Virtual Insanity

Unfortunately, on the heels of the lovely Very Inspiring Blog Award, I am feeling anything but inspiring lately. It is as if the last two months have reached a pinnacle of frustrations and I am just angry with the world and how it turns. I still seek my center in the midst of it all, but just as I allowed my moments of sadness to happen right after the flood, I am allowing these feelings of anger to happen as well. I believe it is all part of the healing process and also a product of the circumstances and sometimes even anger can be productive.

For background, it is important to understand why my tolerance may seem so low. So, my house flooded. Ha! This has almost become a joke with friends and family. “It is okay for Kerry to get a bit pissy sometimes, remember, her house flooded”, “Oh, Kerry just got pooped on by a bird, yeah well, it’s because her house flooded”, “Kerry just said something rude? No way? Well, remember, her house flooded.”

Anyway, so my house flooded and we lost everything in case you forgot. J We’ve been living with my mom now going on two months. We’ve been looking at houses and weighing every possible option of what to do. We decided to buy a new house, sell our flooded house “As Is” and also sell a rental we own. So, we are trying to get a mortgage and sell two homes. Plus potty training, considering a puppy and maybe a business. Yeah, why not?

Its fine and we are all doing well but we are cramped and ready to get out of this state of limbo. My kids waiver between excitement over a new house to asking when we can go back to “our house”. The night of the flood, my uncle called to check on us and during the conversation told my mom, his sister, that he had lung cancer. Six weeks later, he died. He was a very healthy, active man who played golf daily, traveled and lived life. He ate well and took care of himself, yet cancer suddenly took hold of him and did not let go. He did not suffer and that brings me comfort. I have not yet even processed that he had cancer much less that he died because everything has been so chaotic. When there is less to fill my head in weeks to come, all of this will settle in.

Life is fleeting. It happens so very fast and takes us by surprise. I took my son to the Naval Aviation Museum to celebrate my uncle’s life as he flew fighter jets in the Navy and was an airline pilot later in life. There is a section of the museum showing life in the 1940s. It is Main Street with a restaurant, a cinema, a grocery and a home. You can look inside everything to see how simply people lived and how little things cost. This is my favorite part of the museum but on this particular day, this exhibit filled me with sadness and anxiety. I did not live in this time yet I mourn it. I wish life were more like that now.

As I drive my children around to run errands or to go fun places, I look around at fellow drivers and the majority of them are looking at their phones, texting, emailing, Facebooking, or taking selfies, who knows. And it makes me angry. Almost every day, I get a text from the city saying there is a wreck on the Bay Bridge. Hmmm, wonder why. Why can people not disconnect for a drive? It is so sad how controlled people are by their technology. But it is more than sad, it is infuriating. People are basically drunk driving all day long and endangering my children so that I am nervous to leave my home. I have my thoughts on how to remedy the situation and may take those ideas somewhere when we get ourselves settled.

My kids want to play on iPads and iPhones. They like watching television shows. I’m mad that I have to “limit screen time”, I’m mad that they live in a society where devices are the preferred toy. I’m mad that there is garbage on the television and that we are ripped off paying for that garbage. No longer though, we will make changes to that in our new home. I’m mad at the nonsense level of choices we have as a society. I’m mad that the things we buy are garbage but my kids want them anyway. I’m mad at fast food and how unhealthy it is yet how addicted people get to it.

But it isn’t just technology that binds people to the system, it’s the never-ending consumerism; the idea that we should constantly want things. I have been in furniture stores a lot slowly replacing our lost items so I am certainly in the mix more than usual. But for some reason, the ads and the sales and the stuff, stuff, stuff is making me angry. I need a good bit of the stuff but most of it I don’t. And I’m angered because nobody else does either. It’s all just random stuff that means nothing and can easily be taken away. While I do care what we buy, I just don’t feel that connection to the things we look at like I used to. I would think and waiver and argue my points for why I wanted a certain item that my husband did not. Now, it’s just an “okay, whatever, let’s take that” attitude and it actually feels good not to care so much.

So, how is all of this angst productive you might ask? Well, that is still to be determined but I am buying less, I am storing my phone in the car not to be touched until I am not moving, I am not on the internet as much which means I don’t read blogs as much and I am sorry, I will still read your lovely words, just not as often, I am not allowing my kids to stare at the television for very long (not that I ever really did). I want to be debt free, I want to live more simply, I want to be healthy, I want to pay attention what goes into my body, I want to accept that life is not a guarantee.

When you see me on the street and you hear me ranting about the world as I see it, know that I have a plan, I will not let this frustration control me. And if the rant just seems kind of annoying and unproductive, you can always just whisper to your neighbor, “Well, her house flooded.”

