How many times have you wanted to switch off? And fail to do so because you’re in fear of offending? We have all done so: and the refusal to comply with the inner-being causes havoc. Sometimes while sitting in bed: just before sleep, you are still angry with yourself for letting people overwhelm your life. Let’s think about this: you want peace and stillness. A respite from idle Chitta-Chatta, moronic and inaccurate scientific evidence, and know-all-know-nothing friends. Grr!

And they are your friends, and you love ’em to pieces. You’d dive into a burning building to save their life. You remember this instance: many years ago, after giving a friend your last penny, you said: ‘That’s ok, you need it more than me’. Later, when eating beans on toast instead of a healthy organic mixed salad: you feel guilty that the gift is regretted. No problem, kindness is two-way traffic. If you feel good from a choice, the price is of no importance. And you have done this a million and one times.

woman in desperate and anxiety sitting alone

Exhaustion – No One Listens

Here is the paradox: You love ’em, their faults, ignorance, silly games and even the five-minute argument, repaired with a box of chocs or a poison pen letter. Remember when you went on the holiday and hated every moment: to compound the issue those friends of yours loved every drunken moment, the karaoke, and ribbing you to death about the stage hypnotist who put you into a trance, made you talk like Donald Duck and pretend to be a stripper. But today you want to switch off from their demands. It would help to have silence, peace and rest: you cannot cope today. The C19 crisis drives you mad: homeschooling has made you realise your children are ten times as bright as you ever were. Your mind screams: ‘God! Please: do something I need to Switch Off!’ A cry for divine help.

So, the choice is made: let’s take time out on social media. You are at 80% on the ‘about to blow your top’ scale. Indeed, there will be something to take your mind off the situation. And there it is ‘Your most disliked celebrity has just married your favourite singer’. The post says ‘A marriage made in heaven’, and the post has sent you to hell. Go on, be a devil reply. Or do you scroll through to find someone who agrees? Then another nightmare: your best friend has commented ‘Wow! How fantastic: I’m so happy for them’. Grr, you thought best friend Mavis knew all about you. She knows you cannot stand Chardonnay Flitter the ten in a bed, fake tan, fake teeth, wig-wearing stunner. Social media is not the way out way today.

It’s all piling up: Super intelligent kids expecting you to home school them like their half your age super-human teacher Miss Catface does. Even worse Miss Catface is lovely, beautiful, caring and sends you emails about your child’s progress. Life isn’t fair: In you mind the words: ‘Please God let me switch off: keep me sane and on a straight path’.

photo of woman teaching his son

Not Too Easy

More trouble ahead, you’ve decided to get out for an hour. ‘I’m going shopping’ knowing full well not a one will volunteer to help you buy the weekly shop: and everyone will complain because you purchased the shop brand of cornflakes. The trolly is filled to the brim: sod it: your purse in the car. ‘Sorry checkout lady: I’m left my purse in the car’. Knowing full well the fifty people behind in the queue are thinking ‘Idiot for forgetting her purse and even bigger idiot for leaving her purse in the car’ You hang you head in shame as you return to the checkout. ‘Sorry’ ‘Don’t worry, it happens all the time’ lies the pretty check out girl, who in an attempt to change the subject says: ‘Did you hear the news?’ ‘No’ ‘Chardonnay Flitter has married Jammy Singer, isn’t it great?’ ‘Yes,’ you lie. And now you’re feeling even worse for being reminded about the mismatched marriage and lying to the understanding check out girl.

Half an hour after unpacking the shopping Alf junior says: ‘What’s for tea Mum?’ Thinking you’d get the house together with a lovely family meal you reply: ‘We’re having a home-cooked chicken meal’ Alf looks tell a different story: ‘Mum, I’m a vegetarian’. ‘Ok, you can have vegetables and vegetable gravy’. Son and heir is not impressed.

woman in white dress shirt holding a smartphone

Gina’s Important FaceTime

Meal failure. Everyone is doing something else; none have the time to sit around the table: Gina’s in an ‘Important Face Time with who knows who’. Partner is still at an online business conference with ‘evil boss’. Worse of all you knew this would be the outcome.

What a rubbish day. Let’s open a bottle of unwind wine: grab the kilo bar of chocolate: close the door: fire up the fire stick and find your favourite film ‘P.S I love you’. And for the one-hundred and eighty-eighth time, you’re in tears.

The film comes to an end. And you notice Alf, Gina and Partner are in the room. They say nothing, only smile at your tears. And then you know, it’s all worth it. Maybe in time, you’ll get to forgive and then like Chardonnay Flitter. And on reflection. no, not a hope in hell. ‘What are you smiling about Mum?’ ‘My worse enemy has just married my secret lover’ Is the reply: All shake their heads and smile that smile. The one reserved for you and you alone.

That’s love.

Ian Timothy

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