Living in a time of contraditions
Saturday morning and obviously, there’s no football, no yoga, no lovely long bike rides to cafes, no cinema, no supermarket shop, nothing doing out there except a brisk walk. Nope. And we know this. It sucks. We know this too.
While I gaze out onto quiet, still and silent (apart from the lawn mowers), I know that elsewhere the view is very different – face masks, packed wards and, hard-pressed frightened essential workers. I’m lucky: We have jobs, food, enough space and we’re all well.
But that’s just the very problem, isn’t it? (Or one of the problems on the long and growing list). Whatever hardships we’re enduring – like cancelling parties and making our own coffees – so very many people are having it worse. They are in my head and my heart, though much bloody good that’ll do the bereaved and terrified.
On the one hand, positive thinking and buckets of gratitude are effective – the very effort it takes means it must work in a no-pain-no-gain kind of way. Yet, on the other, not acknowledging the emotions, the fears, gut-churnings and furies is surely doing damage.
I know that no one is actually shooting at our sons, but I find my self thinking about the Wars a lot. My information coming from novels, movies, long-dusty history lessons, and imaginings, while apposite, is almost certainly flawed. However, I think of how the not-acknowledged PTSD and depression echoed down the generations; of how rationing fed our obesity; of how the ramifications of lesser miseries suppressed.
Back then, mental illness was shameful secret. We’re wiser now – one-in-four-of-us and all that… Which is why it’s essential that we talk about we’re feeling. Let’s face it, there’s precious little else to discuss.
Embrace your inner child, they say. Well my inner child is on the floor having a bellowing, snot-streaming tantrum because she wants her fucking life back. Now. Only, I’m telling her to shush because it seems that the rest of the household has inner children who are less easily silenced. And that’s not fair!
Resentment is growing. I’m really sick of social media people who seem to have found vast tracts of time for knitting new gardens or building musical instruments. I’m far busier than I was in the Time Before C19. Full-time work, supporting schooling, quartermastering, ignoring unsolicited advice (yes, the irony), orchestrating basic levels of hygiene, and peace-keeping duties consume all my time. (Shut up family, I know you’re all doing your bit but this is my blog).
There’s fear too. Look how fast the unimaginable because everyday. If even a fraction of the things I can’t imagine come true, we’re in big trouble. This one’s sneaking into my nights too – unquiet scenarios of supernatural tax inspectors, crumbling houses and no one telling me that the world has resumed.
The only novelty in many of our suddenly limited lives is a fresh range of feelings. Naming them might be the first step to if not taming then understanding them. So, what are you feeling today?