How Do You Keep Your Spirits Up?

A disturbing number of my old school mates are posting stuff on Facebook that is about how the Corona virus is a hoax, how monumentally terrible our leader is (Trudeau), how great your leader is (the Orange Menace), how dangerous vaccines are, and a bunch of other conspiracy-type garbage.

I’m usually a very positive person who naturally sees the best in people and situations, but the world has absolutely crushed me in the last month. I have huge anxiety about the future of humanity. Sure, most people will do the right thing in most instances, but when your childhood friends are rabid capitalists who HATE Trudeau no matter what he does and regardless of how many people he helps and those same people post anti-mask and anti-vaccine propaganda all over their social media, how can you not despair?

None of the people I know are ‘bad’, but too many of them seem to have gone bonkers lately, and it honestly freaks me out. If nice normal people can become cruel zombies by obviously fake (to me and I would hope most kindergarteners) conspiracy theories, what the heck is our future going to be like?

On here, CC appears, at times, borderline clinically depressed and I can’t blame him or avoid feeling the same. My only hope is that the numbers of people who are actively trying to destroy society appear artificially inflated by the eye-catching insanity of their ideas and the lack of corresponding rational posts. Since it only takes a few bad apples to spoil the barrel, I hope it’s only a few idiots making it look like idiots are everywhere.

I’m not seriously depressed, but that’s only because I have abandoned Facebook (I use no other social media) and don’t engage the trolls on here. Do you folks stay sane by avoiding the news and social media? If not, what keeps your spirits up?

You mean besides the antidepressant that my doctor prescribed?

Also, I know these “spirits” of which you speak, are actually, emotions. Emotions are behaviors that we do without meaning to. They are a response to something in our personal environment. And one should try to remember that they are transient.

I have a similar reaction to the far right loonies, and how “crazy” is becoming their norm.

In the US, we actually, now, have QANON members who are going to be elected to offices.

I “stay sane”, so to speak, NOT by avoiding the news, but by imagining that there are others, like me, and you, and CC, and Mriana, and Lausten, who hold with the truth, with reality. Who will never give in to the LIES or the LIARS.

(BTW, I am glad that you escaped Facebook.)


I often turn the channel or turn the TV off when the dotard pops up on the news, because I cannot stand his voice. Even when I listen to Randi Rhodes or Rachel Maddow and they play a clip of the dotard speaking, I often skip over it. As for Facebook, I mostly post what I read from the NY Times and the Washington Post to my page, but don’t read much, if anything on my feed concerning others. Some I do- like my sons’ posts to FB, as well as my husband’s and a few close friends’. Otherwise, I just play Klondike on FB. As far as my mood goes, as long as I don’t hear the dotard’s lying voice with his gross out mouth I don’t go yelling at the TV.

Hey guys, it’s been a while. Good to see all the old names here.

I have a tried and true method of keeping my spirits up, at least a little, during times like these. First, it’s important to remember that the current climate of idiocy has a leader. In this case two leaders, one being in Russia. Yes, there have always been crazy conspiracy theories, but this is like nothing I’ve seen. Every one of my family members except my wife and kids are all idiots, posting articles saying things like that the virus can go right through any mask, but oxygen and CO2, which are thousands of times smaller, mysteriously cannot. Just jaw-dropping stupid beliefs. But I discovered a method of looking on the bright side a few years ago. I just think to myself, “Everyone dies eventually”. Nobody lives forever. Yes, a lot of damage has been done to the very democracy the flag waving conspiracy theorists pretend to love, but eventually we’ll start reversing it.

I don’t want to get my hopes up, but it’s looking really good for “eventually” being “January 20, 2021”. Just a few short months away, and during part of that, at least, we’ll listen to the whining with elation instead of dreading it like we have for 3 years now.

It’s important to remember that although there are world leaders actively contributing to these idiotic beliefs, the systematic dismantling of trust of science and medicine started with 2 sources. To begin to undo the damage we have to deal with those sources once and for all. The first is the Discovery Institute, whose plan to replace science with magical thinking requires a dismantling of trust in science. The second is snake oil salesmen, whose plan to sell water and bleach (anything that’s cheap to buy but can be sold for a mint, really) as medicines requires a dismantling of trust in actual medicine. The disinformation campaigns these two started require a dumbing down of the populace, which has lead to the current frenzy of idiotic beliefs.

Widdershins! Now that’s a sure fire way of lifting my spirits. Welcome home, dude.

Tim, I see and hear the sane people, but we’re drowned out by the shrieking of the crazies. Their aggressiveness has resulted in lies and stupidity plastered all over.

And it does appear to suck in previously sane people.

It’s seeing good people turn terrible due to lies that gets me. Absolute free speech is in the process of dooming us.

