A week ago, I expected that I would write my mournful post about remembering 9/11, have nightmares for awhile, and return to the topics that I’ve been thinking about lately, topics like music and book reviews and homeschooling and the upcoming election and whatever-else strikes my fancy.
That was before Chris Stevens died.
The world is going to hell in the proverbial hand-basket and watching our descent into madness has preoccupied me.
I’m not done with my preoccupation yet, but I think I’ve adjusted to the new level of terror enough to talk about other Stuff as well.
As you know (or do if you’ve been reading this blog for a bit), I have fun each day coming up with new and distracting ways to deal with distracting myself from the distraction of PTSD. One of the fun bits is figuring out how to channel all the extra energy that comes from being in a state of perpetual hyper-arousal (which is psych-speak for that state of extra-aware that you’re in when you’re in real danger; it’s extra adrenaline, fight-or-flight juice that fries out rational thought and just reacts to threats real or perceived). In my efforts to not be destructive with all this amped up energy, I’ve become good friends with our weed-wacker and I’ve taken on painting.
No, not painting pictures – painting the inside of the house. (As you can imagine, the fumes are doing wonders for my state of mind ;p) When we bought our home, the prior owners had, um, renovated and in their kindness painted the inside of the house. Nice, right? Here’s a tip for all of you who are selling property: fresh paint is really sweet — just keep it *white.* Yeah, white is boring, but it’s also clean and doesn’t clash with anything! Color is very personal – don’t go pushing your lack of aesthetic sense onto someone else!
Clearly, our sellers did not chose white.
They were thorough, oh so thorough. And the whole house is either institutional sage-like green, or butterscotch Werther’s candy (which looks a lot like dog vomit when looked at for too long).
It’s taken five (5) coats of primer just to hide most of the green in the bathroom. (Who paints a bathroom green? “Gee, I’m gonna apply mascara while looking into a mirror with lighting that makes me look sickly and zombiefied.” Huh??)
The good news is this:
1) I suspect that I’m the only one who can see the green anymore. We’re now ready for color.
2) In my anger about the violence in the world, I changed and created something better, rather than dissolving into and contributing to the carnage.
Number two is the one I want to point out because, all quips about color swatches and overgrown lawns aside, I want to draw attention to one simple thing:
We all chose every day how we respond to situations.
We can make it worse or we can make it better.
Doing nothing is also a choice — but be careful, because doing nothing also makes you complicit in whatever the prevailing winds do.
Painting a room really doesn’t save the world, but choosing to paint rather than drown my rage in beer and then drive off in my SUV and run into a carload of kids saves a bit of the world around me. And that’s what I am responsible for – the world around me.
Whatever you do, remember to chose consciously and care-fully.