I Know Nothing
Winter is truly a mind-bending season, is it not? Unless you are a cold-weather freak, an exercise addict, or a voyeur of people in large, enclosed spaces, you find yourself trapped in an escape room of your own design. I realize that those who are not four-season feathered friends may not relate to this dilemma at all. But the lack of decent sunshine and the ability to enjoy life without paying an entrance fee rots some of us from the inside out. So, it is just one of those weeks.
I identify this phenomenon with the inability to expand my thoughts beyond a few minutes. How many of you remember “Hogan’s Heroes?” This comical television sitcom launched in 1965 and ran through 1971. Yes, I know – some of you were not even twinkles in someone’s eyes back then – but it was set in a Nazi Germany prisoner-of-war camp during World War II. For those who do not know of it, or have long since forgotten, a search will no doubt bring up episodes for viewing. But I digress.
My mindset today is that of Colonel Klink’s bumbling, blundering, highly unmilitary, but loveable 300-pound Sergeant of the Guard, Master Sergeant, Hans Schultz. Like me, those who do remember, only think of one line from this character’s repertoire, “I know nothing.” It makes me giggle to think that most of you will even read that with his unmistakable German accent.
Winter does this to me. I have a gazillion thoughts in my own personal prison, but unless I am quick enough to grab my phone, open the notes app, and hit the record button, they are lost into oblivion. My attention span resembles that of most three-year-olds. It is downright shameful.
So, I am sure you will find the humor in a comment that a friend posed to me this past week, “When is your TicTok channel going to be live?” I belly-laughed out loud. I absolutely refuse to allow myself to be drawn into a platform that has a 30-second time limit. And it is appalling to me that we, as a society, are being downsized to humor that must grab our attention in less than a minute to have value. And yet, here I sit, seemingly unable to maintain an intelligent thought past a few minutes. Is that ironic, or not?
I know that days of unlimited sunshine are just around the corner, so I push myself to focus. Some days it is an uncomfortable stretch. Yes, times are changing, and technology is the continuing wave of the future. I just hope, somehow, that future evolves into more than a 30-second thought. Good heavens, could Ishmael have ever relinquished Ahab’s obsessive quest with Moby Dick in a minute or less? Ah, but that is fodder for yet another rant.
Share your thoughts! Click the word Comments below and tell me what you think!
2/23/2022 12:12:21 pm
The isolation factor of winter months in the colder places are, in fact, cyclical. So cold weather in places that are known to be cold is a fact. So exposing yourself to such inconveniences is self inflicted. I had a military assignment at Grand Forks, North Dakota where temps dropped to -40 with temps dropping to -100 with the wind chill. Needless to say I vacated that area as soon as my military obligation was done there. I also spent 7.5 years in Saudi Arabia where the summer Temps were 120-130 with no humidity. Likewise, once I achieved my financial goals, I flew home to the USA. So I have experienced both extremes in weather to meet my needs and financial goals and professional purposes. Now I choose to live in temperate South Carolina where temps are moderate during all the seasons and the only real inconvenience I experience is the summer humidity. Just saying....
2/24/2022 09:19:52 am
Thank you for your service, Terry! I believe it makes you more the exception than the norm though. For most of us, choosing a residence is based on far more than convenience. We make choices based on the heart, rather than our head. I remain in this region because my family is here, and that far outweighs other options. And I don't have the resources to travel whenever I choose. But in all honesty? There are pros and cons no matter where we choose to live. Every decision we make is "self-inflicted." We all just learn to adapt!
2/25/2022 12:25:47 pm
In 1989, as I was experiencing a nervous breakdown in Indiana, Karen decided we needed to move to Florida. It was my childhood dream to live there and bask in (what I thought) was constant sunshine and breezy swaying palm trees. It was a good move, in spite of my preconceived notions, and I have since appreciated Karen's prompt to relocate us here. Doing so opened doors of college teaching and teaching stints overseas many summers.
2/25/2022 04:33:44 pm
While I was born in Indiana, I have lived in California, Maine and Florida. While Florida winters are lovely, heat and humidity are not my friends. I'm allergic to the sun (break out in hives!) and suffer heatstrokes. I do dread the cold, but I cope to be close to family. Bless Karen for being your loving support!
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Jacque Jarrett Stratman