I keep a planner. The monthly part of the calendar is my personal calendar of appointments and scheduling, birthdays and anniversaries to be remembered, and the weekly pages are where I plan my writing for Griffins and Ginger Snaps. This year, writing has been a struggle.
I have been more or less reliable in the publishing of posts, but these last few weeks have certainly been more difficult. There was so much going on in August and when I looked back on it, it seemed that they were all mental worries.
Not that they were all in my head, but it wasn’t that my feelings of busyness was having a lot of appointments or places to go, but it was all mental gymnastics – getting dinner planned, communicating with the school for my kids’ return, planning our vacation while simultaneously planning on not going, keeping up on election news, and so many other things. It’s been rough, and I know I’m not alone in this.
We did go on a family vacation and we returned after having a very nice time together, and that was after being sick off and on for a couple of weeks and going for a covid test, which fortunately came back negative. That was a relief. I made plans for the next two Election Connections during the week when I was just back, and was ready to move forward.
And then this week happened. It’s been emotionally draining.
We took an additional weekend for Labor Day which was a good thing. My husband had barely returned to work, the kids were getting their school emails, getting ready for returning in person or virtually, signing up for orientation, and then the President let loose or was it really that some of the crazy around the President let loose: the release of the Woodward Book tapes, the DHS whistleblower, two attorneys resigning because of Bill Barr’s overreach, the DoJ taking over a personal lawsuit against Trump and as we pulled into our driveway one neighbor was pounding in a Trump election sign. It deeply saddened me. And to cap it all off Friday was the anniversary of 9/11.
This was the first 9/11 that I hadn’t written a reflection. I hadn’t forgotten; I just couldn’t sit down and do it.
I missed the eight week mark before the election and didn’t publish Tuesday’s Election Connection. Again, I hadn’t forgotten; I just couldn’t sit down and do it.
Last week should have had a review and reflection with pictures of my August scavenger hunt (GISH) and I hadn’t forgotten; I just couldn’t sit down and do it.
The same for the travel articles I wanted to share, the end of Supernatural reflection, and traveling and back to school tips for the covid era.
Thursday was Suicide Prevention Day and I hadn’t forgotten; I just couldn’t sit down and do it. This one hurt. Suicide Prevention is very close to my heart, both from my own previous ideation and a friend’s recent suicide (two years ago).
Quarantine has taken a toll on so many people that suicide prevention awareness is critical, not only to those considering suicide, but for the people around them to be able to help their friends and family if at all possible.
And that realization took a bit of a toll on me.
I still have back to school. We don’t even have school supplies merely days before the first day. I still have the Jewish holidays.
I still have election information to get out and an absentee ballot to request. Our air conditioner stopped working suddenly and September in the Northeast is still summer. I still have meals to plan, doctors’ appointments to make, bloodwork to schedule, health insurance papers to fill out and send off, and the list goes on and on, and it is both too much and not enough.
So many little things, truly little things and all it takes is one of those little things to knock everything else out of whack and tumble down like a wooden block game. I recently heard Stacey Abrams being interviewed by David Tennant and he asked her about work-life balance, and she said, she calls it the work-life Jenga, and that described it perfectly. Pull one thing out and put another back on the top, and hope that the whole thing doesn’t come crashing down.
I thought I was burned out, but I’m not burned out, and I’m also *not* not burned out. The constant yo-yo-ing of witnessing incompetence, imbued in sadness, erupting in rage, and losing all hope in what comes next.
We can’t let that incompetence and corresponding rage continue to define our quarantine lives.
I need to be and to get organized, but I need to have something that works, and that works consistently; at least most of the time.
For my writing, I don’t want to keep a list of what needs to be done and what I will post or publish and when. I find that despite the advantage of self accountability, the mandatory nature of public lists become counterproductive for me.
I will continue to prepare and plan for the site, and with the High Holidays, this time of the year is my traditional time to discern my goals for the upcoming nine to twelve months, to change what hasn’t been working and continue what has been.
School begins soon, and while the kids may be attending school at home, it will force some changes in our household for them to be able to function properly in their classrooms. That may mean a few more field trips out of the house for myself and more photography. I don’t know at this point, but that will be part of my discernment for the next few weeks.
In the meantime, check your voter registration – begin HERE. Have a plan for voting. Will you be voting by mail? In person? Early voting? Have a plan and VOTE. We have 52 days left to turn this country around. I have faith in us.
We can do this together.