<p style=“text-align: left;”>Briefly, I find good people everywhere. The next generation is coming on strong and speech is still free. It’s always a knife edge of rationality and insanity. We’re doing well relative to historical lows.</p>

Hey Widdershins! Good to have you back.

The Discovery Institute is not alone in undermining truth. There are other organizations, e.g., QANON, and The Epic Times.

And snake oil salesmen are just one sort among the sociopaths and corrupt businessmen, who have crept out of the dark roachy places to become names in the daily news, such as many of the associates of the t rump administration.

@lausten : We’re doing well relative to historical lows.
So does that mean that we (societally) are progressing? Or does it just mean that "Things could be worse."?


A little of both timb. I hope more toward progress, but lately I’m not so sure.

So, back to the high notes. I don’t have kids but I find ways to connect with them. Through Restorative Justice I’ve seen a lot of work being done to teach the skills of self awareness and expressing yourself appropriately and how that is handed on to them to teach each other. Those were considered jokes or labeled “gay” when I was a kid. Then there are the ones who haven’t come afoul of the law yet, the 2nd and 3rd generation organizers. They’ve learned the skills early and they aren’t fooled by the ones selling easy answers about how love conquers all. They can balance the people skills and the admin skills. I don’t think they outnumber the wackos, but I don’t think that’s necessary.

Thanks guys. Don’t know how much I’ll be around, but I do plan to at least check in a little bit now and then. I’ve been busy, but that’s just really an excuse. I haven’t felt like being “social” a whole lot lately.

Widdershins: "I haven’t felt like being “social” a whole lot lately."
Me neither. I'm not the most social guy at the best of times and the political/Covid-related insanity sweeping North America has pushed me deeper into my shell. Gloomy pessimism is not my nature, so when the world makes me feel that way, I retreat.

Feel free to share your emotional aches and pains here. You might not hear solutions to your problems, but I promise you’ll get all the sympathy and empathy you could ever ask for.

I have kids as well, so I probably have many of the same worries that you do.

Most of my emotional aches and pains have a term limit that will hopefully be expiring in January.

Yo π, hope you’re doing well. I’m in from my last walk with Maddy, dark skies and all that. I keep thinking back on your “clinically depressed” remark, which really caught me by surprise. Although, didn’t take long to figure out where it was coming from. It’s made for lots of musing about the difference between “clinical” depressions and plain old justified human depression.

Seems to me clinical depression is for the candles in the wind, never knowing who to cling to and so on. The lost souls without a foundation under them. I was fortunate, my upbringing provided a solid foundation of love. I’ve always chosen to strive for the bright side even though my writing doesn’t necessarily reflect it, my life certainly does. I managed to wind up in and stay in rural Colorado in ‘79, past 9 years perfectly happy in a 600 sq ft cabin on 40 acres, with wife, and a dog that follows me around, and family, including young grandson. It includes friends and neighbors at a healthy distance and community and all that too, but I have space around me, bigger and better than a city park. Not bad for a kid slatted to become a factory slave back in Chicago.

65 having survived and lived an exciting experience rich life. I knew this country during the ‘70 and ’80 before exponential growth really turned things ugly. I’ve learned as much about life and this earth and evolution’s eternity and the thing we call god as anyone I know and keep adding to it. I’ve wanted to be a better me, but I’ve never wanted to be anyone else.

I appreciate we have many layers of personality and fears and impulses interwoven - ever watch yourself and notice how you act a little differently with different people and situations. Your environment draws out reaction, like a cuddle fish, but different :wink:

Or have you ever noticed some of your worst qualities are intimately linked to your best qualities - and visa verse.

Long way of saying sure I can get tremendously depressed and were my own environment the nightmare so many are being forced to endure, all bets would be off. After a wonderful blessing rich life, death is better than hopeless misery. But I’m a lucky one.

My writing is outrageously depressing for me; that I’ve never connected with likeminded, no quality encouragement or support. Not to mention all the stuff that eats up time, but that’s “more” important and kills potential projects and keep others on ice for too long.

But, life is a dance, doing the best with what you have, successes, failure and in between - then we regroup and do it again, only we’re older. I’m a dreamer, but my body is pragmatic and keeps me in line. I rather jettison obsolete beliefs and hopes, than go crazy.

We all have painful episodes in our lives and the trick is how to honor those moments in your life, without letting 'em eat you up. Feel the pain now and then, but be able to wrap it up and stuck that one back into it’s little cubby hole in your heart.

Live the depression, knowing you’ll come back out of it. If the rage builds, vent appropriately, let is out and be done, let it go. Don’t take the great moments for granted, they won’t last and for gosh sake don’t take yourself too seriously. Hang on loosely and all that.

