Archive for the ‘Blogroll’ Category

On Being Tired. On Lack of Sleep.

February 2, 2009

I am having a lot of trouble sleeping. I often fall asleep fairly quickly, but then the slightest thing wakes me. They I lie awake, staring at the ceiling, or toss and turn trying to get comfortable. I tend to have a lot of pain in my neck, and headaches, which may or may not be related. Getting comfortable is not easy.

Generally, after 10 or 15 minutes of this, I get up. I go into the living room to read or go online. Sometimes I stand at the slider and stare out at the stars. If it’s not too freezing, I like to go out on the deck and look at the sky. I can usually see Orion, and the Little Dipper.

Often I am awake until midnight or later. I can sometimes play a game on the computer until my eyes want to close. Then I go back to bed, and either fall asleep, or not. It’s the “not” that is most frustrating. I sometimes have to get up a second time, and that is tough, because I have to be at work at 8 a.m..

Many days I struggle to keep my eyes open. Today is one of those days. I am so tired I want to cry. I realize this is a common issue for women in “the middle years”, but it is very hard to deal with. It does not seem to matter what I eat/drink in the evening. It doesn’t matter if I spray my sheets with lavender, or meditate before going to bed. It is what it is what it is, and I am sick, sick, sick of it.

It’s A (Wonderful?) Life

January 21, 2009

I’m feeling a bit like George Bailey these days, wondering what the world would be like if I’d never been born.  Last night, I lied awake thinking about what would be different.

There is the obvious, of course, that my three children would not have been born, but aside from that I can’t think of anything.  I’ve not saved anyone’s life, or cured any diseases. I haven’t been the deciding vote in any contest of importance. My only creations include some not terribly meaningful blog posts and some unfinished manuscripts.  Lots of poetry that no one reads but me.

Perhaps someday, one of my kids will do something phenomenal, and in their biography I will be listed as the mother. But that is them, not me, and it would be retrospection.

So what does this mean? Am I not real? Am I only alive in my own consciousness?  If I were to suddenly disappear, would their be a void in the world, or simply open space?

Hmmm…..

New Year’s Resolutions? No, Thanks.

January 5, 2009

Every year millions of people promise to lose weight, eat right, start exercising, quit smoking, etc..  Yet how soon do those lofty intentions go down the tubes?  My guess:  maximum of two weeks later.  And that’s only for the most persistent.

This year, I decided to quit drinking wine.  Well, on New Year’s Day, I had to have at least one glass (well, three, actually.)    I mean, come on! It’s New Year’s!  So, Friday, January 2nd…  Well, it was Friday.  Saturday?  You’re kidding, right?

You may be seeing a pattern here.  I guess when it comes right down to it, I don’t really want to give up wine.  I was trying to do the right thing, to be noble.  I feel like I should be drinking less, losing weight, exercising more.

Ah, the hell with it.  I’m going home and have a nice glass of wine.

The Death of The American Dream

August 1, 2008

This economy is so frightening!  Nearly all of us are affected in some way by the situation in this country, and it is rarely in a good way.

Last night I had an eye-opening conversation with a young mother.  She works in day care, and is currently job hunting.  I naively thought that this was one field that would not bear the brunt of a sluggish economy, but I was wrong.  When a two-parent household has one party laid off, the children no longer need day care.  When both are still working, but money gets tighter, one of them will switch to nights, thus negating the need for day care.  This woman must find a job where she is allowed to take her kids to work with her when school is out, because on her salary, she cannot afford day care for them.

This appears to be a true barometer of the situation, and as mentioned, one I had never considered.

I am aghast at the job market, or lack thereof. The Bush administration can spout figures about new jobs created, etc., but as always, statistics are made to be manipulated.  Every wage earner who loses a one hundred thousand a year job may have to take two jobs to pay his bills. A job created!  People who once earned a decent wage and had great benefits may now need a second job to afford insurance. Another new job!

More and more companies are reducing their staff to part-time positions, especially in retail.  Fewer full-timers means fewer benefits.  To cover a 40 hour shift, there may be 2 or even 3 employees where there was once only one. More jobs! When WalMart comes to town, they hire 300 people, and brag of jobs created. No mention that they are menial, low-paying, un-benefitted jobs.

I think this country is in deep shit, bluntly put.  The divide between the wealthy and everyone else is huge, and getting larger all the time.  In No. America in 2006, there were 3 million millionaires, and there were 38,400 people with a value over 30 million dollars.

Yet the median income is somewhere around $46,000.  So it takes a whole lot of poor people to counteract those super-rich ones.  In 2005, there were 36.5 MILLION people in the US alone below the poverty level. It is also important to note that the poverty thresholds are ridiculously low.  At present, a single person must earn less than $10,400 to be considered “poor”.  So the folks making $11,000 a year are not in the ranks of the poor. They don’t count.  Try telling them that.  Try renting an apartment in New England on double that, and you’re in trouble.  If we were to calculate those living below a “decent living wage” scale, the numbers would be monumentally higher.

All of these statistics may bore you, but this is the most important issue we are facing in our society. If you remember world history, most revolutions take place because the poor uprise against the rich.  In the French Revolution, the nobles were beheaded.  Can you see that kind of anger brewing in this country? I can.

