Monday, September 20, 2010

Rally to Restore Sanity

Just a quick note to let you know that Jacob and I will be attending the Rally to Restore Sanity in Washington DC. Actually, Jacob will be attending the concurrent March to Keep Fear Alive, hosted by Stephen Colbert. I have never attended a rally of any sort but found myself weirdly moved to act when I heard about this one. Jon Stewart of The Daily Show is hosting it and writes,
"We're looking for the people who think shouting is annoying, counterproductive, and terrible for your throat; who feel that the loudest voices shouldn't be the only ones that get heard; and who believe that the only time it's appropriate to draw a Hitler mustache on someone is when that person is actually Hitler. Or Charlie Chaplin in certain roles."
This describes me perfectly.

Also, when I started doing some research, I found that the idea originally came from a Reddit user and that members of that forum donated over $200,000 to Donors Choose in order to persuade Stephen Colbert to make this idea a reality. I really like that model for change. I hope it catches on.

Lately, I've been feeling pretty paralyzed when it comes to making decisions. I've talked about it with my therapist and have all sorts of complicated explanations for it but the basic problem is that I just can't discern which consequence I will regret more. Whether it is choosing dinner, sorting out my stuff for what to give away or making financial or social decisions, while I can imagine what possible outcomes might arise from making one choice or another, I can't imagine how I will feel about those outcomes.

For a girl who is used to going with her gut, this is perplexing. I have never really found it difficult to decide what to do next. As I have said before, one idea just seemed like the next thing in front of me and so I did it. Anne Lamott writes about her pastor's decision-making process and says that she gets very quiet and breathes in and out slowly. Then she looks down at her feet and imagines her options as stepping stones on either side of her. The stone that appears to have a spotlight shine on it in her mind's eye is generally the path she should take. Or maybe I am remembering that all wrong. Still, I've used that advice before. But now, there's no spotlight at all. Is it too melodramatic to say THERE IS ONLY DARKNESS?

I'm not a person who makes lists of pros and cons, nor am I someone, not do pareto analysis or decision trees appeal to me very much. The best I do is some sort of back of the napkin cost benefit analysis.

So, I spend a lot of my non-work hours pretty overwhelmed and sometimes a little panicky. Where did that confidence go? I've asked that question a couple of times here in the last several months.

But when I heard about this rally, I just knew it was the next thing in front of me. I feel so bewildered but grateful for the light shining inside of me when I think of it.

So Jacob bought the tickets (choosing from the different options was too much for me) and I asked a dear from from junior high and high school to put us up on her futon. I'm excited about the atmosphere that we'll be a part of: funny, smart people who believe that this slightly ironic gesture will actually make a difference. I think it will be festive and ridiculous. I missed the celebration in Grant Park when Obama was elected. I'm hoping to find some of that jubilation and the experience of being part of a crowd all feeling the same feelings at this rally.

No follow-up obligations. No homework to do before-hand. No family to be in relationship with. Just an experience. An adventure, one might call it. A real vacation.

1 comment:

Scooter said...

Well, we almost could have met each other. We made a family decision to send my wife. Sounds like it's going to be a big event.