Going Down the Rabbit Hole…

…yes, the rabbit hole of anger and dispair. 

Sorry to be blunt, but it’s been a really shitty year for me. The big ones are, in order: 

 

1. Chondromalacia strikes knee cartilage, forces me to stop kicking. 
2. Hit by a speeding, grossly negligent bus driver for Father’s Day, totaling family vehicle. 
3. Got royally fucked by the insurance companies regarding liability for that accident.
4. Change of management at work, quality of job goes to hell, 2 years of informal management responsibility flushed down the toilet. 
5. Severely twisting ankle this fall, keeping me from kicking again. It’s been 3 full months now, it still hurts, not anywhere near being healed. 

I guess I’m just on the “short” schedule for this crap: I get the massive “here’s a cluster of hot red pokers up your ass from the universe” beat-down every 6 years, not the classic 7. But regardness the timeframe, make no mistake: I do feel utterly and completely beat down

Then, my heart immediately goes out to dozens of others I know, and millions I don’t, who have lost so much more than I have this year. Friends who have lost their parents; friends who have worse injuries than mine; millions of Americans with even worse jobs than mine, or no jobs at all; and parents who have lost their own children
I immediately wonder, “What the fuck justification do *I* have to whine about my little problems?” The easy answer, the one designed to shut me up and shut me off from the rest of humanity, is “none.” The answer is that we should all suffer silently, and alone. 
Well, that’s the wrong answer. 

I look around, and I see so much of this. I see so many people struggling through beat-down after beat-down. Almost everybody gets fucked by insurance companies. Almost everyone works their ass off for less and less every year. Almost everyone gets nothing but a companion beat-down from their workplaces, if they end up getting hurt and have trouble performing their duties. 

People can’t afford decent medical care, often even despite having insurance; they can’t risk taking time off work to take care of themselves for fear of losing that job, but the only thanks they get for trying is getting chewed out for what they can’t accomplish under very difficult circumstances. 
Meanwhile I see numerous Twitter posts, from truly sick assholes, bragging about how many thousands of rounds of ammunition they’ve bought since the Sandy Hook tragedy. This, perhaps, is the ugliest and most disgusting thing of all that I’ve seen. It literally makes me sick to my stomach to read that horrible crap. 

And… I’m so fucking tired of it. I’m tired of sheer stupidity and hatefulness and punitive mindset that permeates our culture. I’m tired of working so hard, just to find myself with less and less every year. I’m tired of greedy corporations stealing from people, just because they can. I’m tired of watching the gross mismanagement of our policing resources, focused on confiscating drug money, not illegally owned firearms. I’m tired of being punished for trying my hardest to overcome difficulties. I’m tired of people ignoring Global Warming, pretending we’re not royally shitting in our kid’s lives, because it might inconvenience their own. 

I’m tired of it. All of it. It’s all bullshit. Everything, from the maddening series of little problems I’ve had with my bikes over the last week, to the grinding, poverty-level wages WalMart pays employees, forcing them to seek government assistance, profiting off the employees spending that government assistance back into those stores, and then having the gall to call those workers moochers and freeloaders. I’m tired of watching us slowly turning our children’s natural environment into a future nightmare of hell, and lazily arguing about whether it’s even real or whether something should even be done. It’s all bullshit. And I’m tired of it. 

I’ve still got so much fucking work to do, too: at my day job, at my side jobs, on my house, and on things I want to do for myself, and for the environment. There’s just no way: I can’t do it all. No matter how hard I work, no matter how much of myself I pour out, no matter how much responsibility I assume, all I can ever manage to do is disappoint everyone else, and get slapped in the face for trying. It’s never enough, it’s never right, there’s never a reward. Just… another fucking beat-down. Again, I’m tired of it. Tired of all of it. 

I’d say I’m ready to give up, but… I already did. I stopped playing footbag. Bad weather, work pressure, special holiday activities and other obligations that always trump my footbag time; not being able to afford a decent place to go play footbag in bad weather; physical pain, and the cloud of personal and collective dispair. One precious Footbag Thursday slips by. Then, another. Yes, I gave up. I fell into the rabbit hole of anger and dispair. 

So… what do I do? What have I done? 

I finally played footbag again last night. To be clear, I despise my winter kicking situation. The Secret Hideout itself is OK, but… it’s not legitimate. I have to “steal” my time in there, just for my own sanity. And what do I get for trying to take care of myself? The perpetual worry I might get discovered, lose what little I have there, and possibly even lose my job over it. Sorry to sound entitled, but… I deserve better. I’ve played footbag for over 30 years. It’s my life’s work. I deserve to have my kicking time, and space needs, respected. But all I get is beat down, shoved away, and I have to go hide in this skanky, tenuous pit. 

But, I still played footbag. It seems like such a small thing; selfish, too. But it gives me a moment of joy, however fleeting. Gravity does not judge, it’s love is pure and consistent. It fuels the light of love inside me, a light that is infinitely more powerful than all the effort I could ever put into fighting the darkness directly. There is a lesson in here, somewhere

For just an hour, one simple effort drove away the darkness and dispair. For just an hour, I felt love and encouragement. For just an hour, I shone brilliant and powerful. For whatever time I can kick, it does this for me. Playing footbag bathes my soul in simple happiness

With my soul bathed in the light of love and the power of happiness, even for a few minutes, I can let that powerful light radiate outward. I can project joy and happiness, instead being overwhelmed by anger and dispair. I believe it makes the world a better place, however insignificantly. This, for now, I can do for the world. 

I plan to make one more blog post on New Year’s Eve, with reconciliation of this year’s goals, and commitment for next year’s goals. Until then, 

1:00 / 79:30 – MY FINAL FOOTBAG TIME TALLY FOR THE YEAR 2012. 

Thanks for tuning in! 

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