Sitting in Bed

Writing to you.

I have reverted to an old habit of taking toast and coffee back to bed with me on a Saturday morning. I don’t go in to the mill ’til 10am on a Saturday morning so to just sit in my bed with a cup of coffee and my favourite toast gives me a few extra minutes of warm down-time. No people – no noise – sleeping dogs and the distant sound of the washing machine doing its thing.

Plus if I get crumbs in the bed it’s ok as Saturday is sheet changing day!

We are all getting very tired of the endless hits from the COVID 19 news and if you live in America as I do: the wretched endless political nastiness. I feel like each one of us worldwide is one of those huge rocks on the beach at Westshore where I grew up. Every high tide, which is twice in 24 hours, we get smashed by the waves breaking over us and pulling back out trying to unseat our feet, but we still stand and take it. We are rocks – we cannot even turn our heads. We just get hit. Sometimes the weather gets really bad and the waves are huge and smash up and over us and into the gravel behind, creating the shushing and pulling sound as the waves attack the whole rock. But still we stand, eyes slightly narrowed against the salt, our sharp edges still sharp, and we take the force of each wave. But then we become tired. But it does not stop the waves.

My friend Amanda said she was reading about Surge Response / Surge Fatigue or something like that. Where we rise up to battle each change, each new development in our fast changing world, using up all our mental adrenaline then our Selves get tired – just worn out by the whole thing. Fatigue. We are all feeling some of that I think. I feel I am not adjusting fast enough.

Surge Fatigue. For me I think I need to note that I am feeling this, acknowledge the problem, and deal with it somehow.

Because I grew up with a boat builder I think of fatigue in regards to machinery.

In materials science, fatigue is the weakening of a material caused by cyclic loading that results in progressive and localized structural damage and the growth of cracks.

Cracks – yes – cracks make sense to me. Because cracks can be fixed once you isolate and re-tool the cause.

So a few hours in bed with a book, or puddling about the farm, or any of a number of gentle occupations need to be actually chosen to help heal my mental cracks.

Here is a portion of an interesting article I was reading https://www.vumc.org/health-wellness/resource-articles/six-coping-strategies-combat-pandemic-fatigue

Self-care is not optional. Dr Edward Krall notes in his article “Ten Commandments for Physician Wellness” that we must take charge of our own well-being; we cannot expect even the most caring employer to be responsible to keep us comfortable. Part of our professional obligation is to strive for our own well-being (VUMC Credo).

  1. Setting attainable well-being goals and implementing that plan is critical. Those goals might include exercise, meditation, nutrition, yoga, mindfulness, prayer, gardening, connections with others, music, reading, or other forms of restoration. Find the right match for you and do it regularly.

  2. Plan and use your paid time off (PTO) to recharge. While in years past, we may have saved vacation days for travel or going to the beach, that may be less realistic for the foreseeable future. Enjoy experiences with your family, friends, and pets.

  3. Take a vacation from news and social media. The bombardment of negative and sensational headlines can be overwhelming. There is little need to know the daily tally of coronavirus infections and deaths, unless your job is dependent upon those figures. Political discord will continue whether we follow it daily or not.

  4. Seek diversions that are healing. Spend time intentionally and do things that give you meaning.

  5. Create some predictable routines. Focus on managing the things you have control over.

Be kind to yourself as you are trying to adjust to this ever-changing challenge.

……..

WaiWai knows – when he feels worn out he goes straight back to bed.

So.

What do you think? I can’t just hope things will get better. I need to put real changes in place to cope long term. For years I think. First I need to write my objective. Hmm.

“I need to stay mentally strong, turn my restless energy into productivity and work more efficiently so I can keep enriching the lives of and staying useful to my people. For myself: I need to work on my cheerfulness, independence, kindness, energy and health”.

Does that make sense? Sounds like a big ask right? Though I took almost an hour to write that paragraph. And it still needs work.

Now to make a plan to achieve those things.

Bread baking weather is here! I miss Sheila.

Take care

Cécilia

50 Comments on “Sitting in Bed

  1. Well stated! We are all struggling with fatigue from the daily onslaught. We can even avoid the news and still be presented each day by more sorry news from somewhere. Self care is imperative. How to achieve it is another story. I’m having my coffee in bed too. Everyone else in the house is asleep and I have been up for 2 hours already. I think seeing animals would be something that grounds me. No vacations anymore so while you bake bread, I sew hearts to send to friends in need of a little love. I’m so happy to hear from you. That quiet time is very precious. Enjoy it.

