Can We Work Our Way Out of This Situation or Not?

Can We Work Our Way Out of This Situation or Not?

The problem with figuring anything out these days starts with looking back at the day, week or month before and trying to remember where we were then, so that we can draw a line or make some sort of connection with where we are now. Whenever I try to do that, I find it is impossible to discern where we were then, because so many things in so many areas of our lives have changed, almost all of them absorbing more time and energy to deal with, understand or overcome, if possible.

Take one simple example. I used to go to the swim club every other day by driving or taking the bus there and back. They had towels included in the membership fee. Not no mo. Too expensive to maintain profit margins, plus laundry soap cost has skyrocketed.

Nor do they have a scale in the men’s room anymore, because someone might steal it, I learned. Plus everyone complains that the weight it displays is too high. Also, you need a plastic tag on your key ring, along with 50 others, to get scanned so you can enter. The previous owner went bankrupt after trying to sell it to the members. In our particular case, overseas owners took over, using money they made selling large screen TVs, SUVs, microwaves, smokeless backyard grills, and let’s give credit to hard-working people here: from busting their humps making and delivering first-class food and working 16 hours a day using bicycles without lights on them, since lights are an extra expense that hits the bottom line, and the messengers don’t make enough to buy lights for themselves.

Irrespective of which week or month you are in, disposable masks litter the parking lot. Someone else will pick them up, or the wind will blow them into the Bay where they will strangle fish or tangle propellers or both. It makes me feel so blue that I don’t know what to do.

Also, due to the home office phenomenon, the pools, attendant facilities, courts and equipment are super-saturated with users. This causes them to break down more frequently. They also take longer to repair due to supply chain and production issues, including the absence of people willing to work for low wages to manufacture them.

Meanwhile, because of the shortage of craftsmen who once repaired them, but now have also gone on to higher paying jobs or retired due to stressful working conditions, there is more waiting time and aggressive competition over who gets the next machine to achieve adequate fitness to sustain the struggle ahead. So far no fisticuffs, but the temperature in the weight and exercise machine rooms has gone up noticeably, and not from more vigorous pedaling or pumping iron.

There’s a wise saying among people involved in various kinds of group therapy that you should focus on living “in the moment.” Based on this one simple example from a minor part of our lives, that does seem by far the best answer to these problems, since trying to solve any of them in our current oblivious society can lead only to depression, despair and disability, all brought on by trying to exercise our way out of it.