‘Green Room’ fast becoming my favorite in the house

Through the years, I’ve had friends who designate rooms of their homes “Green Rooms.”

You can imagine where the namesake comes from. After all, I have just rebranded my site, “Mental wellness, sober living and medical cannabis. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.”

I might drop the second sentence. I mean it in a good way, but it sounds like I’m poking.

I also thought about “Cannabis and Recovery. Every day.” In fact, I declare that one mine, too!

At any rate, my friends with ‘Green Rooms’ always have made me, well, green with envy.

Once decorated with Bozo, two twin beds

This used to be my bedroom.

Book preview: Dad and I reclaim the property

Picture it: Rock Island, Ill., 1974. Me and my brother crammed into this room with two twin beds. Bozo the Clown curtains and bedspreads. I was 4; my brother, 13.

Lucky him. He moved to the cellar when mom and dad built the room addition in 1976 and semi-remodeled the basement, and this became my bedroom.

It had been closed off for a very long time. I never really used it. I never really slept when dad was here. I always was chasing after him. When he went into the facility, I started sleeping on the couch. Finally, I moved into his old room.

The room became a junk collector.

Room a gratitude reflecting pool

The real reason I am writing this column is that I glanced in here and just thought, “Wow, I love this room. I am so grateful for so many things.”

It’s a nice distraction when you are upset about something to focus on your blessings. We all have them. If you dig deep you can always find one uniquely yours – whatever helped you get through the day, be it a cup of coffee or a call from a friend.

Imagine the day without that one thing.

Maybe it was as simple as buying a head of lettuce for 39 cents.

Read more: Here’s why we need education, not misinformation, about medical cannabis

Maybe it was a warm bed, or a cool one.

I used to get so mad when people talked to me about gratitude. But it really does work. Trust me.

Meaningful items bring about serenity

I love the items in the room. An old friend stopped by a few months back. I could tell he was exasperated that I remodeled the house but mostly have the same old stuff. I like my stuff.

The desk is a table that I bought at Ikea in Carson, Calif. in 1993. I wasn’t sure if I wanted it, then someone else wanted it. It was the last one, so I bought it.

That plant was given to me by my next-door-neighbors – the ones in the home the plant is facing, fact. They gave it to me when dad died. It is growing by leaps and bounds. I call it my Jack and the Beanstalk plant.

The Oriental-style lamp was a Goodwill find — $7.77. The cool wastepaper basket? It was expensive, even on sale, and from Target. I’m embarrassed to say what I paid for it. But I love it in the room!

The same goes for the kitschy LED lamp. Target. Not cheap. And on sale. But so cool!

AIDS LifeCycle T-shirt reminder of important work

The T-shirt draped over the wooden bar stool was sent to me by the Los Angeles LGBT Center when I covered AIDS LifeCycle the second year. They are wonderful people there. My HIV reporting has been an extremely important part of my medical writing career and where it all began.

Read more: Sharing my personal relationship with HIV as I ready for AIDS LifeCycle

I can’t wear the T-shirt because it’s a – now, I’m serious – extra small.

Seriously, Gil Diaz?! 😉

Finally, there’s a little man laying out in the sun underneath the LED lamp. That came from a dear old friend long, long ago.

Longtime friend.

I think my Green Room is the grandest of all.

Do you have a Green Room? Tell me about it!

Read more: My portfolio of paid work on infectious diseases/public health topics

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