Archive for February, 2017

Limbo or Purgatory?

February 12, 2017

This is the time of year when I annually have to decide if I’m in Limbo, that condition of waiting for something to happen, or in a kind of purgatory, a hopefully temporary step toward a new and different level, either good or bad. This is brought on by the NFL being over, thus freeing up my Monday and Thursday nights and Sunday afternoons; and personal golf has not yet begun. I’m definitely not an NBA fan, not even considering that to be the former finesse which was real basketball as opposed to the brute strength and athleticism we see today, replete with officials unable to effectively monitor the games due to their lack of the same physical speed and strength of the players. My only escape is to the three or four college basketball teams I follow, and I look forward to next month’s tournaments.

At present, my mind is churning in multiple directions, whether a naturally-occurring phenomenon due to my advancing age, or as a reaction to what’s going on in the world around me. For the time being and until I know for sure, I’m more comfortable blaming outside interference for disrupting my often-comfortable existence; after all, going the other direction would acknowledge that I am in fact in some level of decay.

As I’ve ranted about before, the whole election cycle and its outcome have wrought havoc upon the comfort levels of myself as well as those of many of my friends and acquaintances. The revelation of the vast undercurrents of bigotry, intolerance, ignorance, and denial rampant throughout a major slice of our citizenry has not only been shocking, it has been downright devastating in its demonstration that our so-called American Ideals have barely advanced beyond the “infant stage”.

And as the new administration begins flexing its muscles, and flexing they are, we daily wait to hear “the other shoe drop”,  cringing at the potential new damage that can be done to what I’ve earlier referred to as the Tapestry that is the United States.

I find that I am not alone; in fact, there apparently is an affliction spreading rapidly throughout the population that manifests itself in the same confusion over what to do. Is this “disease” a virus or bacteria? Hopefully, the latter, as the former can’t be cured but only allowed to “run its course”. But then what is the cure for the latter? I see articles on line, and in some of those senseless arguments called punditry, that no one seems to know what to do about it. I seem to be withdrawing rapidly from that outside world and find solace in little triumphs like choosing the $7.75 Walmart Ozark Trail 20 oz. tumbler over the $20 Yeti, after spending my time researching their characteristics (it turned out that not only do they produce exactly similar results, they are probably made at the same factory — in China!).

A recent article in The New York Times ( “Fatigued by the News” by Christopher Mele, Feb. 1) described the problem in a more cerebral manner as he quotes numerous reliable sources about their reactions and assessments of what is occurring and how people are coping. I find myself focusing less on the current political paradoxes and turning my attention to more important things like “when do I like the use of Velcro and when not? ( I confess to cutting those little Velcro strips from the flaps on my cargo pockets, but I employ Velcro to attach my portable XM radio to the ashtray in my van).”; do I appreciate the presence of the “check engine light” in my car, or would I prefer the olden days when we blissfully didn’t seem to need one ( we should probably have one attached somewhere on our body to let us know if we need some medical attention or not); do I like the internet because it allows me to find out just about anything I want, or is it too intrusive?

I’ve never been an Activist about anything important (although once again I’m volunteering to work at an LPGA golf tourney in Phoenix, in March); I’ve always found my Comfort Zone as an Observer, it’s usually safer. But I did recently write a couple of letters to Senator Enzi, expressing my displeasure at the potential destruction of health-related programs by his party, and the unconscionable choice to confirm the candidate for the office of Secretary of Education. Not unexpectedly, I received a reply (probably composed by a staff member) acknowledging my letters but filled with some of the standard phraseology ( i.e., crap) emphasizing especially “The American People” throughout. As with his colleagues, they continue to think they have some kind of “mandate” and are in denial that most of the voters wanted someone else. I received a more satisfying and lengthy personal reply from our former Senator Alan Simpson, who among other comments decried Congress spending so much effort on things which are personal issues (abortion, gay marriage) instead of improving jobs and the economy.

I guess for me it’s time to turn my attention to self-indulgence accompanied by the selective blocking out of negatively intrusive occurrences. I can continue to play Words With Friends with 8 or 10 people; I could look into SongPop2 which another of my colleagues recommends as an escape. My greatly-improved health is having me loosening up the body through increased weights being used at the health club, swinging a driver in the yard, and dribbling a basketball to gain back some lost strength and flexibility. I’m looking forward to the golfing season.

But I still don’t know, is it Limbo or Purgatory?

Always Be Happy    To Our Youth