  2. You said it so well. I feel cracks forming. My social media is now only blogs to which I subscribe, my blog that I write, and a fiber arts site that doesn’t allow politics. Facebook is in time out and Instagram is tightly monitored to avoid any more news than is offered through the TV which can be turned off, the newspaper which can go unread. We continue to social isolate except when necessary and I mask if I have to enter a business or walk in a public park or path, hand sanitize when I return to the car, and hand wash often. With garden season mostly over, so canning season over, I have resumed spindle spinning, cleaning up the garden for winter, and cooking more slow food. Take care. This is a new life we are living.

  3. I think I read the same article about surge fatigue. I have been wondering why I feel so tired all the time… I’m healthy, I eat well, exercise, get around 8 hours of sleep a night, and yet I still feel fatigued. I miss social interactions; even though I’m an introvert who needs quiet time to recharge, socializing always makes me feel more joyful. But screens have become the necessary substitute for in-person meet-ups and that’s the thing I’m personally struggling with.

    Thank you for sharing the coping strategy article — I’m trying to add more self-care into my daily life with a regular yoga practice (the Yoga with Adriene youtube videos are very good for that).

  4. Glad you are taking time when it is very easy to overlook oneself. That covid fatigue is true, and I believe not just mental. I think it wears on our bodies making them more vulnerable to the illness itself just as you point out in your analogy to machines.

  5. The fatigue is caused, in my opinion, by too much information true or false available to you with one glance at your phone or social media or some friend sharing a story they read about x,y and z topics. Shut it off, walk outside … deep breath … listen to the sounds around you. It all goes away. Digitally, opinions come in quick with the expectation of likes/dislikes … basically, attention. Naturally, opinions are slow and thoughtful. That’s why we love your blog. We get to experience life on a farm and the ups and downs … most of which are physically difficult. Hope you wear lippy in bed making crumbs!

  6. Yes, and on top of all that, I was laid off as of August, from an organization that I worked for for over 30 years. I’m single and not yet eligible for social security so I need to work for a few more years (four would be ideal). But if you think ageism exists for those over 50, try being over 60 and looking for a job. Friends think I should be enjoying this time off but it’s hard to when there is a constant worry about possibly losing my house and having to move.

      • I was a paralegal who worked for the General Counsel of an early childhood education association. Out of 100 staff, they laid off almost 30. With the closing of child care centers nationwide and not being able to have conferences, our income completely tanked. We all knew lay-offs were possible but I honestly thought maybe a handful, not 30. People that were not let go had to take a 10% pay cut and all benefits cancelled.

        • Oh wow. That is pretty rough. Having benefits cancelled sounds grim too. Though we have no benefits at the mill. Maybe you could work online – there are online companies where you can register yourself and your skills and people employ you from there. I bet you have a ton of skills .

  7. So happy to find this post from you today Celia. I miss Sheila too. Thanks for the photo of WaiWai. I so appreciate your objectives. I was thinking about this very topic this morning in a rare early morning of quiet. I want to slow and gentle myself, remembering to breathe, and find strength in my continuous journey for ways to be kind in the world. Thinking of you.

  8. Said to my husband yesterday, “Gosh, I haven’t heard from Cecilia in so long!” Then today–She’s back! Yay! And then I started reading and thought–oh no! No pictures–until–drumbeat==WaiWai! Oh thank you thank you for him. You don’t know how important seeing him is for me. That porky old face brings tears to my eyes.

  9. I enjoy rolling over and snugging the blankets around my neck for another 10 minutes. My fur buddy likes to jump up and press her back against mine. Then walking in the fresh morning air, especially when it’s so crisp and smells so woodsy, is healing for me. This is a time when we are thinking of lots of lost or missing people, opportunities and things. I like your ideas for self care. All the geese and squirrels are frantically getting ready for winter. I’m here for the duration. I think I’ll give bread making another try. I’m sure my family and friends would like that. Thanks Celi. Even a cracked rock will transform in time.

  10. So good to hear from you and to see the picture of Wai Wai, the portly fella! No doubt you miss Sheila terribly. My John had to put Jethro, our boar, down last week. He had the same issue with his back legs as Sheila had. It was very, very difficult. It is amazing how close to animals we can get. In fact when I’m down and need cheering up, I step right outside and give the porch animals a big hug. Each and every one of the six of them, two dogs and four cats. Then I’ll look over and both goats are looking at me, so I go give them a big hug too. It always helps me to give them all big hugs. And they love it too! 🙂

  11. I had coffee in bed this morning, too. And I miss Sheila. Was thinking of that enormous bed that she would make for herself. She was quite the character.

