Greetings! I haven’t written in this blog for awhile. Those of you who follow me have probably given up on ever hearing from me again. It’s been busy—the standard excuse, I know, but it really has been. I worked on the Presidential campaign and I actually took the bar exam here in February. I hadn’t practiced in several years, plus I’m in a different state, so that means I had to take the bar exam again. Much about the bar exam is different than when I took it in 1990, but the stress level that goes into packing that much information into your brain and hoping you can access it to answer two days of essays and long, complicated multiple choice questions–well, that hasn’t changed a lot.
If you’ve read my blog, you know that I have struggled with depression at times. These days, I think I have more of a problem with generalized anxiety. If I pay too much attention to world and national events, I start to feel overwhelmed. So many things seem so broken and I don’t think my generation is going to be leaving much of a legacy except for a big pile of problems that we are running out of time to solve. Sorry kids.
It’s so troubling that gun violence and rape are two issues that people in the U.S. are fighting over. As if there were several different legitimate ways of viewing these issues. But these topics consume the news cycle and have divided the nation in ways that I didn’t think I would see again in my lifetime. We get the New York Times delivered daily but I can’t bring myself to read it most of the time.
The environment, climate change, fracking, GMO foods, the lack of empathy towards those who have lost jobs, the insanity of the Congressional filibuster, and the lack of real leadership in government—it’s hard to stay positive. One of my children who is in college—during this semester alone—has had a friend who was raped at school and knew another student who was struck by a car and killed last weekend.
How do you stay positive? Besides pharmaceuticals? (kidding–but not really). Ignoring the issues seems irresponsible. Engaging them seems impossible. I know the news isn’t there to focus on happy things and on all the areas on which we agree, but still… are things as bad as they seem? Has it always been this way? I admire people who can be present in their own lives and not take the world’s problems on their shoulders every day. It’s not like I’m creating world peace by my endless fretting and anxiety.
It is the middle of April and today it is snowing more than it did all winter, probably 8 inches so far. If I could get out into the garden, I think that would soothe me. There’s just something about seeing the green starting to poke through the ground that gives me a sense of peace, and hope too.
Sometimes, I sit on the steps in the garden and watch the birds that gather around the lake behind our house. We have lots of geese, gulls, and even woodpeckers. They are so unconcerned about the things I am stressing over daily.
Of course. They are fully present in their own now experience. It’s a sensibility that I lack. They aren’t fretting over their purpose in life and whether they are making an impact. We humans are rather silly that way. We have built so many ways to get information about anything and everything 24/7 and, in the end, it just weighs us down. Or at least some of us.
There are religious orders which pray for the world all the time. That’s the life they’ve chosen. Do they think it’s making a difference? Does that even
matter to them? I think I belong to a secular order of worriers. I’m not sure who the other members of the order are, but our purpose is to worry over everything, all the time. Someone is always on duty–fretting and nervous. So if you find that you are having a good day or just feel happy, don’t be concerned that you aren’t doing your part. We’ve got you covered.