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How are you staying sane in 2020?

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How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Blackhawk »

The environment is at/past the point of no return.
There is a global pandemic that is mostly unmanaged in the US.
People are genuinely -and legitimately - fearing that America as a democratic republic has ended.
The economy has collapsed into its worst state since the Great Depression.
We're watching the police, standing alongside the US military, savagely attacking US citizens in the streets unprovoked and in violation of the law and the Constitution without consequence or remedy.
We are on the verge of near-warfare in the streets.
We have a sadistic psychopath leading the country, and a sizable portion of the populace is rallying behind them because it gives anger and hatred legitimacy.
We are watching friends and family turn against each other with overbearing hatred and spite, including our own.
Our best hope is an election that we can be confident won't be conducted fairly, and even the best-case scenario is a finger in a dike.

I honestly can't keep track of the catastrophes anymore. They're stacking up so fast that they're becoming a blur. And even though we can now see that this stuff has been building for years, decades, and in some cases, centuries, it's all 'happened' within the past couple of years. We can't respond to catastrophe C before catastrophe D strikes, and A just gets lost in the shuffle.

This isn't intended to be a discussion of those issues. They all have their own threads that are better suited. This isn't in R&P, as it is a thread about us, not the issues.

What I want to know is how people are dealing with it? How are you keeping your mind together, your stress under control?

Myself? I'm trying to stay busy. It isn't working, because I can't seem to concentrate on things anymore. The world keeps intruding on my thoughts. I'm having a beer every evening. That is probably 20x more drinking than I normally do.
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Hamlet3145 »

I'm planning my escape to Kuala Lumpur through the "Malaysia, My Second Home" program should Trump somehow still be in office on January 21, 2021.

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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by stessier »

I exercise. I get in my run every day. I have kids who are blissfully unaware of most of it, and so we spend time making puzzles or playing games. I allow myself a set amount of time to keep up with current events, beyond that I don't check the news. I try to understand what I can do to make things better and don't beat myself up because I don't have a solution for world peace. I try to act compassionately and ethically in my own life and teach my kids to do the same.

Are you familiar with John Green (author and youtuber)? He has mental health struggles that the current situation is not great for and he had a recent video about a gratitude journal that he has found extremely helpful.

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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by LawBeefaroni »

I'm just trying to get through each day. Getting back into the office has actually helped but couldn't do it today, after last night and the wreckage all over this morning I need to be here. But focusing on work, specifically numbers and projects, is very helpful.

Normally I'd have a beer or two at the bar to decompress a few days a week with a big night out a few times a month. Now I'm going through a case a week and a bottle of whisky over the weekend. It's cheaper though.

When it gets too much I just focus on the kids, teach them something new or try to engage in whatever they want to do that I normally wouldn't. Played Fortnite with the kiddo yesterday and had a blast. Got a "dancing lesson" from the lad. Not as much fun but everyone got to laugh at my expense.

Spending some time deep cleaning firearms and also trying to organize and liquidate a lot of the extraneous stuff around the house.
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

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Ive ate all the neighborhood children and have now had to expand my feeding grounds.
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by coopasonic »

This presumes I was sane to being with. I try to make time to educate and improve myself while also getting some work done... but mostly I play games. I'm pretty disconnected from everything that is happening, other than my wife working in a hospital but even that seems kind of distant as I don't really see it.
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by ImLawBoy »

Work and kids.

And beer.
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Blackhawk »

stessier wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:05 pm
I exercise. I get in my run every day.
I'm normally very careful about what I eat, avoiding many common sugars, red and cured meats, making sure I'm getting enough nutrients, keeping careful track of how many calories I eat, etc. When the store shelves were all stripped bare, though, I couldn't find the healthy stuff I normally at and had to substitute whatever crap was available. And since I wasn't paying attention to my eating, I let other things slip, too. I made it a year without missing a single workout due to excuses (I did miss a couple when I was legitimately sick.) When the food ran out and started eating crap, I skipped a few. Then a few more. Now it's been over a month since I've worked out. Between the food and the laziness I've noticed a difference. I don't feel 'good'. I don't have as much energy, and I'm not getting a damned thing done.

I know myself well enough to know that the stress is behind it, and I'm using that as an excuse to avoid getting back on the workout/eating well wagon. And I hate that.
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Lassr »

Hope. Things are bleak now but I have hope that things can begin to mend especially after the election.

