Rough day

drownIt’s been a tough day, oh people of the Internet. I was working from home today due to health issues that, try though I might, I cannot wish, medic, or magic away. I got a request to present information on a project I’ve been working on for over 2 years to a very high-up person at the university, and I couldn’t fill it because I couldn’t be certain I’d not puke on him if I went in. So my boss had to take herself away from another very important meeting to cover for me. This is incredibly hard for me to deal with. I feel like I have total job fail.

Then there’s the crummy energy news: the IEA has been covering up how dire the world oil situation is, largely due to pressure from Americans who don’t want people to panic. Remember how badly that blip of $4/gallon gas threw off the economy? That’s going to become the norm, folks. The only silver lining there is that maybe it’ll slow down global warming, which makes me think Michigan will look like the Dust Bowl in my lifetime. We sure won’t be flying in strawberries from California and chicken from China, and I don’t know if Michigan can feed itself. We’re in a better position than many states: far from an ocean coast, plenty of fresh water (though some places have lots of groundwater pollutants), a diverse and fairly healthy agricultural base, and lots of arable land…which is tilled solely by diesel-powered tractors, outside a few Amish farms and “wacko” organic veggie plots.

And speaking of Michigan, a report from the Pew Center on the States tells us that Michigan is likely going to have California-like money problems in the near future. And a dozen other states, too. How bad is it going to get here? We already have 15+% unemployment (over 20% in Detroit). I’m incredibly grateful to have a job (don’t think about today’s job fail, don’t think about today’s job fail) and there are only slight, very distant rumblings that either my or my husband’s jobs might be in jeopardy, but I’m worried about my family and people around me.

I feel really impotent today. I can’t even go out and garden, which is my usual answer for despair of any sort, what with the dark and the health today.

What do you do when it all just seems like too much bad news you can’t do anything about?



  1. MK said,

    November 12, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    When I have a rough day like that, I pray for the people/things that are tormenting me that I can’t do anything about, even if they are the last thing that I feel that deserves my prayer. I guess I am what you could call a religious person, and I find this type of prayer helps the Holy Spirit make things change for the better. If you are not religious, just thinking about a positive outcome somehow brings about the same magic. Hope this helps! I was having a day like yours today, too. The Buddhists would say this is happening because something important is about to be born. So that’s another way to look at it.

  2. November 12, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    I try to do something positive like cook, garden, make something, and if all else fails, watch a good positive movie. Venting helps too, and you did that.

  3. Momster said,

    November 13, 2009 at 8:19 am

    I try to remember that this is a moment, not my whole life, not unending, just a moment in my life. I allow myself to wallow for a while, then I bake something satisfying and give it to someone who would least expect it….

  4. TeacherPatti said,

    November 13, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    I tend to stick my head in the sand and ignore it. There’s nothing I can do, anyway. One of my parapros said something great the other day…one of my kids asked me if “2012 was true” and I said no–the Mayans couldn’t predict their own demise so they surely couldn’t predict the end of the world, so don’t worry about it because even if it was true, there is nothing we can do. My parapro picked up on the underlying fear and said, “Don’t be afraid to die, sweetie. We all have to perish and while we don’t know for sure what happens, I think there’s a much better place, so don’t worry and don’t be afraid.” I totally agree–if oil runs out, climate change goes nuts, whatever, there is nothing I can do about it but try to not be afraid.
    That probably isn’t helpful but whatever gets ya through…. 🙂

  5. Suzie said,

    November 17, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Well, I simply cannot read peak oil stuff, myself. But I know it’s important to you to keep informed about the details of it.

    Yoga. Spending as long as it takes in the woods, or by flowing water. Getting moving in the world.

    Random thoughts from my reading:

    My clear mind – like the clear blue sky – is always there behind the clouds, calm and stable.

    If a problem can be solved, there is no need to worry about it.
    If a problem cannot be solved, there is no use to worry about it.

    We don’t know how things will turn out.

    Tangent: You might like this blog:

  6. varmentrout said,

    November 18, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Do you like making up lists? Can you turn on some perfect music and zone out thinking about your local food business question?

    My own response to these world-modifying and mind-bending problems is to focus on the tiny, the now, and the local. You are already doing a lot about that. But can you think of something that is not now being done to help improve our local food sufficiency and diversity of food production? There are so many scattered efforts going on – would you be the mega-organizer to catalog and track them and look for a way to make the whole effort more muscular? How to make money is more difficult but ultimately maybe a subscription model or even a grant of some kind?

    Oh oh, I’ve probably depressed you more.

    I saw that Ypsilanti passed a beekeeper ordinance. One good thing for today.

    Just remember that you have personally already lit a lot of candles to this darkness.

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