Reception

Now more than ever we need a way to anchor ourselves. Everyone is different and what works for me may not work for someone else, so hopefully, we all have coping methods we can turn to in our tool kits during these trying times.

Sometimes our usual techniques aren’t adequate and we may need to reach out for support from trusted others. Or like now we have constraints and our preferred methods may not be available. We can’t go to the gym, go out for a coffee, movie, hugs or retail therapy, lol.

I rely on my spirituality to keep me steady and resilient in tandem with collecting data and using logic, philosophy, reasoning and input from reliable sources/people.

I maintain healthy practices so when difficulties arise I know how to get by and although I may get knocked down or thrown off course, I am able to get back on track again.

The more life experience I’ve had, the greater my repertoire, self-knowledge, and skills. I’ve learned the art of balancing surrender with persistence along with honoring all of my emotions, processing and integrating, then reframing life’s traumas in a way that is empowering. It takes trial and error to know when to let go or hang on. You have to keep taking risks to stay in the flow of life.

This means I’m open and flexible to a variety of techniques and points of view and select those which work the best for me, the ones that are win-win too. I try not to get stuck in anger and unforgiveness. I keep correcting course until I’m only participating in what’s in alignment with my values, what’s loving, healthy, purposeful and meaningful to me. There’s constant change nudging me to grow.

Most recently I’ve transitioned careers and it’s been highly informative for me. I’ve experienced what it feels like to be an entry-level employee after being a professional for almost 30 years. Through my experiences, I’ve had to practice forgiveness and have come to the realization that the only way our situation is gonna change is if we choose not to participate and stand up for ourselves.

I keep thinking of multiple experiences I had interacting with older white male clients recently. I greeted them and they stared through me like I wasn’t there and then when I’d go about my duties, I’d feel their eyes on me, I’d look over at them and was greeted with sneers of contempt, glaring eyes filled with hate. I’d never experienced that level of nonverbal animosity for no reason whatsoever in a work setting except with psychiatric clients. And the other times out in public have been in rural areas, cajun country where I’d be met with hostile glares at times form the older crowd.

Another incident recently which makes me chuckle was when I emerged from the kitchen and a woman, white, middle-aged saw me and she looked like she’d seen a ghost, the panic in her was palpable as she was waiting at the waffle station. I could only guess that it’s because I’m Asian and she thought “Chinese virus” ? I smiled reassuringly her way, what else could I do lol.

The level of entitlement some people have and disrespect towards entry-level workers, like in a restaurant, grocery stores, retail, housekeeping, etc. I didn’t realize it until I experienced it. I can’t remember how it was in my youth when I had entry-level jobs, I probably didn’t notice then, too naive.

It’s funny, I kept wondering if they knew I was a nurse if that would change the way they received me? When I briefly worked as a barista, the management was so authoritarian and expected so much for so little pay. The short time I spent working in a grocery store, it was so boring, with such poor communication and lack of caring by management.

And for my most recent job, the workload was too much for too little pay, with little respect. There were many appreciative clients who went out of their way to say thank you, were respectful and tried to minimize the messes they made, which was encouraging. And management and staff were wonderful, no complaints there.

Mostly, I don’t see how anyone could keep doing these types of jobs for such little compensation, with such poor treatment and lack of appreciation and stay motivated and happy. Maybe short term for youngsters, but for anyone else who has some life experience under their belts, how could they put up with it?

My recent retail job was the most positive out of them all, yet it was a lot of work for little pay with even less purpose and meaning.

I keep wondering how I could do anything differently to change the way some people respond to me as a worker or in life? Actually, the only thing I can do in those situations is to forgive and I can also choose not to participate. I can keep quitting jobs where it’s not healthy for me or misaligned with me. I can try and speak up, but to me, it hasn’t been worth my energy. In nursing, I tried to no avail. Money and tyrants.

We don’t have to put up with it, or do we?

What if I don’t have the skills or education to get a job more aligned with me, where I will be treated with respect and compensated appropriately, so I can survive? What if I can’t afford an education? What if I’m unable to perform the strenuous duties and am unable to stomach the stress? What then?

It seems that people sacrifice themselves and their health to survive. I don’t see how one can have a family and get by on minimum wage comfortably. Working so much is inhumane and depressing.

I’ve considered being a homeless nomad. For a while there I was feeling really desperate and despairing, I’d watch movies about living in the streets or in the wild and read about converting a van into a type of camper, researched tiny houses, minimalism, anything so I didn’t have to work a soul-crushing, health killing job.

What if we had a basic level of income along with healthcare for all, childcare and education paid for by the government? Where we all have the opportunity to create lives that are more purposeful, meaningful and contribute even more. With everyone coming from a stable base there would be more harmony, teamwork, cohesiveness, creativity, and convergence and life satisfaction. We’d have a more peaceful, thriving society because no one would be left out. We’d be more like a family. We could level up across the board.

I don’t see myself as being able to keep being a worker with a boss and I wish to be able to be more selective with my clientele. How I’m gonna make this happen, I don’t know, but I’m taking this time to figure it out.

Maybe our society will shift towards less consumerist, materialistic values and more towards humanitarianism, purpose, and meaning. Less fluff, waste, materialism, exploitation and lining the pockets of the richest few and more environmentalism, equality, contribution, purpose, meaning, creativity, innovation, art, healing, health, reverence and thriving for us all.

Will things go back to the way they were after this pandemic? I see people posting about this online, the consensus has been that we don’t want things to revert back to the way they were.

Some object and say that such changes aren’t possible. What do y’all think? What do y’all hope for? Has this pandemic changed your values and perspectives in any way?

We have time to ponder and decide what we choose to support in the future?

???love, hugs and healing ?

Michelle Miyagi
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