Hope that the coronavirus just takes out the idiots. Hope that the racist, dirty side of America will go back into hiding after the election, we know they are there, just invisible and hopefully die that way.

So Hope is how I stay sane.
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Sudy »

I thought better of posting my reply that was basically a list of every gigantic challenge I'm facing right now, mostly not directly related to 2020, but many having worsened during this period. :?

I wouldn't say I'm staying sane, but I'm blessed for having had an uninterrupted income, and I know there are others who continue to struggle greatly. (Some from long before covid.)

Don't know of any helpful tips, but I'm thinking of trying the beer thing.
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by morlac »

Not staying sane. I think if anything 2020 has taught as that the status quo is no longer applicable so maybe a little insanity may be just what we need. Hell I don't know.


I have been:

Working some
Lot's of gardening
House projects!
Riding bike with the kid
Grilling out
Spending less on crap
Spending more on weed and beer...

Oddly gaming less than I ever have.

This last weekend has been especially difficult so I am retreating to the woods for 4 days this upcoming Saturday. Hammock, nature and some mushrooms sound about right. My wife is about 50/50 on me coming back :)

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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

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There's always tomorrow.
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Daehawk »

dbt1949 wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:01 pm
There's always tomorrow.
Fiddle dee dee

So if this stuff makes sane people insane does it make the insane into sane people?
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Kraken »

...and I found out this morning that my sister probably has ovarian cancer. We'll find out more in the coming days. She's the same age as my BIL was when he died last summer. Thanks, 2020...I've come to expect each new day to be worse than the last.

To answer the question, my life hasn't changed very much. I've been working at home for many years now and never socialized much. I long for some of the simple pleasures from the Before Time, such as draft beer, and I can't get used to having Wife home all the time, but those are small complaints. Mostly I just keep my head down and stick to my routines. I can't help whether the country eventually rights itself or finally crashes completely.

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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Blackhawk »

Kraken wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:31 pm
I can't help whether the country eventually rights itself or finally crashes completely.
I probably can't either. But I don't want to be sitting there in the wreckage, looking at my kids and grandkids, and say, "I did nothing."

I don't know what not-nothing is, and that's what really bothers me.
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Skinypupy »

Blackhawk wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:46 pm
I probably can't either. But I don't want to be sitting there in the wreckage, looking at my kids and grandkids, and say, "I did nothing."

I don't know what not-nothing is, and that's what really bothers me.
My feelings exactly. I'm frustrated. I'm angry. I feel helpless. I have no idea what to do to make a difference, but not doing anything is making the feeling worse.
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by stessier »

The problem is there is no quick fix. "Get involved in your community/politics and work to change things over the next 5/10/25 years" is a hard sell.
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Kraken »

Skinypupy wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:56 pm
Blackhawk wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:46 pm
I probably can't either. But I don't want to be sitting there in the wreckage, looking at my kids and grandkids, and say, "I did nothing."

I don't know what not-nothing is, and that's what really bothers me.
My feelings exactly. I'm frustrated. I'm angry. I feel helpless. I have no idea what to do to make a difference, but not doing anything is making the feeling worse.
You look back at previous historical inflection points and wonder how the people could stand by and do nothing, or fail to see what was happening. It's so obvious in hindsight. You understand your forebears better when you find yourself living in one, with no idea how it's going to end or how you can affect it. It unfolds a day at a time, and you struggle to absorb and understand each new development. This one might even be harder than previous turning points because we are inundated in information that we can't trust.

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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Skinypupy »

stessier wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:00 pm
The problem is there is no quick fix. "Get involved in your community/politics and work to change things over the next 5/10/25 years" is a hard sell.
Especially for us liberals living in uber-red areas.

I absolutely need to find a way to step up my community involvement game though. I can't keep being a hermit on the sidelines. A bit tough because so much of it around here is religion-based (which I want no part of), but I'll find something.
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Jeff V »

stessier wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:00 pm
The problem is there is no quick fix. "Get involved in your community/politics and work to change things over the next 5/10/25 years" is a hard sell.
I got time for that now. But I also have time now for looting, and that seems more immediately productive.