20 thoughts on “Virtual Insanity

  1. I love this and I love you. I secretly hate owning stuff. I can see why things are annoying bc you see that they are not as important as they once were and our things keep us from what we love -people. U long for simplicity bc it is waaaay nicer! I’m all for it. I think people are going to get worn down by our stuff and live more simply. Just like we did after the industrial revolution art nouveau came as a response to technology .

  2. I often feel the same way. It’s as if we’re stuck in this “stuff vortex” and there’s no way out. Hope getting this out there was helpful.

  3. Kerry, Dang, girl, you sure have way too much going on right now. I feel for you. Times of transition are hard. Having so many undecided things is confusing and overwhelming. I wish I could help you somehow, my heart goes out to you. Sometimes in times of trouble, you just have to inhabit the moment, and let worries about the future go. Try to find joy somewhere, in the fact that none of your family were injured in the flood maybe, I am so relieved that you are all okay. I am so sad about your uncle. Why troubles always seem to come together is one of life’s mysteries. Maybe it has to happen that way, so that we can have calm times, too. You are surely due for some calm soon. Hugs and warm wishes, Brenda

  4. Well, “your %$#&! flooded.” Bloody right. I receive this as a burst of righteous anger–very productive, if you ask me. It seems like everything that’s happened in the last couple of months has cracked you open and given you a clearer vision of how you want to live. Sending every good thought your way! Peace, John

  5. At the risk of overstepping (because we all know I NEVER do that :-)), and maybe I’m totally projecting here, but here goes…

    As you know, I’m presently struggling with a decision to stay in my Toronto home, and keep everything status quo. Or, I can sell this place at current market value, use the proceeds to pay off some really stupid debt we’ve accumulated, buy something more modest, put away chunks of money for each of the kids future downpayments on homes of their own, and still have money left over to do more traveling. I know what I want to do: I want to live what I preach: simplify my life. Experiences over stuff. Financial freedom. But what’s niggling at my gut is this unsettled feeling. Sure there is legitimate attachment to this home (family memories, etc) but that would have been present in the 2 previous homes we’ve owned, yet I left each of those without blinking an eye. Nope, this one is different, and much as I’d like to say that it’s hard to leave this place because of the memories, the truth is, if I allow myself to admit it, that I love the beauty I’m surrounded by. Yes, I’m that shallow. And that realization sucks. It puts me at odds with myself. 😦 I don’t want to be so attached to something this material, but I clearly am. I know what needs to be done, and I will do it. But I’ll be angry with myself in the process for amount of emotion I feel over all this ‘stuff’.

    So, I wonder, Kerry, if part of your anger and angst is related to the fact that you do miss YOUR STUFF. Yes, it’s only stuff, but it was yours! And you had no choice in letting that stuff go. The flood made that choice for you. Maybe I’m grasping here, but I wonder if, like me, you’re upset with yourself for caring this much about the material stuff, which is at odds with the type of life you want to live.

    Sorry for the diatribe. Like I said, I may totally be projecting, but wanted to share a perspective that you may not have considered.

    • You’re not off base at all Nancy. It has been hard getting my head around it all and having the right mindset and I slide back every so often. I am mad that this happened and that I lost my stuff. I can’t believe it sometimes and it still breaks my heart. My memories there are the hardest thing to leave behind, my life the way it was, all of it. So, yes, this anger is definitely driven by the fact that everything was snatched from me. It has awakened me too because of that anger. Like John said above, its like it has reached a point where i have cracked open letting it all out and with a clearer vision.

      • You are justified in everything you’re feeling, my dear. Hopefully things will continue to move forward, your vision getting even clearer and your path to the new happy and exciting.

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  7. I love this post – it is a great thing to post all these feelings swirling around in your mind to give you some clarity on them – and I TOTALLY understand so much of what you are saying. iPads, iPhones, tv, internet, stuff, junk food – I could have written this myself!! We really DON’T need all this stuff and I lament the fact that my boys are always so keen for “screen time” 😦 But, the positives are that you are coping, and changing and redefining your priorities in the light of some terrible events. I am so sorry to hear about your uncle – cancer is awful and for him to go so quickly is terrifying. Kerry, you are a wonderful, strong, woman, and you are coping brilliantly in a situation that would have been almost impossible for some people to bear. Hang in there and rant whenever you want. You will come through this, even though it might sometimes seem like the tunnel has no light at the end of it. *hugs*

    • Thank you Faye. I appreciate your words and that you relate so much! I think so many people do and hopefully one day our world will switch gears. I really appreciate your encouragement. xo

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