Of walls and hitting them

Just when I thought nothing could be worse than January, along comes the first week of February.

Granted, no insurrection and murder at the capital—but this past week was brutal. For me, personally. And it seems there’s a lot of struggle in the zeitgeist over the past seven days. A lot of folks saying they’re hitting a wall of some sorts. If that’s you, I feel ya.

So, I got nuthin’ much for you this week. Any words I might have mustered on pretty much any topic would have been soaked in bitterness, pessimism, and dank, sour defeat. I muted several folks on Instagram back around Wednesday because their relentless exhortations to adjust my attitude and find joy and manifest and transform and dream felt like an assault.

I fuckin’ know how to look for joy, y’all. I. am. doing. it. all. the. damn. time.

I feel increasingly hostile toward those who do not acknowledge systemic causes of illness, burnout, and general failure to thrive. Although I’m not a working mom any more, I felt every word of this article that’s been making the rounds. Especially these few:

A critical first step is to remind yourself that the reason you feel guilty, apathetic and exhausted during this worldwide crisis is due to choices that were made by people other than yourself.

At the same time, I realize that we all do get to make choices. Sometimes we don’t have very good ones to make, but we almost always have some. This week, I chose not to write.

In the next 7 days I’ll be getting my Covid vaccine, consulting with a doctor about my (what I now realize are serious) sleep issues, and prepping for and getting a colonoscopy. I’m grateful beyond measure for my access to health care, but it feels like a lot. On top of the usual. So, I spent Saturday not writing but physically doing and preparing to do. I meal-prepped and grocery-shopped and house-cleaned. I walked almost 9,000 steps and took a nap. I made a good dinner and cooked up some dreams with Cane for a major project we’re starting.

After trekking to our convention center and getting vaccinated later this morning, I’ll be using what’s left of my weekend to retreat, rest, rejuvenate, and take care of myself. I hope you’re able to do whatever it is that heals you and fills you up (or just keeps you in mostly one piece) as we enter into another week of life in pandemic America.


15 thoughts on “Of walls and hitting them

  1. Kari Wagner Hoban says:

    Rita, I kid you not, right now sits in my blog posts a post titled, “Hitting Walls, Needing Preservers”. This week was shitty for me too. It’s been almost a year of this utter bullshit, and there isn’t enough soul homework in the WORLD for me to feel the energy to power through. What no one outside of my small world knows is that we were working through some hard shit before this pandemic hit. But I don’t suppose we are alone in that. There is beauty in knowing that. You aren’t alone.

    I have been watching Mad About You with Mike all weekend and we were laughing about Murray the dog running into walls chasing mice that weren’t there. Think of me when you hear the thuds. Hitting walls. Think of all of us. Hitting walls and doing the best we can to muddle through, together.

    Sending you much love, my friend.
    Kari Wagner Hoban recently posted…Things About Me That Will Make You Feel Good About YourselfMy Profile

    • Rita says:

      Ah, I’m sorry you have had hard personal shit (on top of our communal dung) to work through. It really did seem as if everyone was hitting the wall this past week. I hope next week will be a better one for both of us (and everyone else). Now I’m going to watch some old episodes of Mad About You. Not the new ones. I can’t with the new ones.

  2. Kate says:

    I do not miss IG. I miss certain accounts, but I am so.fucking.OVER the social media monster perpetuated by Mark Zuckerberg. Blogs I like. As we’ve talked about before, it’s like pen pals. And Rita, I’m so glad we are penpals. And that you are able to get the first dose of your vaccine.

    I am sorry about the wall hitting. You’re right that you aren’t alone. I pulled this up while shutting myself in my bedroom for a bit of a “I can’t do this any more, but I can’t not do it” cry. And now I’m going to go back and read the post you linked because it sounds like something I need.

    Hugs! I hope ALL that you have on your plate goes smoothly.

    • Rita says:

      I’m sorry you’ve been smacking into walls, too. Since the beginning, I’ve thought that parenting teens through this must be the hardest parenting challenge of all. Not that it’s some kind of competition–it’s got to be so hard no matter the age–but the collision of pandemic requirements with teen developmental needs is especially cruel.

      Hugging you back and hoping that things are better today.

  3. Ally Bean says:

    I know what you mean about feeling like there’s too much going on that is outside your control– because there is. It is maddening and sometimes downright scary, but I soldier on because what else is there to do? I am grateful that I’m not on FB and that I have a devil may care attitude about IG. Detaching from those sources of potential angst seems to help me.

    • Rita says:

      Oh, there’s nothing to do but soldier on. As for IG, it’s much different from my FB feed. On purpose. And unfollowing helps greatly. 🙂

  4. Cynthia says:

    I have been following you since the DIY blog days, but rarely write to you in the comments… I must admit, however, that I hadn’t read your posts since last November. When they’d arrive in my email, I’d save them directly to the folder that I have for them. The reason for this is because I feel deeply for you and your disappointment in so much in our world — your “essays” are dense and so sincere, that with so much going on in our world/country, I just didn’t have the emotional space to get through them. Please know that this is NOT meant, IN ANY WAY, as criticism!!! If anything, it is a testament to the impact and weightiness (I’m not sure that that’s the correct word, but it’s what I can come up with at this moment) of your writing. And this brings me to: I recently found an Instagram account that I think that you would really like, but which I didn’t want to mention to you until I’d read all of your posts in case you had already found it and mentioned it.. I have just finished catching-up on your posts, so here it is: the account is @sharonsaysso; her name is Sharon McMahon. She is a longtime government/Constitution teacher who tries to educate people about FACTS. She tries very hard to present both sides of (political) issues to promote UNDERSTANDING (which she continually reminds us is not the same as agreement, but is really important, and may allow for compromise). She is intelligent, articulate, and funny. She intersperses her posts with warm fuzzies about animals — usually whales, eagles, otters, and seals. I think that you would really like and appreciate her/her account, so I would highly recommend it to you (and everyone else!) No matter what, I wish you well in your personal journey (to retirement?!) and I will continue to follow along.

    • Rita says:

      Hi Cynthia,
      Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts and pointing me to someone doing work close to my teacher heart. (I’m now following. I mostly keep politics and education out of my Instagram feed, but she seems all right.) And no worries about my being offended! I often need emotional breaks from me, too. 🙂 I totally get it. I’ve got a draft of another serious piece in the hopper, but I think I’m going to use this morning to write about this weekend’s snow and ice–a rare and magical thing in my part of the world.

      • Cynthia says:

        Well, for some reason I thought that if you replied to my comment, I would get an email notification… Since I didn’t (maybe I didn’t check the box at the end of the comment), and I really thought that you would reply (from what I’ve seen, you’re a very good “correspond-er” — “correspondent” didn’t seem quite right…), I have just gone back and found this… Thank you! I hope that you are still following @sharonsaysso and finding it helpful to alleviate some of your worries about the world — knowing that there is someone out there who is doing a really good job of disseminating facts with little bias, intelligence, and humor is a good thing. Also, and maybe even more so, it gives me hope that so many people, of so many different views, are following along, learning, and, most importantly, hopefully understanding other people’s views to work towards solutions that benefit society as a whole, not just a few. That’s what I hope for anyway, and her IG account helps me feel that it’s a reasonable goal! All the best to you.

        • Rita says:

          Yes, I think you have to check the box to get an email notification. (I know I should know more about the mechanics of the blog, but…)

          I appreciate Sharon McMahon’s work, and I’m glad it resonates with so many people. Maybe there’s hope for us yet.

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