Stop the world… I wanna get off

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 Permalink

There are endless memes around about the fact that 2020 pretty much sucks. About the fact the weeks and months have dragged on interminably despite the first half of the year basically flying by.

I felt a bit of online overwhelm early on, but at the same time it seemed little had changed in my world. I spent much of it at home and probably adjusted to ‘lock-down’ (such as it was here in Australia) better than most.

I confessed though to an over-consumption of news. Like many, I voyeuristically slurped up coronavirus statistics around the globe. I was shocked. I was horrified. And slightly relieved our own efforts here in Australia seemed to be paying off. There was still, of course, that fear lurking in the back of my mind and I understand the worse may be yet to come. The likelihood of the virus disappearing completely (forever) from our moated shores is fairly low. I mean, we have to open up sometime.

stop the world

My lack of employment before the virus (or underemployment) meant there was little impact for me but I think what the crisis has done has had everyone else freaking out about the economy and their futures, so it’s been a little confronting for me as well.

As others have joined me in the ‘can’t find a job despite quite a few qualifications and decades of experience’ queue, I’m increasingly realising that for this 52 year old, opportunities are probably waning. I’ve had to do some rethinking. I’ve pondered if I’m on the downhill run, or if perhaps there’s a few years left in me yet. So I’m looking at potentially (!!!) doing some study.

And then, I’ve had some health stuff happen. Nothing dire and I suspect it’s the old molehill rather than a mountain, but I’m having some tests. I’m fairly sure they’ll be fine. I like to think they’ll make me rethink my lifestyle choices and I’ll start to exercise and stop eating brownies. One can but hope.

And now… America falls (further) apart at the seams. Race issues confronting that country have been magnified (not that they should have needed to be). The country is literally on fire. Many of us around the world realise we can’t throw stones as our own glass houses reflect years (decades, centuries) of injustice.

Everyone is speaking out. Posting insightful social media quotes. And I know our voices matter.

But… I’m freakin’ exhausted. Fucking mentally drained. And I know that’s very #firstworldproblem-like for me. A middle-aged white woman of privilege. A ‘Karen’. I know I need to do more and the guilt that comes with that is even more friggin’ tiring.

I mean, I know many of us worried about the US after the last election but we didn’t expect this. We didn’t expect the world to go to hell in a handbasket. We continue to be shocked. Horrified by unfolding events. And then something else happensโ€”just when we think things couldn’t get any worse.

My fear is soon we become inured. I mean, already the Coronavirus and the deaths of SOOOO MANY around the world are taking a back seat. We’ll almost be relieved when we’ve only got that to deal with again. “Oh few, just a pandemic killing our most vulnerable,” we’ll say. We won’t worry about community transmission, we’ll just be relieved we can walk safely on the streets without violence.

So… I’m sorry I’m not saying the things I should on my social media feeds. I’m sorry I’m not talking abut injustice as much as I should. And I’m sorry that I know I need to do better but at the moment, I just…. can’t.

Stop the world. I want to get off.

Anyone else?

Sharing the love with Sue and Leanne today.ย 

38 Comments
  • Jennifer Jones
    June 3, 2020

    Your post really resonated with me Deb. Iโ€™ve been feeling just as you are. The news coming from the U.S is the last straw and very hard to watch. In my situation I feel very bad saying that. It must be a nightmare living it. #MLSTL Sharing

    • Debbish
      June 3, 2020

      I know… I can’t imagine. We were almost starting to settle back into normality here.

  • Min Write of the Middle
    June 3, 2020

    When you get off the world can I come with you. I am exhausted too. One.Thing.After.Another. Sometimes I have to pinch myself. Is this all real? Am I dreaming? What happened to the world I thought I knew? Where shall we go Deb? Got a planet in mind??

    • Debbish
      June 3, 2020

      I don’t know. That spaceship just left the US didn’t it? Maybe a bunker is another option?!

  • Vanessa
    June 3, 2020

    What I fear most is how the protests will be stopped. I’d like to think with systemic change in a positive manner but I fear something much worse.

    • Debbish
      June 3, 2020

      Same. Every time something new happens I stop and think, “I couldn’t have imagined this,” and then the next thing happens. I worry it will become the new normal.

