Blame it on the end of February. Blame it on the Michigan political primary coming to every where near us next Tuesday. Blame it on the guerrilla type onslaught we have endured with "robo calls, cutthroat political ads, and some candidate in the news every minute and appearing somewhere in the state every hour. Blame it on the end of much of my life as I've always known it, though not quite. Blame it on winter and the fact we are now 2/3's of the way officially through, but it still feels like spring is a long, long way off. Blame it on a mild winter that makes us believe even though we know better, that spring is just around the corner. Blame it on the tulip spears that have shot out of the ground only a half inch but have been there to remind me for close to a month now. Blame it on envy that friends are heading to Florida and warm climates, and I am going nowhere fast. Blame it on the restlessness that is just a part of me right now, and can't seem to be quenched until warm days and long sunshine banish winter from our minds for another year.
So here I sit, still in robe and "jammies" not having the incentive to even dress on this Saturday in late February. The dogs are on the floor and sofa next to me. They prop one eye open if I move and Gauge will accompany me as I trail out to the kitchen for yet another cup of coffee, whitened with a large quarter cup of milk. If I actually ascend the stairs to dress, the dogs will likely break out into hallelujahs, as that generally means outside time for them. Maybe that's why I haven't ascended those stairs...
Many things have been coming to an end. They have affected me indirectly, but in the most life altering way. What wisdom I have accrued is teaching me that this is another door that has been opened for me, and its up to me if I charge through it, grabbing with open arms what's on the other side, or if I sidle up to it, peer cautiously around and step tentatively through, pretty sure that what's ahead won't be as good as what I left behind. And finally I can be shoved through that door, kicking and screaming, but knowing that I can't slam that door shut much as I would like to. Just as I am having these grave thoughts and thinking for all the world, I would prefer nothing so much as crawl into bed and under the covers and not emerge until the next few years are finished, the sun emerges and floods an otherwise gray February morning with light...and I feel better. Foolish? Oh yes, but we seldom can understand our most basic desires and fears, and what motivates us to smile and feel optimistic, until year's after. If we are truthful, we have learned that life is never what we thought it would be when we finally got there. If this be true then death will surely be the biggest of surprises.
I am exhausted by the endless political harping. I am appalled by the vast amounts the mysterious Super Pacs are giving candidates. I am cynical that any of them mean one word of the political fodder they are feeding us. I do not understand a land so divided that we care nothing for our neighbor, only what is benefiting or hurting our wallets. We have become grasping and penurious, niggardly and selfish. We will buy things we don't need stating its for our sanity, and use the tired line, I know I should function without all of these things of our techno world, but I don't want to. We cut corners on human kindness and generosity to make sure we have cable tv and a smartphone. Gasoline prices are surging again, and we are vehement in our anger, but helpless to do anything but complain. Voices united as one make no difference in this, as we are the voice of the voiceless and there is no way to change it.
We are a Nation addicted to our instant access on all of the news, but find little of the news, palatable. There is one bit of good news, kind, generous news, sandwiched in around hours of the opposite. High gas prices, Iran with the Bomb, political evil doing and falsehoods, the famous misplacing their lives and often paying the ultimate price. No jobs, a housing market in recession decline, and scams everywhere. The Baby Boomers are now big business, and we are bombarded everywhere about our impending retirements, what we should have and what we need to live the life we were meant to. If only I could figure out what that life was.
Day by day it all threatens to engulf us and drag us down. We didn't create the National debt crisis, but little interest in it thirty years ago, and allowing the government to run unfettered for a half century has gotten us to this point. The government had plenty of help down this long road. We all believe in austerity as the only way out, and yet none of us wants to give up what we are entitled to. We are told to work longer before retiring and cut out of jobs for the younger who need the work. Health care has taken over most of our lives. We can't afford it and we can't live without it. A pill will solve everything, but who can afford the pills? It seems a vast, endless rut we have put ourselves into. There is optimism in the world, and I hope the young are leading the way in not just existing, but in facing the tough problems and feeling there are ways to solve them.
Its the end of February and March will likely be different this year, but much the same. There are the things that abruptly change our lives, a sudden death, natural disaster, unforeseen crisis. And there are the slow takers of joy, long term illness, aging, job loss and recessions. I look at things with the eyes of someone who has seen many of these things. I have been blessed and my hurdles have been small. As my mother would tell me so often, "this too shall pass". But I want to be one of the "sunshine" senior mature, and I mean that not in needing sunshine, but in being grateful to be and optimistic in sharing and being rewarded by God's generosity to me. I want to shout for Joy when my time on earth is done, not want Heaven because earth has become such a meaningless place. I want to be productive and give more time back and not expect return for it. I want to feel there is a place for me, even if it is a minute niche. I want to feel I am appreciated and needed. But to have all of these things I can't sit and wait or be kicked through that door.
The world will always have trials and tribulations. There will always be recessions, depressions, chicanery in government and dirty politics. There will be those who dream, those who build and those who scam. There will be those who are kind and those who are treacherous. There will be the power builders and the power takers. There will be the poor and the rich. And hopefully, though it seems less likely every day, there will be those of us in the middle, just trying to lead a decent life, and be kind to those we love and those we meet.
If I am graced to see March, I want to be one of those decent people. ....