A sad day tomorrow

Yesterday I was really busy and forgot to write a blog entry, so today I have to write two.

Most white Americans (I am making a big generalization here) have always had the privilege to take pride in our government and our political system.  There have been sex scandals, there have been cases of corruption, but the politicians always at least tried to maintain a sense of responsibility and decency and have either gone through extensive efforts to cover up wrongdoing or admitted fault and stepped down from leadership.  Not anymore.  Under Trump, the false pretense of decency and honesty is gone.  Trump may say he is cleaning up Washington; but in truth he is making America into a post-Soviet republic from the late 1990’s.  A place were crony capitalism and right-wing social ideals drive the government like a red Ferrari purchased with taxpayer funds to sneak away to a private island with a mistress.

Formerly the beacons of democracy and freedom for the world, we no longer have the luxury of going along with business as usual.  Like citizens of many other countries around the world, we must finally pull ourselves up by our bootstraps to make that democracy by hand, because it has without a doubt been driven into the hands of the conservative elite; the same elite who happen to control major corporations; the same elite who happen to be generals in the military; the same elite who believe that God bestows good fortune on those who are more worthy and more holy than others.

I feel silly writing this because it is overplayed in the liberal media outlets that I read and watch.  A sense of hope lost pervades.  And many people of color and women and immigrants never had that hope to begin with, because they already had experienced racism or sexism or xenophobia that was condoned or facilitated by governmental policies.  But lately, I think a lot of people’s hope levels were on the upswing; people thought we were gaining more freedom and more liberty under Obama.




What are goals for?

My housemate often talks about goals and progress and working towards a goal.  I have never had goals at the center of my daily schedule or my life at all.  My approach has always been to sustain myself – physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually – and to take action when I notice a disturbance in one aspect or in the balance of aspects.  If I need more physical expression, I do some exercise, right then and there.  If I need more intellectual stimulation, I read a book or find a conversation to be in.  Each aspect can be addressed immediately, in some way, as long as you have a flexible work schedule or enough time to take breaks from what you are doing at the moment.  If you do not have a flexible work schedule, then simply make a note of what you want to do, and do it right after work.

Granted, I already have the benefit of having a stimulating job.  Now I am at a point where I want to (a) make more money and (b) have a larger impact on the world, and I find myself unsure how to move towards those quite broad and general goals.  In the past, it was the search for an enjoyable job that motivated me to continue building my resume, to continue networking for job contacts, and to be on the lookout constantly for opportunities.  In fact, I was always on the lookout, practically on edge, for five years after graduating from law school.  It was not a fun time.

I do not want to go back to that struggle.  I do want to improve my situation.  I suppose that I have been focusing on short-term mental and physical well-being because it was all that I had to rely on during those years of wandering and job searching.  Basic stability was the most I could hope for, and was not easy to achieve, in part due to mild obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety.  Exercise became my primary method to promote mental calmness.  Exercise was the solution until I injured my foot.

For four years I have been trying to regain full use of my foot.  Although a minor injury in terms of severity, it has made everything harder – harder to work on my feet, harder to get cardiovascular exercise, harder to dance, harder to recover when I do work on my feet or go dancing for hours.  Recently, for the fourth or fifth time, I gave up on running because it was aggravating my foot, and my knee, and now my hip.  And after all this I wonder, how much of the foot pain is real?  One doctor said it may be a pinched nerve… meaning there is not any real damage there connected to the feeling of pain.  But if so, does it mean I should stop trusting my body’s way of telling me something is wrong?

The foot injury really made me have second thoughts about goals, because running a marathon and then some subsequent 5k and 10k races had been my goals that motivate me to continue running.  But if running causes an injury that hinders all aspects of your life, why would you keep that goal?  Point being, long-term goals seem short-sighted because you don’t know how things will change in the future.







Explanation of the Title

I called this blog “first step to second thoughts” because I am pledging to spend no more than 20 minutes a day on each post.  I will not spend a lot of time revising and editing my work.  Following this plan generates a sense of anxiety because I worry about writing something that offends someone or making a grammatical mistake that would be embarrassing, especially given my law school degree and undergraduate education.  But I am committed to the lack of perfection in this blogging effort… hence, the title, First Step to Second Thoughts.

Furthermore, I plan to write once per day, every day.  Last fall, I took a workshop on blog writing, and the speaker said that you will gain both comfort and readership by posting frequently.  Comfort in the sense that you will become comfortable publishing work, out on the internet, for everyone to see, that may (eek!) have a mistake in it.  And increase readership simply by building an audience that enjoys your voice and comes to expect new posts… after all, the social media environment is constantly being updated and new news only lasts for a minute or a day.



First blog post

Hi everybody!  I promised that I would start a blog in 2017.  Here is that blog.  Wait to be amazed with my clever thought processes and brevity of wit.  Wink wink.

The first question is, do I do one space or two between sentences?  Fierce debate rages on either side.  The post-progressive activist types seem to have adopted a single space, since it theoretically saves time and space in the real and virtual worlds.  I have a two-space habit that cannot be beat so I will just have to stick with two.

The second question is… will I write mostly about work stuff or personal stuff?  Or Trump?  It is not going to be a political diatribe because there is more than enough out there.  But I make no promises.

Lastly, I have no cool links today… Next time there will be some nice blue html.