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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by stessier »

Skinypupy wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:12 pm
stessier wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:00 pm
The problem is there is no quick fix. "Get involved in your community/politics and work to change things over the next 5/10/25 years" is a hard sell.
Especially for us liberals living in uber-red areas.
I feel you. But it's also hard because it doesn't effect me day-to-day (so it's easy to brush aside over time) and getting involved in anything is hard for me. I'm not a joiner. Still, I've been looking and hope I can figure out something.
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Blackhawk »

It also doesn't help when your community doesn't present these kinds of problems directly. We have no laws affecting minorities differently, as we have nearly zero minorities. We have no industry affecting the environment. Most of the businesses in town closed up years before the virus, and we just don't have enough people for anything to be crowded to begin with - on a normal day you could probably do your grocery shopping and maintain 30 feet without any special measures.
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by ImLawBoy »

stessier wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:00 pm
The problem is there is no quick fix. "Get involved in your community/politics and work to change things over the next 5/10/25 years" is a hard sell.
But if you can accept that there is no quick fix, then you can move on to things you can actually do. They may not make an immediate impact on the situation, but they can do little things. I'm doing some pro bono work here and there. I'm actually the pro bono committee chair for AT&T's midwest region, so I have lots of opportunities, but I work with Equip for Equality (helping kids with special needs get the educations they're entitled to), the Center for Disability and Elder Law (we're having a virtual clinic this month to help seniors with powers of attorney), and the ABA on a program to provide free legal answers to specific questions posted by those who cannot afford legal representation (lots of COVID related employment and housing stuff these days). None of these efforts are going to fix racism or cure disease, but it's what I can do to help.

Obviously pro bono work isn't something everyone can do, but there are things you can do. If you live in an area where there's been looting, look on social media for community groups doing volunteer work to help clean up (I actually saw that my ward had so many volunteers that they don't need anyone else right now). See if there's any work you can do at a food pantry. The pandemic hasn't gone away, so if you're handy and have a sewing machine, make some masks. A lot of in person charity work is on hold for safety reasons, but there may be virtual options (the clinic I mentioned before was originally scheduled to be at a senior center, but was obviously made virtual).

Again, none of this is going to solve any of these problems. It's not going to hurt, though, and it will likely be of some benefit to someone - even if it's just giving you a sense of purpose.

(I'm done with this soapbox for now - anyone need it?)
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Blackhawk »

Venting, support, and inspiration. That was what I hoped this thread would evolve into.
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by morlac »

stessier wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:00 pm
The problem is there is no quick fix. "Get involved in your community/politics and work to change things over the next 5/10/25 years" is a hard sell.
Especially in our instant gratification society.

I hear you all, the helplessness leads to hopelessness.

Let's all have some faith. Not in the religious since but in Us.

Yesterday I tried to read one positive article/post/etc. for every horrible one. No easy task as the media (including the social kind) loves chaos and chaos sells. There are still good things happening out there don't be afraid to remind yourself.

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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by YellowKing »

Weirdly enough my escape from the stress has been to focus on a different stress. We are building a new home starting this summer, so I've been consumed since March in selling my old house, finding a rental, and moving into the rental. It's sort of the equivalent of bashing your thumb with a hammer to forget about the pain in your knee.

Joking aside, I think the reason that added stress has been helpful is that it has forced me to stay busy. Between work, moving, running a podcast, and hobbies, I don't really have time to dwell on the news. I certainly stay engaged, but I don't have time for it to consume me. Staying busy and constantly looking ahead to the next big life milestone keeps me from worrying too much about the day to day.

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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Torfish »

I agree these are trying times. The last few days my stress level has gone way up. I'm having trouble sleeping and getting frequent stress headaches. I'm tense. Taking walks, working in my yard, and thinking of the good things (space launch, my family, and having a job) helps. I try my best to stay informed but limit myself from the media. Media hypes everything, as we all know.

Edit.. Funny reading everyone's comments. I'm having a beer almost every night which I never do. I might have one beer a weekend.

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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

Steer clear of cable news and, if at all possible, social media polemic.

If you happen to reside near a town or city afflicted by all the nihilistic violence, look for opportunities to assist with local voluntary clean-up efforts, e.g.

‘This is our city!’ A volunteer army takes to downtown Sacramento with brooms and mops
SacBee.com wrote:On Saturday night, roaming bands laid waste to downtown Sacramento, smashing windows and looting stores. Early Sunday morning, another group began roaming the streets.

They were young Sacramentans in masks and gloves carrying brooms and mops, plastic garbage bags and cleaning materials. Call it the morning-after broom brigade – they were there to help fix their broken city.

