Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sheltering in Place

I learned a new term last week.
“Shelter in Place”.
Which pretty much describes the life of a freelance writer, every day.
We don’t get out much.
Not that we don’t have the time to get out…we do…more than most, really.
It’s just that we live in our heads so much that going out in the real world is a little disconcerting.
I don’t mean because of all the stuff that goes on out there, on any given day that we glimpse from afar on the news.
Or even just the mundane risks inherent in the pursuit of a life well lived.
No…there’s actually way more risk in my house…especially if I haven’t made the bed by the time Z get home from work. 
So we shelter in place….every day…unless it’s a beach day.
But that might just be me.
And there we sit, writing our silly stories, spinning our corporate propaganda and keeping our eye on Twitter.
You know, just in case there’s something important we need to be aware of, like the news anchor that unknowingly dropped the F bomb and the S word, moments before being introduced…on the first day of his first gig.
Don’t want to miss that, shelter or not.
But here’s the real funny thing.
We all assume we’re gonna live forever….

Which is why we stay in and watch “Storage Wars”.
I mean, if you thought your days were numbered would you really use one of your last allotted hours to watch Reality TV of any kind.
I wouldn’t…I’d only watch “The Price is Right”.
You know…because it’s important to keep up with consumer pricing…and those “Showcase Ladies” are nice to look at.
But we don’t think our days are limited because our brain just won’t wrap itself around the idea that our “expected” tomorrows are not guaranteed.
Just like that flat screen you bought from the guy behind the dollar store.
I mean, why would your brain want to do that: give credence to the idea that it will ever miss a 70% off sale at Kohl’s?
So we open our eyes, every morning, and immediately the bitching begins.
Another boring day in another boring life.
The bananas are over ripe.
The coffee is too weak.
Someone or something knocked over the garbage can, last night.
Your neighbor’s smile is annoying
The dog wants to go out…and you don’t even own a dog.
And lots of other people want to get to where you’re going, at the same time, on the same road.
Life…so annoying in its predictability…so annoying in its unpredictability.
That’s just how a lot of us think…every day.
You know who you are.
And I do too, because I saw all your names in the “Crabby Pants” newsletter, of which I am the Editor-in-Chief.
We can’t help it, though, we “Crabby Pantsers”; it’s just how we came out of the box.
Sure, we know that whole “every day’s a gift” mantra.
We all do, deep inside…we do.
In fact, some of us even try to tell ourselves just that, every morning, before our feet hit the floor…unless it’s raining…or that annoying guy with the weird head is on TV…or your 60th birthday is fast approaching.
Then all bets are off. 
It’s just another day like yesterday, and probably tomorrow.
Until it’s not….
Something changes….
And then we stop and think…and appreciate the gift we’ve been given, that others too had been expecting…but for them it never came.
So maybe we should stop all the bitchin…lose all the regretting…all the fretting and the worrying.
Sheltering in place or not sheltering in place.
Every day is a good day.
Every day is another day to live.
Every day is another day to give…to others…and especially to ourselves.
We can’t change the world.
We can only change ourselves.
So go enjoy your day…even with the traffic.


  1. Re "corporate propaganda": Do you write commercials????

    1. When I get paid it's mostly corporate comm mumbo jumbo... like saying our gall bladder sucker is waaaaaay better than their gall bladder sucker…. But every now and then I get to do something fun…and then they cut it all up because they don’t want to offend anyone.

  2. Replies
    1. I'm bettin you're a tailgater...
      "Get off my bumper lady!!!"


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