Has the Pandemic and Election Made You Absolutely Exhausted?

Is anyone else feeling as drained as I am?

And, underneath that lack of energy, are you noticing a sense of anxiousness?

I sure am. It’s low level, but seems almost constant. If I’m totally focused on something I don’t notice it. However, focusing is difficult these days. 

This mild nervousness is because we’re waiting for news. News that could potentially impact our lives in a bad way. There’s also a chance that everything will work out okay. But, the waiting is hard.

Which explains the loss of energy. A constant diet of the stress hormone cortisol can do that, among other unsavory things.

During a recent conversation with my sister I described these feelings, wondering where in the heck they’re coming from. She reminded me that we’re in the seventh month of a global pandemic, which has altered our lives in many ways. In addition to that, the outcome of the approaching U.S. election will shape our democracy for years to come. 

And then the lightbulb came on. 

I’m not sure why it didn’t dawn on me, but it didn’t. I’ve been reading about how both events are causing depression and mental health issues for many people. But, for some unknown reason, I didn’t apply it to myself.


The Election

There was a time when I woke up in the morning unafraid of what may have happened overnight. When I didn’t need to constantly check the news for updates or worry about what direction our country was taking. 

The common refrain these days is that America is voting for the soul of our nation. But, what that soul looks like is different for everyone. The kind of country I want isn’t necessarily what other people envision.

city new york statue of liberty usa

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I believe we’re all immigrants except for those folks descended from Native Americans. I remember getting goosebumps when I visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Just imagining what my ancestors felt entering that harbor and their new home: fear, excitement about what this new country could offer, and hope for a better life. 

I think the separation of church and state is vital to protecting both church and state. Everyone has the right to worship as they please, or not at all. The government should keep their influence out of religion and religion should do likewise.

Healthcare should be affordable and available to every American. Other industrialized nations make it work and we can, too.

Big business and corporations should pay their fair share of taxes, which would take some of the burden off the working classes and help fund badly needed infrastructure, education, food insecurity, homelessness, veterans, etc.

Stronger, sensible gun laws wouldn’t take firearms away from law-abiding citizens. However, they would go farther in keeping weapons out of the hands of individuals who shouldn’t have them. Saving innocent lives is worth some extra background checks and a longer waiting period.

The damage to our planet is increasing at an alarming rate. We feel the effects through worsening wild firesstorms, pollution, and depletion of naturally-occurring things like coral reefs and arctic ice. Certain species of animals and insects have become extinct or are endangered, such as the Black Rhinoceros and Monarch Butterflies.

There are opposing views on all issues, which is why respectful debate and negotiations are necessary to reach common ground, or something as close as possible.

Yet, who do we hear most about in the news?

The bad actors, like the Proud Boys, who want to initiate vigilante justice for anyone who doesn’t agree with their beliefs. We hear a lot about the looters stealing and setting fires at the BLM protests around the country, but not as much about the peaceful protestors and their message. 

These extremist elements exist on BOTH sides and seem to get all the attention. Bad publicity is better than none, or so they say. 

We need to do more research and learn about the issues from trusted sources, rather than relying on social media and three week-old blogs to inform our knowledge of history and the constitution.

The Pandemic

Despite the lockdowns I have managed to get together with family and friends, on a few occasions. In the initial period of Covid we all stayed home and did delivery/curbside pickup for groceries. No restaurants, bars, shopping malls, theaters, etc. We not only avoided inside spaces, but also outside spaces if social distancing wasn’t possible. Face Time and Google Duo came in handy.

However, we had organized a family vacation last year for Deep Creek, MD. A beautiful, large lakeside home complete with private dock, hot tub, and fire pit. Since we couldn’t get the deposit back once Maryland opened up their state, we went ahead with the plan in June. Two people did opt out and my son’s family cancelled their flight from Florida and drove up instead. Fortunately, all went well and we had a fun and relaxing week. 

Disney Pixar Minion

Since then I’ve flown to Florida twice to spend time with my kids and granddaughter. I wear an N-95 mask and eye protection in the form of goggles that make me look like a Disney Minion. 

I don’t remove my mask or goggles for any reason during the two hour flight, which is unfortunate since Southwest sent their annual 4-pack of complimentary drink tickets.

I also attended one lunch get-together with friends. It was a warm, sunny day in September and we sat outside on the patio of a local Mexican eatery, socially distanced from other patrons. I was intensely aware of two things: how good it felt to do that and how such an ordinary event took on a magical quality. 


Yep, who would’ve imagined that a simple lunch date could be described as magical? Maybe that’s one good thing to come out of the pandemic; a greater appreciation for family, friends, and small pleasures. A vaccine that returns us to “normal” living again is another positive development we need.

Can anything good come out of the election? If my chosen candidate wins then I think so.

And if not? I’m honestly too stressed right now to consider it.


 

Word of the Day | Delegate

Thank goodness we can laugh at politics; it helps temper the pain of it.


