What can one say that hasn’t already been said? My world , along with everyone else’s has been pretty much flipped upside down , right side up, backwards, forwards, and then spinning in a new direction almost every week. From murder hornets to flying snakes to demon sex in the news..to befuddling information about the cases of Covid 19…to an election here in the U.S. rivaling that of Godzilla vs. King Kong.
Stephen King would have thrown this book out only to be quickly picked up by John Waters and made into a film.
I promised a few posts ago that i would be starting The 10 New Steps for changing my life once again. i will be starting with how I have navigated this pandemic and political environment, what’s changed , and what i hope to get out of it as a life challenge.But this post is a pre-emptive for better understanding .
So let’s begin.
I have been over most of my own highlights of the year a few times in previous posts . In short:
- I started the year with one year completely sober, and 2 months smoke free
- around February everything started changing and by March we started getting the first real announcements about Covid 19.
- Actual restrictions began and almost all events, many businesses, and church gatherings came to a halt, and my roommate and i gave up our monthly events as well.
- In my case, i met the new love of my life . Soon after, i found out my brother had cancer.
- The entire year, social media was besieged with political propaganda as never seen before.
- Here we are in November, barely managing to wrap our heads around the drama of the election.
That’s it in a nutshell.
It’s been a lot for everyone. Let’s start with the pandemic part.. what have we learned ? Some of the most popular answers i’ve come across are:
1.learning to appreciate teachers, homeschoolers, and the value of the internet for education
2.rediscovering our families
3. finding ways to battle loneliness, depression and anxiety- and more compassion for those who have suffered with it all their lives.
4. rediscovering the joys of art, crafts, hobbies, and long forgotten passions
5.balancing new budgets
6. more attention to our health( and also how to make masks more fashionable-lol..just kidding!)
and the correlating Negatives:
- realizing you really didn’t know your kids/family as well as you thought, and how tough it is to be “stuck” at home with them all the time
- realizing how much time you spend on social media out of boredom
- learning that although we usually crave “me” time- too much is not so great either
- feeling the effects of a large decrease in socialization, even if you considered yourself a loner before
- spending way more money on items ordered online to keep our minds busy
- being paranoid that every little cough/symptom might be a sign of impending death
In short, we have learned the art of adaptation, and have come to understand we are stronger than we thought possible. After all , if you are reading this you are still alive.Adaptation will be covered in my step 1 .
As for the political part, we have watched our nation become more divided than ever before thanks to internet and media propaganda. Artificial intelligence has taken political polarity to new heights and has led to the destruction of friendships, families, and relationships of all types. We have watched people we thought we knew well turn into raving, spiteful, angry entities in such an unbelievably short time it blows the mind. Instead of sporting cute bumper stickers on our vehicles and colorful garden flags in our yards, we have seen an upsurge of historical symbols of hate ( nazi flags, confederate flags, etc. ) and bumper stickers shouting such things as “Fuck Your Feelings” as a political catch phrase.
On the plus side- many have realized that spending too much time online has led to increased anxiety, depression and anger. More and more documentaries have made their way into the mainstream regarding the effects of social media and thus, a larger % have chosen to decrease their usage , even if only for a short time. Additionally, at least at the moment, the election itself is finally over for the most part and finally the junk mail , political ads, and pushes to register to vote are decreasing.
We have learned the art of humility. In essence, realizing that despite the false promises of online socialization, we are none-the- less NOT an island unto ourselves . We are social creatures , but we need real life socialization as well. No amount of screen time of going to make you feel loved, nor can it suffice as substitute physical contact/interaction for very long. And even the most staunch tech user has been forced to admit this..Humility will also be covered in step 1.
I hope you will journey with me as i begin this new adventure..