This is a strange time to write a personal blog.
As a nation, our people and our culture are undergoing once-in-a-generation upheaval. It’s hard to even keep track of everything happening at once: We’ve got Black Lives Matter protests, the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic depression starting with the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression, a uniquely unsuited Presidential administration at the helm, an upcoming Presidential election, acrimonious, dysfunctional, and crippling partisanship — and that’s just what’s on fire right now.
Add in longer-term concerns like the urgent need to address climate change, the United States’ international standing, an ever-increasing increasing wealth gap, and so many more, and you’ve mixed up a stew the likes of which most of us have never seen and could never have imagined.
Now take my blog. Zoom in, from global to international to national to regional to state to county to city to neighborhood and finally all the way to my house. Despite the plague of systemic racism, looming climate catastrophe, crumbling democratic foundations, you name it — I worry about everyday things.
It feels small to talk about how I had a release this week and I’ve been overwhelmed with trying to work, manage Benji while he can’t visit my sick mom, keep the house going, and maintain my mental health with bike rides. It feels like the epitome of privilege, worrying about balancing earning a paycheck by safely working from my home office with helping my child navigate online school resources on his personal, dedicated laptop. It feels tone-deaf and self-centered to complain that it’s going to rain over the weekend for the fourth week in a row, and I’m disappointed because that means I won’t get to ride the 100-mile route I had planned.
But I spend most of my time thinking about those kinds of things:
- What to do about my four-year-old Surface where the LED connectors have gotten too hot and now the screen jitters when I’m trying to watch movies or do video chats or just use the it too long.
- Whether the house painters have blocked our car into the garage with a ladder.
- Whether baby bunnies have snuck under the bunny fence and are, even now, feasting on our strawberries (I already know that answer: almost certainly).
- What we’re going to do with Benji every day this summer, since we’re not doing summer camp and we don’t want to exhaust grandparents unduly.
- What to do with my rain bike since the shop put on tubeless tires that aren’t holding air.
- How to not lose my temper when Benji comes in demanding something for the approximately 5,000th time in an hour.
Strange times. But I guess I’ll go with write what you know. That means that, despite all the consequential national and international events occurring, I’m going to keep right on writing about those mundane events that impact me directly. It’s not that I don’t care about those other things; this space just isn’t where I express that.
Maybe I’ve learned to express myself with more caution when online, given that once you put it out there, it remains archived for all time. Maybe I feel it’s more productive to have real conversations with people. Maybe I’m a privileged, self-centered upper-middle-class white woman living comfortably in a single-family home in the ‘burbs and I don’t appreciate everything that’s going on. Maybe all of the above.
I guess I’m trying to say that, even though I’m not talking about it here, I care that the world’s on fire around us. This just isn’t where I’m talking about it. They may be small in the grand scheme of the world, or American society, or democracy, or the climate… but my concerns still concern me. I need somewhere to talk about them, and this is that somewhere.