We are not in the same boat

I heard that we are all in the same boat, but it’s not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship could be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa.

For some, quarantine is optimal. A moment of reflection, of re-connection, easy in flip flops, with a cocktail or coffee. For others, this is a desperate financial & family crisis.

For some, their work life has been stressful, sad and draining both physically and emotionally. It has shown them the difficulties and horrors of this pandemic. While others feel “it’s what you signed up for”

For some that live alone they’re facing endless loneliness. While for others it is peace, rest & time with their mother, father, sons & daughters.

With the $600 weekly increase in unemployment some are bringing in more money to their households than they were working. Others are working more hours for less money due to pay cuts or loss in sales.

Some families of 4 just received $3400 from the stimulus while other families of 4 saw $0.

Some were concerned about getting a certain candy for Easter while others were concerned if there would be enough bread, milk and eggs for the weekend.

Some want to go back to work because they don’t qualify for unemployment and are running out of money. Others want to kill those who break the quarantine.

Some are home spending 2-3 hours/day helping their child with online schooling while others are spending 2-3 hours/day to educate their children on top of a 10-12 hour workday.

Some have experienced the near death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it and some are not sure if their loved ones are going to make it. Others don’t believe this is a big deal.

Some have faith in God and expect miracles during this 2020. Others say the worst is yet to come.

So, friends, we are not in the same boat. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different.

Each of us will emerge, in our own way, from this storm. It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, actually seeing.

We are all on different ships during this storm experiencing a very different journey. Be kind, always.

Unknown author

No. I am not okay.

My father has been in the hospital for over a month, with a week in the middle, in a nursing facility for rehab. Most of the time he has been bedridden. It really doesn’t look good, and I have no idea how long he has.

Every time I post an update somewhere, people ask if I’m okay. I appreciate the concern but I don’t like being asked that because I don’t have a simple answer. I don’t like that question because I feel like I can’t answer honestly in an off-the-cuff fashion like the way people say “fine.”

It’s complicated. And most people who ask you how you’re doing in social settings are looking for a one or two word answer. They’re not expecting a full buffer-dump of details about all of the crap you’re dealing with.

Right now I am extremely tired. I’m stressed out more than I have been in my entire life. I’m trying to maintain a job, make sure there’s food in the house, get my mom to her appointments when she has them, check on my dad, and make some very unpleasant and difficult decisions on his behalf. I’m also trying to take care of myself, pay my bills, and get out and spend time with friends and in nature, and get as much rest as I can. I am probably dealing with a certain amount of depression and anxiety. I’m seeing someone monthly to talk that out. But none of this will begin to resolve itself until my dad is better.

I know everyone has their hearts in the right place when they ask, but when I see the question “Are you okay?” my first reaction is to roll my eyes.

I’ll be okay, just not right now.

Words to remember 

The Wise Martian scene from The Martian Chronicles, 1980

Secret? There is no secret. Anyone with a heart can see the way to live. By watching life, observing nature, and cooperating with it. Making common cause with the process of existence. By living life for itself. Deriving pleasure from the gift of pure being.

Life is its own answer. Accept it and enjoy it, day by day. Live as well as possible. Expect no more.

Destroy nothing.
Humble nothing.
Look for fault in nothing.
Leave unsullied and untouched all that is beautiful.
Hold that which lives in all reverence.
For life is given by the sovereign of our universe.
Given to be savored.
To be luxuriated in.
To be respected.

Cognitive dissonance regarding ‘globalism’

I first heard the term “globalism” when I was in college in the early 80s. I was still very nationalistic in my outlook on the world and I saw lots of us-es and thems. And there were always so many more thems than us-es. It was 30 years ago. I wasn’t as free-thinking as I am now, and I have a long way to go. I bring up September 11th a lot because I see it as the single most significant turning point in world history since the BOMB. That’s how I view it. Others may see things much differently.

Growing up in the 70s we talked about “the year 2000” as this grand trip to a theme park of the future. It was supposed to be sort of a Jetsons ride at Disneyland. So when we got there we were in the recession from the 90s tech bubble and trying to regain the footing when WHAM. Then three buildings, a massive debris cloud, and 3 planes later we were chasing boogeymen in the desert and being fed truth, half truth, no truth, and their opposites about it all.

So coming up on 15 years after it all began I have to say I’m disappointed in the 21st century. I grew up expecting much better.

World_Map_Illustration_RabinkyArtThis is artist Maria Rabinky’s vision of it. Everyone’s perception is going to be different, but the way I saw the years we’re in now was something like this. A world of free and fair trade. Our social and economic issues being handled in a compassionate and equitable manner. And war a thing of the past. Instead of that, there’s Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, and now Syria. And the empire marches on.

afghanwarWhen I say cognitive dissonance regarding globalism, I mean that we’ve all been force-fed a dark and unpalatable version of the global village. We’re able to trade, sort of, and the world is a global LZ as far as empire is concerned. Will it, and when will it end? Not this century, and not for a number of generations.

