Okey dokey. I have been trying to stop saying that since I moved to New York 6 years ago, but at this late date I honestly realize that I’m only going to triumph over it when I am thinking about it, when I’m not stressed in the least. Habits are like that, deep furrows in the architecture of the brain, and they leap out when you are pressed. I have been pressed lately– absolutely awed by the incredible opposites of experience that exist in New York.
I figured out somewhere in May that 2/3 of my patients are freelancers of some sort, and it has affected the way I do everything. Everything being business. Freelance encompasses a whole range of employment– Non-profits, Non-Governmental Organizations,graphic designers, journeyman, and people who are doing the hard work for companies— employed for years but with no job security. I have had to decide thoroughly what my policies are for cancellations in all its forms. Usually, a 24 hour policy works… but… does that apply if the person is cancelling because they have to stay at work (trying to stave off layoff), or if they get work for the first time in weeks, or if a project runs overtime? I have been evaluating this on a case-by-case basis– no one gets off it they overslept, but it has still required more phone calling and texting (by far) than I am comfortable with. Also, every week, 2 or 3 people lose their jobs. It is hard for me to see them traumatized with repetitive thoughts and insomnia. I feel such love for them. I am the one who says, “You did everything right”, because they did, and the irresponsibility of a chosen few brought our whole economy down. I have a friend from Iceland, where the renagade investment bankers were called “The New Vikings”, who has lost absolutely everything because the banks are now insolvent. I don’t know what to say.
So, I work. I use this medicine. Sometimes it is to fill in the holes, and sometimes it is to bolster the Qi. For people who like that kind of thing, I talk about how acupuncture can lower stress hormones, and I name them. It is wierd to walk home from work because there are movies filming all over my neighborhood–truly, it feels like I’m in walking in some other sundown reality. They act like it is sacred, people with clipboards wanting you to walk on the other side of the street—- and I absolutely agree creativity is important. But it is so removed from what is happening all around me. There is even a movie filming beneath my apartment. It involves a lot of wailing, but I don’t know what is is about. My neighbor apologized, but he had to rent out the space because he doesn’t have work, and they pay well to use it (no companies want to rent my apartment because we only have a futon).
Tonight, a free movie on the waterfront that everyone was looking forward to was cancelled, because (I heard) President Obama was passing through on the East River. I watched everyone walk by the clinic, and everyone walk home, bummed out. I want Obama to be safe, truly, but I was going to go to the movie when I closed today, too.
The best advice I’ve heard yet, is “invest in your neighborhood”. Since I posted about bee-keeping, I’ve discovered that 3 other people near me are keeping bees on their rooftops, and I was so happy to hear that. I may just break the law to save the bees. I am more active in my community garden this year than ever before, and I will have vegetables (and pesto!) to can in the fall.
I saw 20 patients today, not including 2 soon-to-be babies, so I can say WorkSong is solvent. But I feel much like when I first read about the Iran-Contra (problem? issue? scandal?) in Hustler magazine years ago— Is this right? Is this America? Are things going to be okay?-
Please forgive me if this comes out a bit incoherent. I thought about it for days, couldn’t figure out what to say, and the “Nu Yawk!” title only occured to me because someone pooped on the doorstep of the clinic a few weeks ago. That is not an allusion to something, but what actually happened. It was yucky, but I figure, things are tough all over.