thought for the day: smile at people. hug your friends. tell your family you love them. it takes so little energy, and it means so much.
and it makes a difference, it really does. you ever have one of those shitty, kick your ass days, where every little thing is like a dog humping your leg? and then someone smiles at you, for no reason, holds a door open, lets you cross in front of their car with a wave, gives you a second of their time to let you do your thing. and your day gets a sliver better. slow down, take that time, smile at someone for no reason.
i've tried to do that this week, rather than letting the stress get to me and snapping at people who deserve better. what i've found is that it doesn't just make their day better. it makes my day better. having that little bit of tolerance, patience, giving - makes the world a better place all around.
okay, okay. didn't mean to get all soppy and philosophical on you. just wanted to share that.
i've done well so far this week, making it in on time, getting things back to normal. i haven't been all that productive once i've gotten there, but having that framework of time and routine has helped. i get up - the world hasn't ended. i shower and get dressed, and the cats are still following me around. i walk to work, and the bus shows up. i sit at my desk, people call/IM/email/stop by, and life goes on. it's different, but it goes on.
i had a chance to catch up with mom today. and that helped. i needed to hear her voice, and it made me happy that she felt okay calling me (this has been an intermittent issue with us). we talked about what's been happening, and what she's seen in her life. mom is doing pretty well, all things considered. the thing that concerns me the most is my gram. she lived thru Pearl Harbor. don't know how much she remembers after the stroke, but it was a big event for her. most of her long term memories are still there. she was early 20s at the time, so i'm sure that the major details are still there. and gram is pretty much glued to the TV these days. well, most days, that's what she does, watches TV. and when she steps out of her apartment, everyone around her is talking about the attacks. i got really burnt out, brain melt, too much pain, watching 18 hours of CNN. but at least i could go to the office or hang out with friends and talk about something else. i worry that gram can't get out of that place, and focus on something else.
the toll that this is taking on everyone is amazing. i was talking to another friend today, and she said that her husband called her to talk about escape plans. Escape. Plans. how messed up is it that we actually need to discuss this? we need to work out a way to save those nearest and dearest to us, how and where to meet up if the world comes to an end. she was really upset, and i was too sad to really listen to what she was saying. it's hard, in retrospect, to know that i couldn't offer her the support she needed. all i could do was tell my own stories.
and i've been reading the hometown newspaper to see how people are doing. i checked in at work today, and gasped. i think my cubemates turned around to see what was happening, but i didn't turn to see what they were doing, because i was staring at my screen. the older brother of someone i graduated high school with was at the Pentagon the day of the attack. and he's now counted among the dead. this is the second person from my hometown who's been in the news. and all i could think of was Dale breaking track records. now, she's lost her brother. i want to go home. i want to see all the faces of people i grew up with, hug them, offer some small morsel of consolation. instead, i offer my prayers, and hope that they make a difference.
you know? we all need some happier stories. so here's one. Tanya has been keeping me posted on this little kitty, faux Siamese (altho, judging by his markings, he's at least part Siamese) who has been living in the bushes outside the library by her office. she's got a soft spot for kitties. she's said that she's pretty sure there's a neon sign on her forehead that cats see, and know that they'll get food and lovings from her. and if she isn't around? the road map points to her parents' house. :)
so, over the last few weeks, she's been able to get closer to Stray Kitty. kitty comes out, yowls, asks for food, and sits still long enough to be picked up for a nanosecond. next day, same thing, lets himself be picked up for a bit longer. today, Tanya had a carrier. oh, but that cat did complain. and loudly. but she got him inside the carrier and into her office.
how did the cat get inside the shade, you might ask. good question. the only answer i can offer is - he's a kitten. :)
it was so nice to hear that she had taken the kitten in, and found a happy home for him. i think he looks like a Perkins. don't ask why. can't explain. doesn't matter what his name is. i'm just happy to hear that he has a good home. small stories like that make life better.
when i got home tonight, i flipped on the TV to watch Bush's speech. now, i don't normally follow politics. but it struck me that this is one of the most important speeches we (my generation) will hear in our lifetimes, and possibly (we'll see, given how things might go) the most important speech GWB Jr. might give. i am no fan of the Shrub. never have been. so i wanted to see/hear what he would do, because it will have a huge effect on so many lives.
wow. Bush sounded okay, and i was proud of what he said for the most part. he made a clear distinction between the terrorists and Muslims in general. he made it clear that Afghan is already suffering, with a poor economy, people starving, and few resources. while he did single out bin Laden, he spoke more about al Quedda and terrorists in general. and he was good. wow. where did that come from?
i have to say (cynical as it may sound) that i never thought those words would leave my mouth. as Chica said, not only has Hell has frozen over, but the Fat Lady has laryngitis.
granted, it's possibly the most important speech the Shrub will ever make, and he had some excellent speech writers at his disposal. but he delivered the message with sincerity, and honesty. much to my surprise, i'm very happy with the job that he did.
and then there was the commentary afterwards. i jumped up from the keyboard and ran over to the TV to listen to Ruth Simmons. damn, girl! the incoming president of my university. on national television. and saying good things. she was very empathetic, and realized that many people will still have issues with this entire situation. war. military action. an event or series of events that will impact all of us. i love this woman.
*sigh* so, some ups, some downs. and i need to remember that sleep is key.