SOLPADEINE AND A BANANA
WTF has happened to my energy? Is it just me? Is anyone else dragging themselves around?
I try not to allow negativity to enter my mind. I listen to the radio and watch Channel 4 news, RTE news and CNN in small doses and I have now decided that it is a bad thing.
We are blessed in Ireland with fabulous radio, ethical broadcasters like Miriam O’Callaghan, Catriona Perry and our new Rottweiler, Sarah McInerny. But still, it is endless and very waring.
Joe entertains the nation for sure, but it can be hard to listen to at times. He is hilarious though. He recently tackled moon cups. Every female in Ireland must have been screaming with laughter in their cars and kitchens. One listener rang in because she found the tampon ad too embarrassing in front of her husband and was close to handing in her TV licence. “Get it up, shove it in” was just too much for her husband. Mind you, he has been doing that himself for decades, just not with a tampon, but its ok once you don’t discuss it!
The hilarity is good, but the sadness and trauma are too much at times. As a Coach, we always advise clients to “surround yourself with positive people” and “dump the negative people in your life”. My inner circle are all like this. We truly believe in positivity. We use it, we spread it, we WhatsApp it, we live it.
But dear Jesus, right now you would need to wear an anti-Nuclear explosion onesie to keep the negativity and sadness and the constant, slow radioactive fallout of the last few months out.
I think maybe it is time to reduce the news, reduce the social media and reduce the onslaught of Trump toxicity. Instead, maybe it is time for a week of favourite music in your ears or a beautiful audiobook, instead of heavy dark drama. Just one week without news. I wonder how many would survive that. I am going to try it myself this week ahead.
When you watch a grandad in a cardi, we like and admire his genius, his long history, then you watch him being ripped apart, questioned, defending himself on a world stage, shunned by his employer in front of a global audience, you know it is time to turn off your telly and do something more fulfilling instead. Anthony Fauci is a world class doctor. This week he was fighting for oxygen while we watched the evil slimeball, Roger Stone, walk free to fill his toxic lungs back up with freedom, air that he should not be breathing.
We watched airhead Ivanka Trump break all the rules, followed by her weirdly adoring father placing tins of beans across the desk in the Oval Office. Just think of that for one minute. His nation is falling apart, he has brought more shame on the USA than any indiscretion of Bill’s or Watergate did. If you saw it on The Simpsons you would think the scriptwriters had gone too far, yet there was a row of branded tinned beans on the Oval Office table to promote his buddy’s business in a week when his country is on its knees with a pandemic.
The more abnormal we see, the more normal it becomes. This is a huge problem in today’s world. It is bad for us all and especially bad for our children to be exposed to. Car radios are vomiting it out, as well as our TVs, newspapers and Social Media. It’s an endless waterfall of bad news.
I sat yesterday on the beach with a coffee and a close friend. Her Mam passed away recently in hospital and she was not able to be with her at the end. She was an only child. As we sat and shared our worlds and our worries, a gorgeous young red-bearded man of about 35 who was sitting near us, asked if he could join our chat. He had been sitting alone for ages before we noticed. His Mam had died in March and he flew in from abroad for her funeral. He has felt absolutely lost ever since. Needless to say, we did our best to wrap him up in advice and instant love. We are two suckers for a sad story and were instantly his comfort blanket, even if only for a short time. He needed his Mammy, he needed a big hug, she was his rock now his rock is gone. We could give him neither. We did our best though from two meters… very un-Irish.
We discussed the imbalance everywhere and I am certainly feeling it. Firstly, we are telling Americans to stay away. Americans! We adore them, we meet them in the city, we chat to them in bars, we love seeing them here. Now they have become the enemy, getting off flights and carrying the little green killer virus all over their luggage and all over themselves. “Go home, we don’t need you”. Even I am saying it and I love Americans visiting our country. 60 percent of our tourism depends on them and suddenly we do not want them and the contagious green little monster disease. It is not right, this is not us. But I do get why. We genuinely do not want them here, as we are wearing ourselves out to get rid of this damn virus. We are just about coping with everything, trying to do the right thing here and the USA is out of control due to shambolic management. So, for now, stay in your own country. We do not want them here right now… very un-Irish.
We watched our new politicians move in. Some of us miss Leo, some do not. We were praying the old school boyos were dead and gone, but no, week one and a shiny new minister starts off with the historic Fianna Fail carryon. Provisional licence for 35 years and a drink driving problem and more that we do not get to hear. I am sure he is a good man, I am sure he has fabulous qualities, but if we allow old-school back in, how will we ever get to a world of pure transparency with no corruption and no half measures? He was annihilated and rightly so. It was handled poorly. A bad start for Micheal Martin.
I know I bleat on about Jacinda Adern, but seriously, they all need to go to her for a masterclass. Old-school is dead. We need new thinkers, new blood, young sharp brains, clean histories, great communicators, obvious empathy. Is that so hard to find? Yes, obviously.
Did some of us drink and drive? I am quite sure the answer is yes. Many of us did years ago. It was considered normal. Back then abnormal was normal also. We were Irish, we broke rules. Fianna Fail were in power and it was normal to break rules. Ivor was making up phone bills, Charlie slid into Gervais while he tossed crumbs to the nation. Charities were not governed in any way, you just hoped your 50p in your Trocaire box got to the child in the picture.
We accepted shit as normal. If you did get caught drinking, or otherwise, someone may have known a policeman that got your fine pulled. Did I ever have a fine pulled? I think I did about thirty years ago, vague memory of it. Outrageous and unacceptable. Would I now? Not in a million years, but still the old-schoolers think they will still get away with it. It was the way of Ireland, it still often is, but less and less. The Barry Cowen story was exhausting. We have a country to get back on its feet, yet we had a week of the media discussing a minister’s provisional licence. Ridiculous.
