I started this blog with a lot of enthusiasm. I was going to write about important topics with verve and flair. I wanted to create something that shows what it means to be a thinking person in today’s world that does not reward thoughtful analysis. And sometimes I wanted to tell silly stories to make people laugh.
That was several months ago. I have a folder on my computer that has at least 6 essays that I’ve started and abandoned. In my mind I’ve probably started a dozen more. And they’re all about really easy topics too, like gun control, abortion and the First Amendment. I start impassioned and then trail off. Who knows? Who cares? I have nothing to say that hasn’t been said before.
I attempted to write about how we wont be able to solve our problems until we start listening to people that disagree with us. I abandoned the effort when I started to feel like a hypocrite. You can’t write a compelling call to action if you’re not actually interested in taking that action. It’s not that I don’t want to come to a better understanding with people of different opinions. It’s just that conflict makes my stomach hurt.
I started to write about how to stay connected to people we love but differ from us on really fundamental issues. I flamed out on that one pretty quickly when I realized that honestly the best solution I have is “don’t talk to people you love about shit you disagree on, particularly things that push your buttons.” In my practical experience, avoidance is the unhealthy but entirely effective way to stay connected to people you love who don’t share your values.
I’m worn out. I’m sailing past middle age and we’re still fighting about things that we naively thought we were on our way to solving when I was a kid. These last few years have really tested my faith in humanity and our country. Despair is a pretty strong word. Before now I had a normal amount of experience with despair. As a teenage girl I despaired a lot over hair, clothes and boys. As I grew up, I began to reserve despair for really crappy, heartbreaking things with no obvious solutions that fortunately didn’t occur often. Now despair is something I experience almost every day, any time I see a headline in fact.
So I write instead about “little” things. Bikes, and book signings and bad restaurants. I write about things that demand no conclusion. I wonder if I should become the Jerry Seinfeld of the personal essay. What’s the deal with moss? On a rock, it’s awesome. On your roof, it’s a nightmare.
Here are some little things in no particular order:
I lost my kitties, both of them, in the space of 3 weeks. One loss was expected, the other was not. I thought I was doing ok until I found myself weeping as we passed the pet supply aisle in Costco.
I’ve been struggling with arthritis and fibromyalgia, but it’s getting better thanks to finally getting the injection I needed.
We ordered a shed. Now I will be able to get my bike out of the front hall.
We’ll be cat sitting my Mom’s kitty Molly for a few weeks while my Mom goes back east.
Every day I earnestly enter the drawing to win the Hamilton ticket lottery but don’t.
I’m working on some projects at work that are exciting yet I constantly worry I am failing them. I ask people at work for reassurance that I’m not failing them, which they give me. Then I worry that I’m asking them for too much reassurance. Rinse. Repeat.
I’d like to take a week off of work to hide under the covers and cry, but I’m afraid I would never come out.
I’d like to volunteer to do more things, but every time I do volunteer to do something I immediately get overwhelmed by the infinitesimal claims these things make on my time.
We were hoping to go to Europe for two weeks in August, but life being what it is we’ve started scaling back our plans to a week in Los Angeles.
Pat and I hope to adopt two kittens soon, and name them Andy and Ollie.
Sometimes I worry that in fact I am a terrible wife but my husband is too polite to mention it.
I really admire people who are fighting to save the world, but these little things are all the things I have energy for right now.