Oh, world.

I’m sure the world has had its faults for centuries, and maybe its issues these days just feel more in-your-face and plentiful thanks to the many news outlets, social media outlets, and every other kind of outlet that covers them in what feels like real-time.

Maybe the issues are more plentiful because there are far more people.

Maybe the issues are more plentiful because there are shows that seem to celebrate strange addictions, interventions, crimes and anything else you can think of.

Regardless, things are getting downright depressing. I don’t like what I see most of the time; the news validates on a near-daily basis why I adore my carefully crafted bubble.

There’s a reason I consume TV shows that are low-drama – I don’t like drama, period. The most drama in my day involves avoiding other drivers to and from work, or watching a cooking show to see who’s about to be chopped or best an Iron Chef. Unless they’re food-based or deal with searching for the perfect wedding dress, I rarely find reality shows entertaining since halfway through the program my shoulders will be scrunched up and my heart rate elevated. It’s usually at this point that I tune into The Weather Channel for some soothing music, courtesy of their Local on the 8s.

I knew I shouldn’t have hoofed it through Anaheim last night, especially in light of last week’s unsettling shenanigans during my nightly workout. But I did anyway, and it was sort of more of the same.

In one neighborhood, a stray dog was slinking in and out of the shadows. You know how a dog that knows its surroundings has a happy tail – a tail that says, “Hey, I’m just out cruisin’ the neighborhood, don’t mind me”? This tail was not happy. It was a nervous tail, a tail that said this pup was way out of its element. I tried to call to it, but it glanced my way with a terrified expression and took off.

As I was exiting this particular neighborhood via the one-way-in/one-way-out street, I saw a woman entering; she was on the opposite side of the street. She was shuffling along, not deliberately walking with exercise on the brain. In fact, she was wearing non-athletic clothing, boots, a jacket and had her purse slung across her body. The neighborhood was a destination, not something a casual person just passes through. I wondered if maybe her car broke down, as her posture indicated she wasn’t in the best of spirits. Or perhaps she’d gotten in a fight with someone and was trying to make her way home. As I was mentally exploring the possibilities, a minivan came flying around the corner and entered the neighborhood. I immediately connected the woman and the driver and, sure enough, turned around the look at the scene unfolding behind me. The woman turned around, saw the minivan and started to run away from it. It was dark, and not many houses were lit up. I ran away, too.

I still had a mile and a half to finish, but by this time, I just wanted to be home. I considered finishing my trek on friendlier, more well-lit streets, but my knee had suddenly had enough. Might’ve been a sign, or perhaps an obvious nudge to go home already.

Nearing the house, I saw two men pausing by telephone poles and nailing signs to them. My first thought was that they were posting a notice about a lost dog – maybe the dog that I saw a short while before. Instead, it was a sign that read, “In foreclosure?” and listed a phone number to call, as well as a fee that would need to be paid for any sort of assistance – regardless of whether or not said assistance ended up being helpful. Because people in foreclosure want to shell out more money, I’m sure.

Walking up my driveway, I heard something high overhead. Plane? No. Helicopter? Yes. It was so far away that its noise was almost hushed; it was hovering, and presumably held one or more of Anaheim PD’s finest. I’m sure they weren’t there for the fun of it, and decided there must be something in the area they were looking for. Seemed like a good time to go inside and lock the door for the night.

Foreclosure signs are, in fact, a sign of the times – although I wish I’d seen a concerned owner out soliciting help in finding a lost pet. I have no idea what became of the woman who was chased down by a minivan. Nor do I know if the helicopter found what it was looking for. And although I find myself wanting to move to the middle of nowhere more often than not these days, I do know that I am thankful for the security and peace that does exist in my life.

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