As I awoke this morning, my first thoughts were of the Republican budget which was passed last night and our country's powerful plutocracy. If there has ever been a true representation by the people, which is highly questionable, we certainly have no voice any longer. I must admit that I felt deeply anxious. Anxiety is rife in our society these days and I had to remind myself not to join the feeding frenzy of fear, anger and despair. Why? Because that's the only thing that I might have a bit of control over, my own response to traumatic events.
So, I decided to spend a little extra time in bed relaxing while making mental notes of what I've survived in life thus far.
I was raised in a religious cult.
I managed to put myself through college twice.
I worked as a teacher and then a principal until retirement.
None of the above was easy without parental support, but I managed somehow. Then I added a few more things to my list:
My husband lost numerous jobs to global outsourcing.
For several decades we lived close to the poverty line
We built our own house
In order to get ahead, we were a two income household
Unlike my mom and mother-in-law I HAD to work
We were the youth of the Vietnam War era
We were aware that many our age died for a losing cause
Society was explosive and divided
I had no support from my family
We married way too young
Somehow we stayed together and raised our family
Unlike our parents, we sacrificed to help put our kids through college
We pinched pennies, saved money and eventually were able to live debt free
There was a lot of uncertainty in the world back then and the average Joe was generally ignorant of the possible consequences of their own actions. We didn't live in the age of information, so we often didn't even know which questions to ask.
Most of my life has been in spite of:
lack of family support
lack of money
lack of knowledge
lack of opportunity
lack of support for and faith in the middle class
lack of equality
lack of experience
lack of progress
And, do our children have it any better? Or has my generation sold their future to the highest bidder? Im afraid we have been quite careless at the very least. So why would I be surprised that what we have to offer our children today is still lacking in so much?
We've made technological advances but socially we're still struggling.
I will remind my children to pay attention. I will make sure that they know that even though they have the undying support of their mother and father, they will need to use the increasing knowledge available today to their personal advantage. I will hope for the best but prepare for the worst. I will go into old age determined to have the intestinal fortitude to continue to live my life to the best of my ability IN SPITE of almost everything.
Things don't look hopeful at the moment, but it never has if I'm to be totally honest with myself.
It's always been a struggle to be a human being in a world of primordial instincts predicated on fear, anxiety and anger. Yet, here I am. Still kicking. Still learning. Still trying to find a way around, through, over or under the heaps and heaps of problems facing me and you, and you and you.
I eventually hauled my ass out of bed this morning.
And, like I tend to do, I turned to writing. That's how I do things. That's how I cope. That's how I sort through the shit. And after writing this article which helped to clear my head a bit, I'm here to tell you that in spite of it all .....
I've got this! So, bring it on. I ain't through yet.