cleared out. I didn’t know until recently that most chimney sweep companies handle this service.

It’s a serious fire hazard. Most people don’t bother unless there’s a problem. This needs to be done annually and while the tech was here two of my neighbors, who’ve been here longer than I have, came by, got his card, and said they had never had their vents cleared out.

Quiet snipping

StaySharp Max Reel Mower by Fiskars.

When I was little in the late 60s/early 70s I remember my grandmother pushing one of these around the yard. It sounded like a bunch of scissors snipping away at the grass. By the time I was old enough to be taught how to mow the lawn she’d taken ill and sold the mower to the maintenance guy who helped out around the neighborhood sometimes.

Honestly I don’t know what my carbon footprint is. I suspect it’s no larger than most people living in the States. I drive a gasoline powered car. I eat and drink out of plastic and aluminum. I have petroleum based cleaning products around the house. I’m slowly working to clean all that up. Slowly. I’ve been replacing the CFL bulbs with LED. I use plant-based soap in the shower and an organic toothpaste. I am not able to purchase a new vehicle right now. Something newer should run more efficiently.

A few months back I was driving through my mother’s neighborhood and I saw one of her neighbors using one of these that he’d picked up at one of the big box hardware stores. It’s the Fiskars 18 Inch StaySharp Max Reel Mower. I like it. It makes a similar quiet snipping sound to what I remember from 50 years ago. It took a couple of passes and a bit longer to cut the front yard. The thing is, this isn’t about speed and convenience. There’s more than enough of that in the world.



Last week the garbage collection driver forgot to swing back around and do the pickup on my side of the street. So everyone’s bins were still at the curb when I got home at around 8pm. 3-1-1 exists for these sorts of non-emergency situations. We use that number to report dead animals, fallen limbs, and so forth. That night the system was trying to route calls to emergency services from AT&T’s mobile 9-1-1 customers as that portion of their network was down for several hours. The network has been repaired but during that time customers were unable to reach 9-1-1- operators from their mobile phones. The outage covered at least 14 states, so it’ll probably be difficult to determine how many people were attempting to call during that time.

Back in 2010 the ATM network went down, city-wide, for a couple of hours. Upon hearing that many people realized they didn’t have, and needed cash. Supposedly the Point of Sale terminals at grocery check-out lines were working. But eventually the grocer is going to get tired of $20 bills leaving the store with packs of gum being the only thing purchased. Yes they have a duty to the public but they’re in business to sell groceries, not so much as money changers.

We rely on these systems heavily and we get anxious when we’re not able to get cash, or when the card reader is acting wonky at the gas pump. This is going to happen from time to time. You can only store so much cash, so many batteries and candles. Sometimes the crises have to pass. We have to endure the outages. Failures happen and we do what we can to survive them.