When I was going insane in 08, (because whenever communism or its slower, but just as lethal sister, socialism, with or without happy fun hats threatens, my PTSD rises up, and the back of my brain starts spinning so that I can’t write) Jerry Pournelle gave me as advice “If you can’t do anything else, make things very clean. It won’t hurt, and in the long run might help, because when you get off the panic mode, it’s one less thing to worry about.”
So I did. I spent what must have been months scraping and waxing the floors of the previous house.
I’m mostly angry right now, and hopefully the idiocy doesn’t last that long, because, you know, I’m ….. well…. I suppose I could replace the carpet with wood. Which needs to be done, as well as a lot of touch up and refinishing.
The reason this post is so late is that I woke up the day after a big family holiday meal (the holiday meal was big. The family remains smallish.) to a kitchen in upheaval, since I’d taken out large cooking implements I use maybe once a year, plus a lot of good dishes that DO NOT get washed in the dishwasher. Plus the floor of the kitchen was a mix of chocolate (I made low-carb chocolate bunnies. They went over well….) and marinade, and heaven only knows what.
It’s snowing really hard out. When the weather predicted snow only yesterday, I had planned to go to the home improvement store today and spend most of the day refinishing the front door, which has taken a beating from the weather these last four years since we moved. I also planned to do some repainting inside, and plant two trees. (Squints out the window at the flying blindness of snow.) So, that isn’t happening. in fact, this is one of those times that Colorado would be shut down even without our governor being a concentrated blot of leftist insanity.
But I said I’d start the journey back to normal today. And so, I did. I’m on the third load of dishes, and the kitchen looks like a place human beings might cook and eat in.
And you know, Jerry was right. (Yeah, I SHOULD be surprised. Not.) Because there is something inherently therapeutic in taking a confused mess with blobs of stuff spattered all over and making it into a shining, clean space. It gives you a feeling you have some control. (More on that later.) It doesn’t stop the panic — nor should it — but it gives you a sense that you’re not adrift in chaos and powerless to impose your own desires on your personal environment. And when you’re done, you are rewarded with things looking and feeling better, too.
Meanwhile I was informed (three times. LOL) that Rush Limbaugh read part of my PJM post on why culture makes a big difference in the transmission of any disease, and why OF COURSE NYC has a different risk than the rest of the country. (BTW, you’ll find if you look on line that they say population density is something like 22k people per square mile. That’s wrong. Husband spent way more hours diving into the numbers on all this (He’s now obsessed, and as normal when it’s numbers, all I can do is let him finish his research and then, hopefully, use it in a post.) It is only 22k people per square mile because they include Staten Island in the count. If they don’t, it’s 77k people per square mile. Compare that to, say, New Mexico, which has at best 2 people per square mile, and you see how irrational it is to model the entire country the same.) I’m very flattered. I’ve never listened to Rush, though most of my friends did, back in the day, mostly because I had untreated ADD (actually ADHD because I fidget, can’t sit still, and can only concentrate on something auditory while doing something else. Which is why I listen to audio books while cleaning.) Now it’s treated, but I still don’t listen to things very often. I have however read him, and am aware of the genius of the man.
Anyway, one thing I don’t think I said in the article (I woke up and wrote four of them in a row, so…) is that it baffles me that other people can’t see this. I have to consciously remember that, through accident of circumstances, I’ve changed cultures more often than most human beings, and can see how the differences translate in daily life, and therefore in risk of disease.
Our president, admirably down to Earth as he is, is after all a New Yorker, and New Yorkers have trouble understanding the rest of the country is not a sort of New York manque. I think that is part of what has allowed him to be maneuvered into the insanity of locking down the country and destroying the economy. Which, yes, will doubtlessly now be turned around and used against him.
But, on this snowy morning, and having just cleaned my kitchen enough my female ancestresses can stop haunting me, I’m willing to see positive stuff too:
Governors in the East — in the EAST — are talking of re-opening; the president is talking of re-opening. Maybe the worst of the howling insanity is now passing.
And meanwhile, maybe we can explain to our slower countrymen why the economy matters; why it’s not just “money” and, in the unpleasant times we now face, why it’s always bad for a government — ANY government — to prevent people from working and producing.
Meanwhile, like me this morning, coming into a kitchen with dirty appliances and dishes piled with very little rationality on every surface, it’s time for us to take stock of what we now face, with clear eyes and thinking mind. There are various places now yelling about food shortages this Fall. And yeah, what’s being destroyed/plowed under, etc, is MOSTLY what supplied restaurants, but please stop and think about it. If people were eating half the week at restaurants (some estimates are that most people — certainly not us, btw. If we go out once a week it’s a lot — eat out one meal a day) they still need the same amount of food. In the right “supply chain” or not, that food will be missed. So, plan accordingly. I need to budget SPACE to store emergency provisions.
In the same way if your job is at risk or already gone, plot your course. Take this week or this couple of weeks to plot a way to solvency. What is there that needs doing that you can do, and that will pay you.
What needs doing will have changed, just like my kitchen cleaning routines don’t apply to the chaos I faced this morning. And you might find you know things you can do and fill niches no one else can. Or at least no one has thought of yet.
And it’s time. It’s time, because otherwise the statists will take advantage of the mess they made to impose their preferred, top-down solution, which will only guarantee sooner or later this ends in blood.
So…. take stock of the mess. Decide where there is something you can do. Start planning how to do it.
Me? I have a novel to finish and have jotted down two article ideas for PJ for later today.
Meanwhile, I’ll also learn to do clothing alterations, so that I can change the clothes I want to keep to my present size.
And I should get that subscription on Amazon, so I can watch Foyle’s war and establish some kind of exercise program, if our weather is going to be as crazy as our government.
Let’s get to work and reestablish our own version of ordered chaos, the only order Americans thrive in. Before the socialists decide the solution is to break dirty dishes and throw them away.