Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Anything you can do, I can do better

Just in time for the launch of Me 2.0, MSN has featured a really enlightening article about the chic-ness of stress in our society. The article makes an interesting point about how it's become a status symbol to be more stressed out than everyone you know. Old people complain about their health problems, with one person's arthritis being unbearably worse than another's gout or emphysema. For everyone else, it's who slept the least, who worked the longest hours, who has seen their family the least...

Sure, misery loves company, but really? Everyone I know in the working world has a busy life with many demands, worries, and obligations. I know very few men and women of leisure. On top of that, despite the amount that we all complain about the load each of us has to bear, most people will admit that they'd be bored to tears without their active, albeit hectic lifestyles. We like our lives most of the time. So why do we bitch so much? Do we ever stop to think about what all this complaining does to our mindset in general? Are we so insecure that we have to find validation in something so petty and unimportant as our perceived workaholic tendancies?

So again, in my attempt to be a person of action, I'm going to try to stop complaining about my misfortune of having a well paying job that occassionally expects me to work a little. I'm also going to limit my exposure to those who feel compelled to complain excessively about their equally well paying jobs. I understand letting off a little steam over a drink after work, but those conversations should never last more than about 20 minutes after you've left the office. Let it go. I'm starting to realize that, the more time I spend complaining about work, the less time I'm spending actually enjoying my life. And whose fault is that? After all, I'm told it could be worse - I could be unemployed. And that would stress me out.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

My Diatribe on Voting

Today's political headlines are absolutely driving me nuts. "African American Turnout Will Determine Election Outcome", "Unmarried Women May Be Key Variable In Election". Crap. All of it. Polls. Total crap. Even when I was drinking the campaign Kool Aid, I didn't believe any of it. Polls are numbers, and you can make numbers say anything you want them to. Think about it - polls exclude most people in our generation because we don't have land line phone numbers listed in a phone book. How the hell can they be accurate?

Know what I think the truth is? We're ALL the key variable on Election Day. If we've learned anything in the last 6 years, it should be that every single vote counts. Sadly, the ones that count the most are the ones that are never cast. Elections are won and lost, causes live and die, and our American way of life is trampled by apathy.

Hopefully you've registered to vote. If you're registered, there's no good reason not to take the time to drive a few blocks to your local polling location on Tuesday. Or even better (especially if you happen to be fortunate enough to live in Montomery County, Maryland), vote absentee so you don't have to worry about dragging yourself out of bed next Tuesday morning to stand in line for way too long to mess with some dumb machine that is somehow more difficult to use than a Palm Pilot.

If reason escaped you this year and you're not registered to vote, do something to make up for your laziness and volunteer. You don't have to pick a party or a cause to volunteer for, but find some local organization that does something worthwhile, like drive the elderly and disabled to the polls. And whether you're registered to vote or not, encourage everyone around you to exercise their civic duty. It's time for us to give a damn about the things that really matter in the world around us.