Whine #7,635,499,117,006

Sometimes I think, TGFC. Yes, thank God for coffee, a.k.a., thank God for caffeine. Coffee helps me cope when the friggin’ world seems determined to be the pebble in my shoe.

First, the wildfire smoke has returned. Grrr. Yes, the smoke isn’t as bad as the actual fire, nor the many accidents, disasters and true nightmares that others are enduring, you know, like being a refugee without a home — or country, any longer — or being torn away from your family and sent to another place, or raped or shot. I’m far from starving or being financially insecure. That’s why this is a whine.

Second, the bloody Internet connection is sooo…damnnn…slooowww…tooo…day….

I was at home first experiencing this. What the hell? Who knows, at that point. But now, in the coffee shop, it’s OMG time. Task Manager and all the security apps said there’s nothing wrong here. I tend to blame Google Chrome. Hasn’t been working right since that update.

Again, not big stuff, first world complaints.

Which took me back to Dr. Dinardo’s post, “Shifting From Anxiety to Excitement”. Her salient point:

Did you know that fear and excitement share the same set of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, glutamate, and acetylcholine.

  • Opposite emotions. Identical neurotransmitters.
  • Same neural activity. Different cognitive appraisal.

And the best way to shift from performance anxiety to excitement is to say one sentence on repeat.

Her information can be applied to multiple situations. It’s about changing your  reactions, right? So, as I walked, I worked on changing from feeling negative toward something on the spectrum’s positive side. While doing that, I thought about how Dr. Dinardo’s point is directed toward the first world. Her focus is on helping her students. The lessons can be applied to others (like me), but imagining myself leaving one of the world’s war-torn, disease-ravaged countries without any idea of where I’m going, it would be difficult for me to try to change my cognitive appraisal to be more upbeat.

It’s not a slam against Dr. Dinardo (although some might think, that sure read like a slam). It’s a slam against the world and the many ways that suffering is forced upon others, how slowly change takes place, and how impermanent it often seems. It’s a slam against people who think, let’s go back twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, one hundred years, to when times were simpler and life was easier. I consider that simplistic, narrow, and short-sighted, perhaps as simplistic, narrow, and short-sighted as my whining about the wildfire smoke and a slow Internet.

Yes, I understand that I’m simplifying cognitive appraisal and its mechanism. Hey, I’m only on my second cuppa. I’d need one or two more cups of coffee to go into it more thoughtfully.

I’ve read — and I’m dubious about projecting these things — that climate change will eventually affect our coffee supply. I’m dubious because projections are based on the known, and there often turns out to be many things that aren’t known that affect the projections. I’m also hopeful that a woman or man will arise, unite us, and say, “Enough with this shit. It’s time for a change,” and manage to rally everyone around them to change the world for the better for all, and save coffee.

It’s probably a naive hope. Meanwhile, I have coffee, time, a secure place, and a working computer. I’ll take advantage of the here and now, at least how it applies to me.


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