I don’t want to be one of those ‘woe is me’ people, but this week has certainly been pressing those buttons. But then, ‘woe is everyone’ at the moment, and my woe certainly isn’t the worst woe out there by a long shot, so it doesn’t feel right to complain.
And so the eternal circle of guilt and shame continues…
But here’s what I’ve noticed; the patience and the ‘in this together’ spirit at the start of this 2020 shit show seems to be wearing thin. Everyone I meet is on edge. Everyone I speak to is struggling. Everyone feels like nobody else understands what they are struggling with.
I don’t know your struggles, you don’t know mine, but I do know that they are both worthy of compassion.
I may be sad, you may be sadder. Neither is right, but both are equally valid.
I am struggling, but I am also lucky and grateful and happy and loved. You may be struggling without that luck, happiness and love, and for that you have my empathy, but I also understand that doesn’t mean I can’t feel down or that I need to feel guilty when I am happy.
I feel stressed, you may feel I have no right to be. That doesn’t make my feeling any less real to me, or yours to you.
We have no choice but to play the hand we are dealt. However, if we are trying to be decent human beings, we should recognise that everyone else is also playing their own game from the same identical deck of cards and it’s all in the luck of the draw. Sometimes we will win and sometimes we will lose, but we’re all going to end up on that same train to nowhere, with or without Kenny Rogers, so we should try not to make the journey unpleasant for each other.
With this in mind, I’m cutting myself, and the van driver who gave me the middle finger this week for no good reason (that I can see…), a break. Ditto everyone that has snapped, vented, moaned or acted out in front of me this week. Fair enough. These are stressful times, you’ve got your worries and I’ve got mine.
So here’s my new motto for Lockdown 2, the rubbish autumn/winter season sequel:
Don’t take it personally, but try not to inflict what is personal to you on others.
That said, I would appreciate it if van drivers would also please take note.