Word of the Day

TUESDAY, MARCH 03, 2020

delegate

noun del-i-git, -geyt ] 

noun

a person designated to act for or represent another or others; deputy; representative, as in a political convention.


Word of the Day Credit: Dictionary.com

Photo Credit: Giphy.com

What Happens When You’ve Lost That Writing Feeling?


That “writing feeling” didn’t disappear overnight.

I’ve always felt it and began this blog in 2015. Up until a few months ago, I’ve written pretty regularly. Then, there came moments of “I’ve got nothing today.” Those moments grew into hours, then days, then weeks. Not only didn’t I write anything, but I stopped reading the people I follow.

Instead of knuckling down and stringing actual words together, I’d opt for a Quote of the Day or an entry in one of the photo challenges. My initial goal wasn’t to write a blog post every single day, so these fillers (as I call them) are a way to share other things I enjoy and stay in regular touch with my readers. But, instead of filling in between posts they became the main content.

It’s not really writer’s block, which is the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.

Good Lord, anyone who reads the daily news, interacts on social media, or wakes up in the morning has a plethora of subjects to write about. Between our own personal lives and those of the rest of humanity, there’s a never-ending supply of writing prompts. All you need is an opinion.

How to proceed with writing is simple: pick a topic and start typing. Sure, it takes work to get your ideas down in a clear, cohesive fashion, but there’s no mystery about the process.


Indifference ElementREV

So, if not writer’s block, then what?

It feels more like writer’s apathy; an indifference to the writing process itself. And yes, this is a thing. When I Googled it several links came up. This one from Ginny Carter at BookBaby Blog offers 7 Remedies For Writer’s Apathy. 

It’s very similar to exercise and diet apathy, which I’m currently suffering from as well. The less you do it, the less you want to do it. 

Therefore, the resolution is to just do it. (Thanks, Nike and speaking of resolutions, the New Year is just around the corner.)

Accomplishing a goal is always easier said than done; however, it doesn’t answer the question as to why it happened in the first place. So, I did some reflection regarding these past few months and noted the following changes:

  • I started a new job
  • My mom went into a nursing home
  • I’ve become disillusioned with politics 
  • I’ve become disillusioned with people 

Looking at this list helps me understand why I feel so paralyzed in my indifference. I feel less hopeful about life in general. And when we lose hope, we lose our passion and energy. 


I decided to break it down into pros, cons & what, if anything, I can do about it. This is what I came up with:

PRO:  A new job brings time constraints, but offers opportunities for fresh writing ideas. Working with youth gives me a different perspective on life and I’m enjoying the change. It’s also offered better wages and a more positive work environment than what I did in the past and that’s a welcome improvement!

CON & RESOLUTION:  I’ve been through the nursing home experience with my Dad and it’s no fun, but I have insights that I didn’t before. I’ll be a better advocate for my mom. Fortunately, her situation is different and she feels more secure in her new living arrangements.

CON & RESOLUTION: While I don’t approve of the current administration, I can control how much of their messages I hear. Therefore, I’ve decided to limit my exposure to social media and disreputable news sites. I believe there’s a happy medium to staying informed without being sucked into the vitriol that thrives on those platforms. I can do things to advance my own ideas of fair government without giving in to cynicism and overdosing on hate and negativity.

Meme: I'm not an astronomer, but I'm sure the earth revolves around the sun and not you.

CON & RESOLUTION:  And people never fail to disappoint (not that I’m perfect.) However, I’ve always made an effort to understand the other guy’s POV. But, the total lack of respect and empathy that I see on display is mind-boggling. There are individuals who can’t step outside their own heads. Their mantra seems to be: “It’s my way or the highway.”

They honestly believe that their perceptions are everyone else’s reality.

There’s no self-reflection or accountability because most of these folks think they’re pretty darn perfect! No regard for the fact that there’s another side to every equation; that someone else may experience things differently. 

And this very thinking causes most of their misery and that of others.

Again, the best way to limit the ill effects of these individuals is to stay away from them. Whether they’re family members or online trolls, it’s best to keep a safe distance. 


I'm not afraid of storms for I'm learning to sail my ship with photo of dingy cresting a wave.So, I guess the answer is to always maintain a healthy balance when it comes to needs and expectations.

Recognizing negativity will prevent us from becoming invested in the wrong things. Instead, we can focus on the people and things that bring joy to our lives.

Just like a pilot or sailor adjusts their navigation in response to the wind and sea we must make adjustments for the changes that occur in life.

 And this should happen before the paralyzing apathy takes over.


Well, it appears that I’ve answered my question, started a New Year’s resolutions list, and written a blog post…talk about making up for lost time! 

I’m not the first person to experience a loss of artistic passion. If you have any helpful tips to prevent or resolve creative apathy please share in the comments.

Now that I’ve rediscovered the writing feeling, I better tackle that diet/exercise apathy next! 😉