Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year's resolution...without expectations

Though I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions, this year I will be resolute to live without having expectations of other people.  I’m through with expecting anything of anyone else except myself. It’s been an abysmal few years since we began to network with those who know, talk to others who don’t know and continue to plough ahead without becoming bitter, angry or resentful.  I already feel like such a load has been removed from my back that I can actually straighten my knees once again. 

Kind of funny to think of a resolution where I won’t be expecting any results, how does that work?  Well I don’t have a clue, but I do know that I’m tired of being let down every time I expect someone to understand the predicament we're in and quickly make amends to a system that no longer works for the majority.  Like we've said here before, we have no illusions about saving us but how about riding out the storm on our terms not theirs?  

We can't even have a dialog where we ask questions and get answers, and I’m not saying the answers you want to hear, but answers.  You know something that has a little logic in it.  See how easy it is to expect something, why would I assume that you would get an answer that actually has something to do with the question?  Even when changing the question around and wording it differently you still get the same results and sometimes a look of disdain from those you’re asking as if you’re prodding them with a hot poker or torturing their senses.

I can’t help but think this will be a freeing year for me, if I can accomplish my task and I know it’s a big one for me.  Throughout my life I’ve expected one thing or another.  Friends to be honest, loved ones to be trustworthy, employers to pay me, doctors to heal me, insurance companies to provide, chickens to lay, ducks to forage, husband to grow food (though this one is a shared commitment), and emails as a form of communicating (boy was I wrong on this one).  

Anymore it seems like people have become less dependent on others and more dependent on things.  Things that they think make their lives easier.  Things that help to create jobs that pay $8.95 an hour, whoo hoo! Oregon raised the minimum wage.  Just what kind of jobs are these and how many years of college do you need to get one?    

Maybe after years of trying to build community I finally understand there is no foundation to even begin to put the blocks on.  We’ve lost our ability to depend on one another.  And just because I hold up my end of the bargain does not mean that you’ll hold up yours. 
The start of a new year.
 I once believed that friends and family could come together to talk about differences and actually resolve issues that we may have from year to year, but not anymore.  We learn what we want to know and grow in a way that’s conducive to what we’ve learned, and sometimes we can be miles apart with where we get our information from.  Then there are times we learn what we think we want to know about, then forget just as quickly or unlearn because we can’t live the way we want to knowing it.  The web gets more intricate with outsiders as our communication skills erode. 

Imagine just the simple question that got asked all the time years ago, “excuse me, but do you know what time it is?”  I had to laugh when a lady asked me this just the other day, it really through me off base and I scrambled to pull up my sleeve to view my watch before she walked away!  It was such a nice interaction as I smiled and gave her the time and she smiled back and said, “thank you.”

We seem to expect more from our cell phones and gadgets that we control with our fingers then our own thought processes.  I can’t wait to see how we as a species do without these things.  How long will it take for us to reprogram ourselves to begin to expect again from others what we expect from ourselves?   Maybe some don’t even expect from themselves anymore, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Today I received an email from a retired co-worker about the bargaining between workers and CenturyLink (the roots of the old “bell” system).  Us employees of the old “bell” system poked fun at each other for being “bell heads” as we were all raised the same way with excellent training and thought processes that were not our own but provided good customer service nonetheless.  We benefited from good paying jobs that provided for our families.  Now we’re lucky if we can see a doctor once a year without paying towards our $6000 deductible that as a couple we never reach in a year.  I know I don’t have a right to complain and I’m not, I just don’t understand why we lay down without a fight, but I guess we’ll all be dying of something or another before long.  Maybe I should put my money where my mouth and hands are and buy stock in medical gloves and alcohol.  Seems reasonable to me. 

Companies now have the upper hand with workers and the workers (union workers mind you) have no more voice.  Sure they still have feet to march out of the workplace but don’t walk too fast as your replacements will be there before you’re out the door.  Oh my!  Not the replacements!  I sometimes think about all those workers who came before us and all the battles they fought to get us a little further ahead only for it to be lost now to a new generation of “be happy, you got a job people”.  Unfortunately we’re becoming more like a third world power every day and hopefully before long we’ll get pissed off enough to actually make a difference in the majority’s life, the 99%.

Hopefully 2013 will the year when the bottom falls out and we all have to learn how to depend not only on each other but the system that gives and provides for us.  Tangibles we can sink our words and worth into.  Until then, I will live this year with no hope that others will do what’s needed for all of us to rise up for the next celebration.