The Queue

4

January 6, 2020-

I have long been tagged as “an individual”, mostly in an admiring way.  The practice of setting one’s own course is often seen with adoring eyes, from a distance.  It is at the same time true, of many of those who look favourably upon the people who chart their own course, that there is a compelling need to follow the herd.

I have actually, in these later years, especially, found a fair amount of satisfaction in fitting in with society’s reasonable expectations.  I derive pleasure from honouring the queue, the sense that everyone else is just as entitled to respect, kindness and regard for their time, their hopes and dreams as I am.  Being a Bull in The China Shop stopped working for me, even before I met Penny.  Patience, indeed, has provided me with a keen sense of observing what is going on around me-things I’d have missed, in my late teens and twenties.

These thoughts came to mind, as I read Jordan Peterson’s notions on conformity.   It is true that the majority of things that society at large does, in a day, and the way in which these are done, is composed of what works.

Generations, though, will have their own take on matters, and the practice of the quotidian will change, with time.  I have found some of the methods put forth by the rising generations, in facing our day -to- day problems, actually make perfect sense-and so, I have adapted some of these in my own daily life.  I do so, knowing that I am not a Baby Boomer trying to be a copy cat, but a sentient being, gratefully adapting to a rather promising time.  My use of paper and plastics is down, for example, and I am maintaining a keen interest in the more organic foods and medicines that have emerged, over the past decade.

I do not sense the queue will disappear, nor will its underlying sense of order- but it will be accompanied by a stronger sense of inclusivity-not willy-nilly, but sensible, as we recognize a more unified order.

Connections and Commitments

4

December 18, 2019-

A long absent friend re-connected with me, recently.  He told me of his  present life, as his wife’s full-time caretaker.  This, of course, brought back memories of my own situation, 9-10 years ago.  Had I to do it over again, I would, in a heartbeat.

More cogent, though, is  the question of what connections in one’s life bring about commitments.  Spouses, children and parents are obvious urgent commitments. Siblings and close friends are up there, also.  There is, though, the caveat that  people to whom your ties include respect for their individuality and privacy may not WANT anyone’s involvement in their lives.  I face this, presently, with one whom I love dearly-knowing that love is something that requires me to leave her alone, at least as long as there is not threat to her life and limb.  Even then, any involvement on my part would be in concert with her closest family members.

There is also, in a world that is, simultaneously, digitally connected and riven with anonymity and division, a tendency for the disconnected to demand attention, at least in social media and chat, for their most quotidian concerns.  I can hear people saying, “Well, aren’t 90 % or more of our day-to-day lives made up of quotidian events?”  Yes, they are, at least that much.  I belong to a social media group that is called “I Did A Thing.”  It is intended for people who have suffered from social anxiety and low self-concept, to gives themselves a boost, by sharing their everyday achievements with like-minded people.  I don’t go on there as much, as I did in the beginning of the group, nor do I see that many people using the site, anymore.  I do support those who post, some of whom I’ve met face-to-face.

The other group who post, largely in online chat forums, such as Facebook Messenger, are mentally ill adults, many of whom seem to have no other avenue to express their concerns.  Most of these posts are about issues that those of us lucky enough to have had patient, loving parents and friends are able to resolve on our own.  I have learned to schedule time, in early morning and late evening, to hear out such people and offer simple solutions, as best I can.  The issues are often repeated, day to day, but that is what any one of us may called upon to address.

Our connections do not always require commitment, especially if, as sometimes happens to me, there are more pressing matters, closer to home.  We do our best , though, as we just may be all one another have.