I really hate groaning and complaining, but I find myself doing it so often over the last few weeks. It seems like there is a tidal wave of negativity right now that just slams into every element of the day. I’ve thought of light-hearted posts to shake it off, but every time I’ve put one together it doesn’t feel right. I don’t think humor is the right outlet for what I am feeling— even though it’s my usual go-to coping mechanism.
The list of everything that is terrible is not unique to me. As I’ve said before— I know the world is different now than it used to be for everyone, and many are suffering. I KNOW I am so fortunate and so many people are losing jobs, housing, healthcare…But, even with all that I am grateful for— everything going on right now is a lot, and sometimes overwhelming. And when it’s overwhelming, it’s hard to know where to start to make it better. I sometimes find myself scrolling through social media for much longer than I used to—seeing someone review a hair dryer that I have no intention of ever getting, or watching videos of dogs being crazy— these are sometimes nice alternatives to the news, politics, and the other serious topics that take up my brain space and fill me with a constant simmering rage. I knit and watch Netflix while my kids make a mess in their room. We read. We play Nintendo. But often all of these things just feel like killing time. Time that I think I should be spending in ways that will help FIX the problems that are pulling me down.
I know a few months ago I wrote about trying to enjoy this slower season of life, and FOR SURE, I am better at it now than I used to be— but I still like to see things moving forward. And I guess the bright side here is that when I wrote that post, I was really having a lot of sadness related to the changes in MY life, and thankfully that has gotten a lot better.
The space that used to be occupied by my fear of dying from cancer is now just full of anger at Trump, the general state of our country, the sheer ugliness and cruelty of our government, and people generally being selfish a**holes. And these things SHOULD bother me— which is why I haven’t wanted to post my “Top 10 Distractions” — we shouldn’t be distracted or it is only going to get worse. And when it’s overwhelming it’s easy to lose sight of the small steps we can take to really have an impact— Right now, working to elect Biden/Harris, and a democrat-majority congress feels like the right way for me to be able to “do something.” I’ve been writing hundreds of postcards to voters in swing states, to get people to vote by mail, to not accept the status quo. Some phone banking (I like the postcard approach more), donating, figuring out the best ways to get people registered to vote, and then more importantly- voting.
I know its OK to turn my mind off and take a break when I need to, too. But it’s also to use this as a fire to push forward toward a world where brain cancer can be my major effing problem. Because right now, it’s just on the list.