I've been on a U2 kick lately, what with the re-release of The Unforgettable Fire, so I queued up my iPod to play some random U2 favorites. First song: "Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World." You can call it karma, luck, divine, or coincidence, but either way we are filing this under the heading "right song at the right time."
I don't like to talk about my flair, but let's just say for the past year I've been viewing the global economic turmoil from what felt like a safe distance and that distance got a little less comfortable. Now no one needs to hold any benefit dinners for us, but it was sobering and unsettling and I immediately began to do what I usually do in situations like this; I overreacted.
The first thing I did was think of every dollar I've wasted on anything unnecessary (read: fun) in the past however long. I excoriated myself for every expensive cup of coffee. I started preparing for a fire sale wherein we'd sell everything we own. I started preparing to get a second and third job. I was preachin' those World War III blues, and it was looking bleak. I was trying to throw my arms around the world, thinking I could fix it all on my own and eradicate every risk and correct every questionable decision of the past however long all at once. Ironically, the cold water dose of reality came from one of the objects of my gluttony, my iPod.
Yeah, I know that's not exactly what Bono is on about but the interpretation works. What's done can't be undone, at least not overnight. It's scary when the risks feel like they're measured in miles and our shelter in inches. Maybe we're unlucky and the dice are loaded and the dealer is dealing from the bottom of the deck. Maybe we're just dumbasses.
We're all here doing the best we can, and I don't think any of us can do it alone. We're all leaning on something or someone else, whether or not we know it or name it. We all have today and we can try and do it a little better, and if we're here tomorrow we can try and improve upon that. Karma, luck, divine, or coincidence — we're all in this until we're not and there's no use trying to throw our arms around the world. It's spinning with us. It will spin without us. All that's left is to take a deep breath and to do our best to enjoy the inches more than we fear the miles.