      • Haha, Percy has started building his bed too, I hadn’t paid much attention and was surprised at how much he had piled up!
        Hope he doesn’t know something we don’t.

      • I was just thinking about Sheila, I have her magnet on my fridge.

  12. A break from the news is absolutely essential!
    I miss Sheila too, but it’s goo to see Wai looking happy and how’s Poppy doing?

  13. So good to hear from you! I miss Sheila as well, but it was great to see Wai today. I am hoping that this dratted fatigue will be better after the election, but I’m not so sure. We live in the woods on the coast of Maine and I have great beauty around me, but no matter how much sleep and exercise I get, I am still tired. Maybe it’s in my soul! I enjoy sewing, spinning, and cooking and baking bread, so that is what I try to plan into my days. Hope you have enough time to yourself!

  14. The waves analogy was good. I read it to my wife. She nodded and said ‘uh-huh.’ We are tired of being pounded.

  15. Celi – Wonderful to hear from you especially with such a very meaningful post. You always have, and daresay will, made more sense of life as we know it as the next half-dozen writing. Plan to repost this to a lot of friends for sheer ‘sense and sensibility’ ! I love how you manage to tell the story without mentioning a single name or cause 🙂 ! All true ! Living alone I always have a long breakfast in bed: eat, drink a big mug of coffee, write long lists for the day, make a few quiet phone calls, pay my bills, stare out of the window at my garden and daydream just a tad ! My ‘tranquilizer period’ which is sacrosanct. I have always been a newshound . . .no problems there. My life here in the country has not really changed that much and ! I do not believe in any ‘new normals’ – life just goes on in ways it will. I was taught a long way back we all should know what we personally can change and what we cannot – but, above all, we should know the difference ! There is a hell of a lot of crazyness ‘out there’ . . . we have no choice but to deal with it . . . heaps of love . . .

    • I have put these many months into canning like crazy. I do not know what I would have done without staying so busy. I live by myself and have no transportation so I have had to do something that I really enjoy to stay sane. I do arrange a van ride to the grocery store sometimes but that is the only place that I ever go. But I am content with peace flowing through my soul to know that I have jars and jars of canned chili and other stuff to eat for years. I also dehydrate food and have 5 -gallon bucket that I have filled with pantry stock like rice and sugar etc. etc. Please don’t give up and find something that will bring you joy, even in these times that we are going through. From Nort Florida. https://www.wisdomforpennies.com is my blog that I post 3 times a week on.That keeps me busy also. Love and hugs and care from me to all of you!

  16. Oh mercy, Ceci! So good to see your words on the page! I had wondered what I was feeling – the name is ‘surge fatigue’! Thank you! We’re getting a triple whammy here…the endless fires and their smoke, the big V (from which we lost a dear friend last week), and the ridiculousness of the ‘campaigning’ and it’s associated mud slinging. I’ve NEVER known it to be this bad! Such a sorry state of the States and of the World as a whole! But, there are joys and laughter and quiet excitement. The joy of having our kitties and the goofy chickens! One has become domesticated and comes up to spend time with us. Even comes in the back door and waits in the kitchen for her ‘treats’, then heads back out – the picture of prim politeness. Have a happy life, Ceci! Sunny

  17. I get my kicks and joys from animals and nature. Covid-19 is meaningless to them. I haven’t had a television in over 20 years. Each time I’m exposed to one, I remember why. It does seem that HumanLand has gone crazy. Look to the natural world for sanity and peace of mind.

    “Surge fatigue” is a great descriptive term. I live close to the ocean, too, seventeen miles from Savannah Beach. Although we don’t often see the thunderous waves I’ve witnessed elsewhere, I can relate to the fatiguing effects of that steady pounding. Someone I once knew often used the phrase, “like being beat over the head.” I also remember the images conjured up by my mother’s references to the “Chinese water drop torture,” in which the victim was subjected to a steady stream of droplets on his forehead until they drove him crazy.

    Does Covid-19 drive people crazy, or is the GoverCorp obsession with it driving everyone crazy? Turn off the TV while you still can. Get out in the UV sunlight (which kills viruses) and breathe fresh air (if you can find it) without a mask. You’ll feel 100% better. Hug your pets.

