This past week or so of national news has been weird for women, hasn’t it? Most of us kept watching the news while glancing periodically back and forth at our cell phones or calendars to verify the date and time. Yes, I still own a cell phone and yes it still says it is 2012. Are we really debating birth control?
Now because this is a personal essay, I am going to insert my personal opinion here. You are well within your right to switch the channel. Certainly, every church or religious group has the right to believe or not believe whatever feels right to them. I, however, intend to exercise that same right. For the ability to express that right out loud, and to have a vote and say in my government, I pay taxes. I believe that if a church wants to become part of the political process, they should give up their status of tax exempt and jump in the ring with the rest of us. We’ll be happy to have you in the discussion, once you have paid your fair share for admission. In the meantime, if I don’t share your beliefs, I won’t work for any of your organizations as birth control is something near and dear to my heart, and to the heart of most every 21st century women who has aspirations for herself and her daughters greater than staring in a reality TV show.
Arguments that involve morals always seem to point back to “the good old days” a mysterious time in American history that involved apple pie and happy families. An honest look at history reveals that these good old days were most often only good for a select few citizens. In these good old days women and minorities were not particularly happy with the status quo or their share of the apple pie. The good old days involved human rights violations, discrimination against women, and a health care system that had children dying of preventable diseases and women being thrown into mental institutions for failure to comply with societal norms. I have absolutely no doubt I would have been one of them!
We all have a tendency to look back at our personal “good old days” as well. They were usually a time in childhood when we were both innocent and protected from reality by our parents. They often involve a time when we had few responsibilities and were relatively carefree. They may involve a relationship, the details of which time has clouded over. We no longer see the problems, we see only the good times played out in our memories, with appropriate background music, like an old movie. Who wants to remember the bad things? We all tend to look back at our own history, and the history of our nation, with rose colored glasses.
It kind of sets unrealistic standards for our present life doesn’t it. As Jack Nicholson’s character said in the 1997 movie “suppose this IS as good as it gets.” What if right now is the time that we will someday look back fondly on from our own future. Are we wasting it? Why does it often take losing things to realize how precious they actually were to us when we had them? What am I not seeing, right now, when I look around my own life that someday I will look back on and wish I had appreciated more? My goal this week is to find those things, grab on to them with both hands and enjoy them! Memories are great, and future plans are necessary and exciting but all we really have is right now and I’m going to try harder to appreciate all of it!
I am in charge of my own happiness. I’m also in charge of my own healthcare. I plan to be actively involved in both. For a fact filled and humorous take on some of the recent crazy in the news check out “Saturday Day Night Live’s” weekend update segment called “Really?!” But remember, calling a congressional committee to discuss birth control and not involving any women makes great comedic material but it isn’t really funny is it? Our nation has grown up. We are no longer children. This is not, in fact, as good as it gets. We can do much better! We can certainly do better than we did in the “good old days.” To all those candidates who think we need to go back to the way things were in this country fifty years ago, I send another quote from the movie “As Good As It Gets.”
“Sell crazy someplace else. We’re all stocked up here!”