Tomorrow I go back to work after a rainy, but restful, vacation. I've got some tiny knots of apprehension, as it's a busy day, with lots to do... but, I remind myself of how much I truly love what I do, and start to feel some excitement about being back in that place, surrounded by great people.
I have not been living the hermit's life though, despite the rain- Thursday I went to the grocery store. I was listening to a podcast of This American Life called "signs of a recession" and the first story they told was about the statistical rise in broken teeth during a recession. My dentist had told me just last week that he was seeing a lot more grinders and stress fractures... and this week when I went to the drug store to buy a night-guard-thing for my own grinding problem, I was surprised to find that there were very few left!
I certainly saw a rise in aggression and stress at the grocery store- it was the Thurs. before the 4th, and it was POURING, and the store was full of people. I noticed that when the store is full, with way too many people, customers counter-productively become MORE aggressive and LESS cooperative.
Today on the road I was flipped off by two different people, and saw another person flip off another driver. People are cutting each other off and waving nasty hand gestures, and scowling. I can feel the stress in the world. I see people become more internally-focused, at a time when we need each other more and more. I hope we figure this out, as a civilization. I wonder how or if things can get better if we are unwilling to cooperate with each other on little things like getting down a grocery store aisle or merging onto a highway ramp.
This week my prayers will be for frustrated people, and the young people and adults who are giving a week to helping each other and growing closer to God.