25 Comments
Oct 10, 2023Liked by Jessica Smock

I’m not doing great. Horrified and saddened and frightened by what’s going on in the world, and annoyed that all the shit that always annoys me is still annoying me in the face of real, serious horror. I feel like I want to run away even though there’s no place to run to. My greatest joy right now is that I can get through a crazy allergy attack without peeing a little every time I sneeze. That defines tiny win, I guess.

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Raises hand to say I’m struggling as well. I’m weary of watching war crimes happen without consequence. Trying to be there for my friends who have family in Ukraine and Israel.

I may free write about this for Monday, but I’m also bummed to be back in the US. First world problem. Won’t say much more about it. My heart isn’t here, and I’m taking a big old dose of “happiness is what I am inside.”

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If good writing is good thinking -- and I believe it is -- I'm either not thinking well or I'm not writing well. Or both. I'm pulled and aching. I'm looking for crannies to fold up in for a few moments, to process the world, to think and figure out. The world doesn't seem to like to grant that to midlife women.

On the upside, this month I can purchase Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in bulk without much eyebrow raising from my dear grocery checkout person.

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Oct 10, 2023Liked by Jessica Smock, Steph Sprenger

I'm feeling really fearful. And my heart is so heavy -- like I'm carrying around an additional, elephant-sized burden. I haven't been able to write anything new these last couple of days, but I also know how important writing is to my soul. So I'm using this time to work on revisions.

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Oct 11, 2023Liked by Jessica Smock, Steph Sprenger

I’m writing, a little. I’m trying to pay just enough attention to the news to get by, but not too much. The world is a lot right now, everything seems horrible, and I completely understand news fatigue.

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Writing from Israel here...my immediate family is all safe but we personally know dozens of families who have lost loved ones. Our close friends' son is one of the captives in Gaza, in need of urgent medical care. My 2 sons are in the army, but at bases that are relatively safe. Multiple friends who have kids serving in the thick of things. Can't work. Can't write. Can't sleep. Trying to volunteer wherever we can - my daughters are making sandwiches, care packages, offering free babysitting, etc. Spent 3 1/2 hours yesterday in long lines to donate blood...We are all devastated. :-(

Here's one proactive, concrete thing people can do to help: write to your Senators and ask them to work around the clock to free hostages being held in Gaza. Mention that some hold US citizenship. In particular Hersh Goldberg-Polin, in need of urgent medical attention. We want them all released, but every little bit helps. Here are my friends on CNN yesterday: https://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2023/10/10/exp-israel-missing-son-goldberg-polin-101007aseg1-cnn-world.cnn

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Oct 11, 2023Liked by Jessica Smock, Steph Sprenger

Hearing about & seeing one of the strongest militaries in the world decimate families, children and not be able to stop it, feels very wrong. But that's how the world feels these days. Just wrong.

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Oct 11, 2023·edited Oct 11, 2023Liked by Jessica Smock

I've been heartbroken over the

conflict, as I was with the Ukrainian invasion, and and and and.....

So I intentionally take in news in small doses. I feel the story, then I compartmentalize so I don't collapse into despair. As I handle all tragedies where I can't make a damn bit of difference.

I've been in a state of chronic outrage and heartbreak since 2015. As an activist and social commentary blogger, I absorb too much sometimes. Injustice chronically inhabits my head. Religion that harms the LGBTQ community, has been my latest rumination.

As for writing, blogging yes, to pour out my outrage and empathy. But for personal essays, I'm working a piece and simultaneously avoiding, per my now pathological procrastination to submit. And probably to avoid entering the feeling place necessary to write, well.

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I can't process any of this without also the lens of being a mother, particularly with sons old enough to understand what is going on. But it feels like the news is *always* hard to share with kids. I have been grateful for reliable sources who provide thoughtful guidance on how to discuss/share with kids, at least.

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