Do you ever have a day where you wake up and you know that you have a list of things that need to be accomplished, but you just can’t seem to care about anything?
That’s how I feel today. It is beautiful outside, the birds are chirping, and Julie Andrews is singing The Hills Are Alive while butterflies caress her with their wings. And I’m just so irritable I can’t stand myself, much less anyone else. As I’m looking at the clock, I have just barely over an hour to go before I have to start getting ready for work. Yes, I know I’m lucky to be employed. Yes, just the other day I made a post dedicated exclusively to talking about my hard-won promotion. On an intellectual level, I am grateful— but I’m so freaking tired.
Days like this make me think of Shelley, which makes me smile. Shelley is an older Australian woman I used to work with at my store. She was contrarian, pugnacious, cynical, and sarcastic. She designated herself as our resident Mean Old Bitch and wore the title like a badge of honor. Sometimes I miss her so much that it makes my bones ache. We had a bond, we two. I love her and I know she loves me, and that’s for forever.
The rapport we quickly developed morphed into a beautiful friendship I’ll cherish as long as there’s breath in my body. One day when we were working together, she looked at me and out of nowhere exclaimed, “Shit, there’s got to be something fucking better than this.” A gentle warning for you: if the word “fuck” offends you even mildly, never work with an Australian émigré. I’m fairly certain Australian elementary school teachers end the school week by telling their pupils to “fuck off and have fun”.
I think about what she said that day a lot. She was right; there’s got to be something fucking better than this. I’m going to make it my life’s work to try to find it. For both of us. Bless her heart, the sour old bitch had to work retail right up until the pandemic forced her into an early retirement, followed by a move to Florida with her son. If you ever read this, Shelley, I love you. If we both end up in hell, please save me some space in your cabana.
There’s not a tidy resolution for this post. I always get irritated when I’m reading something about someone having a bad day and they “somehow turned it around”. Nope. You can stop right there. A big part of self-care for me is just allowing myself to feel like shit when I feel like shit because it’s my brain’s way of telling me there’s something I need to process that I can’t happy-think my way out of.
I mean, let’s be real. I’m working a full-time, public-facing retail job in the middle of an ongoing global pandemic in a world that’s literally on fire from climate change and living with more mental health disorders than Meryl Streep has Oscar nominations. Ergo, I’m allowed to feel like shit. And so are you!
If you also feel bad today, know that I see you and I stand in solidarity with you, not to talk you out of your pain but to weather it with you until we all feel better. Much love.
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