I just marked the two year anniversary of moving into my sweet little condo. Best decision I ever made, as the neighborhood is full of wonderful people that enjoy each others' company and house sit when someone goes away. I have built-in dog sitters, and they have an animal sitter and plant watered in me as well. It's miraculous that I found such a perfect community, completely by chance.
I love that the weather is cooling and I can run my gas fireplace, judiciously, for some warmth both visual and physical. As you can see here, I'm watching a movie on my computer because I couldn't get the damn t.v. to upload it! I'm pretty hopeless when it comes to technology. I'm better at it than, say, my 89 year old father, but I still find myself relying on the kids to get my tech problems solved. 64 years of age, and I started using computers at 30, strictly for work. What do I know? Only that it frustrates the hell out of me when I can't solve a problem. I am also frustrated no end when my dad calls asking me a question that we have gone over time and time again. He uses a PC, I a Mac. I don't speak PC. I can't help him. He's written four books using his computer and he still can't remember how to save a document if someone doesn't walk him through it. And he has no filing system, so can never find anything!
On the medical front, turns out I have arthritis in my cervical spine. "WTF?!" I shouted when I got off the phone with the doc. "This is not my beautiful life!" I have a physical therapy appointment in a couple of days. If that doesn't help, then they'll do an MRI. Why? I don't know. Once step at a time.
My Zoom church gathering today of 9 people (it's an extra curricular thing) focused on the topic of what is essential in our lives. What I shared is that just taking care of myself is THE essential thing. Like a building that needs major maintenance after decades of use, my body is rife with ailments that require diligent and timely mitigation efforts. It's a bloody full time job. I don't like it, but it's what I've got to deal with, so I deal.
It still feels odd to me to say "my church." I've never been a fan of organized religion, and I don't believe in the Christian theology. I feel I need to explain that I've joined our local Unitarian gang, er, church. My need arose during the pandemic lockdown, where I was coping with the death of two significant people in my life, and my own health problems. I was looking for a caring compassionate ear(s) and a community of people who did the work to build a more loving, inclusive and compassionate world. So I started going to Zoom services; participating in additional on-line UU groups; meeting others, many of whom I really enjoyed talking with. The Dali Lama has said that you can be any religion or no religion to get a benefit from Buddhist teachings and meditation. I feel the same way about the Unitarian church. The diversity of the membership, in terms of thought and belief, is vast. Racial diversity of our particular area is not so vast, and is reflected in our church. LGBTQ folks are well represented in the leadership and the congregation.
I feel well supported and truly appreciated by the people I've been through this church. They put their money where their mouth is. They are generous with their time and attentions. They are thoughtful, and practice loving kindness both to themselves and to the community. There is no need to identify as a particular religious belief or dogma (theology). We are practicing becoming our best selves and offering that best self to the world.
And, that, my friends, is how this agnostic/atheist joined a spiritual community.