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Friday, November 20, 2020

Better Days

"Well my soul checked out missing as I sat listening to the hours and minutes ticking away
Yeah just sitting around waiting for my life to begin while it was all just slipping away
And I'm tired of waiting for tomorrow to come or that train to come roaring 'round the bend
I got a new set of clothes and a pretty red rose and a woman I can call my friend"
-Bruce Springsteen

In some respects, it's gotten even more difficult these days for me to describe the world around me and how I feel about living in it.  Not good for someone with a casual commitment to writing that spans over 12 years.  We have a global pandemic that seems to be creeping within everyone's six degrees of separation.  We also have a president who, instead of dealing with the pandemic, is instead holed up in the White House, pouting over an election loss he still will not publicly acknowledge.  And conniving...lots of conniving.  Could we maybe take, say, 40% of that energy spent conniving and re-deploy it towards helping people instead?

I know the above sounds very gloom-n-doom.  I do, however, remind myself of what Oscar Wilde wrote many years ago...

...and one of the things that the pandemic has taught us is that we really are all in the same gutter.  

Another consequence of these days is the fact that many of us, including me, are robbed of the ability to see family members over the holidays.  With two of my three daughters living in other states, the opportunities to actually get together are normally few and far between; for the 2020 holidays that changes from "few" to "non-existent".  That's part though of the larger paradox of parenthood though, namely that we raise our children with the intent of them being able to be independent and successful on their own, but yet achieving that goal comes at a cost.  COVID is a kind of rapid inflation of that cost.  Luckily I have a daughter who lives locally, a loving and understanding wife, two stepsons, and a few cats.

I get the fact though that some people have virtually no one.  And among the cruelties of life, being alone during a pandemic is probably near the top of the list.  That very fact is probably one of the better arguments for an after-life though:  There should some be some kind of cosmic recompense for those who suffer in that kind of way in this life.

Technical note:  This posting is already full of typos.  More are probably lying in wait, and my 4.5 hours of sleep last night probably isn't going to be of much help in ferreting them out.

In any event, we have no choice but to be here where we are now.  I also am reminded that nothing in life is permanent, including petulant man-child presidents and pandemics.  Maybe Thanksgiving is even more important in 2020 than ever before, serving as a reminder that even in the seemingly worst of times there are always things to be thankful for, even if we do have to look really hard.

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