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« Walk Hard | Main | The Spotting Session »

Dear Prudence Looks Around

PRUDENCE:  1.The ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason  2.  Skill and good judgment in the use of resources  3.  Caution or circumspection as to danger or risk

Well… Bob and I had our first moment of  “We just can’t go on this trip!” I knew this moment would come.  I also knew that we would go anyway.  I’m not sure exactly why, but it seems we just need to do this.

It’s not like we don’t have really good reasons to shut the trip down.  We just lost half of everything in the stock market. A lot of the financial cushion that we had, but were intending to not use, is gone now.  Still – we’re going.  And in some way I believe that part of the whole trip, the whole lesson, is this part happening right now.  It would probably be prudent to call this trip off.  Bob and I are prudent people.  We’ve been saving for retirement since we were in our mid-twenties.  We must have read 10 books on home schooling, and talked to countless families, before we decided to home school our kids.  We’ve been making prudent decisions concerning our lives and our family ever since we started our lives and our family together.  Why don’t we show some prudence right about now?  The only answer I have is that sometimes staying put seems like the most dangerous thing you can do.

Still, it’s hard.  I’m stressed out lately, and my body has been rebelling in it’s own unique ways.  Bob’s swamped and frustrated.  It feels like this whole country is holding it’s collective breath about so many things.   Who will win the election?  Will it be a fair election?  What will happen with the economy?  Just how bad will it get?  Will CEO’s in this country continue to get bonuses hundreds of times larger than their employees yearly salaries?  Will any relief package passed by congress have any effect on my friends who are on the verge of loosing it all?

Writing this I’m thinking about how much all of America has riding on the next few weeks and months.  With Bob and I trying so hard to make things happen for ourselves in the 6 hours a week we get to actually work on this project together, I’ve forgotten that my own personal treadmill is connected to everyone else’s. 

I was reading Pema Chodrun this morning.  She is so very good.  She speaks in a voice that I can hear without pushing back.  Pema talks about not getting hooked, like a fish.  About separating yourself from everyday petty grievances with people, with jobs, with cars and plumbing and extra slices of cheesecake.  It’s not that you ignore the slight or deny the problem.  It’s simply that you see it clearly, without getting emotionally hooked.  I really like this idea.  I'm getting better at keeping a certain emotional stability.  I'm getting better at not letting somebody's problem become my problem too.   I am feeling more at peace these days with the small piles of steaming crap that people and situations leave in my path.  And then sometimes I’m not.   I’m even getting pretty good about accepting the “sometimes not” part.

In Los Angeles, after dinner, my kids and I watch Jeopardy together.  With the election coming up there are a ton of political commercials running.  My son asks, after every ballot initiative commercial “How are you going to vote on that?”  Mostly he gets the answer he expects. “ Yes, we support everyone’s right to get married.”  “Yes, we think it’s important to fund clean-air technology.”  After a commercial tonight he asked again, and I realized that I didn’t know enough about that proposition to make a decision.  Sigh… here’s yet another thing to put on my to-do list.  No doubt I will find time between now and Nov. 4 to study all the propositions, and make my decisions, so that on election day I am prepared.  It’s prudent to do so.  I’m prudent, you know.

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