Sign of the times: that the FBI can create a new secret police to spy on the Internet and the big reaction is a nationwide yawn.
Is it information overload? Outrage fatigue? Or just acknowledging the reality that “our” government is so out of control, so committed to secrecy, and so determined to rule us no matter what we do that our activist energies are better directed elsewhere?
Is the building anger against government so big that it blows right past new secret police agencies?
Why would this be okay — really, seriously, why would this be judged entirely differently had a cop done it? I don’t get it. Not at all. It’s a distinction without a difference.
The joys of getting old. It’s too bad our society so devalues oldness. Because getting old is one of the best things that can happen — and not just because it so famously “beats the alternative.”
Oh, not the gray hair and wrinkles part. That’s sort of a pit. But the great, vast, glorious, underrated ability not to give a damn any more.
For a lot of women I know, the biggest, bestest “don’t give a damn” is about relationships. We spend our youth thinking “love” is the Holy Grail. We spend our young adulthood focusing on the welfare of spouse, partner, kids, whatever. Then comes freedom.
Late last year one of my girlfriends, long divorced with grown kids, thought she might be falling in love again. I tried to be happy for her, but it worried me. She’s one of these people who’s too nice for her own good and can be easily taken advantage of.
The first few months, she talked about how much she enjoyed the guy’s company and all the things they did together. More recently she got very quiet about him. A week ago she whispered to me in passing as we worked on a project with some other people, “He broke up with me yesterday and I’m so glad!” She’d been trying to figure out the best way to do it.
Turns out that, aside from having a surly side, he expected to spend every evening with her. He’d get upset if she committed to activities without him. But she’s got a busy life, lots of friends, and a huge volunteer workload.
When you’re young and dumb, you think, “Oh, how wonderful that he wants to be with me so much.” And before you understand what’s really going on, you end up in a baaaaad relationship. Old and smart, you realize, “Wait a minute. I have a life and I enjoy it. Why doesn’t he have one? I don’t need this.”
Today she told me, “I’m glad it happened because I thought I wanted a relationship. This taught me what I really want — my life just the way it is.”
This is not a female vs male thing (though I do know more men than women who remain hopeful about relationships despite their own bad experiences). This is about age and experience and what we gain from it.
Wrinkles are a very small price to pay.
My life just the way it is. We sometimes fail to notice just how good that is.
Except for the monkey brain. I’ve been talking with a freelance-writer friend about meditation. He practices — or tries to practice — transcendental meditation to help him stay calm, focused, and healthy. I practice — or try to practice — a simplified version of Vipassana meditation for the same purpose.
He’s probably better at it than I. I always end up in the middle of meditation sessions suddenly obsessed with the need to look up St. Teresa of Avila or Audrey Hepburn on Wikipedia.
What do you do to stay focused and keep your life in balance?