“Adulting” is hard

Dear President Trump,

This morning on my walk I’d turned towards home and was going past a favorite tree (the old low-slung ornamental cherry whose major roots are exposed and look like they are doing the splits) on the corner of 21st Ave and 77th St when I heard a cat-bell sounding, as though the cat forced to wear it was bounding towards me from – sorry about this – kitty-corner across the street. The bell was loud and it went on and on as the cat made her way to me.

At first I wasn’t sure whether it was one of the several “attack cats” in the neighborhood, some of whom will not only stand their ground in the face of dogs (on leashes) on their own properties, but will chase after perceived invaders. I’m not a good cat reader so not wanting to risk scratches or bites, I stayed still to see what it would do. Fortunately it was into rubbing and not scratching or biting and we had a nice little pet fest, complete with purring and murmuring. Of course after a few minutes of this it was time for me to go and again I was fortunate – this cat wasn’t clingy and instead of following me, she ambled back across the street.

At the next house up there was a bunny, so all in all it was a nice (not rainy!) morning walk.

Oh, and I dutifully wore the small round flashing yellow light that Laura got me yesterday down the back of my sweatshirt. I drew the line at wearing it on my front as I can think of little else more irritating than taking a walk in the early morning dark with a light constantly flashing in my face. Nope. No way. But on my back, not a big deal. Plus, it’s high time I accepted the reality of distracted drivers who aren’t expecting anyone else to be out and need the visual assist.

Since I’ve moved on from cute small animals to the subject of basic safety, I’ll also let you know that last week I finally put an old insurance card in my little pouch where I carry my cell phone on morning walks. Back when you were trying to gut the ACA and make it so insurers didn’t need to cover people’s pre-existing conditions, I told you that I have a congenital heart condition. Well, like most heart things, it’s one where seconds count and knowing what is likely wrong would shave seconds off the time before useful help can be rendered. So, I wrote the condition on the card. Which I now carry with me on my solo walks. Its younger sibling (i.e., the current insurance card) also now carries the name of my heart condition and goes along with me in my wallet the rest of the time. Finally.

I’m definitely too old to just now be putting these things in place, but seriously, “adulting” is hard. Accepting that it makes sense to have a flashing light and some useful ID on one’s person when one is out alone is a drag, if only because they’re concrete reminders of mortality and vulnerability even if they’re helping put it off and reduce it, respectively.

You know this too, don’t you? Stepping up and being a grown-up who takes care of his business in a mature, thoughtful manner isn’t exactly your strong suit, is it? And the peeps you’ve gathered round you don’t seem any better at it than you, with the lot of you resorting to outside voices and school yard taunts when you can’t think of anything real to bring to the occasion, even when it’s an impeachment trial. I wouldn’t want to put them through it, but I wonder if you all would raise the level of discourse some if there were school children seated all around the perimeter of the Senate chambers, quietly watching the “adults” and perhaps inducing them to be adult. One would hope.

May we take care and be safer.
May we be willing to step up and be adults for those who aren’t.
May we get realistic about our vulnerabilities.
May we be peace.

Tracy Simpson

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