Thursday, June 14, 2007

My Cronies

I think I am an example of a person that is mentally healthy. Oh, I get depressed sometimes. And, sometimes I get angry. And, sometimes, I am just plain bored (like here at work - I'd rather be home in my garden). But, I take care of myself.

I think a lot of the mental health issues that we suffer from in our country are caused by our lifestyles and environments. Most of us do not lead productive lives. Our jobs are the source of despair for a lot of us. It takes away from the time we should be spending developing relationships with people who are close to us and also working on our souls.

So, how do I do it? I have to work and my job is as spiritually meaningless as any other job out there.

1. First off, I value my time away from work highly and I don't spend it chasing mindless entertainment such as is shown on TV. I will watch an occasional sporting event (I love baseball, basketball and high levels of competition in many other sporting events), but I never schedule time around a television show.

2. I don't spend anytime on the computer, except at work. I was hooked up to the Internet at home in the past, but I found myself on endless searches for information and engaged in endless dialogue with people I have never met. I am too embarrassed to mention my time wasted playing games, nor the day my wife discovered the filthy names of the adult websites during history search on my computer. Needless to say, removing the computer from my house has been a blessing.

3. I don't own a cell phone. I don't have call waiting. I would toss away the answering machine if my wife would let me. There are times when people should not be able to get a hold of you.

4. I eat nutritious and healthy food. Some day I will do a post on my diet. I am sure you will be thrilled.

5. I have very time consuming hobbies that are spiritually rewarding and nuture that part of me that many refer to as my soul: gardening, writing, playing guitar.

6. My cronies.

My cronies are extremely important to me. I probably should not be one to write a self-help book because many of the things my cronies and I do are not considered good for building positive mental health. Actually, some of the things we do are considered harmful to it. I am involved with a group of friend whom I have known for many years. We get together several times a year to either do a hiking/camping trip or just crash at one or the others floor/couch. We refer to ourselves as The Fools which is short for Drummingfools, the official name of our little tribe of 8-12 friends depending on the time we get together.

Our trips usually consist of hiking long distances carrying drums and other percussion insturments, alcohol, camping gear, clothes and food on our backs with 3 - 7 canine companions. We usually have several nights of drunken drum jams deep in the woods and days of smoking cannibus and relaxing in natural pools and waterfalls in the many rivers along the North Shore of Lake Superior in Northern Minnesota. Give me a a weekend of such activities and I can promise you, I and my foolish brethren will all be spiritually refreshed and ready to face the work-world. A week long hike is like a vision quest and a true awakening of the senses.

That is how I stay mentally, emotionally and spiritually on top of my game. Not with prescribed anti-depressants, but just a short time of excessive drinking a few tokes of the fareye and the comradarie of my cronies is all that is needed to do the trick.

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