I am a very fortunate, middle class woman, and yet I am now very close to living on the edge.  I have a decent-paying job, and own a home, but my husband lost his job last fall, and is now working part-time at not much above minimum wage.  We now need all of our money to pay for the basics.  That is not a great feeling while we are so close to our “golden years”.

I am afraid.  Not only for myself, but for all of us baby boomers who are watching our investments dwindle, while the prices at the supermarket rise, and the cost of heating our home becomes prohibitive.  And, yes, I am afraid for myself as well. I am not comfortable facing the unknown.  I worry about the potential for violence in our cities and the loss of the comfortable life we have enjoyed.

For many Americans, the American Dream has died.

Knowledge is Painful

July 7, 2008

I am cursed with intelligence and a deep sense of logic.  I’m not Mr. Spock, mind you – way too emotional for that – but it pains me that our world is so illogical.  I want there to be justice, and fairness, and I want things to work out as they should.  Of course that is silly.

A very wise man once told me that knowledge equals obligation.  If you know something, you have a moral responsibility to address it in one way or another.  He was not suggesting that I personally could solve the world’s problems, but that as a thinking creature, I could not disown, or detach from, the knowledge I had gained. I think the discussion was initiated by the horrors in Bosnia in the nineties.   Women were being raped as part of an ethnic assault, and I was literally losing sleep over it.  A deep depression was initiated by the understanding that human beings can be cruel and violent, and that innocent victims were powerless to fight it.  I was powerless to fight it.

My friend told me that if we know of a horror, we are obliged to do something about it.  What does this mean?  Do I send money to relief organizations?  Is a care package of any value at all?  Should I write to my congressmen and senators demanding intervention?  Is it enough to know, and to speak out? What???

I am not strong enough to fight the evil in the world on a personal level.  It overwhelms me.  But how can I sleep at night while these horrors exist, if I have done nothing?

My daughter has spent the last 4 weeks volunteering in New Orleans, helping with the recovery from Hurricane Katrina. (http://katrinanoyes.blogspot.com/)  I so admire her willingness to put herself in a situation where she not only believes in helping, but is actually doing something.  She is young, and strong, and socially responsible.  By comparison, I am a failure. I send money to food banks and other charities; I support human rights and environmental organizations.  My heart is in the right place, but my actions do not follow.  I cannot put myself in harm’s way.  I am a coward.

But I also see the hopelessness.  I believe there is nothing I can do that will matter.  How small of me to feel this way, while my daughter sweats in the oppressive heat of New Orleans in July.  I know that if we help one person, or one family, we have succeeded, but I struggle with an inability to get past the big picture. I see a world of pain, and torture, and neglect, and abuse, and am paralyzed.

I believe human beings are a seriously flawed species, and it is just a matter of time before we destroy ourselves and anything else in our path.  I truly believe this.   We destroy the gift that is the earth, and we destroy one another.  I think it is a flaw in our makeup.  When Mother Nature created man, she gave him free will, but forgot to give him common sense.  When she gave him a competitive spirit, she left out a sense of fair play.

We shall be the only species thus far that becomes extinct through our own actions.

This depresses me beyond belief.

I Vant To Be Alone

April 7, 2008

Yes, I want to be alone.  Whenever things get me down, I want to hunker down, go into a cave, and be by myself. No one calling me, visiting me, or asking for anything from me.

I guess you could call this depression.  But as a lifelong borderline basket case, I know this is not the case.  I am not so much depressed as sick. Sick of the world as it is. Sick of life and all the inequities it presents.

I want to visit Oz, minus the Wicked Witch.  Actually, minus Glenda the Good Witch, too. She’s rather annoying.

Or perhaps move to Celebration, Florida, the town established as a part of Walt Disney World, where I can live a Disney life…

I want to be alone.

I want to have a little cottage by the sea.  I want to wake each morning, sit out on the porch and sip on my coffee.  Then, if I feel like it, I will walk along the beach, stopping to pick up pretty stones or shells, and occasionally a piece of seaglass.  Mostly brown (beer bottles, don’tcha know), some white, some green.  Very, very rarely, a piece of blue.  Blue seaglass is a prize.

My days would be filled with reading and writing and walking, cooking wonderful meals, and sitting in a rocking chair on the porch. Bored? Never.

But this, unfortunately, is the real world. I have a job, five days a week at 8 a.m..  I have a mortgage, and a fuel bill.  I want to move south, but, clearly, my timing sucks. The real estate market is pretty close to dead. A great time to buy, but to sell? Not so much.

I’m studying Ayurvedic healing, and attempting to meditate.  I’m reading, and learning, about eating whole foods and breaking away from the modern addiction to plastic food.  I am trying to be healthy.

Yet each day is a struggle.  I want things to turn around, but let’s face it, ain’t gonna happen no time soon.

I can be a better me, but I can’t see a better culture.  We as a species are destroying the gift that is the earth.  We are by nature selfish and competitive and greedy.  We do not ‘love one another’.  For me, the only salvation may be to leave it all behind, to go and find that cave.

Because, truly, I want to be alone.