And tomorrow it’s off to Phoenix area and another ten days with my little pal. See there too, I’d really rather just stay where I am, but than again, spending time with the little fella and helping be a part of introducing him to the world, come on that’s not something to turn one’s back on either. That’s why some say it’s better just to let it be, simply be present in this moment.

After all, you know what they say, no matter where you go, there you are!

Rock on, CC.

Bad feelings are transient. But, then, so are good feelings. As an unwise man once wisely said, “It is what it is.”

I’m doing good CC.

My comment that you appeared clinically depressed was hyperbole. Yes, depressed, but not to the point that you’re health is in danger. You sound more mad and sad and sick and tired of the state of the world at the moment. My feelings are the same so I get it.

As you talked about, family is a big part of keeping the blues away and I also have a family that makes my life better. No grandkids in the near future, but hopefully down the road I’ll be able to revel in the roll of ‘grandpa’.

Solidarity is another tool used to fend off despair. Knowing there are others who (generally) think and feel like I do makes me feel less alone and like there is hope. Thanks for playing a part.

This weekend I had a load of gravel (3 yd) delivered and had to wheelbarrow all of it down along my house. It took four hours of non-stop labor to do it. If I really thought there was no hope for the world, I wouldn’t have done that.

Good morning,

Sure, I figured you were making conversation, but I do think about those things and self-examination has always been part of my process. For my part, among other things I’ve been spending a lot of time gathering old dead a down wood and working on building up the fire wood pile for this winter, not to mention some other projects, so guess I’m also hoping to be around a bit longer.

This should be a telling week, hopefully the GOP convention will be a transparent clownish disaster, capped off by t rump going into full meltdown on stage, thus pulling the scales from those angry fearfully silly unAmerican Republicans’ eyes.

CC: "...hopefully the GOP convention will be a transparent clownish disaster, capped off by t rump going into full meltdown on stage"
There is a non-zero chance it will be sane and rational, but I don't think this is the universe where that outcome occurs. You will not be disappointed by the clowns or the inevitable Trump meltdown.

But please be cautious for the following reason.

CC: "...pulling the scales from those angry fearfully silly unAmerican Republicans’ eyes."
Ain't gonna happen.

I encourage you to not watch the convention or watch/listen/read any news about it. It’s likely that the Bizzaro-world circus will be eaten up by the members of Trump’s cult and you will see an escalation in the insanity.

Reign in any hopes you have of the, “pulling [of] the scales from those angry fearfully silly unAmerican Republicans’ eyes.” After the convention expect those scales to be bolted on tighter, reinforced, and even more opaque.

On a slightly related note, the Conservative Party here in Canada just voted in their new leader, Erin O’Toole. He trounced the other, more socially progressive, front runner. Sadly, Erin O’Toole is supported by groups against all sorts of things, like abortion, LGBTQ rights, climate change, etc. So, as you can see, we have our own backwards politics to deal with, it’s just not as circus-like as yours… yet.

So, CC, I suggest you cut a lot of firewood over the next little while. The world isn’t going to end, but it’s going to be a very bumpy ride for a while. You’ll need the outlet for your frustration and it’s good exercise.


Heck I couldn’t even watch most of the Democratic convention, though I sorta tried.

I’ve powered down and have disengaged quite a bit, the serenity prayer echo’s to the background of my mind on occasion.

Yes, the future will get nastier in this county, I see where Biden’s post Convention polls indicate he’s solidified his Democratic types but did nothing to grow his appeal - unless we are changing minds we are losing.

While the Trumpsters are simply getting more emotionally and realistically unhinged and angry. I’m pleasantly surprised gun violence hasn’t sky-rocketed, but fear that’s only because Trumpsters are still feeling like they are winning, hand them a few emotional losses and who knows. Have trump screaming from the sidelines and will get ugly.

Canada yeah, that’s a sad story to. Being a Earth and climate science geek, Canada shattered my delusions years ago.

What’s Driving Chaotic Dismantling of Canada’s Science Libraries? Scientists reject Harper gov’t claims vital material is being saved digitally. By Andrew Nikiforuk 23 Dec 2013 |

thetyee _ca/News/2013/12/23/Canadian-Science-Libraries/

The Harper Government Has Trashed and Destroyed Environmental Books and Documents
In the first few days of 2014, scientists, journalists, and environmentalists were horrified to discover that the Harper government had begun a process to close seven of the 11 of Canada’s world-renowned Department of Fisheries and Oceans libraries…

By Jordan Sowunmi
January 15, 2014,

vice _ com/en_ca/article/4w578d/the-harper-government-has-trashed-and-burned-environmental-books-and-documents

Listening to Tribal Radio News on NPR, I’ve learned over the years that many Canadians are as racist as many over here (against Indians, since there aren’t that many black people there, but vicious bigotry is vicious bigotry no matter who it’s pointed against.).

