I have two main interests in life: making my life better, and making everyone else’s life better. Yes, I come first, cause if I’m doing like shit I’m no good to anyone else. This took me years to understand and accept, but it’s working relatively OK now – the balance between focusing on me without being a complete egomaniac and on focusing on everyone else without becoming a martyr.
In the midst of this pandemic, I have been paying special attention to where my attention goes, both in the “making my life better” and “making everyone else’s life better” categories.
In the former category, I’ve noticed positives and negatives. My attention goes way too much to what I call “falling into internet holes.” Which is spending too much time online reading shit that I would have never consciously chosen to read but that I found myself in the middle of after clicking on a link from a link from a link from a link that was originally (marginally) worth my while. This is annoying. But my attention has also been going to some more valuable endeavors: I’ve been paying attention to my food, cooking almost every meal, making sure I like it, it’s good for me, it’s serving my health. This is a big shift for someone who considers food a bit of a hassle in general. I’m working out again, since I realized that if I wait until I can go back to the gym I may not be able to reach my knees by then. I’ve been reading books – on paper, my favorite kind. All things nice and good.
As part of the “making everyone else’s life better” category, I try to follow what’s going on in the world at large, and yeah, it does look like we are pretty fucked in general, all over the planet. I don’t even need to list evidence of that, I’m sure you know. And, then there are little rays of hope – that are not little at all. Exhibit A: California’s Governor Newsom is not only doing an amazing job of leading through the pandemic and prioritizing peoples health, but he’s doing it with flair and a built-in fuck you to Washington DC. He’s been calling California a nation-state, which is awesome and has been irking a few people. I have always maintained that the nation state is a bit of an obsolete notion, but seeing the tiniest glimmer of hope for a Calexit in the governor’s discourse is just super exciting. Exhibit B: Also, cause the federal government could not suck any harder in regards to how they’ve (and by them I mean he but I refuse to name him) handled the crisis, California, Washington and Oregon are gonna do the right thing and agree on how to handle the pandemic without waiting for DC’s fuckery to get in the way.
Why do I mention this in the same breath as my cheesy cooking and exercise routine? Because acknowledging CA’s autonomy and agency and power to look after itself is not “approved” by any official channel, Newsom just took it upon himself cause he’s the freakin’ governor ffs and so if he’s not the one to make that call, then who? In the same way that we are all sovereign over our own lives and we are totally entitled and ready to make the changes that we want to ensure we are excited to be living our lives. We don’t need anyone’s approval, we don’t need to wait for the right time, we don’t need to not piss people off.
So Western states needed to work together to do the right thing? They went right the fuck ahead and did it. Why wouldn’t they? Take a cue from government, this one and only rare instance when it’s being inspiring. Do you need to get married or divorced, start a business or leave a job, spend more or less time working out? Go right the fuck ahead and do it, because YOU are in full possession of your life and no one is gonna come troubleshoot it for you. You are it, love. Get all the help you need, but for fuck’s sake, don’t stop. Go for the life you deserve. Remember you are the President and biggest stakeholder and only audience for your heart’s desire.
Oh, and all those hours falling into internet holes? Those were absolutely crucial to truly understand that that’s not where I want my attention to be. Of course I would have rather not “wasted” that time, but it’s not the end of the world and everyone is stressed out as fuck and doing weird shit and who cares. Being nice to me is more important than feeling I’m not “wasting time”. I hope that is true for you too.