Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Heaven knows I'm miserable now

Listening to Marketplace on NPR this evening amounted to subjecting myself to enough gloom and doom that the best solution would have been to go home and cry (or switch the station). High oil prices, bankrupt seniors (and general economic dismay for everyone), and the food crisis...not mood-lifting stuff. Having had enough of that I flipped over to the Reds pre-game in time to hear that Ken Griffey Jr. was ailing and would not be playing on the night designated in his honor. For Pete's sake!

I'm just now getting home from a long day at the office, which says enough in its own right. I'm tired but I can report it's been an incident-free day on the health front. There's something to be thankful for.

But all this got me thinking that there is an awful lot of bad news, or forecasts of it, in the atmosphere these day. That's enough to grind people down even if dire circumstances haven't peaked or been felt sharply. The word on the street seems to be that we better watch out because it's only going to get worse. Being prepared is a good thing, but does it reach a point where it becomes debilitating? As an individual I can't solve peak oil, sectarian violence, the national debt, or environmental catastrophes.

More and more I feel like it would be so easy for all of us to become like Mark Wahlberg's character in the comedy I Huckabees. He's a fatalist crippled by the powerlessness he feels living amid such global concerns.

I don't mean to suggest that I agree with the character or am headed that direction. It's just that I think it illustrates very well what we're being bombarded with and how it can make us crazy if we try to be conscientious about everything.

Of all days in recent memory this is the one that should have me thankful. My kidneys aren't screaming because the stones seem to be gone. My seasonal allergies have not flared up for several days now. And hey, I unlocked the ability to play Mario Kart with my Mii. (How's that for frivolous?)

What's keeping you happy and upbeat in times like these?



At 8:33 AM, Blogger Karen said...

Hey, you're on an upswing. Now you just need to knit again! So glad you're feeling better.

At 8:51 AM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

Yes, that's right. I should probably point out that the entry title is a musical reference to amuse myself, not a reflection of enormous angst.

At 8:27 PM, Blogger Donna B. said...

I alternate between guarded confidence in the ingenuity of human beings of goodwill, and crippling fear that it's gone too far and there will never be any good times ever again. I must say I spend more time in the former state than the latter, although too much news consumption can spiral me down. It's all going to look much better in November, isn't it?


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