    Incidentally, I believe the key to peace of mind is to reduce the “To Do”s, not increase them. Perhaps we’ve all been too over-regimented, and this is an opportunity to relax and take life as it comes. Too many demands on time and attention also cause fatigue.-

  18. I’m so happy to hear from you with the usual injection of good sense and positive action. I am definitely feeling the backwash of those great waves just now. I was offered immediate surgery or a 6 month wait and see, till we know if the new Little Bastard is going to grow like Covid-19 or if it’s going to stay put for a bit. It’s a 16 week recovery period, and I’m not at all keen to rush under the knife. Meanwhile, I’m trying to stay on top of my anxiety by finishing things before starting new ones. But I still count myself lucky; the Husband still has his job, none of my dear ones are sick or at risk, and apart from the Little Bastard, I only face the usual imprint of time upon the body. I hope you find a most excellent strategy for the constant onslaught. I think you have the right idea in reserving your strength for the things you love, that have meaning and that restore you. Oh, and I wore my Sheila T-shirt a few days ago, showing the dear old Big Fat Pig while I walked my Skinny Black Dog 🙂

  19. Cecilia…somehow I am unable to comment on your blog. I do not have wordpress anymore is that why>? anyhow- love your blog and will try to figure out what is going on. Take care and do read in bed more often! xoxo Kathe W. https://katheworsley.blogspot.com/2020/10/awww-monday-october-5-2020.html

    On Sat, Oct 3, 2020 at 7:05 AM thekitchensgarden wrote:

    > Cecilia Mary Gunther posted: “Writing to you. I have reverted to an old > habit of taking toast and coffee back to bed with me on a Saturday morning. > I don’t go in to the mill ’til 10am on a Saturday morning so to just sit in > my bed with a cup of coffee and my favourite toast gives me ” >

  20. Yes. Cracks. I have family in IL and WI, so I have been watching–and know that your area, east to west across the state is rising again. Just today, I met a volunteer for the garden and it is obvious she is worn down. We need to look at what we need, what refreshes us, and do those things. Yes, coffee and toast in bed sound good–or rolling over and having another few minutes of snuggly warmth. Do what you need to do.

  21. I am often recommending to my patients to do a ‘strict media diet’ to avoid news and such
    And the joke to share: “I am used to having crumbs in bed’.

  22. As soon as I saw your post I thought I bet Celi is missing Sheila. Us too but the photo of Wai Wai is excellent, as is his example. Imo quiet morning coffee time in bedis necessary, and with toast it becomes an interlude. Your objective wraps it up. So easy to get caught up in the downs and further downs of Covid, politics, unworthy news media… I prefer my select social media friends and communities, and a little worthwhile news media with global and responsible coverage. My old mantras have had new life breathed into them… Living well is the best revenge. Live well and help others live well… is the best we can do. And, our best is enough. If enough of us it do it, then all will be well. Take care, and watch out for & deal with the cracks as best you can ♡

  23. I am late to this post, but it is exactly what I needed to read. There’s so much wisdom in here. And, yes, I’ve never seen those rocks in New Zealand that you speak of, but I know others. And that is exactly what I feel like. Thank you.

  24. Self care is very very important even more so in this insane 2020 year. I’ve found that I need to determine what really needs to be done,get it over with and then either move on or relax. And pulling away from the news and social media has become good for my health. But on the flip side… when you have a moment check out my announcement post 🙂

  25. An excellent objective. It’s been hard this year balancing everything and trying to keep things as normal as possible for the kids. A lot of deep breaths!

  26. Dear Celia

    I was checking Reader in WordPress and came across your blog. Then I checked your website. How wonderful, it made my heart leap for joy.

    I have known generally for years that our food has been contaminated by artificial chemicals, and have avoided doctors who I am now aware, albeit from limited experience, have become white pill pushers. These pills are little better than the other white powders that cause hallucinations.

    As I am rather stupid, I let my guard down and ended up poisoning myself with contaminated food. I have a facial palsy, and was diagnosed with a cancer, but I now know that the main culprit is sodium nitrite. It can be used to prevent corrosion apparently, so it prevents electrolysis.

    In the body this means it will affect the nervous system as it has in my case. I suspect that animals might well suffer the same problem if by any chance it gets into their systems.

    I am still struggling with half a brain as it were but I bookmarked your website for the time being and will examine further with great interest.

    As you do struggle with the planscamdemonicpanic as I call it, you might do worse than have a look at my site. I wrote S is for…..States of the U.S.A. with people such as yourself in mind to try and lighten the mood.

    Kind regards

    Baldmichael

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