Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Geography Does Affect Ideology


This afternoon I enjoyed a great conversation with a colleague who grew up in New York State and went to university in Ohio. While it began as a business meeting, the chat morphed into the way people raised in different parts of the USA think about some politically divisive issues based upon their individual experiences. 

My colleague that was raised in New York had never known anyone who’d owned a firearm. His college friends, raised in the heartland of America, were raised with firearms, hunting, target practice, self defense and support of the Second Amendment. 

My colleague talked about the different views of fellow students on issues regarding voting rights, firearms, stand your ground laws, federalism, immigration, and other issues that tend to divide Americans.

We talked about the fact that we Americans view the Country through the lenses of our individual experiences. This is something lost on politicians and political activists.  Y colleague, having attended university in the Midwest, maintaining friendships with people he met from backgrounds completely different than the ideology with which he was raised, learned to appreciate another perspective. His Ohio friends were amazed that he, being raised in New York, had never been hunting or even touched a gun. He, one raised in a state that restricted ownership of guns was amazed at how easily midwesterners talked about hunting, target practice, self defense and abrogation of rights. 

Those who vilify fellow citizens with different ideology, opinions, life experiences and political views have more than likely never taken the time to get to know those on the opposite end of the spectrum. But listening, engaging, discussing with an open mind and with friendship provides the perspective that so many lack in our polarized society. 

Despite what one may think, there is room for different viewpoints, approaches to life, and political affiliation. The key is to refrain from trying to force solutions for a one size fits all. People in Indiana or Kentucky will likely always have views that differ from citizens of New York or California. What is critical is to appreciate that there is room in our republic for those with different views. You can choose to live in Texas or New York. But the citizens of each state have the right, under the Constitution, to apply laws that serve its citizens. It is not one size fits all.

So, if you live in a liberal state, pay your exorbitant taxes to support your unions, schools, mandates, enhanced state funded programs. But, don’t expect those in Texas, Florida, Wyoming or Indiana to pay additional federal taxes to support the subsidies for your welfare state. That is the beauty of federalism. 

Monday, January 17, 2022

My husband has Omicron


My dad is almost 90. My in-laws are in their late 80’s. My sister has lupus. My brother has myriad co-morbidities. I’ve spent the time since late March 2020 hibernating to avoid the potential of infecting my loved ones with less advanced immune systems than mine. Todd and I have  been fully vaccinated. We’ve followed the protocols. But, each variant changes the playing field. 

There have been breakthrough infections. My unvaccinated brother with multiple co-morbidities likely contracted COVID traveling to Texas. We feared for Dad. He said he sprayed every surface with Lysol.

 My well vaccinated husband believes he contracted Omicron flying to LA. He’s been down for the count since Friday night. The cats and I have tried to pander to his needs at a distance. 

But, I was overwhelmed with tears this evening, thinking about the risk to my dad,  my in-laws, my friends, just because we are living our lives. 

I do not believe in mandates. I am confident that my focus on health, exercise, wellness, and nutrition will protect me from contamination. But, there is no guarantee. So, I send positive energy to the universe, ask my Dad to protect himself, and take each day as it comes. I cannot withdraw from the world. Living involves risk. So, I will accept the risk of living in this crazy world of 2022 and take each day as if comes. 

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Welcoming 2022 With Positivity~

 My mom’s funeral took place five  years ago on New Years Eve. Since that time I’ve struggled with the holiday season. My mother loved Christmas. She decorated the entire house from head to toe including multiple trees and nativity scenes. We haven’t put up a tree or decorated since 2016. It has been too painful. 

But as 2021 came to an end, I started to emerge from my self-imposed holiday hibernation back into the light, resisting my personal disenchantment and the global COVID negativity. I decided to embrace the world despite the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, sing songs of joy, experiment with new ways to celebrate, substitute friends for family for gatherings, let go of things and people over which I have no control, and celebrate life.

This recipe worked for us. We enjoyed a lovely weekend in Richmond, Virginia with fabulous food, two amazing exhibitions at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts…Ansel Adams and Man Ray. What sublime mastery of photography!  

We explored a couple of wineries we’d not previously visited. I went to a matinee alone to experience the joy of West Side Story 2021 followed by my first manicure and pedicure in two years. And who can dispute the blessings of a well functioning septic system! 

Christmas evening we had the pleasure of sharing with a beloved friend, our goddaughter, her partner, some new friends and delightful furry critters. 

To end the second year of COVID, I had the fortuitous good fortune of visiting Ulta for the first time in an age only to discover I had $317 in bonus points I HAD TO USE by end of 2021 or lose them! I had no idea!  That I showed up just in the nick of time to use my $317 in free makeup /skincare is a message that good times are ahead! It took me 90  minutes to figure out how to spend it….but I did. This was a sign!