It is ok to feel a little bit left behind

April 24, 2020

It is ok to feel a little bit left behind.

Do you remember, back in the day, when people used to have opinions on the quality of coffee they bought each morning, or would ask if you had anything planned for the weekend?

These things are like half-remembered scenes from a docu-drama I might have once watched. An everyday tale of corporate life where episodes revealed the protagonist’s preoccupation to be invited to “big” meetings, or to be included on the distribution list for strategic briefings, or to chat casually on the C-Suite floor like they belong. Or perhaps the cliff-hanger episode where they agonise with their boss that “busting my ass for this business feels like a lot more than being fully-fucking-competent, actually…”

This old script looks a little far-fetched to be anyone’s reality today, but now we have a different melodrama to cope with, where old stresses are replaced with new ones. New stresses with just one scenic backdrop of long ground-hog days stretching out our already wrought emotions and bending them even more out of shape.

It seems that home-schooling is not a Walton’s-esque idyll. Who knew?

Instead it is the metaphorical straw that wrenches the back of every concerned parent each and every day. Except this straw comes in a bloody great big hay bale that has been dropped from a bloody great height and which has smashed everything in sight.

And it seems that working from home is not a charter for the workshy. Who knew?

Instead it is mostly a joyless descent into early evening alcohol as we try to maintain some semblance of giving a damn on back-to-back video calls. It is hard to pretend to be positive or interested in things that were pointless even before this all started. Now these things are pointless on less money with added feral children.

Meanwhile a whole series of space cadets have popped up to invoke either wartime metaphors or wellness tofu.

I do not need wartime rhetoric from politicians straining every sinew to harass people off the beaches; or earnest how-to-do-yoga-in-your-specially-created-mindfulness-room videos from Botox filled influencers who think they are this generation’s Vera Lynn – “We’ll tint our lashes again some sunny day”

We need competent supply chain management, unrelenting efforts to let science work, kindness all round, and a chance not to feel guilty that we might be feeling a little bit left behind.

I think I can cope with today, but I may not cope with tomorrow. That is it, and it is enough.

I am not giving up, but I am not going to judge myself harshly either. I love the people I love. I care to do the right thing, but I worry about vulnerable relatives, my children’s futures, and who gets my credit card statement in my will.

One day at a time.

It is ok to feel a little bit left behind.

And while I am at it, Zoom is witchcraft.

Take care x

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