25 February, 2009

Living in the DC Area

There are wonderful advantages to living in the DC area.  Within a matter of minutes (usually) one can be doing just about anything they like whether it be attending a theater, taking part in a political movement, spending time in nature, shopping, listening to live music, exploring different cultures, or enjoying the history that seems to be everywhere. 

There are disadvantages as well.  Traffic is awful.  I don’t just mean awful in the sense that there are lots of cars on the roads, or that there aren’t enough roads to handle the traffic, or that people prefer to drive over taking public transit.  I mean that there are some rude drivers as well.  You know, the drivers who see the nice red octagon on the side of the road with the bright white letters and think it is there for decorative purposes only?  I remember my dad calling a  slow down and yield instead of stop a California or New Mexico stop depending on the day of the week.  A Virginia stop is far different – it is a blow through the sign and honk at anyone who is in your way!

Traffic is definitely a negative about living in this area. 

Another disadvantage, at times, is that we live and breathe national politics.  While other parts of the country might be able to gain perspective or “turn off and tune out” national politics, we live with it daily.

“I am tired of politics” a friend stated last week as I attempted to chat about the latest and greatest coming out of DC.  Many people live in this area due to their interest in government and politics.  As a Political Scientist involved in conflict and resolution, I am one such person.  Others live here for the vast opportunities in the area for them professionally or for their children.  (No one lives here for the humidity or the ice… let me set the record straight)

Right now, as the government is forming and adjusting and adapting and attempting to find its footing, politics is more prevalent than it was six months ago.  We are all talking economics despite few of us being actual economists.  We are talking about socialism and nationalizing and spending cuts and taxes.  We are talking about more troops and moving troops and no money for any future conflicts.  We are talking challenges.  We are looking and wondering if this or that is a real solution and the actual role of the government.

With all this happening, I find myself considering the cultural and historical variables that may have contributed to the current state of affairs?  How did the decisions and choices of our grandparents alter the world in which we were raised?  Can we trace the current political trends to a particular time in history when values might have changed?  The current state of the country and the world evolved – it didn’t just happen – so when did the process begin and why? 

All these questions are spinning through my head.  These topics are those I want to explore and research.  These are the topics circling through my head and asking for my attention both privately and in public.  I want to talk about them and gain the perspectives of others.

It is all politics.  Beginning to end, it is politics.  

Perhaps I be better served to sit back and remember that there is more to life than what appears on the surface?  Despite my desire to find the roots and formulate strategies, life is more…


“As a scientist, I am not sure anymore that life can be reduced to a class struggle, to dialectical materialism, or any set of formulas. Life is spontaneous and it is unpredictable, it is magical. I think that we have struggled so hard with the tangible that we have forgotten the intangible.”  - Northern Exposure



MindyMom said...

I was asked just last night where my favorite place to live was - other than here in Denver and my answer was Virginia (near DC)for all the reasons you stated but many more too. The falls there are fabulous! It was a great place to raise my kids. (for the three years we were there) Yes, there's a lot of politics and I often thought of DC as the east coast LA; the politicians being the local celebs. But there's something about living near our nations capitol that no other place offers. It's definitely unique.

dadshouse said...

I'm one of those who tunes politics out. I do read national political stories, but it's usually just with passing amusement. I like that California social politics lead the way for the US.

But like you say, outside of DC we don't live it daily. We have a different perspective.

VA is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I believe that the minute I step out my door to the minute I enter it again, it is all politics. I don't like that, but I believe it to be so ~Mary