September Recap!

I’m sitting on my couch with a blanket on my lap and my dog sleeping next to me. I have about an hour of quiet time this morning. Maybe. If my kids don’t come find me for God-only-knows-what-reason. I can’t stop trembling. It’s 9am in the morning, and already I’m overwhelmed. I have so many reviews to write, that I want to write, that I’ve promised to write. But something has shifted this past week, and my brain refuses to work. I keep making mistakes, misspelling words, forgetting basic grammar. I write and can barely process any of it. Everything is gobbledygook in my head.

Guys, what the fuck is happening, you know? What the fuck? Every week, it’s something even more crazy, and I think my body is on strike. It’s not just the political stuff, though that’s a lot of it. It’s remote learning and frazzled teachers and clueless school boards. It’s neighbors not wearing masks. It’s all the fighting—truly, I feel like I can’t read anything online anymore. It’s seeing family get sick and friends lose jobs. It’s witnessing other people at their breaking points, acting like wild animals, lashing out because of their own pain. It’s empathizing with them…and hating them anyway. It’s being disappointed in myself for carrying around this rage and hopelessness. I thought I was better, I thought I believed. I have crazy strong willpower—truly, I can push myself to endure anything if it means getting something I need or want. But I’m learning that brute force is no substitute for natural calm. There’s no willing your brain to relax and not feel traumatized. You can’t fake peace, and you can’t force it.

So here I am with my numb brain, just trying to take it a day at a time. I’m struggling. I’m surviving, and, all things considered, it could be worse. But I think we all know we’re on the crazy train to annihilation, and I just really need this thing to slow down so we can jump the hell off.

Thank God for books. I may be writing the dumbest reviews of my life, but I can still read. I reviewed fifteen books in September. Do we care about the crappy ones? Not really. So here are the books you should read if you get a chance. Click the title below the cover for my full review.

I’m sorry for complaining. Everyone is suffering right now, and the last thing the world needs is more negative energy. So I’ll end this on a more loving-ish note. This turmoil has taught me to see other people’s pain more clearly. I feel like my eyes have been opened when it comes to racial inequality, opened in a way that causes me such heartbreak. I can’t believe I’ve been blind for so long, both to the reality of their suffering and to the reality of my own ignorance. These are hard truths to come to terms with.

But the craziness has also highlighted for me all the people in my life who I love, who are stable and caring, who LOVE ME. I see who MY PEOPLE are more clearly than I ever have before in my life, and I’m grateful. I also know who I pretty much despise. (Sorry, but it’s the truth). And while there will be space for you in my life again when I’m stronger, right now I’m cutting you loose. No more debates. No more slinging insults. No more passive aggressive drama. No more making excuses for your incompetence. I’m shutting you out and shutting you down in order to save my own sanity. If you’re not helping to clean up the mess, then you’re just adding to the filth. I hear there’s a bleach treatment for that. Maybe you should drink it.

6 thoughts

  1. Ha, I was worried about you at the start of the post but that healthy rage at the end convinces me you’ll be OK! 🙂 Seriously, I’m sorry you’re struggling so hard – as you say, we all are but I feel people coping with kids and jobs and elderly relatives are getting it so much worse. My life, as a retired semi-hermit, hasn’t physically changed so much, and yet I’m still feeling rage and depression and anxiety and frustration on a never-ending cycle. I wish books had become an escape for me, but I seem to be in a perpetual slump, so I say thanks for mindless computer games, and cats… and cake. We’ll get through this. We will.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I guess you’re right that a little bit of anger keeps us engaged in the game of life. I hadn’t thought of it like that. I am so with you, with the rage and anxiety and frustration. It’s one thing after the other, and it’s exhausting. Even as a retired semi-hermit (ha!), of course you are going to be feeling all those emotions, too. It’s like we can’t even escape it anymore. I’m sorry you’ve been in a reading slump. I basically have to read in fits and starts; the motivation comes and goes… I agree with you, the perfect distraction at this point is whatever works. Computer games, pets, running, gardening, food. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve eaten so many baked goods in my life. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You definitely aren’t complaining, you’re simply telling us honestly, how you feel. I think what you’re feeling is what a lot of people are feeling. We are sprinters, about some things. The virus has no plans on moving away and we are not all marathon runners. We want it to be over and we are helpless, with evil leaders, to make that happen. I can relate to what you said and especially the part about having books to save us. Still, with no end in sight, I don’t know what we’re going to do. You know what winter’s like. When the short, dark days come…I can’t even stand to think about it. Maybe, if we’re all alive after the election, things will look up on some fronts. Maybe. I hear you. I get it. Keep writing about books so we can feel better. I miss walking in the Chicago Botanic Garden. Didn’t go once, after it reopened. Everything is upside down, and I don’t even have to deal with kids and school. Argggg.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I keep thinking about your comment, about how we are sprinters about some things and not all of us are marathon runners. I think I thought I was a bit more of a marathon runner, but all of these things happening at once… I mean, it’s just a lot. But that’s also ok. I think your comment actually made me realize that I HAVE been still approaching this pandemic and election, etc., as an “it’s almost over” situation. But the reality is, even if Biden is elected, the repercussions of a Trump presidency will be with us for years and years. I need to take a breath and really just accept that we’re going to be in this mess for the long haul. And if Biden doesn’t get elected, oh dear Christ I can’t even think about that…


  3. It’s getting harder and harder to cope, isn’t it. I see and hear you. I have been retreating into reading too and I so value the tendrils of the book reviewing blog community for keeping me connected to the outside world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for this, Liz. That’s exactly the right way to say it: “retreating into reading.” Sometimes you just have to remove yourself from everything and zone out with something you love. Glad I’m not alone in that. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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