Am I Optimistic?

It’s so difficult to not get taken in by the headlines and be depressed, especially if you’re a baby boomer Democrat like me.

Conservatives targeting public libraries and their funding to ban books they don’t like

Indiana lawmakers ban abortion statewide with few exceptions

A 38% approval rating for Pres. Joe Biden, the worst ever recorded for a president.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)  gleefully proclaiming to a crowd of his fans, my pronouns are kiss my ass.  Not to mention Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) authoritatively stating most Americans are Christian nationalists, despite all rational facts to the contrary.

Evergreen

But those are headlines, half-truths and provocative click bait that don’t tell the whole picture.  Still, it is easy to believe any one of these digestible thoughts in their entirety, or at least partially, because it takes time and energy to unravel them.

The fact is many Americans don’t have time or inclination to address these and many other issues, especially at the speed with which they’re hitting us.

And most of us definitely do not have the energy. 

For the majority of us, what little intellectual space we have left has to be doled out towards paying the bills and eluding the next airborne national/international virus.

I mean, polio is back?  POLIO????

I truly cannot

Nevertheless, and in truth, this week was a win for Dems like me, and for the country.

Voters in Kansas – a red state by any measure and somewhat of a bellwether for broad conservative thought – resoundingly rejected an abortion law that could have opened the door for the state to altogether OUTLAW abortion.

Toto, we’re home! #NoPlaceLikeKansas

July had an unexpected and exceedingly strong U.S. jobs report of more than half a million jobs added, bringing us back to pre-pandemic levels and more than doubling even the boldest predictions.

Gas prices dropped 70 cents per gallon in the last month from a record high and are predicted to further plummet back down to manageable levels.

The Biden administration tracked down and killed the #1 most wanted terrorist – Ayman al-Zawahri, the current head of Al Qaeda, and mastermind of 9/11 as Osama Bin Laden’s #2 in command, after a more than two decade search. 

Congress is about to pass a historic $740 billion bill that will tackle climate change and move us towards clean energy, reform the tax code to benefit average Americans, and take drastic steps towards getting prescription drug prices under control.

And this was all accomplished over a two-and-a-half week period when Pres. Joe Biden was twice diagnosed with Covid, the latter a rare rebound case.

Sleepy who?

If I were an optimist, which I generally am not, I might even write, who knows what could happen in the months going forward now that he’s testing negative?

The above events and my intermittent Ping-Pong thinking on all of them, reminds me of a life lesson I have to actually keep reminding myself of daily

It is always darkest before the dawn.  

Or as Shelly, my second mother and an avid reader, used to tell me to cheer me up –

Life is like a great book (Note: No, NOT a box of chocolates!) – you turn the page and you never know what can happen.  Good and bad.

Is this… optimism?

It is disorienting to be met with such anger and vitriol by people who don’t agree with you, not to mention your, ahem, lifestyle, whatever that might be.

But it is not determining of what awful things will literally occur in the world or in your life.

It is merely a take on a viewpoint or event you can’t control.

It is a snapshot, a fact, a statement or a misstatement at any given moment.  It is indicative of what is from a source, but not necessarily predictive of what will be. 

Certainly, it is not predictive of your day, unless you want it to be.

Whatever Francis!

This of course doesn’t mean I still don’t want to push Ted Cruz into a vat of his own bullsh-t or tell Marjorie Taylor Greene to go f-ck herself while she is suspended upside down in Macy’s window.

It only means I know the difference between my fantasies and reality. 

And that what I will actually choose to devote my time to do, much less believe, on a given day, is in my hands, not theirs.

“Don’t Stop Believin'” – viral Janitor performance (from ABC News)

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