We have become a place of extremes. The weather is either so hot you can fry an egg on your sidewalk, or so cold your husband won't come out of the bathroom naked for months. The news vacillates between men risking their lives to save a kitten on the subway tracks, and a co-worker beheading the receptionist.
I never thought I would crave a blah day, but I'm starting to actually yearn for those boring days of yore when the biggest household fight was over who had to set the table for dinner.
Many of my online friends share posts expressing the perspective that we are in the end-times... that life on earth is worse than it has ever been. I'm not so sure. Talk to some of the Christians around A.D. 64 who were mauled by lions, or the visitors of Vlad the Impaler during the 1400s, or any of the wives of Henry VIII. I'm pretty sure they'd disagree with you.
I was recently reading a book about WWII and the Great Depression. I realized that as tough as life seems, I haven't had to stand in a soup-line praying for one meal a day. Nor have I had to face a world war.
As in all historical eras from the beginning of time, we have our problems. The question is, why are we overwhelmed on a daily basis?
Maybe we have extreme expectations -- a polarity we've ignited via the place we park our brain for an average of four hours a day.
Reality series reveal that if we act like extreme jackasses, we could end up with absurd wealth. Nancy Grace has taught us that if we judge the world and speak in an accusatory, rude manor with our eyebrow raised, we will be a household name. And ESPN is teaching young women that if you are willing to wear tight dresses and spike heels while discussing football, you could be on television (sorry, that has nothing to do with my topic; it just pisses me off).
Others of us could be a little too invested in the supernatural shows, as we run around biting necks to prove that we have eternal life on earth. This will be corrected when one of us bites the wrong neck and gets to see the other side sooner than we anticipated. Our extreme levels of fear could result in one of us shooting a woman we believe is a zombie, only to find out that she was recovering from bunion surgery and experiencing a hot flash.
I recently read about a California town where weird clowns are coming out on the streets after midnight. While I'm pretty sure this is a viral marketing ploy, I have to wonder... why aren't people asleep in their beds? Who decides to put on a clown costume and roam the streets after midnight? I would be terrified just doing it, much less seeing it.
It appears that we can't be terrified enough, so we look for the worst possible stories in our media sources and verbally pass them around. I was in line at Target the other day when a woman turned to me and asked, "Did you know they're predicting Ebola deaths will hit 21,000 soon?"
I am sure that is possible, but I can't do a thing about Ebola while I'm in Target, and I just wanted to buy my pack of Doublemint gum without requiring an antidepressant chaser. I personally blame all disease on Chuck 'e' Cheese which popularized the ball-pit, where all contagions live a happy, long life.
Our life of extremes means that the happiest place on earth is no longer Disneyland -- that moniker now belongs to Starbucks. Watch peoples' eyes light up as they come in the door. It's now the place where everybody knows our name.
Our uppers are followed by evening downers. I'm a little alarmed at the number of Pinterest posts about wine consumption. I don't understand the thrill with alcohol -- it's a depressant that bums us out and makes our noses bulbous. Perhaps those aren't demented clowns roaming the streets in California. Maybe it's just a few Baby Boomers who have had their one thousandth glass of wine trying to find their way home.
I joined a call the other day because the title was "Soul-Seeking," and I thought it could provide interesting facts about meditation. Nope. It was all about a session someone attended where hallucinogenic "herbs" were taken to create visions. Others on the call discussed taking drugs like LSD to experience God. I don't know. I think God finds it a little difficult to communicate with people who are sure that their shoes are alive and eating their feet.
We ramp ourselves up on Red Bull, we make our heart pound with terrifying news updates, and we sit in public places texting people we barely know as if our lives depend on it. Once our day is complete, we plummet back to earth, drinking depressants that result in a lot of hugging and crying -- not literal hugging and crying, but the hugging and crying you do through stickers on Facebook.
Maybe if we would just take the time to set the table for dinner, we'd feel better. Or perhaps we could sit on the porch with a grandparent asking about their day. Or, since this isn't Mayberry RFD, we could just put our fears and our caffeine and our wine down and take a breath. We could meditate on beauty, and how, on this day, we didn't run into a polar bear floating on a block of ice or face a terrorist.
For today, we're okay. And we relax. For two-minutes.
Then we get fidgety.
Because we know that if we're still, the zombies will get us.