Musing

Changes

autumn autumn colours autumn leaves blurI’ve been thinking a lot about changes. In nearly the blink of an eye, our lives have completely changed. We are working and schooling at home.  We are cooking, cleaning and doing our own yard work instead of hiring it out.  We have resorted to cutting our own hair.  Frivolous spending has drastically dropped off.  We are faced with shortages at stores either due to demand or due to genuine shortages in the food delivery systems.  Up until March, the only people you saw taking a walk in the middle of the day were fitness nuts and old people. It all happened so quickly yet right now things aren’t too different from the life of our grandparents and great grandparents lived.

Less than 100 years ago no one used to work out. We got our workouts from walking places instead of driving. Our work consisted of more manual/physical labor and less sitting around.  Our food availability was not as streamlined and interconnect as it is now – much to our detriment in this pandemic.  People were skinnier.  If your garden or farm didn’t grow, you didn’t eat. If you were out of a job you didn’t eat. There was no government welfare system. There were soup kitchens and poor houses but no one was getting three square meals a day.  It was just enough to keep you from starving.  We didn’t see a therapist or talk about our feelings.  We didn’t have as many diagnoses.  People just died.  We didn’t have less cancer or less autism we just didn’t diagnose. Well, John just up and died yesterday he’d been looking bad for 3 months oh well.  Pets lived outside and ate scraps. Now there are people on the internet asking about daycare and enrichment programs for their pets. True story, I saw a lady asking about enrichment programs for her corgi on our neighborhood Facebook group right before this pandemic hit.  Are you freakin’ kidding me?  There are still children out there with crack head mommas that can’t bother to feed them and yet some bougie ass lady is worried about her dog.

Now that we’ve pretty much been stripped of everything non-essential and for God only knows how long, I wonder what we will keep and what we will let fade away when this pandemic is but a horrible memory.  Will more schools be held online? What about work? We’ve proven that so much can be done at home. What about the people everyone used to ignore – the grocery store and warehouse workers – the ones keeping the wheels turning right now. Will they get paid more and be shown a little more appreciation?  Now that folks see that life does exist outside of being busy all the time will they slow down? Or, will we be forced to slow down because of economic restrictions?  With so many people laid off will life change because no one can afford to do anything? It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Personally, I wish I had a crystal ball. All of the uncertainty is making me anxious. I’ve realized it’s not the change that bothers me. It’s the fear of the unknown. Will the change be a good change? A tolerable change? Or, will the change be something we have to grit our teeth and slug through to get to the good outcome?

Photo Credit: Free from Pixbay on Pixels. 

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2 thoughts on “Changes

  1. I have thought about everything you have written above so many times in the past couple months, I can’t even tell you.

    I keep coming back to this conversation I had back in February.

    Our daughter joined a karate program last year, which exposed her to kids from all walks of life. One family we meshed with quite well, thanks to a mutual love of Dungeons and Dragons, but they existed in a totally different economic level that we did. They do blue collar work (and I am NOT looking down on that; I am from a blue collar family myself) and we have a “bougie” existence. I don’t remember what started it, maybe their Bernie Bro politics, but I started laughing out loud about all the crazy stuff that I had gone through working in finance during the 2008 financial crisis. I was ranting about all the stupid things that were failing and trying to put out fires in a multi-billion dollar bond portfolio. And the man absorbed all that and said, unflinchingly, “the financial crisis did not affect us much because we were already poor.”

    Man, that hit me like a freaking freight train. I was a kid (under 30) during the last financial crisis, but I had all of this enormous responsibility that came with getting a certain set of credentials. It was so much DRAMA for me. I thought my whole career was at risk, but in reality, I had not been experiencing much personal risk at all. Here I was, a little over a decade later – a decade that I remembered for all the money I had made and all the places we had traveled and moved and all the houses we had traded up into – and here was this family, pretty much where they had started. Nothing had changed for them since the 1990s. Except that they were oddly friends with us because we all had nerdy children.

    The fact of these events is, they don’t really change much for anyone. The poor still fixate on survival. The rich and middle class focus on not wanting the things they can’t have and that mostly manifests itself in making “new” ideas trendy. There are 30 million people out of work right now. But you go to Lowe’s and it’s overflow parking with people in masks and gloves who are so worried about imminent, catastrophic death that they feel painfully compelled to build a pergola from a kit and plant another row of impatiens. The psychology of economic inequality runs very deep. Oblivion deep.

    Liked by 1 person

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