Perfection is the enemy

I would like to say that the holiday travel season has kept me from writing as much as I would like.

I would like to say that it’s just been too hectic to sit down and put anything of substance down.

These things and more I would like to say, but the truth is that I’ve just let it slip to the wayside. Partially it’s because I’ve felt that nothing of substance can be written with a time crunch. I would prefer perfection. Even my morning journaling, which I do just for me, not for anyone else’s consumption, I’ve only been doing once a week or so.

The new year has many goals set upon it already, including an increase in my writing output. I’d like to finish one of the books I’ve planned, or at least get a monograph done that’s been sitting in my to-do section for the past eight months.

So as I set aside the yearning for perfection, and look to the new year, I’m ready to make those changes in my life that have been coming since all hell broke loose back in 2016.

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Chai

Ah, fall. It comes slowly here in Florida. But oh how I love that brisk fall breeze blowing in.

For as long as I can recall I’ve had a love affair with Autumn, and the thought of leaves changing (not seen much in this state), hot apple cider (not necessary in the 70-80 degree range), and bundling up (I’m still wearing shorts and tank tops) always brought me joy. Seriously, this time of year is easily one of the most amazing. It’s almost magical how life seems to slow down around now.

When you look at the world, at least here in the US, the holidays are just coming to mind. People are easier to smile for the most part. A little more considerate. It seems that once you get into December, and especially just before Christmas (maybe even that last week of November, unfortunately) the pace becomes harried again. But for now, it’s all windblown leaves and warm wishes; family time and remembering.

I think about these things when I drink hot chai tea. I’ll get it from local coffee shops, Starbucks, or the WaWa gas station. It’s been my favorite drink for years, and though I drink it year round, this time of year seems to fit it so much better.

Enough

I think I’ve been fed up over the past couple of weeks. Busy, yes. But I come to the blog to put my thoughts out there. Unload them, give them away. Hopefully to help me deal with issues that I’ve been wrestling with over the past two or so years.

The past couple of weeks have seemed to be tough, though. Politics, gun violence, sexual predation revelations in Hollywood, government, and in a vast number of other places. And with that much negative juju, I’ve had to turn inward. Just for a bit, to recharge my batteries.

Some of that time has been spent in goal-planning. Some in quiet meditation, walking outside, forest bathing and basking in the sun. I’ve not read much over these last weeks, but I’ve re-explored my musical interests.

I think sometimes the spirit needs to be refreshed, and how it’s done can be different for everyone. There have been times when stress has overcome me. Not many. I usually walk through life relatively easy-going and stress free. But I recall an instance when I was coming home after a particularly long day at work, then an hour and a half in traffic. Upon walking in to my already messy house, I discovered that the dog had significantly contributed to the mess by the way doggies do. And I lost it.

I’ve since left that job, cut my commute, and moved out of that house. Some problems need not be exacerbated by continuing in their cycle.

Some problems, however, cannot be avoided. And thus a period of recharge is necessary.

Election day

For being the year after a presidential election, this past Tuesday was pretty hopping on the national political scale. Special elections and combative party politics left the people wondering if a message had been sent to the presidential administration or not. If you’re Republican, you’re probably thinking not (especially if you’re a Trump-supporting GOPer). If you’re Democrat, much of the day may have left you hopeful for next year’s midterms and the coming 2020 election.

But ultimately, what does it mean? When is our Country going to find its leadership again? The politicians fight and jockey for favorable position, seeming more interested in staying in power (or gaining more) than in fixing broken systems.

They call out to their prospective sides, bell ringing the “major issues”, and practically ignoring all others.

I heard a very interesting perspective the other day, regarding immigration. One person described it not as an issue of illegally crossing a border, but rather an economic issue. Here are people of South American cultures, growing up in tight-knit family units. The land they live on is fertile and usually quite gorgeous, and yet they can’t make a living wage working in that area. And that’s even taking into account the dramatic reduced cost of living in those areas.

So what option do they have to leave their homes, and their families, hoping to safely cross borders and make enough money to send back home, either to bring family here or to help them live down there? An issue of economics. Rather than increasing the money spent on detaining immigrants, on border patrol and on some kind of Great Wall of America, invest in means to provide South American countries to promote living wages.

Certainly there are those that would argue for the same in the US. And I agree. When families can’t afford to live by working full-time, the capitalist system is just as broken, especially when stocks markets continually break records, in earnings reports, valuations, and sales targets.

So many issues to tackle, and the nation’s leadership can’t seem to find ways to cooperate. Hell, we’re lucky when the majority of them are being civil.

Silence

Once again, tragedy. This time in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

So much has been said about the shooting in which more than 20 people lost their lives, and dozens more were injured. At a church. And my thoughts are with everyone in that town, and all affected.

We forget how good the world is supposed to be, in times like these. We gear up and say that something needs to be rectified, but little ever happens.

In this silence, when we feel the most lost and abandoned, it is important not to shout. Rather, stay silent, and listen for that still, small voice.

What does it say about us as a country that erroneous stories can sway our opinions or, more accurately, reinforce the notions that we already have? Social media companies such as Facebook and a Twitter are under fire for their culpability in foreign agents interfering with the 2016 elections. President Trump routinely calls out “fake news media” for their production of stories critical of the Donald. Organizations such as Politifact provide truthfulness assessments of statements made in the political arena. 

Somewhere amid this cacophonous environment rests the average American. The average American, whose concerns are financial stability, work/life balance, and finding meaning in their own life. Most average Americans appear to be dissatisfied, and that dissatisfaction can be with their financial stability, their work/life balance, the seeming meaninglessness of it all, or even with the political arena at the local, national and international level. When a story comes along that reinforces our biases we say, “See. I knew they were out to screw us.”

And yet, day by day, we struggle along. A part of this nation, and the two hundred year old experiment. Finding our place, and hopefully a bit more. Why is it so easy for misinformation to affect us? Because we’re all constantly looking for something. 

Hallows

As the night wind blows

Making haunted howls,

The moon looking down

Illumined in vicious scowl,

The Day has died,

Departed or fled.

All that remains,

Or what lies ahead,

Is dark and wide,

Mysterious, changed, new.

Yet what is missed,

Thought dead or slew,

Returns aflame, bright,

Boldly breaking through the Night.

Last remnants flee,

Afraid of thee,

So should you brandish the light.