Liz Flaherty photo

Roaring into the 20s

It is a new decade. When you reach “a certain age,” life passes you by at the velocity of a bullet, but I can’t say I’m all that sorry to see the old one go. I’m also pretty worried about what this next one is going to bring. I’m even more worried about what we’re going to do with it, because I don’t think we did so well from 2010-2019.

Like the internet. I love the internet. It is, when it comes to research, a writer’s best friend. Without leaving your seat, you can find out what song was popular in 1990, the lyrics to said song, and when it’s genetically possible to have blue eyes. You can also check on whether things are true or not, thanks to the unhappy necessity for fact-finders. I know the internet isn’t a product of the last decade, but I believe its unfiltered access to “Hey, let’s see who we can hurt today” probably is.

Then there’s medication. Once again, I realize its high prices aren’t a product of the last decade—maybe—but I believe the highway robbery part of it is. I’m relieved that Narcan is available free for people who have overdosed, whether accidentally or because they’re trying to kill themselves. I’d be a lot more grateful if insulin and cancer drugs were free, too, or at least affordable to everyone who needs them. These people want to live and live well, yet that choice is being taken from them.

As a Christian, I’ve found the last decade discouraging. How can so many of us believe in the same Savior, in the same Bible, in the same ideology, and yet…not? I don’t have any answers to this other than I’m almost certain calling each other bad names isn’t one. I’m not sure how people in other religions feel, which is my fault for not asking, but I can’t think things are any easier for them.

Speaking of calling names, I admit to beating this horse a lot more often than is worthwhile, but that one thing coupled with a total disregard for the truth is the wedding that disturbs me more than any other. It is the only marriage outside of my own that I consider any of my business. It is the only one outside of my own that has a negative influence on my life.

The school where I received my education was a public one. It was little. Flawed. Didn’t have a lot of money. We had a good time, though. We learned things. We had great teachers and ones who weren’t so great. We had great students and ones who barely made it through. We had taxpayers who didn’t want to pay for education because they didn’t have any kids, but more of them did. We knew teachers were underpaid. Their pay was one of the things I thought my generation—the Boomers—would do better. I thought we recognized value. I thought by now education would be Affordable for All and Available to All. The last decade, at least in this state, has taken a bad situation and made it much worse.

Social media has become a circus, don’t you think? It still qualifies as media (I checked) but I’m not sure it fits the norm of “social.” I read some of the definitions and none of them included the words rude, threatening, vicious, or false. Of course, I’m not sure Merriam-Webster took Facebook into consideration when they defined the word, but there you go.

There are things from the past 10 years that have been good, too. Having stuff delivered saves hours normally spent in stores. The downside for those of us who still like pushing carts down every aisle is that Walmart and Kroger and probably others now think we work there and should check ourselves out. Since the emphasis is on saving work hours and thus compensation to labor, drones are replacing drivers in many cases. I can’t imagine my poor cats’ response the first time an Amazon parcel is dropped on their porch by something that looks like a big dragonfly.

Health care has new ways of helping us to regain and retain good health. There are new medications, new surgery techniques, new ideas every day. But there is still quality of life to consider—longer doesn’t always mean better, and until the influence of insurance companies and corporate “bonus babies” takes a smaller share of consideration, health care’s impact will be lessened.

I have once again written myself into a corner I don’t know how to get out of. The truth is, I’m afraid the last decade has done that to us, too. I don’t know how to get out of these corners we’re in. We keep sweeping and mopping as hard as we can to clean and sharpen them, but are we tossing out the good with the bad? Answers, anyone?

I hope so. I hope whatever generation we’re in now does better than the ones previous. I also hope they restore civility, decency, and truth, but I might be asking too much. Just as it took more than one generation to make us what we are, it will take more than one to fix us.

I hope the 20s roar again in all good ways. However it works out, have a great week. Be nice to somebody.


Liz maintains a blog that you can visit by clicking this link:

Get her latest Romance Novel Nice to Come Home from Amazon by clicking on this link:

Nice to Come Home To is the third book in the Lake Minigua series, following Every Time We Say Goodbye and The Happiness Pact.

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