Aref Aziz, 28, a midtown resident, was in attendance Saturday for what started as a protest in support of George Floyd, the black man who died after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. However, he left before the violence, and was horrified by the destruction he saw on the internet later that night. At sunrise, he grabbed a broom and went downtown, where he was surprised to find others like him.

“We just ran into each other,” said Aziz, 28. “So we grouped up just to make things a little bit better for everybody that lives here. We went up L Street and J and came down K Street. “

He was among a half-dozen who swooped into the 7-Eleven store at Eighth and J streets to help the still shell-shocked franchise owners clean up the mess after dozens of looters stormed through the night before, overturning what they didn’t steal.

By 9 a.m., downtown streets were alive with all manner of clean-up workers. The Downtown Sacramento Partnership had its crews out. The city contracted with workers to screw plywood sheets to broken doors. Ramsey Nijem, owner of Base Camp Climb studio on Eighth Street, was washing the big red “ACAB” lettering from his window, an acronym for the phrase “all cops are bastards.”

But the most notable group of all were the dozens and perhaps many more Sacramentans like Aziz, who figured their city and store owners needed an assist.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg ran into several dozen of them as he toured the damage. He said meeting them was the most heartening thing he has experienced during a tough weekend and proof of this contention that the city will make a comeback.

Ian Anker, 38, drove down from Roseville to clean up and was scrubbing the courthouse flagpole, which someone had sprayed with “F--- the 12.”

“I just love this city and it’s a tragedy what’s really going on down here,” Anker said as he rubbed the pole with acetone that was eating through his disposable glove. “We’re just trying to be part of the community, pray over people who need prayer and build the city from what other people are destroying.”

Carl Watson, a longtime Sacramento resident, showed up early with a broom as well.

“This is our city,” he said. “I love this city. We are out here to do our part taking care of the city.”
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Lassr »


Skinypupy wrote:
Especially for us liberals living in uber-red areas.
.
I know that feeling all to well!

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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Unagi »

crap.

were we trying to stay sane? I've embraced a little rage.

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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Kelric »

Alcohol.

Not joking.

Beyond that, my wife's best friend, who is a preschool teacher, moved in back in March so she wouldn't have to quarantine by herself since she saw at least a month or two of this coming. Three months later she is still here and will be through the end of June at least. She has been teaching the children every day which leaves me free to work unimpeded as my entire company is work from home until Labor Day. That let my wife be alternately very productive and very depressed as she had no childcare to worry about during most of the day, but it also let her finish her master's degree and somehow get a state job as a statistician during this chaos. Having that third adult who is very organized has been a god send.

Both my wife and our friend like to cook and both stress cook, so between that and the booze I've put on about 15 pounds in three months. Each morning I wake up just in time to get hit the bathroom, get coffee, and log on to my work systems. Then I work for 8 hours with the odd break and a walk outside for 20 minutes with the kids. After that I spend about 3 hours trying to stay sane while dealing with two women and two girls (4 and 2 YOs). After the kids go to bed around 7:30ish I usually wind up drinking beer until I go to sleep around 11.

Rinse. Wash. Repeat. Don't actually wash because I only shower like twice a week right now. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Daehawk »

Two women were most boys dreams when young. Then you grow up and find out what life is really like.
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by dbt1949 »

What's that?
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Daehawk »

dbt1949 wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:01 pm
What's that?
It's a big place where sick people go. But thats not important right now.
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Madmarcus »

School ended for the year on Friday. No teaching until August. My normal summer is staying inside avoiding the heat with books, games, and cooking. I'll still do that but I've also gotten together a group of four of us to go on hikes around Seoul. It is a great city for walking and a weekly get together with 3-4 hours of hilly walking, some beers, and generally solving the world's problems is good. I've found a place to get back into futzing around with my hobby CNC stuff so hopefully I'll do more of that (it was on hold because I didn't want to fill the apartment with dust)

Sometimes I feel like I'm already too sane. Like I should be more insane seeing what's happening. Mostly I try to live a good (I mean moral and ethical but also pleasant for me) day to day life here. I'm half way around the world from the US. I can't reasonably do anything directly about the coronavirus, the economy, the divisions in the US, or the environment. Which means I'm part of the problem I suppose.