  • Christie Hawkes
    June 3, 2020

    We’re all doing the best we can, Deb, and some days are definitely better than others. I was shocked and saddened by a violent protest in our capital city here in Utah. We have never seen anything like that here in my lifetime. Things have been calmer since then, with some peaceful marches, but no more violence or vandalism. I’m hoping for better things, but also fear that it may get darker before the light. For now, I am focusing on what I can do–spread love and kindness. I admit to being tired and in need of a rest. Hugs.

    • Debbish
      June 3, 2020

      Same to you Christie… I know sometimes things need to get really bad before they get better but I keep thinking we’ve reached that point and yet, it seems there’s further to go. xx

  • Suzanne
    June 3, 2020

    I think the job situation has changed quite dramatically and for the good in some areas such as less travel. Though the impact on inner city life for small businesses isn’t so great. Employment is not an issue for me, we chose early ‘retirement’ and in light of how things are now for my husband we are happy we did so. Having no children makes those decisions much easier. I get how you and most of us are feeling tired, even fucken tired ๐Ÿ™‚ Makes sense as even the mundane of tasks such as going to the supermarket requires more thought processes.

    • Debbish
      June 3, 2020

      Yes, everything feels a little harder at the moment Suzanne. I felt like I’d been doing pretty well as things weren’t terribly different for me. I spend most of my time home alone anyway but sadly I’ve been unable to stay in my own little bubble. Some (most?) of that is self-inflicted as I spend too much time online and soaking up the negativity around me. I know there’s still good stuff happening of course but sometimes it’s easier to see the bad!

      • Suzanne
        June 3, 2020

        Positive news doesn’t sell as well as negative snippets and it is easy for us to soak up the negativity. To be honest it would be really quite weird to be totally upbeat when in fact the world is not in a great state. Just have to keep things in perspective or the result is getting lost in that rabbit hole of negativity ๐Ÿ™‚

  • BoomingOn
    June 3, 2020

    I certainly don’t want to get off the world (I love it!) but there’s certainly a lot to be distraught and angry about at the moment – not just in the US which is imploding but here as well. The words and actions (or lack of action) of our politicians truly make my blood boil, and the conversations and vitriol on social media make me utterly despair. But then I determine I just have to be grateful for what I’ve got and try and have a little influence in matters that mean most to me. I refuse to give in. Hope you can find a way forward. Exercising to expel some demons is always a great start. Should do more myself.

    • Debbish
      June 3, 2020

      I just need it to pause for a while I think….

  • endardoo
    June 3, 2020

    It’s obviously been a seriously weird year, but maybe the #metoo and the George Floyd things will benefit us in the long run, as we seriously have to question how women are treated socially by so many men, and how ingrained racism is in us, even when we don’t always realise it. The lockdown situation has given us time to maybe reflect on things, and hopefully some new perspectives will be arrived at, and we can hope the world will be a netter place. Mind you, it would be good to see Trump not re-elected, but you have to worry that the best the Democrats could come up with was Joe Biden … #MLSTL

    • Debbish
      June 5, 2020

      I remember the marches when Trump was elected and then the #MeToo movement and it felt unprecedented during my time. (Having said that I’m in my 50s and I know as I headed to University in the 1980s there were quite a few protests in my home state about the government at the time!)

      I think most of us around the world never expected Trump to win in the first place so I’ve got everything crossed it doesn’t happen again. I suspect Biden will need to choose his running mate wisely.

  • leannelc
    June 3, 2020

    Hi Deb – I think the more we stay off SM the better – putting up a “hearfelt post” about what’s going on in the US just smacks of “Karen” white privilege to me. What can I say in Australia that has any relevance to what’s happening over there? I’m tired of people feeding off it all and laying claim to it to bolster their own agendas. So, I skim past it, read the good stuff, acknowledge the fact that corona has killed the last remnant of any thought of finding a “nice little part-time job” and I’m just going to appreciate what I have, and the fact that nobody I know has been horribly affected by all the turmoil and disease we seem to be surrounded by. Life is so beyond normal atm – I’m waiting to see what’s next because it just keeps getting weirder.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM

