Helplessness

The last three weeks has been terrible in every sense of the word with the outbreak of war in Europe. Even though I’m more than eight time zones way from the action, my anxiety level is through the roof, and has caused my heart rate to spike. Part of the reason is that I have absolutely no control over the situation. Nothing I do can effect the news.

I think one indication of maturity level is how one handles helplessness. As my world opened up while aging, there’s more and more things which I can’t change. The way I fundamentally look, the way mustard taste, the way someone else feels about you. And now, the way global geopolitics is shaping up for the foreseeable future.

My approach right now is best encapsulated by Vonnegut’s “so it goes.” It’s okay to be frustrated at what’s going on. In fact, one should absolutely be aghast at what’s happening to the climate crisis, Ukraine war, the pandemic… but alas, what can I do besides my little part?

It’s odd how I think about this right now. Perhaps it’s a strategy to deal with overwhelming anxiety, but I always believed that I have an internal locus of control. I firmly believe that my future is under my control, but having moved to ABQ, home of a nuclear lab, I fully realized that if nuclear war were to break out, I would be incinerated instantly. Furthermore, there’s also issues of health in my family that I can’t control. It just sucks that as we age, chaos increasingly dominates our life and helplessness goes up.

So it goes.

 

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