First World Turning

by baldilocks

This is going to be an “I, me, my” kind of post.

I don’t know what to write about anymore. As a matter of fact I have had to re-think my whole way of living and interacting with the world–both the online world and the real one, of which writing is an integral part.

Like all too many Americans, I have had to scale back on the things which require more money: less extravagant food items and more basics. I found out I’m eligible for EBT, but I’d rather starve that sell my freedom for a “mess of pottage.” (Side note: I recently gave up fast food–not for financial reasons, but because my half-century old digestive system said “no más.”) I’ve lost weight and (re)learned to sew because I can’t afford new clothes. I’ve learned tbaldilockso repair rather than replace household items. And let’s not even discuss transportation.

Watching what is happening to our country and to the world at large is the main culprit. And, it’s not merely the myriad signs that our Lord’s return is imminent; nor is it just the temptation to sit back and let it happen. It’s the obliviousness of most people in my sphere. It’s the normalcy bias among many, even as they feel the same financial and (sometimes) spiritual crunch that I do. And, even among those who see what’s happening, it’s the tunnel-vision–the inability to pull the lens back from things like the Ferguson debacle and look at things from a decades-long or even a millennia-long perspective.

So what to do now? I sell many items on eBay; some were items that I owned; others were bequeathed to me by my great-aunt. (When I mentioned on Facebook that I was selling some of her old stemware, one of my cousins teased me, saying that our aunt would not be happy with me selling her stuff. I replied that she couldn’t take the stuff with her and neither could I.) I am using several other means to earn money; it’s a bit easier for me than most, since I only have myself to worry about.

I have been blessed with family and a few good friends who have helped me financially, with transportation and, most importantly, with their prayers. I have people like our host–Peter, Da tech Guy–who gave me this fine gig. I even have a personal drug-dealer; she keeps me stocked in caffeine.

I have God, the Church, my church, my pastor and my fellow congregants. Through this, I’m even learning a fourth language (Hebrew).

In the midst of the storms of the larger world and one’s personal world, grabbing onto the blessings of God seems hard, at first. But, in my experience, once the mind is set to see what is good in life, it becomes easier. So I will continue to be grateful for the blessings–especially when many of my brothers and sisters in Christ have it infinitely worse.

So, the plan: read, watch, wait, and listen…with my spiritual ears and my fleshly ones. And I have faith that God will sustain me and tell me what to do when these abnormal times become even more interesting.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game,
was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, 
Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!