More than firewood, I need to find the time to finish my latest started project, “Donald Hoffman Playing Basketball In Microgravity” to once again make a case for why it’s actually important to recognize the divide between our ever so florid mindscapes and physical reality.

I mean Hoffman doesn’t even define, or acknowledge, the profound difference between “Objective Reality” and “Physical Reality” which to him sound like its nothing more than conjecture. And he calls that science. But I digress.


About the world, … true, true, it’s not going to end. But, you can bet ever larger percentages of people will be living in hellish conditions. And when the collective we should really be learning how to cooperate better to meet the challenges, the collective we, are turning into self-interested fearful pigs who’d rather be swaddled self-imposed ignorance and hatred.

CC: "...the collective we, are turning into self-interested fearful pigs who’d rather be swaddled self-imposed ignorance and hatred."
A huge swath of our fellow citizens think bass ackwards nowadays.

Previous generations understood short term pain for long term gain. Now it’s all about short term gain for long term pain with future generations paying and suffering for it. (Saying so gets you called a bleeding heart liberal, as though it’s an insult.)

I have no idea what a project called, “Donald Hoffman Playing Basketball In Microgravity”, could be. Is it art? If so, it is writing or painting or what? Whatever it is, there’s probably only a very very niche market for it. Hopefully projects like that are a meaningful outlet for you. I have never done art or had pet projects of any sort but now that the kids are getting older, maybe I should. (I’ve been contemplating starting a mushroom and edible insect farm with firewood sales on the side. Since I live in town, none of that is possible, but if I could convince my wife to buy an acreage, it would be possible.)

How Do You Keep Your Spirits Up?
Those walks with Maddy are cool, the curious relationship we've developed, the communication between us. How she can translate the essence of what I'm saying. How attentive she is me, not that she alway stay close, but that she always has an eye on me and checks in when I start moving. She won't piss or poop around the house, with that, she takes the right to demand walks a lot and she gets them.

I don’t like using a leash, do it when need be, and I strive to keep the leash with me so it’s handy when I do need to use it. Like when I spot deer in the distance, or the cows that occasionally stay on a parcel next us, etc. She listens to me, but the call of the wild distracts, and she’s been given the freedom and will exercise it, so it requires constant monitoring, and admittedly playing the odds. Still, I keep getting better at reading her, and usually catch her before she does something stupid like go after deer or turkeys who might happen to be wondering through. Plus she’s a peaceful friendly well balanced dog when it comes to personality and attitude.


But she’s a dog and want to run and we have rabbits and they are fair game for her. Watching her stalk, then chase rabbits. Man it’s a beautiful thing to watch her tearing across a field close on the heals of a rabbit. When she really opens up full stream she’s amazing and beautiful to watch. I can see why animal racing was such a big deal once - though I’ll always prefer watching it in the wild. Then she’ll circle back around to me, it’s all very cool. Though it’s not always a fantastic race across the pasture. There’s the upper sagebrush section, and that one produces as many comedies as races, lots of hide and seek, watching rabbits freeze, then suddenly sprint off. Sometimes, with Maddy clueless sniffing way off target, like one of them cartoons of a hallway with people running back and forth.

But that’s not what got me to wanting to write tonight. We’ve just returned from our last walk of the night, slight cloud action with a fuzzy crescent moon, so still dark enough to need my headlamp on. I try not to point at her, but it happens and those glowing eyes from the light bouncing off her retinas are always a trip to behold.

Now, finishing our walk I went out to where the mesa starts dipping into the river valley, to hunker down and gaze for a while before going in. As I’m nearing the spot with my headlamp skimming the ground I caught a flash of a beautiful tiny blue sparkle. Playing my headlamp at the spot it continued. At first I thought it was a sliver of glass, but that seemed weird and I’m a curious guy, so kept going in and down on top of the spot, the sparkle having disappeared, but I looked close and it turns out there was a brown spiker, not big, would fit on a nickel.

When I pulled back the sparkle reappeared from the right angle. Playing around with the beam and moving from side to side and up close, I was able to determine, to my satisfaction, that I was actually witnessing the light bouncing back from spiker eyes. Now that was a trip! Don’t think I’ve ever seen that, or even thought of its occurrence.

Those moments of discovery are like a buzz, a natural high. And really informative because suddenly I was dramatically drawn right into a dimension of reality totally different from my own.

That’s why I think truly appreciating deep time and evolution is so critically important and so monstrously lacking these days.

Spending time in natural setting,

need not be grand landscapes, simply natural landscapes are quite nice too,

all it takes is curiosity and attentiveness, appreciation and you will be endlessly rewarded with big and small revelations about this Earth that created us and our place within it. Experiences and insights that add up as the years rush past. Life can be very good, wonderful, and it’s worth appreciating all you have.


Good night, Cc