Amy Roberts: It’s written in the stars
I wouldn’t call myself a firm believer in astrology. I read my horoscope from time to time, but I certainly don’t make decisions based on it. Admittedly I’ve Googled “female Sagittarius traits,” and been rather stunned by the list — it’s practically my bio. Blunt to the point of being offensive, feisty, strong-willed, fiercely independent, has an insatiable appetite for travel, recklessly impatient, and is as subtle as a forehead tattoo. That’s pretty spot on. But even so, I’ve never considered my sign a justifiable excuse for my sharp tongue or occasional hotheadedness.
If anything, I approach astrology like I do a novel by Dan Brown — highly entertaining with possible hints of reality, but all in all, a work of fiction.
So it surprised me this weekend when I found myself nodding my head to a friend’s sentiment: “Well, Mercury is in retrograde after all,” she confirmed, as if that explained everything.
Surrounded by friends and far too many opened bottles of wine, I very bluntly (fitting for my astrological sign), stated my displeasure with a number of people and situations. Doubling down on my Sagittarianism, during this conversation I made arrangements to flee the country soon. “I need to get the hell out of here for a bit. America is driving me mad,” I told the group. Traveling has always been my antidote for a sour mood.
My list of grievances was broad — from PC to DC, and from the Pacific to Africa. Point to any spot on a globe, and I was in a dark mood about it. I was upset about some jerk who did nothing when his dog bit mine at the park. I was upset about the Idaho teacher who horrifically killed a puppy by way of snapping turtle. I was upset about the millions of pounds of plastic dumped in the ocean each year. I was upset about the soulless Cheeto in the White House. I was upset about the last male Northern white rhino on earth dying, a sure sign of extinction. I was upset I forgot to DVR the season finale of “This Is Us.”
I’d reached my breaking point and had had enough of the crap. My dismay feels chronic. The tunnel has no light.
And that’s not like me. After all, Sagittarians are known for their optimism.
When I shared this with my group of friends, I was surprised how many admitted to feeling the same way. Some suggested it was normal this time of year. The transition to a new season always forces an emotional calibration of sorts. Then there was the Mercury in retrograde reasoning for everything seeming so unfixable and depressing right now. “Everything will be better by April 15th,” we were astrologically assured. I nodded my head in agreement, willing it to be true.
Most everyone in this discussion hypothesized our general feelings of despair had a lot to do with the political environment. There’s great concern that compassion and empathy risk the same extinction path as the Northern white rhino.
As the conversation evolved, I admitted that a general feeling of hopelessness seemed to be at the root of all my grievances. Like Mercury, I’ve been orbiting backwards, unable to gain any forward momentum to overcome them.
And then a friend looked at me and begged me not to lose hope. “Hope is the only thing stronger than fear,” she insisted. “You have to let hope win.”
I thought about that the rest of the weekend, attempting to change my outlook. At a time when there seems to be so little hope, I didn’t have to look far to find a sliver. The millions who marched and gave the NRA the middle finger on Saturday, they gave me hope. The viral-ness of a 98-year old nun cheering on her favorite basketball team, that gives me hope. Trump’s approval rating continuing to plummet, that gives me a lot of hope.
Regardless of the reason for everything being so un-right at the moment, good things are still happening. Hopefully, we continue to look for them.
Amy Roberts is a freelance writer, longtime Park City resident and the proud owner of two rescued Dalmatians, Stanley and Willis. Follow her on Twitter @amycroberts.
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Columnist Tom Clyde received his mail-in ballot this week. Unfortunately, he writes, filling it out won’t turn off the noise surrounding this election.