A Study in Contrasts

The world is a strange contrast to my house these days. Today Utah was declared to be in a severe drought. The Covid-19 case rates in my state and county hit new highs. Supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died thus launching a massive political fight over her replacement. The election hangs over us like Damocles sword and no matter what the outcome a portion of the American public will be distraught and panicked. Wildfires are still burning all over the west and we’re having an incredibly active hurricane season; both signs of climate change. Racial injustice persists. The economy is in recession and, with all of the pandemic job loss and supply chain disruption, may be headed for a depression. Arguments flare over all of the above with people speaking as if everyone who disagrees with them is awful, evil, deluded, or stupid. All of these things swirl in a cloud of stress that shrieks of potential disaster.

Yet in my house things are finally reaching completion. I laid the last bricks for my pandemic patio. All that remains is to sweep polymeric sand into all the cracks and seal it. I may hang the last of the cabinets on the pantry wall tomorrow so we can call that portion of the kitchen project complete. We finally got someone to cut all the dead branches off of our trees so they won’t hit the house in wind. My kids helped me harvest grapes and turn them into bottled juice. I’ve hired my youngest two as assistants in my business and set them up with accounts so that they can get paychecks to learn about budgeting, saving, and paying bills. My son is enjoying learning how to drive and has his first of four GED tests scheduled for Monday. I managed to figure out how to update my websites so they’re presentable again. I figured out some back end tech things for our mailing lists. I’ve managed to catch up with friends I haven’t seen since before the pandemic. Howard only has to draft two more page spreads for the Big Dumb Objects bonus story. All of these things were causing me stress while they were incomplete, but are now either on the edge of completion or done.

Today the things of my house are filling me up more than the things out in the world. This is good. It is important to recognize the good things and the important connections we have especially when so many larger things are completely outside my control. Build joy where you can and don’t let it be stolen away.