A tree fell on my house this weekend. It was loud…and yet somehow unsurprising. That’s right, I’ve reached the point of the 2020s where a tree can fall on my house and the first thing I say is “huh”. (Following the three-letter word, there may have been a few four-letter words. But they were still delivered in a monotone.)
A couple days earlier, my coworkers and I were checking in with each other. One by one, we tried to say we were “fine” and then — because we’re thankfully not in the habit of supplying each other with false niceties — we each relented and shared the ways we are not quite fine.
On the other hand, I’m not un-fine. I’m tired. I’m numb. I’m becoming accustomed to the feeling of disappointment. In the parlance of 2021, I’m probably “languishing.”
I recently felt a pang of sadness upon seeing an older-model Toyota Yaris. If it had words, that nostalgic little pang would have said something like: Oh, when I owned one of those cute little cars, my life was sooooo much better, happier, easier. If only that car hadn’t been stolen and turned into a tiny drug lab!” That whole sentiment is, of course, equivalent to a pair of rose-coloured glasses. When I’m honest about the things I dealt with during the decade I owned that car, there were some very hard things. And I managed them. So, it stands to reason, I will also manage today’s hard things.
Sure, my current car spends more time at or near a hospital than the Yaris ever did. It has been exposed to significantly more hand sanitizer during a plague. Its stereo speakers relay the news of a head of state who was recently outlasted by a globally-broadcast head of lettuce. Among many other alarming things.
Certainly, there’s the obvious truth that many people have situations much worse than mine. I don’t say that in a self-berating, “I have a home and food and a job, so why aren’t I more grateful” kind of way. It’s just a fact: there are people with much worse situations than mine. And while they may not feel like they’re thriving, they are somehow surviving. Perhaps more directly relevant: there are versions of me who have experienced much worse in the past…and I am also surviving.
That’s not always my first thought these days, but it’s true. When I can’t bear to attend another meeting but go anyway, I hear something interesting, smart or witty; I connect with another person…and I am ultimately glad I went. When I bump into a longtime colleague that I haven’t seen in ages (as happened earlier today), I can’t always make my face, voice or body move out of their stuck-numb-monotone settings and into the gratitude I actually feel…but I leave the interaction feeling hope from the anecdote they shared about their funny, resilient kids.
I know what it’s like to be more burned out, more depressed than I am today – and I’m quite determined not to go back there. So, even when I feel like a precarious and already-dangerously-high Jenga tower waiting to fall down, I also know that I am, actually, doing mostly fine.
At some point in the very near future, I’m going to need a roof inspection. I don’t know where that will fit into the rest of the already-overwhelming Adulting list. But it will fit.
I’m sorry about this blog post if you were waiting for commentary on any number of depressing elections, court decisions, socioeconomic trends, and so on. I’m still in the middle of trying to manage the same situation I wrote about in my last post, and it’s taking all my energy to stay as level as possible.
On the other hand, if you’ve read this far and you also know what it feels like to be “fine” in these heady days of 2022, I see you. I’d like to hug you. I’d like you to know we’ll be fine together.
15 thoughts on “It’s fine; I’m fine”
This is so you. It made me laugh and cry at the same time. BTW, that Beat Beethoven wine glass you broke, and I promised you mine? Sorry but someone put it in the dishwasher. There’s nothing left of Beethoven. But you can still have it, if it makes you feel better! I hope your roof is ok. 😘
You make me smile. I think Beethoven and I were just not meant to be. But at some point in all this craziness, I would like to have a glass of wine with you!
I can relate to almost everything, except the tree! Just when you think life can’t throw anything else your way it does. Now i just laugh out loud. It’s that or cry. At least we have each other to find the humor in it all.
So, so glad to have you and the amazing way you handle things.
And also…I should’ve hugged you today. And I don’t really hug.
So, here’s an air hug for you.
Air hug happily accepted (and real hug didn’t even occur to me in that moment…though it’s also true I hadn’t had coffee yet!).
I know what you mean – sometimes it feels like the hits just keep coming, but you can come out on the other side, hopefully stronger and better…always here for you!
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Tired and numb was a good description of my life for the first few months of 2022. I think I’m mainly over it now, except that it doesn’t take long to tire me out or pull me down again.
Sending hugs. If I was closer, I’d buy you a coffee. Maybe one day soon.
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Yeah, it’s been a draining and numbing time. I was floundering earlier this year; I’m mainly over it now, but it doesn’t take much to wear me out, physically and emotionally.
I’m sending hugs. If I was closer, I’d buy you a coffee. Maybe one day soon.
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Sorry about your tree, Kelli. I love your writing. You have a brilliant way of capturing life’s challenges. Your insights are at the same time consoling, sad, humourous and touching. I admire the way you put it all out there for everyone to see. Your authenticity makes me want to do better at that. I’ll start with, “I’m fine, too.”
Thanks for reading, Cathy. It means a lot.
Thank you for …
… bringing to light the importance of “numb”. I can relate as I live in an address of that description in the neighborhood of “fine”
… sharing, as I am curious, interested and care
… continuing to write, for me I get to hear your voice in my head as I read your words and it brings a warm smile to my face – even at 5:38am as I read your blog. (Remember, your writing does reach people)
… seeing me, for I wondered who it was that I saw in the neighborhood of “fine”, now that I know, I see you too!
… the hug and send one back your way.
I am sorry that the Crosstrek is spending so much time at/near the hospital. My VW can relate as it spent a brief couple days by Rockyview. For me it was mom and not dad.
I hope your mom is doing as okay as is possible. And I love this list. Those are all inspiring things to know, thank you.
This post spoke to me in so many ways. Trying to be more than just ‘fine’ is taking hard work these days. Brighter days are surely ahead!
Take good care…
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Let’s all just take a pause on trying! (Except when we want to try and have the energy😊)