Start each day with a spring in your step, a song in your heart and a positive attitude.
Look, it’s free, so why not?
Modern life has conditioned us, though, braced us like standing in a cold wind, to inevitable setbacks. Slump your shoulders if you must.
Sisyphus, a one-percenter of Greek mythology, Machiavellian before there was a Machiavelli, got sideways with Zeus and assigned for eternity to push a boulder up a hill. The upper crust of Mt. Olympus knew how to hold a grudge.
Most of us lead honorable lives and need not worry about endless punishment. (And who knew the geography in Hades would be so rugged?) Still, the plans of any particular day go awry, and people deal with this as they can. We need not be so fragile.
Truth be told, one thing threw me last week.
I should know not to find comfort in a scientific journal called Geophysical Research Letters. Chances are it has no editorial edict on uplift.
This particular study, from a seismologist at Florida State University, deals with the phenomenon of shaking seafloors during hurricanes and other big storms. Giant waves stir secondary waves under the surface, rattling the Earth where there is no ... you know, earth.
The document gave this a name: “stormquake.”
To which I respond: “What now?”
I come from Missouri so I long ago made peace with the weather. The coldest of winters, the hottest of summers, the most tumultuous of springs and the glory of each autumn tree. My closet reflects my home state. I can dress for any eventuality.
Yet recent years have left me weary, not with the weather but with the hyping of weather.
Hurricanes have always had names, and perhaps that makes sense because each seems to have a personality.
In places where hurricanes cause evacuations and leave ruin, it feels right that Katrina and Harvey and Irma and Andrew be regarded as individuals, like bad guests never to get another party invitation.
Yet it appeared to me gratuitous a few years back when weather people started attaching names to snow events. I didn’t even like it that they called them “events.” And within that, they began using blockbuster-type designations like “Snowmageddon” and “Snowpocalypse” and “Snowzilla.”
The race to be properly impressed with something appears to have no finish line.
So “stormquake” simply adds to the retailing of weather, though I’m sure the researchers did not intend it as such. In fact, one told a news organization, “This is the last thing you need to worry about.”
Good news, because between climate change and the backyard leaves that require my raking, I’m stocked up on calamities.
Another weather-related story that surfaced last week confounded me. The 2022 World Cup soccer tournament will be played in Qatar, the Persian Gulf nation known for a futuristic skyline and summer temperatures that rival a Domino’s oven.
Knowing that people from throughout the world will come to sit in open-air stadiums and hopefully return home with memories not involving heat, officials in Qatar have commissioned engineers to, pretty please, think of something.
The solution, in a country with ample money, was to air-condition the outdoors.
Not everywhere, mind you, mostly the stadiums, where teams and fans will pacify themselves with, “Well, it’s a dry heat,” up to the moment before they keel over.
Enjoy that a nation enriched by the export of fossil fuels has a problem with rising temperatures.
Irony does little to cool us. Nor does a positive attitude but, as I say, the price is right.