I’ve been keeping my head down lately, because my heart cannot take any more negativity. There’s all the awfulness in the world, and then my best friend is in hospice with the nth recurrence of brain cancer. She fought hard for four years, which is a lot longer than many with glioblastoma get — and her daughter is getting a break from her profs at MIT, they are letting her spend a lot of time down here. I go visit as often as I can, but she is sleepy a lot; I try not to think of any one visit as being the last. Another friend died in a car accident in January, and a friend’s mom — who I called my substitute mom when my parents lived overseas – is in the hospital with heart failure. So you can see where my heart is a little fragile.
But I ran across this in a diary I wrote for the Hill Country Ride a while back. It’s still a good idea. Ducking negativity isn’t enough, it is important to actually turn things into positive (or at least try).
This is from a weirdly wise twitter account I follow (though I think it’s gone dormant since I first wrote this, I haven’t seen it in a while), it started with this really cool note:
@RealAvocadoFact Mar 12 Avocados are packed with potassium your brain can use to do feminism, spurn capitalism, unmake white supremacy, lots of things.
and then I saw these:
@RealAvocadoFact Mar 1
the response to this has already been…avocado will tell you a trick it uses
you can listen for the messages that wear you down, then say the opposite to yourself, and see what happens
and if you already feel good, you can listen for the messages that wear down the other people you see, and try telling them other messages
When I saw those, I realized that while I push away negative messages, I hadn’t thought to turn them around, or to do that for others. I work in a customer service job, which is draining — it takes a lot of energy to pretend to be chipper for 8 hours. So I hadn’t thought of the thing the person behind the avocado had. I’m going to try to do this, even with my heart in the fragile state it’s in.
The Hill Country Ride for AIDS is a lot like this avocado account. Positive, interested in building people up. Friendly & welcoming. This Ride doesn’t bundle money up & send it off to a lab (not that research isn’t fantastic & wonderful & I’m glad for all the advances). It goes directly to help people who are living with HIV/AIDS — food bank, dental clinic, case management, subsidizing meds…. Direct help to people right now. So please if you can donate to my Hill Country Ride page. Here’s some examples of what your money does:
$120 provides education for 440 people. Education is one of the most important tools in reducing new infections.
$250 provides 3 family counseling sessions. It can be devastating for a family when a member is diagnosed, and we know that an intact family unit promotes health and provides a built in support.
$500 provides a month of rent for one family in supportive housing. Assistance with food, daily chores, trips to medical appointments and social support create a foundation for continued health and a step toward independence.
$1,000 gives 450 home cooked meals for hospice patients. When in hospice, there are often unique food needs. You can make sure that final days are spent with delicious food that doesn’t upset someone’s stomach.
and here is a song that reminds me most of the Ride:
Everyone is helpful, everyone is kind, on the road to shambala. Let’s all be kind to each other. And if you could, please help people with AIDS by donating to my AIDS Ride page
and because I really just can’t do a diary without my darling boys — here’s them doing a positive, uplifting song — and to everyone who donates or shares this to others who might donate, you’re the best thing:
and here’s a lip sync video I did (yes, to another U2 song) – don’t you ever doubt the light that we can really be: