Friday, June 17, 2016

The news.

It's been quite I while since I felt compelled to write. My voice feels increasingly irrelevant, and in the wake of yesterday's news continues to be, but I finally feel compelled again. 

Today, Rae turns one. I have just been up with her shushing and patting and feeding and squeezing and crying. And now it's 4:30am and I've come back to bed to write a blog post. 

Once upon a time I was obsessed with the news. All through my life I can date things I have done by events in the national and international press. I would scour my favourite news sites before I got out of bed every morning and any time I got a couple of minutes to spare throughout the day. I participated in lively discussions about current affairs. Not any more. 

I've always been emotional but since being ill and having children it's become ridiculous. I cry at everything, I've learnt to hide it quite effectively most of the time. Adverts get me, songs, my own mental thoughts, but worst of all, news stories. 

A few months ago now I stopped reading the news. I went cold turkey and at first I got loads of time back and revelled in my complete ignorance of what was going on in the world. I actively shunned conversations about the refugees, about economic cuts and our completely out of touch and cruel government. It felt comforting to not think about it, protected from the bad news. 

I feel guilty about it though. I don't like reading about, particularly the refugees, because I feel guilty, and unfairly lucky. It reminds me what we have, and the fact I have done nothing to deserve the good fortune of being born in the UK, to intelligent, kind and hard working parents. To have a family of my own, and a support network I can rely on. A house. Maternity leave. Two heart wrenching children. A life. 

I feel guilty for what I have in comparison, and I feel guilty for not having the emotional resilience to read about others or be able to help. So I have basically stuck my head in the sand. 

Social media is now my main pointer to world events, which is hardly a good indicator - my faith shattered after the Tory win in the general election last year (still hurts). 

Already emotional about Rae's impending first birthday, and my dreaded return to work, yesterday's shooting and stabbing of an mp has really got to me. Regardless of the political leanings of the victim, this is shocking news - have we really come to this? I can't quite get my head round it.

But then to hear about Jo Cox and the integrity and intelligence and kindness that she is, and the dignity of her husband in the wake of disaster, the fact she is northern, compassionate, an incredible role model for our children, a mother. I can't understand the unfairness, I am so upset. 

And once again I am given some perspective. There are more important things than poos on the kitchen floor and who last emptied the dishwasher. Today, Rae turns one. I want the best world possible for her to grow up in, people like Jo Cox to inspire her. 

I think it's time I started listening again.