    • Debbish
      June 5, 2020

      I know what you mean. Everyone was doing blackout posts and the like on Tuesday and I never (rarely, well never) share those… “Put this on your feed if you agree with…” type posts anyway, but I felt bad I wasn’t saying more. Doing more. Being more outspoken. It felt like we were really being reminded that silence was a type of acceptance and that wasn’t what I wanted to be doing, but…. *sigh*

  • Jo
    June 4, 2020

    I can’t either – say what I know I’m supposed to be saying. It’s not that I don’t feel it, but that I’m just tired in the heart. Overly sensitised, perhaps. I dread seeing the breaking news alerts on my phone every night & know it’s another statistic coming out of the states. I think it’s why I’m re-reading some classics – stories I know the end to – and why I’m watching nice things on telly. I literally can’t cope with more – and yes, I know there are people who don’t have the privilege of saying they can’t cope with more & I get that, but there it is.

    • Debbish
      June 5, 2020

      Overly sensitised. I like that Jo. I keep thinking I’ll get desensitised but it’s not happening. My shock (outrage?) continues to build. In my post I joke that we’ve kinda forgotten about the coronavirus amidst all of this, but I’m not sure I have. Not really. It occurs to me though that I’ve heard nothing about US / UK stats in days. I’m worried we’ll suddenly get an update and mortality figures will have jumped without us paying much heed at all.

      • Jo
        June 5, 2020

        I hear you… I read the UK papers daily & am trying to keep up with that, but I can’t watch the news.

  • Erica/Erika
    June 4, 2020

    Nice to meet you, Deb! I was reading your About Page and you have led a varied and interesting life. Good luck on the medical tests. The uncertainty is always a challenge.

    Your title is perfect. Reading through the comments, your post resonates with many. Take care. Hugs. #MLSTL

    • Debbish
      June 5, 2020

      Thanks Erika. Nice to meet you too!!!

  • Debbie
    June 4, 2020

    I hear you Deb! I also feel for ‘Karens’ these days and thank goodness they didn’t take our name any further down the gurgler with Debbie Downer – now that’s a first world problem right there ๐Ÿ™‚ So much going on in the world at the moment and we can only deal with so much can’t we? Overwhelm is quite common at the moment in our town with people still coping with the bushfire cleanups and life in general. I’m trying to stay positive and admit to needing to rest my mind at times. #mlstl

    • Debbish
      June 5, 2020

      I know… the bushfires and their aftermath have very much taken a back seat haven’t they? And yet they felt all-consuming just 3-4mths ago.

      I received a stimulus package a while ago and very specifically made sure I spent it on local businesses (rather than my mortgage) via handyman, housewashing, gardeners etc… Things I wouldn’t normally do. But it was a reminder that so many people are struggling and we can try to do our little bit. Finances permitting, I’d like to think about a weekend away or something soon to help with the tourism industry. Sadly I don’t think we’re allowed to travel south of the border yet, but….

  • Retirement Reflections
    June 4, 2020

    Hi, Deb – I agree that sometimes a pause is what we need most. Then we can take it from there the best that we can.

    • Debbish
      June 5, 2020

      Yes… someone commented above that they didn’t want the world to stop and I realise, I probably meant pause, rather than stop… Or at least slow down or something.

  • Sue from Women Living Well After 50
    June 4, 2020

    Hi Deb I hear you and in fact I’ve switched off from the news. I should be speaking out as others are but I just feel that this year has taken so much from everyone – bushfires, COVID-19 and now Racism at it’s worst. No wonder you want to stop the world. You just need to remember that the world keeps turning so you need to take care of yourself and do what serves you well. Forget about what you post or don’t post on social media but rather try to take some time each day just to ‘be in the moment’. Easier said than done but with health issues and your anxiety around employment you really need to take care of Deb first. Sending you a big hug and thank you for being so honest and sharing at #MLSTL. xx

    • Debbish
      June 7, 2020

      Thanks Sue. I think I’m trying to focus on what’s healthiest for me but I just feel bad that seems a bit selfish at times, though I know the old adage about filling (something?!) from an empty bucket!

