Today I read a tweet that was about the fact that the world continues to crumble and burn yet, here in America at least, society at large continues to press on as normal.
Sure we all continue on as best we can, getting up each day and trudging through it until our head hits the pillow again. What else can we do?
What the tweet meant though, I think, is that the level of expectation hasn’t changed. The needle of the KPIs hasn’t changed. That Key Performance Indicators. The measures that indicate success in business, in industry, in the classroom and the boardroom. Dare I say, even at home, in the daily dish doing and litter scooping.
When was the last time your boss said, “it’s been rough out there. Take a week off on us?”
The answer is never.
And don’t you dare listen to the news, lest your empathy take the wheel. You might not be able to focus on anything else.
There are thousands of people displaced from their homes and hiding in the subway and the news feeds are flooded with pictures from of bombed buildings and people suffering. It’s all too much. Much too much.
But get your ass out of bed anyway and get those kids to school like nothing is wrong. Their teacher might be one phoning it in for the last year or so, but you can’t blame her can you? At least at school they get fed a full lunch.
Since we’ve all been reduced to basic instincts can’t we just hunker down here and not reach for self-actualization all the damn time? Or whatever measures we’re striving for .
Bringing this back to first person, I set such high expectations for myself and pendulum back and forth between practicing grace and self forgiveness and coming down hard with the hammer of “you’re not doing enough.” Each day I wake I’m not sure how it’s gonna be.
Two days ago I was a hot mess of sadness and frustration. I spent all morning trying to submit a set of newly rejected poems to a more reputable place. Do you know what kind of confidence is typically needed for tha??! The answer is a lot. I literally read through everything dozens of times and finally after four hours of micro-tweaks, hit send.
Then I spent the afternoon with my dad, beginning the daunting task of getting his papers in order. A lifetime of disorganization, paper hoarding, and neglect. Neglect because someone else has always been in charge. Now he’s just got me, the designated daughter. And I’m an organization freak. Still, the task is overwhelming and I was so tired and didn’t want to be there.
Four hours later I got in my car and drove home, empty.
Jim took me out for date night, I had sushi and drank too much, and then we went home and I went to bed. End of story. Thank the Universe for him. I don’t know what people without good, supportive people do.
Yesterday that pendulum swung the other way and things were much better, well, except for the global news. Which is part of my point.
How can we continue on like this? How can I?
Yet here I am on Saturday with big plans and my goals and my to-do list, my head spinning with all that needs to be taken care of. On all my personal and professional protects.
It’s 8am and yes, I’ve perused the news. It’s 8am and I’m already exhausted from it. .
But I’m my own boss. So why can’t I just say “it’s rough out there, Shyla. You should take a week off.”
Maybe I should just tune everything out this weekend. There’s nothing I can do about it anyway. Just hug my kids and tell them I love them, when I see them And Jim.
That’s my time today. That’s all I’ve got. And it’s probably all I’m going to have.
Peace and love,