Personal Journeys with Gramma

Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.


In the sci-fi parody GALAXY QUEST, Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver struggle to activate the manual shut-off for self-destruct that aliens have set in motion to blow up their spaceship. Naturally, our heroes are successful at the last possible suspenseful moment. Like them, many of us race through life as though we might win something if we compile enough toys or other signs of material success before the final fade-out—which we pretend will never come if we don’t believe it will. The faster we race through our self-indulgences, the more likely we are to check out early.

Our penchant for self-destruction has never been clearer than it is now as masses leap into denial like lemmings into the sea, pretending the press about COVID-19 doesn’t apply to them. Unconcerned about numerous victims they don’t know in places they can’t see, they insist on ignoring the advice of scientists. They’re saturated with movie disasters that can be overcome in about two hours, so they won’t believe people are dying until 1) it happens to them or 2) bodies begin dropping around them in the street like black plague victims. (And, yes, I did know at least one of the victims personally even though I live in a county that hasn’t suffered a crush of illness yet.) But this isn’t an article about COVID. It’s about self-destruct.

We know what to do to keep ourselves healthy. Many scoff and make jokes, but they could recite the guidelines as well as anyone. But do the masses eat well, exercise, get plenty of sleep, and cultivate healthy relationships? Not so much. I’m not preaching from an altar of purity. Recently, I learned exactly what rock stars experience when they succumb to exhaustion—except I haven’t entertained anyone or taken any road trips. I’m merely a student in a course that runs all-day, weekdays, for ten weeks with mass quantities of complex information. We live-stream our classes and wear one another out. I discovered that when you’re truly exhausted, you stop thinking clearly and you’re hugely crabby. I hate to think what the stress has been doing to my internal organs.

This week I created a new mantra: “I am worth more than my achievements.” I gave myself permission to put myself first, even if I don’t dazzle my instructors and classmates as I might once have yearned to do. I give myself an hour of me-time every evening. I go to bed early. I wear a mask in public. I walk my dogs daily. And I spend quality time with my husband. My diet isn’t always admirable, but I try. Those who insist on going to the beach or bars or whatever will be open by the time this article is posted figure a few hours of fun are worth risking their lives—or the lives of the people they encounter. After all, how many people do they know personally who have died.

Self-destruct. Maybe we’re that weary of this changed world. Maybe lots of people didn’t have a right to be celebrating our country all these years, because they wanted it to be their way or no way all along. Maybe a lot of people secretly hate themselves and aren’t too crazy about strangers, either. They’ve stopped believing they’re worth sacrifice. But they are. We all are. We’re tied together.

One comment on “Self-Destruct!

  1. Frances Sullivan
    July 18, 2020

    A favourite movie of mine. Wonderful post. Please take care of yourself. You will get throught this course no matter its trial and tribulations. And you know what? I think you’ll dazzle ’em without even trying. 😉 Hugs.

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