How whelmed are you?
You can see where I’m going with this. Are you over or under?
I for one currently feel suspended in a sort of twilight world weirdness, by being a little overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time. You’d think this might cancel out into a happy equilibrium of being comfortably whelmed. Well whelmed, if you like. But, ah, if only us human persons were simpler creatures.
Actually, give us a few simple things and I think we are simple creatures – a tickle behind the ear when we fancy it, a regular spot of tasty tucker and a new Ikea book case to doze in front of and many a human would be docile and complicit, I’m sure. Being fairly sure the house won’t explode inwards on top of them might help the siesta too.
But right now, I’m caught in this nether world of mute stress. And I wonder if it’s because I may be currently thinking about things at too many levels at once. ..See? There’s another one.
Not clever levels, you understand. Even D:Ream’s enthusiastic keyboard player could quickly lose me, had he gone too much further over the event horizon in lastnight’s Wonders of the universe. Properly clever I am not.
But from pictures around the Pacific rim, to voices across the Middle East, to the backdrop of our national story, to the tapestry of our little town, to the seismic testimonies of the individual lives around us and the daily tasks ahead of us, I could easily feel so overwhelmed by the complex narrative of everything that I feel practically powerless. Reactively demotivated. Sofa bound.
How the hell would I cope with worrying about my children on top of all that?
Probably the same way I cope with worrying about my social life – by putting all my efforts into keeping the near-impossible equilibrium of trying to get them to laugh and trying to get them to stop laughing. That might keep me mentally occupied until they left for uni. Not that they ever would.
Honestly, I am considering never leaving my little creative bunker.
After all the talking and thinking and feeling and not feeling and making tea and humming and hahing and pacing and list-making and pencil end-chewing and hand-wringing and even bell-ringing – what to actually DO? Where, I mean, to start? ..With… everything.
If anyone has any good ideas about where I can actually turn out to be any ruddy practical use, would they forward them on, please. Otherwise, I shall continue to stand back and do my bit by trying not to be some clumsy oaf in the way of all the real humanitarian talent. Ask me to pass something to you. I might manage that. ..So long as you explain clearly what it is and where I can find it and what the difference is between my arse and my elbow.
And this is probably what it means to feel whelmed. For the ancient word actually means to be capsized. Taking shelter under your upturned boat, in fact.
Except I have actually decided to cautiously crawl out from under my upturned life raft and be a bit Forest Gump about the whole thing – by mutely starting to run.
A little person called Daisy will be on my mind as I run, and though running is not much practical help for anything, it is at least a response that involves the heart as well as the hands and feet.
You know CPR, right?