What makes mad can make us glad

I?m getting tired of being angry all the time. I feel a need to listen to the news and read the newspaper daily, but what I hear and see just upsets me. For example:

I am angry because burgers at McDonald?s are now made of a third of a pound of Angus and have bacon on them, and I am about to turn 52, and I shouldn?t even think about eating one of those monsters.

I?m angry that nobody is talking about eliminating sales tax breaks for businesses that buy equipment in Kansas. That money would virtually solve all our cash-flow problems in the state. Instead, education is about to take another major budget hit.

I?m angry that 2D became 3D as soon as I bought my HDTV. I?m angry that there are so many Ds to deal with on a daily basis. I?m also mad that 3G phone networks are going to 4G and I?m not even sure I have 1G.

I?m angry that in a time when 10 percent or more of people who want to work can?t find jobs, Charlie Sheen and Muammar Gaddafi are still employed.

I?m angry that people continue to doubt climate change is real. Ask the people of Unalak?leet, Alaska. A recent episode of ?Flying Wild Alaska? on Discovery showed how the water levels around the town are increasing to such an extent that a dike has been built to keep out the rising ocean. Yet, conservative politicians deny that the world is warming and ice caps are melting. Maybe they will notice when Washington, D.C., goes under.

I am angry that top officials at BP Oil received an average $400,000 raise last year. Most of us will never see a total salary of $400,000 a year. These are the guys that were promoted after the executives asleep at the switch during the explosion and spill were removed. So, BP?s reasoning is that it wasn?t the new guys? fault.

I am angry that the price of gas is back approaching $4 per gallon, and there?s no real reason for the spike to be happening. There continues to be a glut in the global supply.

I am angry that USD 410 has the shortest spring break around.

I am angry that we have to ?spring forward? next weekend. That means we all will lose an hour of sleep Saturday night.

I?m angry that the ink for my color printer costs more than the printer.

Mainly, I am just angry that I am angry so often. So, what?s the solution? How can I turn things around?

First of all?and my English I students will love this?I need to take the advice of Friar Laurence in ?Romeo and Juliet.? When Romeo says his life is messed up beyond all hope, the good Friar tells him to basically ?man up.? A ?pack of blessings? lies upon his back. So, what I need to do is simply try to look at the positive side of things.

Maybe I shouldn?t eat that large chunk of Angus with bacon, but I can still enjoy good food. My wife is an excellent cook, and she tries to put together meals that are healthy as well as tasty. And, I am still physically capable of jogging off the occasional fast-food meal. There am I blessed, as Laurence would say.

I am fortunate that I work for one of the finest school districts in the state. Though times are tough, I believe my fellow educators and I will do the best we can with whatever hand we are dealt. I hold out hope that, eventually, the people we elected will begin to shift their priorities.

I am blessed to live in Kansas, about as far from rising oceans as a person can get. Climate change will probably just make our weather more unpredictable. Is that even possible? And, what would I do with a $400,000 increase in my current salary. I?d like to think rich people are no happier than I am. More money just means more worry, if you ask me.

My phone works just fine, thank you. I can text and take and send photos and, if I am feeling a bit nostalgic, make actual calls.

As for Charlie and Muammar, I don?t need to let their messed up lives ruin my day. People like the two of them will eventually get what they deserve, good or bad.

Both my commute to work is less than a mile, and so is my wife?s. If gasoline becomes unaffordable, we can ride our bicycles or walk. We probably should anyway. I can?t do anything about the price at the pump but make sure out-of-town trips are necessary or at least as efficiently planned as possible. Heck, even the fact that Hillsboro has a short spring break will help keep me from being tempted to hit the road for a vacation.

And, about that hour of sleep we will all lose next weekend, my body will adjust in a day or two in the same way it does when I travel to visit my daughter in Virginia, which is located in the Eastern time zone.

As far as my printer goes, perhaps the ink isn?t extra expensive. Maybe I just got an amazing deal on the machine itself. Most of the time I don?t really need the printer. My monthly column, for example, makes its way downtown via the Internet. Wow.

There, I do feel much better now. It seems I have plenty of reasons to smile. At least until I open tomorrow?s newspaper.

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