Not Helpful

I am tired this morning. It’s  Friday, bright and sunny. I’ve had a good week–lots of productive work, a couple of good walks, a swim, some tai chi.  I’m watching my diet, trying to eat super healthy food, and making very nutritious dishes to support Christopher Robin in his quest to compete well in the upcoming World Masters.

And yet, I’m tired. Most writers are deeply empathic creatures, and I am, too. All the energy swirling around is intense and exhausting, and it is not helped my own journalistic need to observe and record everything I see.  Somehow, I have to learn to be modest in how much I indulge in events on the world stage, notice where I can act and where I cannot. For example, I cannot create refuge for tens of thousands of Syrian refugees whose homes have been bombed and have nowhere to go.  I worry about them. My mother’s heart, my Nana heart, goes out to mothers who have children and no homes and no food and no….anything…though absolutely no fault of their own.  I can probably find action committees and send money to them or volunteer my time, but just angsting over their fate is Not Helpful.

I was raised to pay attention, to notice world events and stay cognizant. This need was reinforced by my university training in journalism, and my young years as a cub reporter.

It is not helpful in an environment of such upheaval. The entire western world is in a state of transition on many, many levels, and there is not much I can personally do to influence it, so spinning my wheels reading editorials and news reports all day long is not helpful.

What I am is a writer. A writer of escapist things, a writer who offers weary women (like me) a chance to escape all that. My main job at this point of pivot is to take care of myself very well in order to show up in the world and first, write my novels, do my job, and second, add my hands and voice to whatever causes I think most need me.

To that end, I’m going to start fasting from the Internet more. All my digital publications and Facebook feeds and emails will survive without me for 24 hours. I’m starting on Friday nights, going through Saturday night, and spend the time I’d usually spend refreshing my feed on other things. Like reading, say.  Or painting. Or cooking. Or singing.  Or even just watching movies On Demand, on the actual television, not my iPad.

Today, I’m also just going to read and rest. I have a big pile of RITA books and three cats to keep me company. Maybe I’ll make something sinful for lunch.

How are you holding up out there? Am I alone in feeling overwhelmed? 

4 thoughts on “Not Helpful

  1. Wendy

    I totally agree with you. It is overwhelming both the needs of people out there and the amount of information coming at us via the Internet .I have taken to cooking….and drinking red wine…whichever grabs my attention first!!!!

  2. Patti

    Spring is here in Las Vegas, so to escape the Internet and news madness, I’m digging in our new backyard and planting seeds. My transplanted strawberries have survived the winter and they already have flowers! I know you have a ways to go before spring, but do you start plants indoors?

  3. Mary Ann

    Thank goodness for my women’s group and reading romance fiction. We are all feeling this pull among the people I know (men and women). Meeting with a positive group each week, meditating and sharing optimistic thoughts and feelings in this time is helping us all. We try to stay positive, too, about the better parts of our society. I like your solution too and actually have tried to stay away from news until the end of the day. Good luck to us all!

  4. Emma

    My answer to coping with the problems in the world is working on the ones on which I can make a difference. I can not help all Syrian refugees but I have been able to befriend the Syrian family that moved in round the corner, giving them a lift to English lessons, getting involved when their heating has failed and helping them to practise their English. I write to my local member of parliament about the bigger issues that I think are not being handled well but working on the things I can change is immensely satisfying.

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