I’m a happy sort of writer. I write about parenting, puppies, chickens, family and the life lessons I learn. For the most part I’m an optimist, I have always believed in the goodness of the world.
But these days it’s difficult to write happy when I’m so angry and discouraged.
Never have I felt so unsettled in my life. Never have I used some words with the frequency that I have in the past few months. (Let’s just say that the Swear Jar my kids made as a joke right after the election is seeing a lot of action.)
This is not an anti-Trump rant (although I blame him for much of it) it’s an anti-world rant. The entire world is in upheaval. Governments are being taken over, attacks are being carried out, and people are dying because they are protesting. Heck, these days athletes are being called sons of bitches for protesting inequality.
Not only are the governments in upheaval, but the very earth itself is in upheaval. We’ve had 3 devastating hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. People have lost everything, they are waiting for help and not sure it is coming. Over in Puerto Rico the situation is critical, without power, food, and water, American lives are being lost.
I’m finding it hard to concentrate. I’m dreaming of escaping to places where there is no internet, no television, no more devastating news.
But then I feel guilty about trying to get away. What if I miss another outrage? What if my voice is not counted in protest?
I had a friend years ago who told me I was too empathetic and that I too easily absorbed the pain of others. She’s right. I even feel bad for the dead animals on the side of the road (aww, such a shame.) Although being able to feel pain is a good trait for a writer, not’s not such a good thing to have when you’re trying to sleep at night.
“Imagine a bubble of white light around you,” my friend advised. “Bright, white shining light that you can see through but that reflects the pain.” It’s not that she wanted me to become immune to pain, it’s that she wanted me to be in control of how much I wanted to let in.
These days I’m imagining an awful lot of bright light. If I want to continue as a write, I have to.
How about you? How are you able to concentrate on writing when things are in such upheaval? Does it bother you? Are you able to effectively unplug?
Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.
Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens). (www.simplethrift.wordpress.com) She writes about her chickens for GRIT, Backyard Poultry, Chicken Community, and Mother Earth News.