why whine

Oh wah wah wah, my husband got this fabulous job and we’re moving to one of the best cities in one of the nicest countries in the world! And we have months to figure out how to get all our stuff up there! Poor me! Every time I catch myself playing this riff, I think to myself, self, I think. There are refugees. Shaddup.

I know I gritch a lot in this blog, and that is mainly because conflict is interesting, it’s how we’re wired. I would be falling asleep face-down on my keyboard if all I had to write was “sunshine, bunnies, la-la-la.” Fact is, my life is pretty much sunshine and bunnies, but that doesn’t make good blog. So I fuss about things, and you can go “psht” because my problems are so trivial, it’s okay: I know they’re trivial in the grand scheme of things. I really do.

I mean, at least my kids are healthy, right? They have two parents, food, shelter, etc, so really, why am I so worried about their emotional development? Well, because if they weren’t healthy, or didn’t have parents food shelter etc and turned out twisted and strange, nobody’d be surprised, and they’d be all well, you did your best, look what you were up against, it’s a wonder they didn’t turn out even worse. But since they have everything, I have no excuse for their being maladjusted. If one of my kids climbs the water tower with a rifle, it’ll have to be my fault somehow (probably because I didn’t check their homework).

Where was I going with this? Oh.

My father-in-law is a total panic-monkey. Worries about anything that could possibly happen, and many things that couldn’t. Here’s our favorite: once when Ignatz was sitting on the floor in front of the TV, Opa said, “be careful not to lean back suddenly and put your head through the TV screen.” Admittedly, this was pretty out there even for him, and we all honored the event with a moment of uncomfortable silence.

I think we do this because we humans need to experience the full range of our emotions, even if we’re short of opportunities for some of them. I think this is why 9-year-old girls give their dolls funerals and cry a lot. Even if you don’t have anything in your life to trigger tears or fury (or joy – read Solzhenitsyn), you still occasionally need to take those emotions out for a spin. You can manufacture reasons, or just assign to each event a greater emotional weight than it deserves.

So, yes, in these difficult economic times, I am truly thankful that we are not in danger of losing our house, or my husband’s job. The fact that the house and the job are in separate countries is just a minor blip, but I’m going to work this blip for all I can, because otherwise I’ll have nothing to write about. There’s no sunshine in February anyway, and if there ever were bunnies, the neighbor’s gigantic dog has almost certainly cleared them out.

Song du jour of the day: Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby, by Counting Crows.

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