My son works for LinkedIn. I see the standards that these new companies set and expect, the training they receive, the focus on professionalism, anti-racism and anti-nepotism. World class management is the accepted norm. It is a new world for us who are carrying all the old baggage and, unless we go through the system of training that these young professionals go through to become the new leaders, we will struggle with the weight of the bags we carry. Bags of abnormal stuff squishing through the zips, stuff we always saw as normal.
We are all missing the sun, travel and pubs – we are Irish for God’s sake. Pubs are our normal and what a great normal, one we must keep. Now there are none, unless you have a €9 bowl of soup with your pint. No pubs in Ireland? Yet they are a part of us, we use them as our therapy rooms. Irish pubs are precious places, recognised globally, they are part of our heritage or culture our norm, our uniqueness.
We are Irish, yet no Americans, no pubs, no summer BBQs, no kissing, hugging, singing and dancing, wakes, big weddings, hugging your Nana. Of course, we are all feeling unbalanced at the moment, our world is totally off kilter. We are breaking millions of habits all at once and that takes its toll.
We cannot sit with our sick Mammys in the hospital. We cannot hug or kiss at our friends’ funerals, we cannot hold hands with our loved ones having chemo, we cannot visit our elderly Aunts suffering with isolation and depression in nursing homes. Our children are giving birth to babies and we cannot go to the hospital to see the new arrivals. No more young carefree smooching in clubs or waking up beside a randomer. WTAF? We are Irish. This is who we are. No wonder we are tilting over with the weight of it all. Stupid fucking elbow thumps just do not fill the void.
I am lucky, I can gush it out. At least, I know what is bothering me, many do not. I wrote a book last year, a little simple fantasy book for children. I was so bothered by the world yesterday that I edited it, I lost myself for hours in rhyming tentacles, witches’ cauldrons, slithering sea lions and Octavia the Squid’s love affair with Walter, her Octopus. It was pure joy to be in their world and not watch Donald spread his chins and his tins, or Micheal Martin look ashamed of his Ministers after only one week.
Give me an octopus love story any day, it is easier to swallow than Russian spies stealing vaccines when they possibly have the best doctors in the world themselves. Give me a break. I am exhausted with all the shite. We are swimming in it.
If you are feeling crap too, that’s ok, it seems many of us are. We are walking sideways; you get tired easily doing that. Our planet is in a weird tilt right now. Our own fault, we have no one else to blame. When you tell your 85-year-old Mammy to be careful walking her little dog in case it is stolen from her, you know all is not well in the world.
As the lovely, open, warm, shy Brent Pope said today on Brendan O’Connor’s show “If you feel you need to seek help, go and get it, don’t feel alone”. We were all in it together during lockdown but now that’s over, the anxiety is rising as things are changing fast, the camaraderie of lockdown is gone.
Do what you can to bolster yourself. Talk it out, talk to a friendly stranger on the beach, call your friends, blog it out, walk it out, get to a forest and breathe the air, write about octopus love stories, or whatever lights you up, but do not think you are alone in your low moods, your isolation or your sadness. I am there also. But we must find a way out, we must get back to the light, we have to feel like ourselves again. We need each other more than ever now. If you do not have great friends, find a group that you like and join it. Do not replace a real chat with some fake Instagram story that makes you feel like your life is in the toilet. That shite is not real.
I saw a photo this week on Insta of someone I no longer follow, just days from giving birth surrounded by her happy children in her perfect bed, wearing a floaty off the shoulder nighty in a perfect bedroom, while wearing a beaded headband made to be worn by a bride in a church, gazing lovingly at her husband. Give me a bucket.
Let’s get real people, let’s get back to real. Let’s stop trying to be something we are not, let’s stop pretending that a few days before delivering a big baby you feel like doing a Kardashian-esque shoot when your uterus is hanging between your legs, you feel like weeping most of the day and you would happily kill your partner if he looked sideways at you.
This crap is wearing us all down, drip by drip. We are not as good as them because we did not bake or decorate our homes to Vogue standards while having the perfect orgasm in a stunning bed with three kids, all in designer pjs, while having perfect hair. This stuff slowly chips away at what is our real normal and it eats away at your own self-esteem.
I think I will start chat nights this winter in my garden shed, supper and chatter for groups who feel they need to chat and feel bolstered by other great people, real people. We all need to reach out right now. We all need to lean on someone, to vent, to share, we all need each other more. Brent Pope was the perfect example of that today on RTE1. The weight is too heavy on our own. We have to get beyond abnormal being normal any way we can, so we can all do what we do best – hug, kiss, visit, cry, laugh, deliver a baby without using Gucci thread on our episiotomies while swallowing our placenta in cute little tablets a month later.
Fuck this virus, the ventilators are not the worst bit of it. The abnormal is.
I just finished my breakfast, two Solpadeine and a banana. I never get headaches, but lately they are becoming regular AND I DO NOT LIKE IT.
We must find a way back to the best parts of our old selves, back to the things we loved and are grieving for. We must find a way back to us. We are Irish, we are emotional, we are real, we are spirited, we are the envy of the world, we are fighters. We need to find ourselves again.
We have much to do to get back to right. We cannot afford to go down under the weight of how unpredictable everything is. We need a vision. We need a plan. We need battle gear on right now. We need to talk and share and realize we are all feeling it.
I do anyway. COVID has taken its toll. I, for one, am not going to let it take any more.