I firmly believe that we all have capacity within our brains for ‘stuff, drama, chaos, things we have to do’. Everyone is probably different. I expect Obama or other world leaders (can’t bring myself to mention British politicians) have a huge capacity to understand and compartmentalise everything that is going on in the world, alongside their personal life. Clearly their job is to worry, take action and do the right thing for millions of people. Our job as normal people is quite different.
Recently I’ve found myself getting involved in things that use up my brains’ capacity to cope with lots of crap. After the vote to leave the European Union, I could have shrugged my shoulders and said, ‘ah well’ that happened, but I didn’t. I felt passionately about staying part of the EU and I read and absorbed lots of information about the events around Brexit. I found myself using up quite a bit of my head space on being angry about perceived injustices in British politics. However, after a month or so, I’m afraid my ability to take in any more news on this subject reduced – I became furious about the opinions, the arguments and the extremists coming out of the woodwork to air their right wing views. I had to stop following the minutiae around the referendum and focus on what’s going on in my life instead.
I am still interested and engaged, but if you have lots going on in your personal life, you need to just trust the experts to sort stuff out. I’m not going to become an activist or a politician. I don’t have the time at the moment. As a responsible adult I need to know how stuff will affect me and then cross my fingers that the best possible outcome will be round the corner. I don’t have the capacity as a working mum to be outraged and outspoken about everything in the news. It’s too much.
Having said that, undeniably, we are all part of a community, whether it’s at work, school, with friends or your local village, town or city, and so, we all have a duty to care about what’s going on. If we see something bad happen then we have to do something about it if we can, otherwise life doesn’t get any better. There are little things that we can all do, like pick up litter, report crime and be generally nice people. These tasks are easy, they are no brainers and they don’t cause stress for people who are trying to give less of a shit. They just make our communities a lovelier place to be.
Some people go further and choose to step up and take on injustices. Some people just like doing things to make life better and more fun, just for a laugh like. I think people who are able to do this are just brilliant. If someone has a big capacity to get stuff done, then, awesome, we need people like that.
This brings me neatly to dealing with life when the stuff that’s rumbling round in your head is information you just can’t file under ‘someone else’s job’ or ‘being a responsible human being’. We all have a responsibility to deal with our own lives, families and friends in the best, kindest way we can. However, sometimes there’s too much for your brain to manage in one go and we need a bit more help to let that shit go. Life can easily get stupidly complicated. I think when you’re growing up you believe that someone else will sort out all the rubbish stuff. Mostly the grownups. Well now we are grownups and ta da, it’s up to us to make arrangements, solve problems and be responsible. So, how do you deal with all that and also stay as normal and sane as possible?
I’m going to tell you what I think in my next post.