Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop

While scrolling through Facebook over the weekend, I came across this picture on a friend’s wall and it stopped me in my tracks, mid-scroll.

There was only one ‘like’ on the picture.

At the time, I figured that while nobody likes the idea of being annihilated by God, (and then of course there are those who don’t believe in God), I’d still bet there are probably more people who ‘liked’ that picture than cared to admit.

Or … are afraid to admit.

OK so they don't actually "like" it, but they understand it. Each person has their own idea of what it means for them. And it scares us.

We’re living in unsettling times, my friends.  Unsettling times.

I’ll be 47yrs old at the end of this month, and as I get older, with each passing year, I wonder … is this the one? 

Is this the year the button gets pushed, and the world resets?

I never used to worry about the future.

Why bother worrying about something I can’t control.  

And for the most part, I still don't worry about that aspect of life.

Do I think about it at times?  Yes, absolutely.  I’m not totally ignorant to the events transpiring in the world around me.  But do I worry about those events?  No. Again, there’s no point worrying about things I can’t change or even impact in the slightest.

Having said that, ever since 9/11 I’ve been living with the feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I also get this feeling when things start to go too well in my own life.

When things are ‘too good’, I live almost in anticipation, waiting for that thing … whatever it may be, that’s going to drop on me out of the blue and ruin my ‘life is good’ streak.

I don’t like that feeling.

But it is what it is.  Life is life and along with the good, always comes the bad.

When it comes to the major events happening in our world, I … personally … believe we’re on the cusp of … something.

What that something in particular is, I have no idea.

A world war?

A natural disaster?

An uprising of the people?

A zombie apocalypse?  Yeah … you laugh, but this will be a man-made oops, and you know it!

Something is coming.

I have no idea what that something is, but I do feel it’s coming.

This is why I can’t say I was actually ‘surprised’  by the news I read the next day.

On Saturday, the people of Hawaii woke up, and thought it was their day to die.

I didn't even see anything about it until I was scrolling through the news feed ... on Sunday.

For any of you who may have missed this, because it doesn’t seem to be filling my news feed or regular media channels, the state of Hawaii woke up to a text message, and tv and radio broadcasts stating that a missile was heading for Hawaii, and to find shelter, because it was NOT a drill.

Some people panicked.  Some were calm.  Some slept through the entire thing.  Some took shelter with their families. Some figured, ‘why bother?’  

Some parents even dropped their children into storm drains.

Let that just sink in for a second.

Parents were THAT afraid that this was the 'big one' that they were dropping their kids in sewers ... to keep them safe.

But most simply hugged their loved ones close, and called or messaged their final goodbyes to family and friends.

Can you imagine?  Knowing you have only minutes to live.

Minutes to grab everything you need, and then go.

But go where?

Unless you have a fallout shelter of some sort that you have access to, if a missile is projected to hit your city/town/home … you’re screwed.

Plain and simple.

Hug your kids close and kiss your spouse passionately one last time, because if a missile is coming, we’re all goners.

And that’s the part I worry about, when I let myself worry.

People can make all the prepper plans they want, but in the end, if someone is stupid enough to push that button … there will be nothing left.  

For any of us.

It turns out that the missile threat to Hawaii was an OOPS on the part of Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency.

People thought they were going to DIE.  They thought the world was ENDING.

That’s a pretty BIG OOPS.

Human error”, they said.

Someone pushed the button by mistake”, they said.

I certainly don’t pretend to understand the intricacies of deciding HOW that button gets pushed, but I didn't think it would be just one button. Or just one person who decides to push it.

To me, there has to be a set of procedures and protocols to follow, BEFORE that button can be pushed.

What happened to those procedures and protocols on Saturday?

How could so many people in a chain of command screw up so royally?

Or was it really just 'one guy' who caused all the chaos.  One person's 'OOPS!'.

More than one comment I read stated something along the lines of, ‘My husband and I grabbed the kids and went into the bathroom and just held each other and cried and prayed. And waited.’

Well now.  Isn’t THAT a nice way to start your Saturday?!?!?!?

I think what did surprised me, aside from the fact a colossal OOPS of this magnitude could even happen, was the fact that my newsfeed was NOT flooded with posts about it.

Nobody was talking about it.  At all. 

I saw ONE friend in the states refer to the incident, but … that was it.

Not even water-cooler talk on Monday morning.

Have we simply become so used to the fact that our world may end, and that the proverbial button may in fact get reset, that what happened in Hawaii over the weekend doesn’t even register on our WTF radar anymore?

Are our WTF radars broken?

I don’t always like this world we’re living in.

Some days, I really do miss the simplicity of the '70’s.

Oh I know, I know, there was LOTS of shit going on in the '70’s that wasn’t so great. 

Civil unrest over inequality.  War in Vietnam.  Nixon and Watergate.  And ... I'll stop there.

But MY '70's (and even my '80's), my little world in northern New Brunswick, my childhood and into my early 20’s, was not overshadowed by the ‘other shoe gonna drop!’ feeling.

I was at peace with myself, and my world around me.

At peace.  Or oblivious.  Whatever. 

Today … not so much.

Not only do I wake each day glad that I was able to wake another day, but I also question, each day … is today the day?

I’m still not going to ‘worry’ about what I can’t change.  Because let’s face it, if some country decides to drop a missile on anyone, we’re ALL going to pay that price.

But I will be keeping my WTF radar fully operational at all times. 

And I’ll have my go bag ready.  Just in case.

In case next time, there’s no follow up message stating … OOPS!.

Not that a go bag will save me from the missiles, but hey, it makes me sleep a little easier knowing I’ve at least THOUGHT of an escape plan.

I won’t say my ‘thoughts and prayers’ are with the people of Hawaii, for having to endure 38 minutes of uncertainty, chaos and fear.

Because we all know thoughts and prayers do nothing tangible.

I will, however, say I’ve been thinking of the people of Hawaii since the weekend.

I think of all those parents holding tightly to their children and little ones who had no idea why mommy and daddy were sad and scared.

I think of the people who have family in Hawaii, who suddenly had no idea if they would ever see their loved ones again.

I think of my own family, and what I would do if I knew I only had a few precious minutes to say goodbye to everyone I loved.

I won’t dwell on it.

But I won’t forget it.  I can’t.  Not when I have this constant feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

UPDATE:  At the time I wrote this, the event had occurred in Hawaii.  Today, the exact same mistake was made in Japan.  A warning of a missile coming from North Korea was sent out to the public by mistake, with a follow up apology for the mistake minutes later.  You can read more about it HERE.

WTF people?!?!?  Just WTF!!!