I am exhausted. Well, maybe hungover is a better way to put it. Problem being, I never (okay, almost never) enjoy more than a single glass of wine in one sitting. Given, well, life, I believe that to be noteworthy. Anyway. Not a drinker, yet seriously hungover. Geez.
Assuming you are a living, breathing creature who did not spend the past several years living under a rock, I am going to assume you know what I am talking about. Hungover and exhausted every single day. Minus the fun of drinking.
I would argue that it doesn’t really even matter where you stand politically or socially; whether you vehemently agree or disagree with the goings-on of the world – you feel hungover, too…right? Here’s why: the daily hysteria, and ruckus, and he said/she said, and anti this versus anti that, and a seemingly endless tornado of chaos which, in and of itself was e.x.h.a.u.s.t.i.n.g. And left you feeling perpetually h.u.n.g.o.v.e.r.
Yet now, even though we are thisclose to a different “mood”, the weariness and resultant nausea and headache seems to have ramped up rather than settled down. And again, no tasty adult beverages were had. Well, that’s just rude.
It almost doesn’t feel safe or even appropriate to exhale and not feel ill. The troubles we face as a county are enormous, the damage done is immense and runs deep. The divide is so deep, that, in my estimation, it will be beyond our lifetime before it is settled. Crap.
Saturday night, I sat with my husband, his parents, and our 22 year-old niece listening to Kamala Harris (aside: she is everything) and Joe Biden speak. My niece was in tears, my in-laws were mesmerized, and I had goosebumps all over. But then, when the Harris and Biden families came on stage?? Man, I sat up straighter, felt my shoulders relax, could feel the genuine love between them. As things began to wind up, and the promise of new reality dared to settle in, though, I was overcome with exhaustion and an almost drunk feeling. All I know is that I-needed-to-crawl-into-bed-for-a-week and hoped to wake up sans the hangover. Anyone else?
Sunday morning, my husband was raking the tremendous piles of leaves that had amassed so suddenly. It was as though the trees, struggling with their own exhaustion, simply could not hold onto those leaves for one more moment. In an effort to avoid raking, I headed out for leaf bags at Home Depot.
In line, there was one woman in front of me, one behind, and one running register. The customer in front of me turned around, looked me dead in the eye and asked;
“Are you happier today than you were yesterday morning?”
I legit hesitated for a few seconds, wondering if I was being set up. I was concerned as to whether she would align with or denigrate my response. I paused and considered avoiding the question, fearful that I would find myself on the wrong end of an argument in, of all places, Home Depot. Given our proximity to one another (admittedly less than 6′), I really had no choice but to respond. My back was up, having grown so accustomed to animosity, anger, and vitriol. And I had an unearned hangover.
Thowing caution to the wind, I replied.
The woman behind me said something along the lines of,
“Amen to that!”
The woman at the register, a young African American woman, also agreed. Aggressively. In a good way.
The woman posing the question had tears in her eyes. I had not, in fact, been set up.
I noted to her that asking someone a question like that could be risky. She acknowledged that fact, but enthusiastically, and with pride added,
“I straight up don’t give a shit.”
Then, women in arms, we all purposefully exhaled and visibly dropped our shoulders. Then they (okay, we) let loose on the magnificent relief. Finally, we all sighed at how utterly exhausted we were. Hungover, even.
The relief at something being over is almost always coupled – and complicated – by the fact that something new is coming. Everyone always says that change is good. I have always retorted with a (perhaps) whiny,
“But it’s haaaard!”
Sorry to be Debbie Downer, but to my thinking, things are going to get worse before they get better. I am not able, or, perhaps, ready, to let go of that hangover quite yet.
There is so much wrong with our country.
People within my own small community who have differing opinions are, on the daily, vicious to one another. (Admittedly it is mostly online – lots of keyboard warriors out there, folks.)
Covid has issued a super gigantic fuck you to those who thought that we might be approaching the other side. We aren’t.
And, oh, yeah, our climate is whacked. As much as I like 75 degrees in November, it ain’t right, and, not for nothin’, does nothing to ease my personal hangover.
No one can predict what lies ahead. No one person (or two people as the case may be) can fix what was recently, and not so recently, broken. It’s not over. The fat lady isn’t singing. Yet.
Look out for your people.
Take care of yourself.
Try to clear your head from all the noise. It’s not helping.
As I write, I am nursing a glass of wine. I encourage you to do the same.
With any luck, it won’t bring on a hangover.
Because hangovers, no matter the source, suck.