God, I’m Tired – Pandemic Fatigue

Woman slumped at desk surrounded by coffee and laptop - tired

God, I’m tired.

I was supposed to sit down and finish a post about the best self-development books I’ve ever read (that post is coming) but I woke late and groggy.

I woke after a night of dreams, chasing a woman in a nurses’ outfit (no, not that kind of nurses’ outfit) around an airport trying to get a covid vaccine so I could get on a plane and get back to the travelling that first got me into this blogging biz.

Even in my dreams, where immense things are possible, I can’t pull off what I need to do to get my own personal economy re-started.

It’s no surprise I woke in a grump and a funk.

I dragged myself into the bathroom, stepped on the scales (more misery), stood under the dance of the shower water and was about to launch into some self-chastisement when I made myself stop.

I’m not tired because I had a fretful night’s sleep. And I’m not lazy because I didn’t hit my target of ‘online by nine’.

I’m tired because I was in the middle of a five-month, open-ended trip through Central America when the world closed its borders.

I’m tired because it took me four days and thousands of pounds to perform an emergency repatriation.

I’m tired because a year later I’m still having a ding-dong with Insure & Go because they think I should break the law, travel to Costa Rica and use my flight credit so I’m not out of pocket.

I’m tired because when I did get home to the UK last March, I had to unpack boxes from a failed flat sale.

I’m tired because once I unpacked my things, I found another buyer and the process started again.

I’m tired because after five months of being away, I still couldn’t see my family and friends.

I’m tired because I returned to a country where panic buying had stripped the shelves of all things necessary.

I’m tired because I returned to an empty flat with cupboards that were bare.

I’m tired because in the space of two months, I saw my two online travel businesses fall into a coma, taking my income with them.

I’m tired because for the past 12 months, I’ve been living on savings.

I’m tired because I may have to live on them for a year more.

I’m tired because the new variants mean travel may be one of the last freedoms to return.

I’m tired because I wonder if there will come a point where I have to pull the plug on using my savings and return to ‘real’ work.

I’m tired because I’m mourning the potential loss of my creative dreams.

I’m tired because, despite the death of my income, I took a risk and sold the flat.

I’m tired because I moved house in the middle of a pandemic.

I’m tired because there are problems with my new house and I’m going to have to move out while it gets fixed.

I’m tired because, once again, I’ll be moving in the middle of a pandemic.

I’m tired because that two-week sojourn, locked in a hotel in Manchester, having proved it is ‘essential travel’, might be the best trip I take this year.

I’m tired because at the same time as selling my flat, I sold my mum’s house.

I’m tired because it felt like a final goodbye, just a few months before the second anniversary of her death, and the pain felt just as raw as it had at the start.

I’m tired because I still have fleeting thoughts that start, ‘I’ll just pop round to mum’s…’

I’m tired because I lost another member of my family; the fourth person in less than 18 months.

I’m tired because I attended a funeral during covid where we had to sit apart and couldn’t comfort each other with touch or hugs.

I’m tired because I spent the entire ceremony crying into a mask.

I’m tired because I can’t see my uncle and support him in his loss.

I’m tired because I have used the lockdown to work. Night and day, week after week, month after month, sat at my desk, starting new projects, fixing old posts, trying new things, failing at new things, trying again, trying harder.

I’m tired because an army of Korean hookers attacked my travel blog and spammed it with 62,000 links to porn sites.

I’m tired because elsewhere on the Internet, I’m now apparently a Korean hooker called Koko.

I’m tired because I now feel compelled to learn how to pole dance.

I’m tired because I’ve started two new websites, finished the first draft of a fiction novel and started on a second.

I’m tired because productivity comes only in fits and starts.

I’m tired because some days all I have the will to do is lie on my bed and stare at the wall.

I’m tired because this feeling can wipe out whole weeks.

I’m tired because I really should paint that wall.

I’m tired because I broke my tooth and need a series of procedures that are stressful, painful and expensive.

I’m tired because going to the dentist is sometimes the highlight of my month.

I’m tired because I live alone and sometimes don’t speak to another human for days.

I’m tired because I spent my birthday, Easter and New Year’s Eve alone.

I’m tired because I miss my family and my friends.

I’m tired because I miss planes and trains and cafes and bars and afternoons in London with my best friend.

I’m tired of museums and theatres and comedy…online.

I’m tired because I miss my niece.

I’m tired because nobody can point to some future date on the calendar and tell me, ‘this is when it will end’.

I’m tired of the small stuff, too.

I’m tired of the scold on my leg that is taking an age to heal.

I’m tired of the overflowing clean laundry basket in my hall, jeans and knickers spilling onto the floor.

I’m tired that I used to think I could teach Marie Kondo a thing or two but have since lost the effort to care.

I’m tired because I put an apple cider vinegar mask on my hair and now it’s all I can smell.

I’m tired of the same loop I walk on my post-lunch, legally permitted burst of fresh air.

I’m tired at the repeated back pain from sitting at my desk for hours on end.

I’m tired that I’m not moving through rainforests and jungles or even just bookstores.

I’m tired of drinking coffee at home and cleaning up after every meal.

I’m tired of work-yoga-sleep-repeat.

I’m tired of Instagram, filled with platitudes about self-care.

I’m tired because a bubble bath can’t fix it all.

God, I’m tired.

Are you tired too?

Postscript: I was tempted to end with something positive. One of those self-care platitudes I’m sick of.

I decided not to because blotting out a valid emotion isn’t healthy. It’s ok to feel tired and exhausted and over this pandemic. It. Is. Hard. And we don’t have to sweep those feelings under the carpet.

Yes, sure, there is a benefit to focusing on the positive, taking pleasure in the small things, being grateful we’re healthy and alive. And, yes, we should do that, but only as much as we can.

It’s equally important to feel the fatigue, to acknowledge the pain and the difficulty. Pushing it away is worse. 

So, if you want to whinge, I’m here to listen. Message me or leave a comment below… 

God, I’m Tired – Pandemic Fatigue

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