For someone who has lived through, seen and personally experienced a LOT of trauma, 2020 and it’s asshole sibling 2021 form what is undoubtedly the hardest time of my nearly-40 life. I’ve lost all my fucks and I quit… except that isn’t an option.
“It’s ok if you’re not ok” is placation at its finest and actually doesn’t help the problem we have here. When you are not living through a world wide cluster fuck, it’s easier to live in your bubble and ignore the general population. However, when a universal problem arises and you are forced to witness the increasing stupidity of the homosapiens you share the planet with, life starts to look bleak. WE are not ok!
2020 shut the world down, quite literally and people became inventive with activities, games, recipes and sharing “keep your kid occupied” challenges like they were totally into this new forced-to-be-in-home-24-hours-a-day thing, but actually hating it and making do. If you’re reading this, I don’t have to go into detail because you lived through it all your way too. And if you’ve loved it all…. yippee for you. So why snap now? A whole year later…
Well the first lock down was a new experience. Navigating EVERYONE being at home at the same time whilst trying to keep kids fed and happy, but also continuing to work and make sure the pandemic doesn’t take your house along with all the lives it was sweeping up too. But as time wore on, what was a novelty (albeit a shit one) became a daily norm of living in a state of high anxiety. New ways to get groceries, in-person contact moving almost 100% online, extreme behavior, conspiracy theories, violence, wild opinions on science and medicine. Really speaking though, shouldn’t your home environment be where you feel most at ease? It is where the heart is meant to be, they say.
(Keyboard warriors that are about to launch me about drug usage and abuse being on the rise – I know. There is a terribly horrific and dark side to humanity that has festered and, in some cases, thrived in the current world climate.) It is a privilege to be (mostly) shielded from all of that and writing this from a home that we work hard to pay for, with a pantry stocked and all the toilet paper a family needs for a pandemic lifestyle. So why does it feel like the most claustrophobic, oppressive environment to be living in?
There’s that example a lot of in-home opportunities use to prove how the working class go to jobs they hate to pay for houses they spend only 6 hours a night in and fill with gadgets they can’t afford. Well, now we are forced to stay in those same homes ALL DAY, the material things are still not enough to keep us happy. The sounds your family makes suddenly annoy you and you learn your partner has some strange persona on their work calls that you don’t see at home. You’re juggling your work role and home role LITERALLY in the same breath. Trying to be serious and logical for work whilst making sure your toddler doesn’t tear down all the furniture. You may have even parent-voiced a command to a colleague in error… it’s ok, they’re probably a dick anyway!
This pandemic has given SO MUCH perspective to things for me. Self care has taken on a new meaning and we question just how much value humans bring to this planet. How do we fix it? I don’t know. What I do know is that just because we are all experiencing it doesn’t make it ok. My suggestion would be look after your mental health – it REALLY does matter. A good mental health day for me is one where I get a proper shower without toddlers opening and closing the door and a solid night’s sleep. You do you! You deserve it.