This is a public service announcement: no matter how wild-ass optimistic this blogger sounds to you, it is important to remember she’s in fact a sad, habitual depressive.
She sort of learned to reality-check herself and to act less depressed than she felt, because lying down on the sofa moaning is a bad way to raise the kids. Not saying there weren’t days like that, but it wasn’t all the time. And so, they’re not as completely broken as they’d be otherwise, okay?
But the extent to which I’m still a depressive, and still horrified by what seems to me like inevitable doom headed down the pike not only evades you — as you throw things at me and tell me how blue-sky optimistic I am — but it often evades me.
Last week I did a deep dive into the first years of Obama on this blog. I was looking for some specific reference. I no longer remember what.
Here’s the thing: I won’t say that things that I didn’t expect DIDN’T go weirdly wrong, but I would say on the whole? The destruction they managed is about half what I expected. And the thing I DID NOT expect was Trump.
For al his faults, and there are many; for all his failings in understanding how to hire people; for all his failures in navigating the swamp, the man red pilled more people than I could ever even imagine.
I think part of this is my unique perspective. My work field is totally taken over, and it was, already, when I got in. I accepted, to an extent, a deal with the devil when I went in to it. And hurt my career to the extent I backed out of the deal. (The thing with Baen was complicated, but realize they still work with fully “converged” distributors and bookshops. And if you think that doesn’t matter you’ve never done that.)
The thing was that most people — most of you — didn’t know it. The cancellations were deadly, in the dark of night. You just suddenly — oh, ask Roger Simon, why don’t you? Or Brad Torgersen — lost all your talent and became a hack, mysteriously, over night. And the word went around that you just weren’t one of the good people. That you were bad in some undefinable way. And overnight you were unemployable. Untouchable.
And it wasn’t just in writing. I have friends who experienced these joys in journalism, in academia, and yes, in STEM.
But it was all done in the dark of night, and well hidden, and the conspirators kept their knives hidden. It was all how you weren’t good enough, or you had some major issue, from personality defects to unacceptable addictions. Whispered. Of course. And all support, all friendship, all employment vanished.
This has been going on my entire adult life.
So, now it’s done in the open. In full view.
Believe it or not, this is better. Even people like my husband who “hate politics” but have an innate sense of fairness can see it now. And it turns out most people are actually decent, and this stuff is stomach-turning.
Is it in full view yet? Well, no. But it is in view enough that people are waking up in massive numbers.
The same, btw, with the betrayal of the country, the ruin of our economy, and the attempts to get a world war going. EVERYONE CAN SEE THEM. And these things don’t work when everyone can see them. The left needs to preserve the appearance of virtue and good will to get away with this.
The first three years of Trump dented that. The last three years ripped it to h*ll and gone.
In the seventies, they convinced us we were plain running out of gas. Now we know they’re playing keep away with gas. It’s not the same. It won’t be the same.
In the seventies they pretended communists were high-minded early-Christian-like. Now …. except for some sheltered trust fund babies we know they’re mostly deadly rich f*ckups.
It’s all out in the open, and it can’t survive.
Is it going to hurt us like hell going down? Yeah.
But if my past blogs are any indication, only about half as bad as I expect. We might come through this in other words: scarred and prematurely aged, but alive.
So, in the interest of keeping things in perspective/staying sane or not terminally depressed, do keep that in mind.
Other things that help: Today was an utterly useless day for me.
I went for an early morning walk, came back inside and found that husband wanted to go for a walk. Came back, and son was sitting on back porch, reading. I talked to him about a plot, then read a bit. (until I get a sun shade, I can’t write out there, yet.)
Then husband wanted to go for a drive, so we did that. Then we came home and I read son’s story for a critique. And then–
Well, somehow we got take-out. And I think mostly for the drive across town.
Because it’s spring.
Spring, and the sun, help.
Doing something every day that won’t get undone overnight helps (DIL taught me that one.)
Going out and seeing normal people being normal, helps.
Petting the cats, dogs (or I suppose parrots, hamsters, guinea pigs or hedgehogs) helps.
Writing something strange and escapist helps.
If you find yourself waiting for the inevitable doom, go out and do something.
Doom might still come, but you’ll have enjoyed yourself a little bit before it does.
Be not afraid. It probably won’t be as bad as you imagine. You have an overactive imagination. It will be bad, but not that bad.
Go and do.