Psychological Health Challenge, Day 8

Tomorrow we will try something different. Many people will find this irrelevant and even incomprehensible, and that’s ok. But those who do get what I’m talking about will be well-served to try this part of the challenge.

This exercise is for those who keep saving for a special occasion. These are folks who have a special set of bedding, a special pair of underwear, a special cup, a special piece of jewelry, a special notebook, etc, etc that they are saving for a special occasion. . . which never comes. Nothing feels special enough. Or rather, they don’t feel special enough to use this very special thing.

Tomorrow we will try to get over ourselves and use our most special thing that we are saving for the most special time. In my case, it’s a facial mask made out of rose petals. I’ve hoarded it so long I’m afraid it’s going to expire. The most ridiculous part is that I never even paid for the mask. It was a promotional item. So it’s not like it cost me a ton and I can’t get over the price.

Do you have a very special thing you are hoarding? Let’s try to overcome our Syndrome of Life Delayed and finally accept that life is happening right now.

By the Way

And do you know how many people aside from me taught contemporary Ukrainian literature this year (in the US)? I think it’s all of three. And they are all at expensive shi-shi fru-fru schools. While I’m bringing Ukrainian literature to the masses.

I’m now wondering if the Dean (who detests my department) manages to notice that I’ve been awarded an actual medal and says something.

Never Mentioned

There’s a lot of stuff that I do and that I’m interested in that I never mention here on the blog. Like my contribution to promoting Ukrainian poetry in Bolivia. Have I mentioned that? It’s really funny because I wrote an introduction to a collection of Ukrainian poetry and did some heavy editing of the translation. Obviously, I wrote in Spanish and it was no big deal. But then they authors asked that I write something in Ukrainian and I refused adamantly because it would be way too hard.

Some people are confused by the medal I got from Ukraine because I never mention many of the things I do.

Aliens Among Us

Canadians say that gas prices jumped up by almost a dollar a gallon after Liberals won the election in Canada. Trudeau is smart enough not to mess with the oil industry but still this happened.

Now imagine what you’ll pay for gas if Warren is elected. There are people who are fanatical enough about beating Trump at any cost. Or comfortable enough in terms of savings so they can afford not to care. How about everybody else, though? What will they tell themselves to feel better? That at least they can save gas on trips to the doctor since the appointment is in three years anyway?

Poke in Illinois

We now have poke bowls in the student cafeteria. Poke bowls! Oh, the sweet (and spicy) wonders of progress!

Of course, they are nothing like poke bowls in Seattle but still quite good.

When I came here in 2009, the food options were burgers and Pizza hut. And now we have a salad bar, sushi, and even shawarma. Shawarma and poke bowls are my favorite non-Soviet foods.

Psychological Health Challenge, Day 7

To conclude the challenge, we will do a water exercise. Depending on what the weather is where you are, take a glass of either cold or warmed up water – whatever feels more appetizing at the moment – and take a sip. Feel the water travel through your body. It’s just you and the water. Let yourself feel it.

It’s another great grounding activity to add to our repertoire. What we’ve done in this challenge is very basic meditation. It won’t repair any serious damage, of course, but it definitely improves the quality of life to make time to look at the sky or take some deep breaths. Many people think that meditation is about staring at the wall in silence for 15 minutes, which sounds excruciating. I have a very restless brain, so this kind of activity feels like punishment.