  • Denyse Whelan
    June 4, 2020

    I read and nodded. I am not getting ‘into’ anything much at all on-line because of the ‘rules’ about who gets to say/do what. So much I could add, in terms of where I know we (husband and I) did make some differences in remote communities which were Aboriginal-based. However, these days..who knows …I have, anyway, added the Aboriginal Flag at the base of the home page of my blog with an Acknowledgement of Country. In my own small way, I do understand but resist expressing myself on social media because “I will be getting it wrong” whatever “it” is.
    Social media is good for a bit then it can overwhelm and when you are by yourself and I too can be at night, as husband is off to Netflix etc, I need to moderate my exposure to what does not help me. I hope your health tests are OK. I actually dislike the waiting and wondering times around those.

    Thinking of you,
    Denyse #mlstl

    • Debbish
      June 5, 2020

      I think that’s my concern Denyse… that I’ll say or do the wrong thing, despite being well-meaning. I was involved in some work in the aftermath of the Palm Island death in custody and resulting (understandable) unrest and visited the community over subsequent years. (And then later involved in implementing initiatives from the police misconduct review that came after.) I’m also conscious it’s impossible to suggest that all Indigenous communities or peoples will feel the same about certain things so I try to only speak for me but increasingly conscious that the majority often need to speak on behalf of the minority… particularly when they’re afforded less power.

  • Cheryl
    June 6, 2020

    Hi Deb, I also want to get off this weird roundabout we’re on right now. I stopped reading articles about the virus early on in the situation – I had other, more important things, to focus on (like finding another country to live in!). I found that the more I read the more stressed I became, so I just stopped reading. I asked myself if anything will change for me if I don’t read everything that was being reported and the answer was no, nothing will change. So I just got on with my life and tried to get only information that was absolutely necessary my well-being. I also don’t participate in any movements on social media, I feel like we’re all becoming ‘sheeple’ and losing the ability to have individual opinions that might offend someone. The positive side of all this is that I’ve had a lot more time to discover new blogs to read! Hope you’re having a lovely weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Debbish
      June 7, 2020

      I was worried about how much I was reading about the virus Cheryl… seeking out information about statistics and the like. Each time I woke during the night I’d check what was trending on Twitter in case something had happened. I still do it but the world has become angrier and angrier. There are moments of hope and I find myself often in tears at those but it’s just an emotional roller-coaster.

      • Cheryl
        June 8, 2020

        Yes, it’s definitely a roller coaster. Try not to read too much online, it’s really bad for us at the moment – as you said everyone’s angry. Take some time out with a book instead. I’ve been reading a lot lately, just to get off the laptop (I don’t have a smartphone so it’s easier to stay away from the internet). Take care and stay postive. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Debbish
          June 8, 2020

          Thanks Cheryl. I’m not sure I could cope without a smartphone, though I have – on a few occasions – deleted social media apps off it. I took Instagram off almost a year ago. But I think Twitter took over the time I spent on that!

  • Natalie
    June 7, 2020

    Hi Deb, Sometimes we need to take a break and get off the high speed highway. Then take a few deep breaths and decide where and how to go from there the best we can. I try to read both regular news and positive stories during this iso time. Where I live, we are still under emergency orders so the social distancing is extended.

    • Debbish
      June 7, 2020

      I’ve been reading lots of positive stories about acts of kindness and bravery during the recent #blacklovesmatter protests and find myself more emotional than I’d probably usually be about them. Sometimes they’re actually harder to read than the negative stuff and I’m not entirely sure why that is!

  • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
    June 9, 2020

    I think it’s okay to feel overwhelmed and exhausted by all that’s happening in the world and still educate ourselves while being kind to ourselves. My fear is that in a couple of months, it will all be forgotten – just as you mention with corona. We have short memories and I think most people will carry on as per usual {cynical, but true}

    • Debbish
      June 10, 2020

      I know. I’ve not seen any COVID-19 stats out of the US for a couple of weeks but I was reading that the virus is spiking in some states there again and wonder if it’s from the Trump supporters protesting a few weeks ago with their guns.

      I’m not sure how people will cope if we have to all go into lockdown again.

      And I know I’m less-concerned than I was. Back in March I was using hand sanitiser each time I was out doing chores, each time I got back into the car. (After filling my car with petrol, going to the Post Office, getting groceries.) Now I tend to get in and out of the car without worrying and don’t even think to wash / sanitise my hands til I get home. I think it’s a complacency because we ‘know’ (supposedly) there are no cases where I live at the moment.

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