When loss hits you, your world is turned upside down. Whether the loss involves death, or in places hit by hurricanes and other kinds of disasters where people are displaced from their homes, stress and the subsequent emotional and physical effects target the victims.
A key element in ensuring health and harboring the hope for longevity requires learning to manage and mitigate stress. That’s easier said when you are observing stress from a distance. When you are in the midst of swirling waters either literally or figuratively, remaining detached and free from roiling emotions and a knot (or pain) in your gut is nearly impossible.
Disasters bring out the best and worst in humans. While now personally acquainted with the personal variety, natural (and national) ones are often magnified by the media. They serve an important function for programmers—ready-made stories that fill hours of air time, with advertisers happy to fork out marketing capital to capture fixated eyeballs.
Speaking of capitalizing on disaster, our sitting president is someone who has done well capitalizing and exploiting the misfortunes of others. I’ve mentioned Sarah Kendzior before. She nails it in this article by Nancy LeTourneau on our Exploiter in Chief being our “ultimate disaster capitalist,” a master at reveling (and profiting, handsomely) when others are in the midst of chaos and suffering. Make sure you click on the links provided in the quoted snippet, too. This isn’t false (or “fake”) propaganda, but a telling measure of the man we elected as our 45th president. He’ll surely find a way to profit from the fates of those in Houston like he has throughout his business career. That’s the Trump MO.
Trump spent his business career eagerly anticipating both social and economic disasters. “I sort of hope that happens because then people like me would go in and buy,” Trump said of the housing crash in 2006. Before that, Trump spent decades exploiting the damaged economies of towns like Gary, Indiana and Atlantic City, leaving them as bad or worse off than when he arrived.Save for Democracy Now! most days at lunch, and my morning routine of tuning into local news affiliate, WCSH-6, I’ve tried to limit my disaster porn intake. It’s a matter of coping and survival, rather than a lack of concern for people suffering in flood-ravaged Houston.
Every week, I’ve made sure to incorporate a minimum of four intensive activities consisting of things like biking, swimming, and recently, playing tennis to offset my stress and lessen its effects. While not foolproof, being active and upping my endorphin level helps, I think.
The onslaught of tasks relative to Mark’s death has lessened some, while never completely going away. There are a still a number of major issues we continue deaing with, one of them coming to a head at the end of September/beginning of October. On top of this, a member of our extended family is facing serious health issues that have compounded the challenges we face as a couple, moving ahead.
But, as I’ve said time and time again, Mary and I continue moving forward and are “up to the task” and remain standing.