volunteerDo most Americans and immigrants love to work?  Is that why we’re the superpower that we are?  I personally think that work gets one out of the dumps.  I’ve had a lot of jobs over the years and the one thing that has always stayed with me even if I was a little off was that I was always doing something.  Granted, the thing I was doing may have not been the best for me at the time, but working helped me find my place.

I now know it’s good to concentrate on oneself and be kind to oneself, but when I was working without thinking of who I was, it kind of became my undoing.  When I buckled down and got my thoughts together AND worked out who I was while being kind to myself AND others, I felt less anxious.

I don’t work at any high powered job, but I do a lot of different things that are important to me and others who trust me.

It’s funny how we young people (and older people) have all these degrees and some people are doing jobs that are blue collar jobs.  I say find yourself in that blue collar job.  I mean, volunteering is what America about these days, so use your connections to find a job that you can work around and volunteer at something YOU find meaningful and full-filling.

I know when I volunteer, I feel like I am living my dream.  So what if there’s no real money involved.  The real money is in the free things you get when volunteering.  I’ve volunteered a lot of places including, a film festival, a dance organization and board, Meals on Wheels, my Quaker meeting, and a library.  When I volunteer, I don’t feel a heavy burden on my shoulders and (keeping my priorities in mind) can just relax and feel like I am working toward my dream.

That goes along with why I think improv and being able to think fast on your feet is so important.  Too many of us sit at a computer all day long.  We need to do something interactive that gets us moving and thinking things out.  I think if everyone in America took improv (and maybe the world too) we would get along with each other better.  Because every time I look at the box office receipts for movies, good comedies bring in a good amount of money.

Sometimes I really do think we should just work better at the jobs we have until you feel like you have nothing else to learn or give by doing the job.  I know we supposedly all want to be a sports star or in the movies, but that’s what community theater or community organized sports are for right?  Maybe we just can’t buy those $100 jeans and should just go to a thrift store instead.

I saw a commercial recently that mentioned how Americans are defined by work.  We’re always working or at least it’s perceived that way.  Maybe when you immerse yourself in work you forget about the bad parts of one’s life.

I know that we Americans are always on the go and it’s hard to focus on cooking or eating the right things sometimes, but if you work within your budget to make time for it and try something small, it could really give you pride that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.  That’s what cooking is about:  making something from scratch and feeling like an artist.  At least that’s how I feel when I make hummus or pesto or cookies from scratch.


my trip to Bolivia

October 1, 2014

boliviaSo my sister-in-law is from Bolivia.  She was born there and when she and my brother decided to get married, they decided to do so in Bolivia.  This was three years ago.  So my parents and I flew down with them to La Paz, for about three days.  It was extremely hilly there and our driver was pretty adept at not killing us.

We stayed in this fancy hotel that served Western style food.  But we did go to a couple markets that were kind of interesting.  The rainforest is where they grew tropical fruit like bananas, avocados, and the like so on one of our outings to some ruins near Lake Tikicaca, our guide and driver stopped at a market and got some avocados, pan (bread), and I think yogurt and maybe bananas too.  When we ate it near the ruins (with some very hungry dogs), I felt like I was living like a local.  Our driver even got some salt from someone because there are salt mines in Bolivia.  It felt like a pretty authentic meal to us.

When we got to Cochabamba, we then had a meal with Patricia’s family.  I think it consisted of rice and beans and definitely meat.  We had to drive to Patricia’s parents’ farm which was about two hours away.  At the farm (which is where the wedding was), they had pigs, guinea pigs, chickens, and llamas.  The wedding was a feast in that I think almost everything came from the farm.  Well maybe not, but the meat did and probably some of the vegetables did.

My parents and I continued on toward other cities while my brother and his wife went on their honeymoon.  The most memorable place we went (in terms of food) was the rain forest outside of Santa Cruz.  We were in a refuge way high in the mountains.  I flirted with the staff and took hikes with them, while a lot of the food they served us came from the farm on the grounds.  We had bananas, papayas, mangos and a bunch of other things like lettuce and tomatoes.  It was the fruit that made me think that fruit for dessert makes one appreciate fruit all the more.  I felt that in having those meals, how precious the rain forest was to the staff.  It certainly was a beautiful area.  The waterfalls were heavenly and there were all these dangling birds nests around that held some sort of exotic bird.

It was a once in a lifetime trip and I can remember some of the events in exact detail like throwing up at the wedding right across from Patricia’s parents and going to a centuries’ old church near Cochabamba where our van was blessed by a priest.  Yup, I hope to go back to South America someday.