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.”