Madmarcus
Posts: 2614
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:18 am

Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Madmarcus »

Hamlet3145 wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:57 am
I'm planning my escape to Kuala Lumpur through the "Malaysia, My Second Home" program should Trump somehow still be in office on January 21, 2021.
I'd say go for it even though this summer is making me a little conflicted. I thought that I'd want to do something like the Malaysia program when I got tired of working here but seeing the unrest in the US over the past week has been tough. I don't like what the US has become but as a friend pointed out sometimes it is nice to be around your people even if they are daft.

Of course the flip side is that my planned 2022 retirement might not work out and depending on what happens I might be really glad to have a decent job here in Seoul that I could extend until at least 2024 without any really issues.

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em2nought
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 5:48 am

Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by em2nought »

I've been dealing with it by going out with my huge community of right wing nazis causing mayhem, and then we spray paint
Antifa
on everything so they're blamed instead of us. Sometimes we sing and stomp our jack boots to the music! All hail Robert Shaw! :mrgreen:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JDkdc246QQ

OMG I've given you the evidence, I expect to see something about this on CNN tomorrow! :tjg:
Last edited by em2nought on Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Waiting for the tide to bring me a sail.

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gbasden
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Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by gbasden »

I'm really not. I'm struggling badly with depression and dealing with work is difficult. This is something new and novel, so I don't really have any good coping mechanisms. I haven't gone to alcohol, although it's tempting.

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Paingod
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Re: How are you staying sane in 2020?

Post by Paingod »

I don't know that I am.

Just before the pandemic got rolling I started taking antidepressants, which have fully kicked in. If moods range from +10 (euphoric) to -10 (suicidal), for as long as I could remember I was usually drifting in the negatives. 0 was my standard, but it was very easy to slide to -2 to -4 and stay there for hours or days. My emotional curves rarely peaked above zero and typically only went as high as +1 or +2 - and only very briefly. Being on antidepressants have flattened the curve for me and shifted it up. Now I'm usually a +1 and while I can slip down to -1 or -2, I only do so when something's actually wrong. It's easier for me to get to +2 or +3 (though I don't really go beyond +4).

Being in Maine, the issues of Climate Change feel like distant news stories still; we'll survive oceans rising fairly well and can handle an increase in heat. This is still my absolute number one concern, though and I try daily to do what little I can - fewer trips, staying vegetarian, recycling, energy efficient bulbs and appliances - but we can't afford to do more like getting an electric car, solar panels, or refitting our home heating to geothermal. It makes me sad to think that so many people could do more little things but find it just too inconvenient. The thought of so many difference species going extinct so quickly because of humans is soul-crushing. I doubt even our best efforts can kill the planet entirely, though. We may kill ourselves, but life will continue here. Maybe somewhere in the next 3 billion years the next intelligent species that gets the planet can do it right.

Between my wife and I, we're not feeling the pinch of the economy (yet). I work for a medical practice and she works in insurance. These seem like they may be the last two industries to go under; everyone needs doctors and insurance until society completely collapses. We're still being frugal and packing away everything we can, though. We've recently eliminated all of our debt except the mortgage and have shifted everything to mutual funds (neither of us is overly interested in the stock market) or other long-term investments. Our only big expense aside from our home is buying food; with the pandemic we're not even eating out anymore and don't need to pay for after-school care for the kids each week for a day or two. We're saving a lot by default.

On the pandemic front, Maine is one of the least infected states (though I expect it to change with tourists and the idiocy I've been seeing here). Personally, neither my wife or I really has a social circle - so we're basically isolated from COVID-19 by default. We do our grocery shopping with caution, wear gloves at the gas station (which I take off properly now). We stopped visiting with my mother and sister months ago.

I'm not going to get into R&P debates and details but will plainly state that the political climate in the US has me consumed with rage and hate every day and I don't like that at all. I've never in my life experienced such disgust for so many people as I have now for the leader of our nation and those who willingly endorse him. I don't need to be spoon-fed liberal media to see that what he's doing is horrific; all I need to do is read his Twitter feed and watch his speeches to believe he's a vile human being.

So I'm surviving 2020 by being insulated, isolated, and medicated. I'm trying to find little snippets of joy where I can, but it does feel like the world is just going to hell in a handbasket. I worry for my kids and we're doing the best we can to prepare them for independence.
More than ever, now is the time to stand by the causes you believe in; donate and support to keep America great.
Reproductive Rights, Environmental Defense, Civil Liberties, LGBTQ Awareness, Immigration Rights
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