Renata,

I like your material, but would suggest this one thing. Kindly, your “we” includes all of us, but does not speak for all of us. There is a real danger in overly-sweeping language. I am not particularly anxious, nor does much of what you describe in any way speak to my state of mind, way of life or how I’m dealing right now.

I understand what you’re saying, but in the interest of both good writing and good journalism, and I’m a prize-winner in both categories, I might ask that you be somewhat more mindful of including “EVERYBODY” in your statements. It would be fair to say that a good number of folks are not engaging in social media madness, nor TV reports (mine is packed away) nor do I much give a flying poop what the governments are doing. That’s pure mental hygiene. I check the only trusted news source I have: NPR. Keep up with what directly affects me locally. Beyond that, because I can’t do much more than support my neighbors’ needs, keep my face out of the public and be responsible, the rest is all pure noise. I do NOT overload my friends’ Twitter feeds with anxious inquiries. I periodically call with something absurd, we laugh our butts off, then go back to working on projects. I know we are not alone in this. There are plenty of folks in my immediate circle who take things seriously, but they also are not hyperventilating. Because that does no good to anyone, especially if we hyperventilate online and infect other folks with our anxiety.

I do not suffer the need for instant gratification. I can wait. I can wait for a great many things. A lot of international travel teaches you immense patience. What drives a New Yorker nuts over a five-minute-late train is a joke. I have waited days to get out of a place. You simply sit that part of you down and shut it the fuck UP. It’s a skill set, a muscle like any other. Of course it’s hard. For my part, that’s precisely what I like about it. It IS hard.Therefore if I can learn that skill, my god how useful in other situations.

I get what you’re saying. And I would ask that you look at how you put things, which tends to fall in the category of EVERYBODY is wondering about…..or EVERYONE IS GOING CRAZY ABOUT….I see that on the Internet. It begs the question: who for chrissakes is “everybody?”

No. Everybody isn’t, Renata. Plenty of people do not suck at the firehose and then turn that firehose onto other people to cascade their anxiety. I’m writing an article about that right now, about how to calm the mind, negotiate better terms with our fears. To my mind, causing more discomfort is terribly irresponsible. Horribly anxiety-producing. Not at all helpful. That’s a general statement, not directed at you.

What an extraordinary opportunity to not grab the marshmallow. Just sit with it. There is immense power in this. Pain, yes. That too. But greater power in learning to be right where we are, right now.

It is a sad thing that I am having to un-follow writer after writer after writer, whose work I normally respect, for these very reasons. I have had to curate those materials that are sane, sober, factual. Opinion pieces, while it is the sacred right for all of us to have one, are increasingly overstated, overblown, and they have the awful, uber-intense echo of Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones but at the other end of the spectrum. Again, general statement.

I cannot speak for you. And conversely, you do not speak for me. I am producing a series of calm, thoughtful articles based on years of experience helping people manage change. That has all been very well received by exhausted people looking for solutions. It strikes me that our greatest gift is not to further terrorize anyone, sow more doubt and create more fear. But that’s just me.

To that, were I you, and I’m not, I might have written that “many of us”…as opposed to “we,” or “everyone.” You’d be right. Many people are behaving badly, doing foolish things and making things much, much worse. Let’s not join that crowd. Just a respectful invitation from someone who is genuinely comfortable, quiet, remarkably calm, and increasingly careful about what comes in the door, both through the mail slot and on my computer. I wish you safety and calm.

Written by

Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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