I'm getting cues that this time in my life may be trying to teach me to be quieter. I'm not sure if that's really the lesson or if I am engaging in a form of cowardice, but I am starting to think that many many many things are less my business than I've taken them to be.
Here are some examples, The other day the next door neighbor approached Bruce in conversation. His entry question was, "So, are you working now?" I don't know if this was a way of establishing status (because our culture determines the value of a person by their work) or if it was a way of wondering about the funding for the projects we are doing on the house or what his actual intention was, but I found it to be a fairly rude question. I thought I might my impression to him when I spoke to him next, but I spoke to him today and decided against it. We talked about the wall, he said he felt badly that he and his wife are not in a position to afford to contribute. I said, in complete honesty, that we wanted it the way we wanted it. I said that I felt badly that they only had a day's notice before the old fence was gone and I think all of us who have not had a fence have been keenly aware of the lack. We taked a little more and somehow I've agreed to try grooming their dog, who is bigger than I generally do. We will see how that goes. Another neighbor, an older guy, also approached Bruce and asked,"Is this your house?" Bruce answered that it was my mother's at which point I could hear Bruce's status fall in the guy's voice. "Oh", he said, "Well, you've decided to fix it up?" I was thinking, "What's your address sir so I can survey your domicile and render an opinion on what it might need to bring it up to snuff" On my Facebook page a dear friend who is a conservative Republican posted an article in response to my own disgust, posted on my own page, in regard to Trump's cutting the finding for Meals on Wheels. Her own post was a fact check that said this was partially true. That program is only about 35% funded by something he COULD cut and he did it. Her commentary was that she was so glad the program would continue to exist. I really really really had to fight to keep quiet when she added that she likes many of his cuts. To me, the Republican stance is to use government benefits as they are available to Republican's own families but to wish to deny any aid to anyone else who may need help. I worried that if I jumped in with my opinions with the passion I feel I might jeopardize my friendship with a person I truly like, even if I cannot fathom her politics at all. I think this Trump fiasco is so laden with dangers to this country it amazes me that it is not baldly apparent to everyone, yet I have friends that support him still. In this instance I merely commented that he had cut what he could of Meals on Wheels funding and that it seems to me that his intention is to impoverish the citizenry to such an extent with his policies that the other funding will be lost because private citizens will be too focused on subsistence survival to afford charities. Here, I wonder if I should have said more. In another instance i happened across a Facebook post by the person I would typify as the most influential person in my life, though I am on the edge of periphery in his. He was "concerned" about the demographic makeup of a graduate program he is in. Apparently he's the only male. He said there were 2 Asian women and the remainder of the class was comprised of white women. He fancies himself all kinds of activist including feminist and I almost choked reading something like: I love white women, I am related to many and I live with one but they do not have the most complete picture of what is going on in the world (this is badly paraphrased , but seemed to be the gist). I went emotionally ballistic. It was very hard for me not to comment on that, which would have been out of the blue. I had to tell myself that that was none of my business and I wonder of I should end the Facebook connection. I know I am never going to get rid of my feeling of connection, but I felt like some kind of spy and that it was inappropriate even in some way to know this opinion much less to have such a strong reaction.
More or less, I feel I am at a stage of life where I should be boldly living my beliefs, but staying out of other people's business. I feel I should be concentrating on the few relationships I have where people have invested care in me and to go deeply into those and into things like learning gardening and learning about chickens and taking time to just enjoy rain in the back yard and books and maybe find time for a little play and art- those kinds of things. I feel like maybe the cycle of life is winding down for me, perhaps a long wind down, maybe not and that I should think about withdrawing from the more blustery storms of life and look for more peaceful pursuits. It will be a topic of my thoughts.
If I survive my mother and Bruce does too, I've told him we might consider moving to the country rather than a suburb. He thinks it's too noisy here and it does seem that the people here think hey should have more say in our lives than I wish to agree with.