So I’m back on track with my blog posts this week – hooray! This is a great example of what forward planning can do for you. That being said, it’s a bit of a shame that I’m not quite as prepared in any other part of my life. Since last time, a grand total of 0 presents have been wrapped (though some more have been delivered so that’s a start). I have also not informed anyone of my Christmas plans, got ANY money left (damn you monthly wages) or done my hair. However, I have decided what I’m going to do for the last one which is a little more encouraging. All being well, I’m hoping to write a cheeky little blog about my hair dying process (with diagrams) for next weeks update, so that’s exciting! Unless it all goes horribly wrong, in which case there will be no post, no pictures and a lot of sulking…
Anyway, I’m still on a bit of a social anthropologic bender at the moment (blame Christmas, it always makes me reflective) so I apologise in advance for another post that’s less about hilarious hijinks and more about the perils of society. I promise it will get lighter next week.
WARNING: Anxiety Ahead!
The trouble is, with the overabundance of media coverage on pretty much every platform these days (however biased or non-biased it may claim to be), I’ve realised it’s hard not to become desensitised. I find myself scrolling past articles with the tag ling “Warning, graphic content” and pausing instead to look at dogs in cute outfits. And whilst funny animal videos are never to be sneezed at, it hurts me to know that I am so easily able to disregard the suffering of other humans when it is so wide spread and accessible. It just seems so much easier to avoid anything like that under the guise of not upsetting myself or finding yet more ways to despair at the state of the world. Now, on one hand, that is a very callous attitude to have, but on the other, I am empathetic to the point of fault. To be quite honest, I think I’m only one step away from becoming Jean Gray (indeed I’m pinning all my hopes on being the next X-man rather that just a big cry baby). Linking back to last week and the joys of crying, I end up emotional embroiled in pretty much anything. A sad video in the morning can ruin me for the rest of the day; a harsh word can leave me struggling to cope for hours. Now whilst I would not want to give up on how thoughtful this can make me, it can also be pretty tiring. I often think about all the ways I could help people – the ways I should be helping, but it’s a double edged sword. My desperation to do something often means I’m too emotionally attached. The anxiety which pushes me to realise how I’m not doing enough is the very same anxiety which means I struggle to engage with people.
Recently though, due to the encouragement of “yoga limbs” (yay for holistic philosophies) and copious ments sessions, I am doing my best to be less violent towards myself. Rather than getting stuck and worked up thinking about all the ways I can’t help, I’m finding out the ways I can. Last year we did the Rucksack Project – a lovely idea that as unfortunately been officially disbanded now, where you give items such as sleeping bags and spare warm clothes to support local homeless people. This year I’ve given a little money to help with the refugees, and have mounds of items that have been dropped off or delivered to various charities. I’m making a conscious effort to sit with Molly a little more just so she doesn’t have to be quite as lonely. Each of these acts are small and probably quite inconsequential in the grand scheme, but they are an act none the less.
Mother Teresa ain’t got nothing on me.
What I’m trying to say is, do something. You don’t have to travel across the world and help people of boats (unless you can, obviously). You don’t have to binge-watch upsetting videos of crying parents and bleeding children. You don’t even have to talk to anyone. But maybe find a local charity who want some of the clothes you don’t wear. Try giving a fiver rather than buying a Subway lunch. Just do something that helps. Do it because it helps you feel good, or because it makes a good story, or because you’ve got some spare shit. The great thing is, it doesn’t matter what the reason or motivations behind why you do it, the outcome is always good for someone. Surely that’s worth it?