Running on Empty

In many ways, everything since 2020 began feels like it’s been going in circles. I’ll feel like I’m finally getting through whatever tough thing I’ve been dealing with at the moment, only to somehow find myself at a loss yet again the next day or week or month. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but one of the sad truths of the pandemic is that so many of us are wearing thin, it becomes that much more difficult to find the wherewithal to pitch in and help someone else out when you see they’re in need of it. For one thing, it’s hard to be aware of people other than yourself when you feel like you’re in crisis mode, and for another, even if you can identify someone else needs help, you quite likely feel like there’s nothing you have to offer them except commiseration.

(Commiseration. There’s a word for you that pretty much sums all this up. From Latin, pretty much meaning “to be wretched with.”)

In fact, if I had to think of a movie scene that sums up what I’ve been feeling like for the last long while, it would have to be the Griswolds in London, even if that’s a tad too international for expressing “stuck in the same thing over and over.” Still, there’s a desperation you get here that you don’t even really get in Groundhog Day . . .

Usually I like to end these sort of posts on a bright note of some sort. “It’s going to get better, because it has to, right?” I do still believe that, contrary to all evidence of the past year and more. But it can be awfully difficult to keep reminding myself of that fact.

I know I’m low on patience especially. I’m not nearly as understanding and long tempered as I usually am. If I see someone doing or saying something I think is foolish or wrong, I’m much too quick to jump to conclusions, take offense, or make a snippy comment that’s far from warranted. To make things even more frustrating, I can tell I’m doing it when I do it, and yet I still find myself doing it anyway. Sigh.

I suppose the bright spot would be to picture how much practice I’m getting in on trying to be kind and patient and forgiving even under these circumstances. When this pandemic is finally over and so many of the current stressors are behind us, think about how much better we’re going to be at handling everyday life! (Right?)


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