I Live in a Bubble, Or, Living in the “Real World” vs Living in Reality

This post appeared on my old blog a couple of years ago. I had received a message from a heckler who said that I “need to grow up” because I “live in a bubble.” I appreciate that they provided me with an excellent topic for a blog. So, the secret was out that yes, I do in fact live in a bubble, and I want to tell you all about it! For the sake of this post, I will define “bubble” to mean sheltered. I am totally sheltered and you can be, too! As for needing to “grow up” I’m working on my memoirs that includes my “childhood” as a latch-key kid without a curfew in late 1970s and 1980s New York City.

The “Real World”

The things really happening around us, to include an often toxic internet, snarky, hate-filled programming alongside wholesome shows, wonderful art vs Painters of Light (not a fan of the garish Kinkade), deceptive advertising, earnest appeals, politics, human dynamics, people behaving poorly, people being kind, bills, finances, health good or bad, and the countless events and basic stuff. It’s the temporal world of things that are really happening. It’s a world we all must navigate, even if you are independently wealthy and live in a gated community. Of course some have privileges that act as buffers/a bubble but even they still live in this unpredictable world in a finite vulnerable body.

Types of “Bubbles”

Destructive Bubbly: I am coming up on 29 years of sobriety from alcohol. I used to self-medicate and seek shelter from my PTSD flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety by drinking. Sadly there are millions of people still suffering from this poor substitute for reality based, healthy, life affirming coping skills.

People Pleasing/Approval Seeking: Losing yourself in the tyranny of what other people think. We believe we can shelter ourselves from a negative self-opinion by catering to what we think others want us to be, or how they want us to dress. Basically it’s our ego catering to the egos of others. The Ultimate Arbiter is human and not Godly. Yikes.

Being Fashionable vs Stylish: The compulsion to buy the latest trend, whether clothing, kitchens or your hair and face or bra size. Fashion is generally fleeting and unsustainable not to mention expensive.

I could go on and maybe even write a little book about bubbles.

I live in the “real world” with all of its beauties and horrors, but I also I live in Reality. I do so with my eyes open, sober and grounded despite having my own handicaps. I can do so because I am Spiritually Sheltered. It’s a shelter that is available to all people!

Reality is the here and now: The house and body in which I live and the expenses to keep it safe and habitable. The land I own outside of my house and the taxes that need to be paid for it. The wildlife, bees and butterflies with which I co-exist and befriend. A finite budget. A handicapped brain that still torments me when I sleep, albeit nowhere near the way it has for most of my life. My blood pressure that rises too high when I obsess over the things I can’t control, have a flashback or nightmare or spend too much time reading things online designed to enrage vs engage. What’s also real is that I can choose how to spend my time and even more importantly, where and to what I pay attention. Yankee Thrift isn’t just about how I spend my money!

I’m selective about what I read, watch and listen to, and with whom I spend my time. I like what I like, even if it’s unpopular or specifically, perceived as Pollyanna, twee or “old lady”. I watch The Lawrence Welk show on PBS on Saturday “nights” at 5:00 p.m. I also like music that would have made Tipper Gore clutch her pearls. I even clutch my own when I listen to it but I like it anyway. I can like metal and Sinatra, or old school hip hop and Barry Manilow.

Even so, the reason my soul survived the multiple violent and psychological assaults I experienced in my childhood growing up as a latch key kid in Manhattan during the the late 1970s and early to mid 1980s is because I was sheltered by God’s love. I knew that it wasn’t “God’s will” for me to go through what I did, nor was it that I didn’t pray hard enough or that I wasn’t good enough for him. No matter what darkness tried to infiltrate my life, which did harm my mind and heart, nothing could touch my soul that is protected from the evils of the world. So yes, thanks to the love of God and the beauty around me in Maine I am sheltered! And because I love God I shelter myself and God’s creations here on earth as best as I am able.

Addendum to the above post originally published two years ago, added today 3/4/2022:

Regarding my conclusion to the above post, “And because I love God I shelter myself and God’s creations here on earth as best as I am able,” I have come to accept that my ability to influence others to be kind (who aren’t already) to friends in the wild is very limited. Even so I will continue to share on my blog that you can have a perfectly lovely life at home without “golf-course” perfection for a lawn.

I have also come to accept that I need to change my definition of “success” in this endeavor as I set the bar too high and end up wanting to give up. It’s also why I took a long blog break.

***PLEASE let me know if anything I’ve shared has encouraged you to view and relate to nature differently.***

6 thoughts on “I Live in a Bubble, Or, Living in the “Real World” vs Living in Reality

  1. This was a lovely read, and just at the time of year that I do pay attention to nature (and not just because it’s time to get the garden in!)

    BTW, I’m so happy to see you back after your break. You have been missed!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Averyl, you are a treasure, blogging the gamut from chipmunks to “retro”. I enjoy reading about your interests and applaud you for answering so kindly and effectively the “bubble” remark.

    Liked by 1 person

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