As Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Thomas Jefferson so aptly puts it in Hamilton “the sun comes up, and the world still spins.” Contrary to popular concern, we didn’t dissolve into stardust while we slept. It might FEEL like it, but here we are…
Yes, ladies and gentlemen…the colonoscopy is over and the results are in…polyps. We go back in four years to see how things have developed…there are things we can do to deal with this and make it better, but keeping to a healthful diet, etc. doesn’t always come easy.
To paraphrase Mr. Miranda’s lyrics one more time: Can we get back to real life? The same problems we had yesterday we have today. It might not seem like it to some, but THIS is the real world. The election was real, but it works on a different level of reality. How many of us will be screwed over or will benefit from the result is yet to be seen. So we move, unenthusiastically perhaps, on…
J is calm-ish today. He wasn’t so much last night. An unexpected call from Dada’s office came in during dinner. J’s eyebrows arched as he saw the change in demeanor from everyone else around the table. Dada went into work mode, and nothing I could do to mask the development helped. Is this why Bruce Wayne has a Bat Phone? That way the urgency of the call is masked by the fact that it rings elsewhere in the house?
Of course, the phone is a problem regardless of what I try to do about it. Full disclosure: cell phones are turned off when we are home. Our landline is IT. And, yes, we screen calls. We answer for TGG, the doctors’ offices, a few non-stressful relatives, and Dada’s work. If a person has been identified as a stress factor who will alter the mood for any or all of the key players, they will not get through to us. They can, if they are so inclined, leave a message. If the message is basically wheedling, needling, nagging, inciting an excessive and unnecessary emotional response, we will not return that call. If the person leaves a message that is derisive, insulting, angry, melodramatic…no call will be returned.
Yes, we are chicken shits. Yes, we like it just fine. Yes, we know we’re assholes. Yes, we can totally live with ourselves. Is that what “narcissism” means? Putting J’s peace of mind and well-being first? OK, then…narcissism it is.
Last night we put J to bed (after he had a meltdown in the shower shortly after the unexpected phone call,) and went to bed ourselves. Dada fell asleep. I read and checked the election results occasionally. By the time I decided to turn off the light the result was glaringly obvious. At that moment I decided that the only way is forward. I have no control (I did until my vote was counted) over what comes next outside of these four walls; in fact, I have little control over what comes next within them, but what little agency I have in this particular environment I will use.
Our plans alter a little. We now have more to think about because, let’s face it, the mood in the country has shifted to some dangerous expressions. We are all on tenterhooks, sensitive, scared, worried. We have reason to be. The democratic process hasn’t quite lived up to its hype this time around; anger and recrimination have become the two basic food groups, and we all look at each other with our eyebrows knotted into question marks.
What do we do now? We keep going. In spite of the stress this might be causing, we stay focused on the important things we face every single day. We have to move past the headlines long enough to look around at what is ours every single day. We go back to the business of being alive and living. That’s all there is to it…
For us that means continuing our efforts to help J work through whatever is causing him issues. We cannot relent, and we cannot get distracted from our purpose. We will, as we have been committed to doing as long as J has been around, fine-tune, adjust, refocus. We will continue to dodge the phone calls that are counterproductive to what we’re trying to do here.
At the end of the day, or the start of each new one, we have choices to make. Yesterday a panoramic picture was taken, and the space each of us, our family units, takes up in it is very small. We like to think it’s bigger, but it’s not. In the end, the people we put in office (at every level) have more say about what happens than we do, and we have to stop fretting about it until we get the next opportunity to have our say.
I have a say on my phone, my home, my circle (a very, very small one) and I will not give up on that say. The rest will happen whether I want it to, or not. People don’t like that. People don’t lie that I have a say and exercise it freely, but -again Lin-Manuel Miranda speaks for me as I paraphrase him: I have no control who lives, who dies, who tells my story.
That doesn’t mean I’m not going to write the version that works best for us, and for J.
Peace out…democracy still lives. It is far from perfect, but it lives…