It is fascinating to be away – which is where I am – away. To be away and read about things American. The USA was my home for most of my life, went to live there when 24, had a short break from 2014-2019, went back and then left again. This time feel definitely away and am viewing the USA as a fiction almost. Found a New York Times entry about the economic situation in the far away place of the USA.
“Offices remain eerily empty Airlines have canceled thousands of flights. Subways and buses are earning less often. Schools sometimes call off entire days of class. Consumers waste time waiting in store lines. Annual inflation has reached its highest level in three decades. Does this sound like a healthy economy to you? In recents weeks, economists and pundits have been asking why Americans feel grouchy about the economy when many indicators – like G.D.P. growth, stock prices and the unemployment rate – look strong.
This very interesting beginning commanded my attention. The article continued on in fascinating detail and realism. “But I think the answer to this supposed paradox is that it’s not really a paradox: Americans think the economy is inrush shape because the economy is in rough shape. Sure, some major statistics look good, and they reflect true economic strengths, including the state of families’ finances. But the economy is more than a household balance shiiet; it is the combined experience of working, shopping and interacting in society. Americans evidently understand the distinction: In an Associated Press poll, 64 per cent describe their personal finances as good – and only 35 percent describe the national economy as good.
While some of these disruptions are minor inconveniences, others are causing serious troubles. The increase in social isolation has harmed both physical and mental health. Americans’ blood pressure is rising. Fatal drug overdoses have soared, with a growing toll among Black Americans. A report this week from the surgeon general found that depression, anxiety, impulsive behavior and attempted suicides had all risen among children and adolescents.”
The situation is, of course, made more difficult by the following: ‘As is often the case in our politically polarized era, the situation differs in red and blue America.”
In Republican-leaning communities, the biggest Covid problem remains a widespread refusal to take the pandemic seriously. About 40 per cent of Republic adults have not received a vaccine shot. Whereas, fewer than 10% of Democratic-leaning communities have not received a vaccine shot. So things are a mess back there in the USA.
Away it seems is the magic word, for today. It can be: apart, isolated, at a distance. Or it can also be: elsewhere, abroad, not at home, not here, gone, absent; on holiday. I am both at the moment – being apart and isolated and at a distance but as well, not here, elsewhere, abroad. Well, definitely abroad and gone. I no longer have a home, but do not miss it. However, I do not feel isolated, nor apart. It seems to me that so many people who surround me are isolated, apart. It is my humble opinion that they are isolated and apart from themselves, and often the people that surround them. The loneliest time ever in my life was during the disastrous third marriage, when I was actually surrounded my many but, isolated from myself as I was constantly trying to meet their expectations of others, – the husband, his kids, the grandkids.
I was drift less, alone and isolated – although seemingly not so – very popular, particularly with the eight grandchildren, who are no longer in my life. These days people come and go – definitely welcomed when they come but I am not necessarily devastated, nor even barely unhappy when they leave. I seem to be, of late, surrounded by people who say that they love to be around me because I am happy and I make them happy. That is highly complimentary, and most sincere. But the question remains:What am I getting out of it? I recall in days of olde – living in London – dealing with an incredibly traumatic move out of that country as my student visa had expired. I was left with the experience of handling the transition utterly on my own – despite myriads of blog followers – even in the early blog days. I remember laughingly writing about the phenomena – complaining as it seemed overwhelming. But I did it – on my own. I transitioned and then transitioned again, then again and again. The self confidence that brings, doing it on one’ is immense. These days, and this is difficult to explain, have more faith, not only in myself but in Allah, trusting in his guidance. Do not exactly rejoice at misfortune but neither does it haunt me in any way. Misfortune has many names: difficulty, issue, trouble, setback, reverse, adversity, reverse of fortune, misadventure, mishap, stroke of bad luck, blow, failure, accident, disaster, tragedy, affliction, sorrow, misery, woe, trial, tribulation, catastrophe, calamity. The antonym of misfortune is telling: it is a piece of luck.
Yesterday was a day of difficulty, setback, adversity, mishap, woe and affliction. An apartment, here on the same property as this hotel, had seemed a marvelous dream come true. But it turned into a nightmare. The real estate agent was charging a commission on the furnished studio which was immediately payable. However, there was no lease in conjunction. I would be paying a commission and a security deposit for a ‘hold’ on an existing, empty apartment. I was actually feeling rather desperate as my reservations here will expire on December 22 and, because of Christmas, there is no room at the Inn – so to speak.
Everything was contingent upon me getting a UAE visa – but there was no answer at the Government Immigration office. They were not answering the telephone, despite countless calls by the concierge. What was infuriating was the previous publicity campaign by the Ruler of Dubai and his son the Crown Prince, who have been speaking for months about their government’s efficiency, awarding happiness award to certain governmental offices. It was clearly total hype but one has to come here to realize this. What is hype? It is an extravagant or intensive publicity or promotion, also a deception carried out for the sake of publicity. But why? It makes no sense whatsoever. What did I do? Three things: 1) realized the mess that I was in 2) Desperately tried not to panic. 3) Went inwards, relied only upon myself, did not look to anyone to bail me out.4) Did not blame myself for the predicament. 5) Went to bed and ‘slept’ on it.
I woke up to a nonfunctioning coffee maker but two men arrived to help me out – my butler and another man from India who served as an inspiration. His example, will speak more of him later.
I was also in horrible pain – my left knee is swollen and I can barely walk. But the Butler arrived again, with ice, and with medication the swelling is decreasing and the pain abating.
The other blow, sorrow and tribulation was that someone I am most fond of let me down, disappointed me – did not show up despite promises to do so. I gave up on that person – eventually replied to a text showing a side of myself never before seen by that person.
Me: I am strict as a grandmother. – I told you that!
He: yes right grandmother
Me: Think about it for a while and then tell me what you learned and why you did it in the first place.
He: You are right. It is my mistake.
It does seem that our difficulties are working themselves out. But to say that I was angry is an understatement. I shall practice being forgiving, but it is going to require some real dedication.
Two photographs will accompany this blog. One taken a few days ago at the Rixos Resort
- a man from Germany and an (eyes closed) me, photograph taken by his brother. I am wearing the most bizarre headdress ever seen – will wear it one day again. It is was purchased years ago at a car boot sale in London – the one across the street from Dolphin Square where I lived for months immediately preceding my return to the new world.
The second photograph illustrates a shining example that forgiveness works and a happy time was held by all. Photograph used with permission.
Me: You have a choice. Can I put the photograph on Instagram, the blog or neither?
He: Both Instagram and the blog.
Me: Just the blog I think, if that is okay with you.
We texted later.
He: I happy
Me: I am too! We had a great day together.
But I would be remiss if I did not discuss the role writing plays in my life. My other mainstay, my touchstone, so to speak is my writing. A mainstay is a a person or thing on which something else is based or depends. It is a central component, centerpiece, prop, linchpin, cornerstone, pillar, bulwark, buttress, chief support, backbone, foundation, base, bastion. Writing clarifies and centers me It is the backbone of my existence – researching, musing, typing is the linchpin and anchor – keeps me going, keeps me changing, keeps me laughing, keeps me loving.