Sunday, April 30, 2017

Death Sick, Bad Hypnosis, Tiny House Mission Drift

Well, it finally happened. After several weeks of pushing myself to work through a run-of-the-mill cold, it turned into the chest infection from hell, and I was knocked out of commission, oh-so-conveniently just a few days before I was supposed to run a major event for work. Desperate to be better by event day, and unable to sleep because of the coughing, I decided I would use good old-fashioned hypnosis to beat the illness into submission. I listened to one guided meditation that encouraged me to envision my white blood cells as a gentle, angelic presence there to support me, and to imagine my sinuses “slowly melting” (yuck). When that didn’t work, I pulled out the big guns: A hypnosis app that promised to deliver unprecedented levels of relaxation and deep, full-body healing. The problem was, it was incredibly dull and repetitive. I couldn’t relax because it was making me so nervous. The “hypnotist” just kept counting, over and over and over again, and then when he was finally done counting, he would start in again with the exact same patter, all the while promising some vague “super-healing” stage that was supposedly coming at any minute. I finally ripped out my headphones in frustration, wheezing, “Dude! Get to the goods already! I have literally three days to get over this thing!” So maybe I’m not the greatest candidate for hypnosis. That’s fine by me—God knows what kind of subliminal messages they bury in that audio. The rest of the night I listened to Tibetan singing bowls, but those didn’t miraculously cure me either. I must say I am quite disappointed in you, alternative healing methods!

I did manage to get through Event Day armed with Dayquil and allergy medication, but it was a Herculean effort. The good thing is, I don’t have to think about next year’s event again for a few months. It’s always the same process: For months before The Event, all my brain thinks about is The Event, The Event, Oh My God The Event, and then suddenly it’s The Day of The Event, and it’s over in three hours, and then for the next two days I’m thinking obsessively about how The Event went. Then there is a blissful sweet spot of a few months during which I am not thinking about The Event at all, and I actually feel like a human being instead of a robo-planner obsessed with the minutia of table settings. ***Post-post Edit: I don’t want it to sound like I don’t like doing The Event. I do.  It’s the one time of year when I get to remember why I do this sometimes difficult and misunderstood job. The Event is an opportunity to honor the volunteers who serve our hospital. The table settings don’t really matter. What matters is that the volunteers are amazing, and it's such a privilege to get a chance to honor them at this event. They are great people, and I am lucky to get to work with them.

Being death sick is my excuse to indulge in mindless television, so I spent a lot of time watching HGTV last week. I had no idea how out of hand this tiny house mania has gotten. These shows that tout tiny houses have ruined us as a society by creating absurdly unrealistic expectations. Our fantasies about what can be crammed into to a 300-square foot space now defies all physics and basic logic. Folks, if you have four kids, two bullmastiffs and a baby grand piano, give it up. You need a house, not a tiny house. It’s not a personal failure on your part, nor is it a deficiency of design. It’s simply a fact: This trend is not for you. Go buy yourself a decent four-bedroom in the suburbs and stop trying to show off. You’re not virtuous, you’re not into “simple living,” and you’re not thrifty. You’re just deluded. Also, the definition of “tiny house” seems to be ever-expanding. One family moved into a full-sized cottage with two bedrooms and still insisted they were living in a tiny house. We need to pick a definition with clear parameters and reinforce it ruthlessly, before today’s six-bedroom McMansion with a three-car garage becomes tomorrow’s tiny house. This has been a public service announcement from The Good Typist. You’re welcome.

Here’s a pretty song in honor of all of us taking the time needed to heal, and letting go of the need to control everything:

--Kristen McHenry

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