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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Friday, October 4 2002 

Rage analysis - 2

The closing question yesterday was, "How do you know there aren't other causes of your rage than aging, like 'overcrowding,' or job dissatisfaction?"

Both are, I'd propose, age-related. "Overcrowding" is a difficult fact of life in urban places, especially highways, like those in the San Francisco metroplex where I live. Brother Bob found overcrowding so stifling in the Los Angeles metro that he moved 600 miles out to the boondocks, to Willows, a little town not getting any bigger that I've written here about before.

One begins to pine for the sandy desert a little to the east; terms like "personal space" and "comfort zone" resonate with everyone. The road rage may be a cumulative thing, something that builds and is even rehearsed before taking the road ("screwing up your courage," so to speak). Bob used to say he hated to go anywhere when living in the Southland, the driving was so difficult, a sentiment I share more and more, or in terms of yesterday's analysis, the older I get. I've always been an on-the-go person, but in places like this the highways are always crowded, or at least always are between 6 a.m. and midnight.

Another factor in urbanization is the impersonalism that defines it. I'm no less guilty than anyone else of wanting my privacy and therefore not being outgoing among "strangers," but that pose affects everything. Safeway, the second-largest grocery company in this area, issues club cards that bring discounts on so many items that anyone shopping there twice would be a fool not to get one. If you have one, the clerks are now trained to end your transaction by saying "thank you, Mr. Kennedy; you saved $3.67 by using your Safeway Club card today." The mention of the name is surprising even after you've heard the spiel (to put a cynical spin on it) a few times. It's so unurbanlike.

The bigger grocer here, Albertsons, only last week announced that, after holding out for over two years, it's issuing its own club cards now, so the personal touch (ironically introduced in this market by Albertson's predecessor company, American Stores) is working for Safeway. For years I considered Safeway too "unfriendly" to patronize, but since the snobbish Albertsons came on the scene, it's been working for me, too.

"Job dissatisfaction" gets at the failings most older people wrestle with. "My prime is past but I've hardly made a ripple in the pond of life." As a reader responding to yesterday's entry put it: "I hear all too well what you say about age rage...so many goals, hopes, and dreams...and so little time to try to get them all in." That's one weakness (pride, wanting honor) that I've worked on intentionally but not entirely mastered. I've loved two previous "careers" and consciously laid them down when obedience to principle and the call to humility came. Still, I get green-eyed when I hear that someone in "my" field has gotten a recognition or honor that I think would more appropriatedly have been mine if I'd fought for "my" career or reputation. Yes, this could be an underground or subconscious factor in my raging, for being too ready to get angry and lash out.

Most of what's said in these Jonals should not be taken entirely seriously; there's a lot of tongue-in-cheek and of "saying for effect," without feeling I have to really mean everything that's put here. That's a slightly different topic, but one I think worth taking up when we get together next week.

óWebmaster Jon Kennedy

T-shirt sayings (seventh of a series)

31. I'm out of estrogen and I've got a gun.
32. A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
33. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance. 34. Stupidity is not a handicap. Park elsewhere.
35. They call it PMS because "Mad Cow Disease" was already taken

—Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for today

A prayer

Every single evening | As I'm lying here in bed
This tiny little prayer | keeps running through my head.
God bless all my family Wherever they may be,
Keep them warm and safe from harm For they're so close to me.
And God, there is one more thing I wish that You could do.
Hope You don't mind me asking: Bless my computer too.
Now I know that it's not normal | To bless a mother board,
But listen just a second | While I explain it to you, Lord.
You see, that little metal box | Holds more than odds and ends
Inside those small compartments | Rest so many of my FRIENDS.
I know so much about them | By the kindness that they give
And this little scrap of metal | Takes me in to where they live.
By faith is how I know them | Much the same as I do You
We share in what life brings us | And from that our friendship grew.
Please, take an extra minute | From Your duties up above
To bless those in my address book | That's filled with so much love!
Wherever else this prayer may reach | To each and every friend,
Bless each email Inbox | And the person who hits Send.
When You update your heavenly list | On Your own CD-Rom
Remember each who've said this prayer...Sent up to God.Com. —Amen

—Sent by Mike Harrison

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