What’s happening should be unpalatable. And it is to many. But humans have a curious ability to adapt to adversity. It allows us to survive but also has us tolerating way too much that we should throw off. Our answers are within. There is no savior coming to scoop everyone up and reset the world. It’s a cute idea on one level. But this is the life we have. Ideas about before and after are nothing but speculation. We have to take care of each other. Keep informing and encouraging one another. We have to reset ourselves. Eventually a generation will grow up that won’t buy the bulk of the anti-intellectual gruel from the so-called “leaders.”


Thoughts of an American ExPat living in Canada

After the last week with the Orlando shooting I’ve done some thinking; I have sat back and read the comments, watched as many showed their support for the victims and their families; changed profile pictures, prayed, and many who inspired us. I have watched political interests use this topic to provoke fear and propaganda to get votes. Now living in Canada; I am watching the US as a spectator, I am seeing what the rest of the world has been talking about. I see why they think that Americans are a bit insane — I think the rest of the world may be onto something.

Once I stepped outside the crazy (aka moved to Canada), I saw a different perspective, a different lens of the US and why it may be so f’d! What I have realized is that it’s not exactly the fault of Americans; we are bred into a system that has carefully manipulated and brainwashed many into the powerful and inspirational American “dream”, what is the dream? Here’s what the dream means to me:
Money, career, cars, homes, children, marriage, the list goes on. These all encompass what many Americans aspire to achieve to feel a level of self-worth and stature. What they don’t realize is that the: media, corporations, the political system are literally feeding you a ton of bullshit to make money, keep control, give you a sense of security. I’m guessing deep down many of you feel pretty unhappy or unfulfilled? Maybe what I am saying makes no sense to you? Lol My guess is that guns and violence have become the new normal for you; and it doesn’t shock many people now when a mass shooting occurs. That’s a bit crazy, actually a lot crazy. Take a guess how many times in the past 2 1/2 years that I have lived here that I have heard about a mass shooting in Canada? Go ahead, never? Yep, that’s right; it’s only expected in the states. Why? Maybe because we are known for force and military power and creating fear around the world? No one messes with the US, right?

When I moved to Canada 2 years ago, I figured it would be just like the US only much nicer people, and probably tons of maple syrup, hockey and people saying “eh”. Basically, I didn’t think too much about it. How arrogant could one be?! I literally did not know the geography of the country I was moving to or it’s immigration laws. I just figured they will let me in because, “Murica!”. Well, that was a rude awakening, it took me a grueling 2 years to get a work permit and permanent residency. I had to become a Canadian and follow their rules. I was outraged, how could they just not let me in???! Even in my own selfish mind I was appalled and convinced other Canadians of the absurdity too, funny how we can convince ourselves of what we believe to be the truth. It must be because this is how I feel and believe. But now looking back at this all; I would have respected the system and government, I would have explored the regulations and paperwork required. I guess the point of the my long status update is that we aren’t always right, what we think isn’t always true. Open up your mind, think about other perspectives, respect other people, try to live with love. Always trying to be right is exhausting, trying to live the way people want you to live and to their expectations is EXHAUSTING!

Right now watching my American friends and family here’s what I am seeing: I see fear, I see people struggling, division amongst so many, stressed, working their asses off, on so many drugs and caffeine and alcohol to keep the insane cycle going to be “happy” or the illusion at least. I see people chasing happiness and acceptance and seeing their way of living as right and the way. Here’s a random idea: What if you were to detox from social media and technology for a day or even a weekend? What if you actually lived in the moment and present to those around you? What if you for no reason or purpose did something amazing for someone else or even yourself? We need to stop living in fear and we need to stop thinking we are somehow better than everyone else. We are all human, we all have feelings and beliefs and dreams. We need to remove judgement and start respecting others opinions, beliefs, etc. (I am guilty and trying to do my best as well). I am saddened so see so much division, lack of compassion for others, and continued hatred. More shootings are going to occur, more people will die if we can’t change the mindset of ourselves now and start inspiring future humans. When violence happens, it impacts us all; we really need to start changing and evolving, we can do better. Starts with every one doing their part. Instead of changing your profile pic, get out help someone, don’t post it on Facebook… just do it. Talk to someone who is down and feels alone or depressed or different from you. We need to come together and help each other if we want to stop this senseless violence from becoming the new “normal”.

I am an American, I respect and love my country and everyone I encounter, we are all unique and different and can learn something from each other. I know we are so much better than the perception out there in the world . 💗