Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Where did that year go? Oh, yes - Oxford

Hey ~ that was a quick year. I had thought I'd posted at least once this past year after the last post and kept meaning to come back and check. But no.

Oxford obviously was a happy experience. The only residual sadness is that we couldn't go to England for me to collect my diploma, unfortunately. I don't have any backup at work and the trip would be either frustratingly frugal (hence no real touristy fun) or waaay too expensive.

Yet I am now trying to figure out the next step. Like always. After a major chapter closes and the horizon beckons with promise, I'm trying to fit the wings to my shoes so I can take off. But I haven't been able to identify what I can do for once.

Work is so draining - I have no energy for anything right now. I've hypothesized that it is the nature of existence right now (for a host of reasons, forthcoming) after checking in with a plethora of friends who report similar attitudes.

We have had quite a few major disasters and natural phenomena that have lent us a feeling of environmental unease coupled with a global economy that is just a dervish going for the table's edge. Spinning and spinning. Added to that are the rumbles of unrest between China & India, UK and Israel, US and China, Iran and Iran ~ you couple those with the regular heavy hitters of wars simmering in Africa and the Middle East and there is not a part of the world that is exonerated from political brow furrowing.

Our domestic fears engage from employment and housing markets that aren't stabilizing as much as we thought they would by now and, of course, the health care bill just being passed.

Speaking from one in the medical industry, we clapped on our blinders mid last year and have just peeked out now and again to see how the bill has changed. And it's been like clay, my friends. It was shaped with the public option and has been baked into a gambling tabletop with chips dancing and cards up sleeves. So much brokering has gone on that no one quite knows the implications, and like '93, I am sure (with every beat of my cynical little heart) that 980+B is a mild estimate and it will sound so much more effective than it ever will be.

HIPAA alone took 15 years to implement and is now accompanied by an eyeroll for all who have to deal with the clauses and regulations, which were common sense in origin and pure bureaucratic nonesense in execution. And since there is STILL usage of other provider identification numbers beyond NPI, the useful impact of this legislation to assist electronic billing and standardization is nullified. So what sort of trauma and terror awaits us now?

The credit card 'fix' last year resulted in the companies having enough time before implementation to discern creative new ways to gouge their customers. During the time it takes for the insurance companies to reel and roll with the new regs coming from this bill, they, too, shall have the opportunity to recoup their profits in more creative ways. Oh, wait. Nevermind. They already have with the requirement that small businesses carry the load for required insurance offerings. I haven't read the bill of course, but I don't recall there being any limit on the cost of these insurance plans that small businesses will now be required to subsidize. Oh, the modern American way. How fantastic.

Sorry - there are aspects of the bill of which I wholeheartedly approve such as making sure that the less fortunate in the country have medical care. That's the most important thing. Not only the homeless and poor, but those stuck in the middle that cannot apply for public assistance but aren't really getting by, either. I grew up in that atmosphere and it sucks. So I'm really glad that we're moving in the right direction.

But I'm really not keen on the idea that our deficit just keeps growing (which is funded mainly by China and has been tying our hands a bit too much lately on that front for my comfort - I hate being nervous about upsetting the foremost country of human rights violations) while we parcel out these substandard attempts at correcting our social issues. The economic bailout didn't patch the ship, it's just a bucket (albiet a very, very pricey one) that's shoveling water and debt into the ocean of America's economic landscape. And right now, health care reform is looking so much like health care rearrangement, just passing the responsibilities around to placate the masses and make our current government feel accomplished, that I'm disheartened.

So I guess my hypothesis for the level of apathy in myself and friends is that it's a social depression for which we're not yet getting counseling and taking our meds. My Rx is that we need more exercise as a holistic option: 1. Our minds need a daily workout ~ I need to stay involved in everything I can to keep my focus 2. We need to increase our endorphins through more smiles achieved each day ~ I need to make myself do the fun stuff instead of sacrificing the fun stuff to be productive. I just might find I can be more productive when I start having fun again! 3. Get outside and take advantage of the season ~ Spring is all about rebirth.

I've noted that the center will not hold. But I still find beauty in asymmetry, value reconstruction, and can make this work. I just don't know if I want to take part on a more public level yet or not.

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