I had so many ideas for blog posts. I planned a lighthearted account of the sans-children escapade my husband and I took to Niagara Falls. I thought I could elicit a few chuckles talking about our current household of three adults with different work schedules and how we juggle things. Or a look at the issues with young adults that I hadn’t anticipated (does having my name listed on my offspring’s checking account affect my credit score? Especially if they regularly run the balance down to $.050?) I could muse on how kids who are launching into the world are on different developmental timelines, just as babies and toddlers are.
Or I could log on, open a new post and sit here looking at a blank screen, lost in the bewilderment over the upending of the world. When it looks as if every rule for life is changing, how can I form communicate coherent thoughts about what it means to be helping my kids make their way? I’m not even sure what the world is going to be or how it will look. Much different from what I expected a few weeks ago. I know that much. I’m not sure I can form coherent thoughts about it.
I don’t know what advice to give my children, either. Does it make sense to get a college degree? Who knows? I’ve always urged frugality and saving, but maybe saving money isn’t smart any more. I remember the part in Margaret Atwoods The Handmaid’s Tale where they shut down the bank accounts. Possibly it’s smarter to spend all the money now and get concrete stuff for it, or else move to coffee cans buried in the back yard. Or eat, drink and be merry because tomorrow seems so uncertain. The eat and drink part seems easy; the merriness, not so much.
After years of being subsumed by the needs of others, I thought I’d take my first opportunity for a breather and turn my focus inward for a year or so. Try to work on some health issues, get myself well and rested, and not jump into volunteering or activism for anything. That now seems like the idea of stopping to take your vitamins and make your green smoothie while the house is on fire.
I know, big picture, life has always been uncertain, the rules have always been changing and people have always been clawing their way out of the pit over and over. You think you have medieval existence figured out and then everyone around you starts dropping from plague. You see life progressing with the new wonders of the twentieth century. It looks like life might finally be getting easier, when bam! – a world war and Spanish flu. Humanity has often teetered on the brink.
I guess now we do what people did in those situations. The next thing. And then the next. I suppose I urge my kids to look around and see what they can do to make life better in some way for someone. I suppose I do the same myself.