I’m aware of puzzling dichotomy at work in my life lately.
I am angry almost ALL THE TIME these days. I’m angry at those elected to public office who haven’t a clue how constitutional government is supposed to work–nor, apparently do many of them they care. I’m angry at social media, destroying our privacy for profit while expecting us to believe they are building “online community.” I am angry at much of what passes for journalism, I’m angry that our dear old Mother Earth is in such peril. (Happy Mother’s Day, Earth…), I’m really angry at people who profess to value the family while doing everything possible to make the average family’s situation harder. So much to be angry about.
And yet, I’m also aware that I’ve never been personally happier. Every possible variety of pleasure is mine in abundance. I have a toddler’s pleasure in the simple things–ice cream cones, flowers, and clean sheets. I have a grown-up’s pleasure in adult recreation, such as cantering around an arena on horseback just because I still can. I have an attorney’s pleasure in reasoned, informed debate, and a writer’s pleasure in making my living doing something challenging and meaningful that I love.
I hope it’s not a pleasure reserved to the elderly, but I am also wallowing in good books. Churchill’s biography, long-form journalism, social commentary, my keeper author’s new romance releases, all those historical mysteries I mentioned last week… whatever I want.
I even take a certain delight how free I am to quarrel with our present realities. I’m not exhausted by single parenting, not weighed down by child welfare cases, not battling a major health issue such that all of my reserves are taken up with basic survival. How amazingly lucky I am to be at a point in life where I can acknowledge my emotions, experience them, and decide what (if anything) I want to do about them. This is a very great luxury, though it shouldn’t be.
In the world according to Grace, we all have the skills and mental freedom to acknowledge our feelings, however uncomfortable, confusing, or inconvenient they might be. I know that in real life, that’s not always the case, and much misery and mischief result.
So here I am, pulled toward gratitude and joy on the one hand, and pulled toward passionate indignation on the other. I don’t recall any other time in life–not adolescence, not new-mothering, not mid-life, when I’ve been at the both ends of such a spectrum simultaneously quite as thoroughly as I am now. The connecting thread is that I’ve arrived to a passionate phase, when I can delight in having sprinkles on my double-dip and be appalled at our plastic footprint. Both, fiercely.
I hope this makes for some great books, because I am surely having a grand, interesting time.
What–despite everything–is giving you particular pleasure these days? To one commenter, I’ll send a signed copy of A Lady of True Distinction, which is available in print now, and goes on sale as an ebook on Tuesday. (Wheeee!)