Bummed, and Not Alone

(If you want to hear me talk, I recorded this.)

All weekend I just didn’t feel like writing. It was a reasonable weekend, and I enjoyed being outdoors in the sunshine, but I felt bummed. Looking around, I saw a lot of bummed people. I realized that, oh my gosh, this week is the anniversary of when we all started to take the COVID precautions. And it was the week of the last “fun” out-of-state vacation Lee and I have had.

I love marshes so much. I miss them.

It’s the last time I saw my stepmother, my cousins, my stepsister, etc. And the ocean. I’m not alone, of course; people are just tired of being restricted, and all we hear is that things will still be bad. At least some of my friends and family are fully vaccinated, which lets them breathe a little easier.

My cousins!

But, some of my less resilient friends are struggling, and struggling HARD. I’m really worried about a few of my friends whose ability to cope with isolation and the other effects of the pandemic is growing weaker by the day. The worst part’s that I can’t think of anything really helpful to say or do to make things any easier.

I hope to see my stepmom, Flo, again! She’s well into her 80s!

I’m coping by finding the good in what I do have, getting outside a lot, and interacting with people online, as well as being patient (since there really isn’t any other option). But, telling folks to just hang in there and things will improve seems patently UNhelpful to me. When you are struggling, that sounds like a meaningless platitude.

I miss the ocean. Hope to see it again in May.

I happen to know that struggling friends in Texas are feeling worse now that the governor has opened up businesses and entertainment spots all over the state. Many people will have the opportunity to go back to work, but many are young and not eligible for vaccinations yet. And they KNOW they will be dealing with customers/patrons who interpret our fine governor’s declaration as meaning “go back to normal and forget those masks, the hand washing, the large gatherings of strangers, and the other precautions!”

I hate it here' trends on social media as Texans react to lifted mask  mandate - Laredo Morning Times
A meme. I don’t post memes unless I’m extra peeved.

Hmm, I would not blame anyone for hesitating to return to a job that literally puts their lives in danger for little above our currently disgusting minimum wage. Do I have any helpful suggestions? NOPE.

<rant on>

Well, at least the people for whom freedom to risk their lives and the lives of others is the most important thing in the world should be happier. Maybe they’ll all go run some traffic lights and shoot each other with their unconcealed weapons in joy. Freedom trumps safety. Freedom trumps the Golden Rule.

<rant off>

Uh, as you can see, I’m pissed off as well as bummed. But, it’s my blog, where I can express an opinion, right?

Breathe. Think about the beauty of the earth. Breathe.

If you are struggling right now, please accept as much love and support as I can muster, and know I’m here to listen and to try not to stay unhelpful things in response. And, please reach out to your therapist, psychiatrist, or other professional if things are really going badly.

Times Are Still A-Changing

Like I talked about earlier in the week, I need time to process change. Sometimes, though, you just don’t get that luxury. This is one of those times. Yesterday, that one hour when I wasn’t in meetings wasn’t enough time to process, because then I was busy trying to get all the other work I need to do either done or planned out (tomorrow will be catch-up day, I hope!).

Meetings started early, so I got to see the sun pop up this morning, through a dirty window.

Today isn’t much better, though things are a little more spaced out. I’m trying to do a crash course in an entirely different way to work, different teams, different priorities, and a lot of buzzwords. I can do it, but I realized as I was taking my decompression walk a few minutes ago that this is really like getting a new job. And the rest of us are getting new jobs, too. That’s always stressful, even when it’s a job you want!

Also seen on my decompression walk: giant swallowtail

The folks in my department (whatever it is, now) are all in the change stew together and can help each other. I think I was so worried about being slow on the uptake or not coming across as thrilled with all the new processes and such that I totally forgot I’m not alone! My colleagues haven’t done this particular before, either.

Honestly, you’d think I would have figured this out a little sooner, after blundering along trying to figure out how to live life with all the new pandemic parameters. It’s the same deal: yes, you still have to do the same tasks, but you have to do them very differently. You will not succeed at figuring it out instantly. No one else will, either.

Speaking of fun, I got remote-control fake candles for my office. That will entertain my roving eye and add to the curated clutter.

So, thanks, pandemic, for teaching me lessons. And thanks, huge load of work changes, for taking my mind off the pandemic. There, something to be happy and have fun with today! All right!

Testing My Resolve about Good Intentions

I keep telling you one of my rules for life is to assume good intentions. I want to make the assumption that everyone I interact with is doing the best they can with the information they currently have. I want to assume the vast majority of people don’t set out to be mean, rude, arrogant, or unkind on purpose. I like to think that nearly everyone is capable of caring for the health and well being of others.

I can dream, can’t I? This whole pandemic thing seems like a big test of humanity, and one that is supporting the “man’s inhumanity to man” viewpoint (I’m quoting, so forgive me for the sexism).

Yes, what this donkey is telling us.

Like many of my friends, my convictions have been tested strongly by people who come across as unconcerned about making friends and family members sick from a potentially deadly disease. No matter how hard you try to isolate, wipe things down, go nowhere, and see no one, it just takes one person who isn’t as careful to get you all infected.

I keep thinking of people I know who are essential workers, and have to be out in public. You know, the grocery store workers, the health care professionals, the police, the delivery drivers. They never know when a person who just doesn’t care will walk in and cough all over them. That then puts their own families at risk.

This doesn’t protect you from people who don’t care.

No longer is this just theory. Every single day I hear of a person who “doesn’t believe in” germs, or something, who gets infected and goes on their merry way. Not somewhere else. No, in the places where my loved ones live. They infect people I care about, and I can’t go help them or be with them. That makes assuming good intentions quite difficult.

Of course I’m not alone in this. Most people I know feel this way. Even people who are philosophically opposed to taking certain precautions don’t seem to want to make other people sick.

Where was I going with this? I guess the thing is that even if nearly everyone is coming from a place of good intentions and trying to do the right thing (even if their different backgrounds might cause them to choose differently from me), all it takes is a couple of people who honestly don’t give a flip about the rest of the world to ruin lives.

Let’s just get out of here, like Sara and Apache are here.

Is there nothing we can do about this? Should we just throw out the idea that people are doing the best they can? Maybe, just maybe, we can learn something and build a better future. I guess that depends on who’s left after all these viruses and other contagions (racism, fascism, random divisiveness, etc.) run their course.

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