You know you are getting old when you forget if you fed your dog.
A few years ago I was at a dog park and there was an old couple with their obese Labrador Retriever. The woman turned to me, without my saying anything, and said she was concerned their dog had metabolic issues. They had tried many diets, but nothing worked. I nodded sympathetically.
One of the things I always loved about the Fediverse (and Mastodon in particular where I have spent most of my online time these past few years) is that it feels much like a local cafe or public park. People meet up with friends to have leisurely conversations about a variety of topics (from current events to philosophy to music or whatever). They may overhear an interesting conversation at another table or bench and be asked to join in. New acquaintances might pass by on the cobble street with a furry friend to pet. There could even be a mime or juggler or quiet fiddler playing in the background. And others gather just to play chess or read a book and people watch. Then we return, maybe the next day, to some familiar and friendly faces. All ages, all genders, all one and part of a global community.
I have made a list of alternatives for some popular online services. This is not exhaustive, of course (there are other sites that do that well). These are just the ones that I have found most common and useful.
I have had a strange and challenging life. At times I am delighted by this weirdness and pain. It means I am fully living, experiencing the extreme edges of existence. Other times it feels alienating to know that most people feel only occasional bumps along the road. The kind that throws them off their game until a kind passerby sets them straight. I fall off cliffs and land in oceans with sharks. Pull myself to shore and then battle zombies. Calmly live to face another brutal day alone. I think the pandemic has given people a glimpse into my reality. Every moment for me is a re-evaluation of self. And a test of my trueness.
I was no more than five years old when I first saw Wolf. She was small like me. Shy. Mostly white. She would hide behind bushes or peek around doorways when I was alone. Only letting me catch a glimpse of her from the corner of my eye. I would pretend to ignore her curious gaze, then swing my face swiftly in her direction to catch it. But all I ever saw straight-on was the blur of her pale fur dancing away.
Today I reflect on excess. Something we each encounter at some point and in some form. Maybe it appears as overindulgence in a consumerist culture that often overlooks it. An addiction at its worst that can consume hours, even lifetimes and ultimately ourselves. Or perhaps the excess is an extreme view or emotion that cannot be regulated. The tendency to overshare and under-listen. Maybe it manifests in taking or giving too much, selfishness versus codependency without any relational balance.