Saturday, November 14, 2015

Last Night I Went to Bed at 9 pm

**I wrote this last night (Friday night).  Forgive me if it is a mess, Friends.  I wanted to keep it as I was actually feeling at the time, free from editing after the fact.  I wasn't actually going to post this -- it was meant just to get it out of my system.  A private diary entry, if you like.  Then I thought that maybe it would actually be of help for other people to see, maybe they were reacting the same way.  Or maybe it won't.  I don't know, but I decided it wouldn't hurt to post it either way.**

I went to bed tonight at 9 pm.  If you know me, you will know that is obscenely early for me.  I'm normally "early" if I'm in bed by midnight.

I went to bed because I was done.  My ability to cope with horrific shit and stress had been maxed out.  I knew I was done because I was freezing cold even with the heat turned up and snuggled under a blanket.  Nothing was getting me warm.

I went to bed because I don't have a television in my bedroom.  I could set my alarm for work tomorrow, put my phone on "silent", and shut it out of sight in the drawer of my nightstand.  I needed to turn the world off.

I was at the local community college for an appointment this morning when it all started.  I was waiting for a meeting when I saw the breaking news that another college -- about a mile or so away as the crow flies -- was on lock-down due to threats made on Twitter.  Several hours later a  teenager would be arrested for making the threats.  (note: link to article added today 11/15/15)

I went on to work, bringing my coworker a cake for his birthday.  I had decorated it with little skull sprinkles as a joke since it was Friday the 13th.

Not so cute or funny now

The afternoon at work was problems from the word go.  Clusterf%*k -- that's a pretty accurate description of the shit-storm that went on all afternoon.  If it could go wrong, it pretty much did.  I was stressed out, crabby, and exhausted by the end of the day.  I was leaving knowing that 90% of those problems were going to be waiting for me when I got to work the next day.

I got home to relax and call my parents.  My older cat, Wiz kid, had an emergency trip to the vet on Thursday when she seemed to suddenly have two seizures.  The only good news I heard today was that her blood work came back fine.  She doesn't appear to be sick, it's probably just arthritis...and she needs to go on a kitty diet.  No sign of a larger problem unless she has another episode.  I wanted to call my parents and tell them the good news.  I had time to see one nice post on Twitter.

Then my Twitter stream turned to Paris.  Everything was Paris.  It was like everyone got out of work simultaneously and saw the horror unfolding.

I immediately turned on the news as I had no idea what was happening.  


And then I watched.  I watched the news, I kept checking Twitter.

I watched hoping that someone, somewhere, would say that the numbers were wrong.  So many innocent people hadn't died, or that the hostages were safe.

But the numbers kept going up.  The only ray of light in the darkness was the humanity of the Parisians themselves -- opening their homes to the people trying to get to safety, taxi drivers turning off their lights and giving people free rides.  Sparks of human decency and kindness in the midst of the tragedy unfolding.  

Three hours.  Three solid hours I was glued to the news and Twitter.  I didn't eat dinner because I had lost my appetite.  It didn't seem important at all considering what was unfolding in Paris.

And an earthquake and possible tsunami in Japan!  The world was a mess.

My relentless absorption of the news, and reading other about other less-publicized horrors that had happened (like in Beirut), was only interrupted by a work problem.  I was actually glad for the distraction, even if it was going to add to the problems I would have to deal with the next day.

I knew I had to stop.  I was done.  No matter whether I was watching or not, the news wasn't going to change.  It would, probably, only get worse.  No amount of information was going to make it better.  Over 100 people in Paris were dead because they had gone out to dinner, or to a concert.

There is no understanding that because it should never happen, anywhere in the world.  I felt soul-sick and heartbroken for the world.

I wasn't ready to start hearing all of the politicians weighing in, or the hate-fueled comments about the refugees (who are trying to escape these types of situations), or to hear how we should start bombing other countries and killing even more people to solve the problem.

So I went to bed.

I went to bed to snuggle with my two cats, happy that they were both healthy.

I went to bed because I would wake up in the morning, and I was pretty damn sure all of my loved ones would wake up safe and sound as well.

I went to bed because I would wake up.  I would get to go to work.  There might be problems and stress, but that was insignificant in the greater scheme of things.

I would wake up.  I would go to work.  I would get to help people.  Maybe not in life-altering ways, but at least a little.

I would get to do all of these things that so many people would never get to do again.

I went to bed in silence.  Normally I listen to music to drift off to sleep.  I couldn't bring myself to do that.  So many people had been attacked and died just going to a concert.  I love going to concerts.  It seemed wrong.

I went to bed.  I curled up in my covers and I wrote this.

And it won't change any of the horrible things that happened in the world today.  It won't even alleviate all of the problems I will have to deal with at work.

But it might help me feel a little better, get it all out of my system.  And if I feel a little better then maybe I can be more helpful to others, a little kinder and gentler to the world.  Maybe that will spread to others, even a little bit.  It won't magically restore anyone's faith in humanity, but maybe it will seem a bit nicer.

The world could use a little more love and kindness, especially in the face of so much hurt and hate.

So I went to bed.

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