Life in the Now

{Although a bit stale, here is a bit from a NY times article published March 15th of last year}

 

Article’s Title: ‘The Shame Culture’ (speaking of ‘life’ via the internet these days)

“……….people are extremely anxious that their group might be condemned or denigrated. They demand instant respect and recognition for their group. They feel some moral wrong has been perpetrated when their group has been disrespected, and react with the most violent intensity.

Crouch describes how video gamers viciously went after journalists, mostly women, who had criticized the misogyny of their games. Campus controversies get so hot so fast because even a minor slight to a group is perceived as a basic identity threat.

The ultimate sin today, Crouch argues, is to criticize a group, especially on moral grounds. Talk of good and bad has to defer to talk about respect and recognition. Crouch writes, “Talk of right and wrong is troubling when it is accompanied by seeming indifference to the experience of shame that accompanies judgments of ‘immorality.’”

 

I should point out that a writer with the NY Times was touting (in a positive light) an article that was ultimately published in Christianity Today……heck, that’s worth noting alone!

I find it funny (if not bizarre) that there are no more ‘fringe’ groups anymore!  Every group/clique/cluster-of-minimally-meaningful-weirdos has now been legitimized via the digital ocean.

 

 

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Maybe this’ll help someone……

I generally don’t get too carried away here in terms of mental health stuff, but I thought I’d toss this into the ether as it might help someone out there. I could make this a REALLLLLL-LLLLLLYYYYY long post but I’m busy and not in the mood to do that right now.

This summer, while away on vacation, I had some time to do a little thinking about a few things…..to take stock of where I am and what I’m doing in my life. I’m in my mid-40’s (and sliding rapidly toward my LATE 40’s!)…..so these kinds of thing tend to happen around this time in a person’s life.

I make my living in the field of social services, which as anyone knows DOESN’T tend to reward workers in a large monetary sense of the word! A good number of years back, I spent some time in healthcare administration….and made EXCELLENT money, but it was VERY stressful on me and my family. Here’s the critical thing: I had several flavors of superiors (‘Senior V.P.’s’ blah-blah-blah….you get the idea). I generally DID NOT feel like I was cut out to climb the ladder and become one of those types of corporate talking-head type guys…..fine, great, groovy. In my self-talk, I might say: ‘I’m just not that type of guy.’ …….and hey, that’s perfectly fine. HOWEVER,  during my ‘epiphany’ I came to realize that, in very subtle ways, I’d been insulting myself for NOT TRYING TO BE one of those kinds of guys. I’d been tormenting (so-to-speak) myself for not being one of those conquer-the-universe type guys! On one side of my brain, I knew what I was/wasn’t…..but on the other side of my brain, I spent a lot of time calling myself a ‘loser’ etc.  That’s really twisted……..and so strange to me that I was just ‘deaf’ to that.  To continue this thought further, I’ve often been a ‘You’re OK, I’m not OK’ kind of person. I lean toward…..’Everyone else is on a cruise’……’Everyone else is getting promoted’…..’Everyone else is getting a raise’ in my mind……..all the while, ignoring the people who’re failing/struggling left-and-right!

So, here’s the deal: Life is hard……..FOR EVERYONE! That neighbor of yours, who’s always doing great…….he isn’t……….trust me on that. Everyone you know is struggling, and clawing and huffing and puffing their way through the day JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. One of those guys I know (I respected him, and still do today)……he experienced HUGE amounts of success in a company I worked for. Then, one day, his wife couldn’t pick up a dish. He took her to the hospital, right during the midst of his perfect life and his perfect kids (each of whom belonged on a magazine cover)….and his amazing house and his incredible salary…….to learn she had a massive brain tumor. She died 18 months later, at 42…..and his world got turned upside down….his beautiful, sweet, intelligent wife, who adored him and their kids.  I don’t glory or revel in that….I care about that guy……but life didn’t hand him perfection……’cause it NEVER promised that it would to begin with. No one gets perfection…..no one. 

Sadness

Some days.....a fella just feels like this guy.

Some days…..a fella just feels like this guy.

Y’know, you hear words like “image crafting” and “image management” in today’s social media-laden world. People often only put really attractive photos of themselves up or only discuss their major successes…..stuff like that. I tend to like it when people discuss failures/struggles via social media……it often has a very real timbre to it in a universe laden with synthetic happiness.

In line with that: yesterday…..in less than two hours (before lunch, mind you!) I learned that my sister had a heart attack in the wee early hours of Wednesday morning (she lives in another state) and was being prepped for a heart catheterization and ALSO that one of my 20-year friend’s brother (only 52 years old!!!) had died in his sleep due to a heart attack that night!! Oh, and later that night, my friend’s flight (while en route to Indiana) had to make an emergency stop before arriving at its destination! (“Emergency stop” sounds like fun, when you’re flying home to see your grieving parents, doesn’t it??)  Also, I was embroiled in a 5 hour meeting that day that was much more stressful and ardous than it needed to’ve been.

Rough day……I mean that!

 

 

Trouble in Paradise

I have a good friend…..we’ve been friends a few years now. We share some of the same interests. A few days ago, he and his wife had a tough day………”marital discord” as the term goes.  I’m only saying this here, because I said it directly to him (and meant it with no guile whatsoever)…..it really warms my heart sometimes when I hear that other people are having marriage problems…….I often think that my wife and I are the only ones (even though I know that’s baloney). We love each other very much…..errrr, let me try again: I love her very much.

She routinely misuses and abuses me……treats me like so-much-pocket-lint more often than not!  Haha….that’s funny……she needs to read that one.  Let’s just say that I might’ve gotten the algebra of our dynamics mixed up just a little teeeeeny bit in that last part.
Anyway, I’m certainly not one to revel in another’s pain but lots of couples have their bad days…..and so do we………over 17 years of marriage, a little rain must fall!