Today is my one-year anniversary. One year ago today was the first day I worked from home. Things have changed so much. I still have a dog looking at me like I’m being way too lazy and need to get off my computer. But the other dog and Terry, now my ex, are in Oregon, soaking up the ocean. I have gone from hating working from home to seriously appreciating it. It’s like getting a raise in pay and time both. I’ve gained a lot of clarity about my own needs and wants and how to accomplish them. But on the negative side, I’m a little afraid of people on the whole. I’m emerging from this COVID cocoon looking differently at the people around me. So much has happened to make me realize there are people out there who do not make me happy. Or maybe they’re on the whole unhappy and want the rest of us to be unhappy with them. Or they have more than they need so they’re going to make sure they keep it and stay on top. I’ve always understood inequities in human society. It’s a thing that’s been around forever. I understand hate; again not a new concept. I just never felt completely surrounded and beaten down by hate and inequity, by the people espousing it and the people unaware (consciously or unconsciously) of it.
This is actually earth-shattering to me. I’ve always been an optimist (perhaps disappointed but still an optimist). I’ve always believed in the basic goodness of humanity. I still see that goodness. But I also see the cracks in the porcelain. I see people obsessed with ideas instead of facts, unable to distinguish between not just right and wrong, but truth and fiction. Believing in something with your whole heart does not make it true or real. It does not make your neighbor wrong because he or she has a different belief. I’m not just talking religion or politics. That’s the easy pick. It’s being made to feel like there is a constant choice – if you love this, you cannot love that. If you love the Beatles, you can’t love Elvis. Making everything an “either/or” instead of an “and.” I can care about more than one issue at a time. You have to when there are 17,000,000,000,000 problems in the world. I can worry about animal rights just as much as I worry about human rights. Just because I worry about animal rights does not lessen my worry about human rights. But we’re living in a world where if you speak out against animal cruelty, you will likely be faced with someone pointing out that people are more important than animals, rather than recognizing you are speaking up for animals, not reducing the worth of humans. I don’t like this world. Not right now. I look at my home and my muddy pre-spring garden, and I am grateful. But I understand my privilege. Even with the struggles I have – physically, emotionally, financially – I am privileged. I am also ineffective, mute in an angry world, constantly recoiling from conflict.
What does this have to do with fibromyalgia? Maybe it explains a bit why I’ve been so quiet this last year – few years. There is so much to worry about. To focus on one thing – fibromyalgia – is like saving one snowflake from melting in a flood. It doesn’t make it any less important than the other 16,999,999,999,999 problems in the world, but my attention is clearly divided. There’s luxury in being able to focus. Not everyone recognizes that. Focus is a luxury. Most of us multitask our way through the world. I’ll get back on track. This little blog is not meaningless. It’s small, but it’s not meaningless. And I do have a few things I want to say before I shuffle away.