Brick walls, emotional breaks, letting go, and unleashed tears.
I had one of those meltdowns yesterday, on the birthday of our country. And I’m not certain why.
As a side note, I’ve noticed that the older I get the more uncertainty I have about almost everything. As a younger self, I thought I knew most if not all the answers. I was pretty sure that I could climb any mountain, sail any sea, overcome any impediment. Today, I’m not certain what’s in my sock drawer or why the earth is round, or even if it is. I know, I’ve been told that, but…
Years can do that to you. They can expose your vulnerabilities and provide you with a much wider view of the world and the complexities that humanity faces.
Like many Americans, the drama of our political system has eroded my sense of security. I want things to be the way they were, the players to be predictable, the same rules to be followed, and the cohesiveness of our culture to remain in tact.
But that isn’t what we have in today’s environment. We have unrest, fear, change. We are playing a game that none of us have seen before, and we don’t know how to play. We don’t know the rules or the boundaries, we don’t have a basic understanding of the shape of the playing field, or the objective we seek. And it is damn confusing for all of us. That means it is frightening and frustrating.
We want to enjoy this sport of living, but its like having a basketball, but no nets, no rules, no hardwood floor, and no coaches to explain how to play this unknown sport. One side is trying to play the game of basketball as is has been played before. The other team has decided to make up a game, and have yet to share the rules, what they are, who can play, what skills are necessary to succeed, and the end objective.
This makes for a rather unsettling existence.
We all feel it. Some are exhilarated by the uniqueness of this unexplored environment while others are biting their fingernails, gnashing their teeth, holding their breath, crying into the night. Then there are others who really aren’t paying attention. It’s not that they aren’t interested, but they are busy living, working, struggling, making do.
My meltdown comes as I watch a friend trying to regain her cognitive skills after brain surgery; my 93-year-old aunt slowly drifting away mentally, and my 17-year-old blind and deaf doglet trying to find her way to the door. I’m filled with sadness and a sense of helplessness because it seems all I can do is support them, encourage them, care for them, and walk with them as they travel their future paths. I’m unable to ‘fix’ them.
Our country seems to be struggling through its own aging process. As a nation we are having to learn new behaviors, decide what values we want to keep and what can be discarded, and how to move forward.
Just as I can’t fix family and friends, I can’t ‘fix’ our country, but I can be a voice, a support, a participant in the process, helping to make the transition less divisive and more productive.
I’m hoping some folks bubble to the surface and lead us as we write rules for this new environment, layout how we are going to play the game, name the game, and teach us how to treat one another in the process.
Oh, I think I’m getting a clearer picture of why I had a meltdown. Chaos can do that to you.
Hand me another antidepressant pill, will you, please?