notquiteold

Nancy Roman

The Limit

Yesterday, I warned the dogs: “I am at my limit.”

This warning was at a decibel level that surprised even me. I don’t think I have been that screechy-loud since the day about sixty years ago, when the gang playing Red Rover thought it would be funny to just let go when I ran full-tilt into their linked arms. They were standing in front of a brick wall.

The dogs slunk away. Theo went to lay by the door in wait of his other parent, who may only be seven-eighths at his limit. Henry went in his crate, pushed aside his nice fluffy pillow-bed, and crawled under the pillow-bed.

Which makes it pretty self-evident which of the dogs made the burglar alarms go off in all the synapses of my brain.

Of course, it wasn’t Henry alone who got me to that state.

I feel kind of sorry (afterwards of course) for anyone – human or animal – who is unlucky enough to display his stupidity at precisely the moment that someone is ready to explode. That poor “final straw” may had only been mildly annoying if the circumstances were only better.

But there it an accumulation of annoyances, and the poor fellow who is the last annoyance gets the wrath would have been more appropriately divided equally among:

  • mosquitoes
  • the calorie content of peanut butter
  • reading the wrong use of ‘it’s’ and ‘its’ and ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ in the same hour
  • the stain on my new shirt
  • the abrupt ending of the lane I thought was the exit ramp
  • the bill I was sure I had paid that I found under the bananas
  • and of course, Politics.

Yes, the state of the country is bad for my dogs.

The hatred, the corruption, and even the basic lack of civility has raised my stress level to a constant red alert.

I feel like everything I have believed in, all the progress I have witnessed in human rights and equal justice, the sacred protection of our environment – all this is being dismantled.

I have always had difficulty comprehending how – throughout history – people who live in repressive regimes or under dire physical and economic conditions managed to continue to raise their families, smile at the small joys – or even find those small joys.

And yet they did and still do.

I am an optimist at heart. I do not believe that state of the world today is as dire as in other times in the course of our civilization. Yet I see the real threat to happiness is the same: that circumstances around us add a tension that is is cumulative. We may fail to see the small joys through the mire.

And the mire gets mir-ier. Just as it suppresses the light of joy, it darkens the small annoyances. They grow heavy in the mire. They add up. And some little thing becomes the last straw.

And although it is a little shallow of me, I also feel the stress of trying to stay out of the fray. I will admit that I worry that saying anything about this Administration and its policies will offend those who do not agree with me. I have so few followers on this blog and on Twitter. I worry that I can’t afford to alienate anyone. I want people to read my novels. I look at Steven King – who can criticize the Administration, and anger tons of people – and he has still has millions of people who do support him. And he has the serenity (in the mire) of knowing that he speaks out when he sees something wrong.

Well, I am at my limit.

I no longer see it as a benefit to stay apolitcal. It no longer feels safe to play it safe.

I want the small joys to lighten my load. And I am failing at that, because the political situation and my silence weighs too much. Pretending everything is fine does not work in the long run. I don’t need to take to the streets or try to convince anyone of my own beliefs. I just have to stop hiding them.

Perhaps if I just admit that I am mad, I won’t be so mad at the wrong things.

So let me admit it.

I am at my limit.

I am angry. Angry about child separation and the horrible emotional and physical treatment of refugees. Angry about the rollback of environmental protections that are desperately needed. Angry about danger and mistrust that results when treaties are abandoned. Angry about racism. Angry about the demonizing of Islam. Angry about attacks on the press. Angry about the preference for dictators over our own democratic institutions and agencies. Angry about the misogyny. Angry about the lies. Angry about the name-calling and the meanness.

I am angry at Donald Trump.

Maybe by saying so out loud, my dog can come out from under his bed.

32 Comments

  1. Kim

    I feel the same. I understand. So if nothing else I hope it helps somehow to know you’re not the only one. Add to my frustration the fact that I am Canadian and I can’t even express myself with a vote. I watch this infection slowly creeping northward and watching people close to me falling into the same trap of divisiveness as our neighbours to the south. I’m scared. I’m sad. I’m frustrated. I’m appalled. And Mingxi hides in her crate sometimes too. You’re not alone. ~K

    Like

  2. Don’t worry about followers. You want followers who ‘get’ you. ANd start writing a novel about people beign kind to each other. Or publish the sayings of Theo…He’s pretty smart. 🙂

    Like

  3. Mary

    I follow you because of your honesty, compassion and integrity.
    Keep speaking your truth.

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  4. Nancy, I could have written what you wrote. I feel exactly the same. Here in Australia, we’ve just re-elected a mean spirited, greedy and uncaring government for another three years. I was disappointed that they were re-elected three years ago, this time I’m shocked, horrified and angry at those of my fellow country people who either believed their lies or thought that 100 jobs in a coal mine are more important than the environment and being kind to people. We’re slightly better off than you because we don’t have a leader who acts like a two-year-old in public but not much.
    I try not to write too much about politics in my blog because I share it with my sister and our opinions differ on some points. I don’t want the blog, which is my escape from bad things, to become full of ranting. I do rant on my Facebook page and after the election warned friends I would be posting a lot more political stuff and that if they wanted to unfriend me I would understand. I don’t know if anyone did.
    I think that is not good for us to bottle up these feelings. We don’t have to be rude to others who disagree but if the government is wrong you have to call them out on it because if nobody does we just get more of the same. If I get in a discussion with someone I try to stick to the facts as I understand them to explain why I disagree.
    I never used to be this angry. I was always an optimist but sometimes it’s hard to stay that way.
    My pets get yelled at too on days like that. Luckily they still love me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. RavenEyz

    Nancy, I follow you for your honesty, compassion and just you being you. Thank you for this. I feel like we are all sitting on a powder keg right now. I limit my exposure as much as possible because it’s getting to be too much to handle on a daily basis. You once again have put into words what I have been wanting to scream from the rooftops. Just keep being you. And thank you again for your voice. Still following with love.
    RavenEyz

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  6. We all get pushed to borders and beyond, and as you say, it will be something really simple/silly that tips you over the edge. Just as I thought things were settling down with both Hubby and the dog, she was sick this morning. Luckily not indoors, and when I checked the garden, the second deposit of the day was almost non-pickupable, so whatever has upset her digestive system is affecting both ends. Great. Add to that I’ve got a headache, the first for MONTHS, and it’s weigh in tonight. All I’ll need for me to blow is another ‘maintain’ rather than loss when I have been so damn good on the diet this week!!!!
    BTW, good filing system for bills, under the bananas. I like that.

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  7. sclaire53

    Please do not take out your frustrations on your animals. They get scared and don’t understand why this is happening. Think they forget? Not so, every time they hear a raised voice now they will flinch.

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  8. Shortly after the election I had a medical situation. Many tests later, the doc said it was stress. I had a bad premonition about everything and much is happening. Reverting back to the laws of the 50s does not make us great. It makes us stupid. I get angry that people (people I know and care about) buy into the lies (which have been documented). This is a very unusual time in our history. As a child of the 60s I didn’t think I would see such regression. As the grandchild of an immigrant, I’m very sad. I sure hope they didn’t treat my grandparents the way immigrants are treated today. I have disconnected with a lot of the news. I find it bad for my health. It’s not sticking my head in the sand as I do whatever I can but there isn’t much. I can only hope this is a pendulum and we will swing back to the center. Good post.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Kathy Zurcher

    I love all you write and all you do. I thank you for expressing exactly how I am feeling. I am furious. Please continue to speak out. We will find new followers for you if any drop out. 💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Julia Demanett

    As a retired clinical social worker and special education administrator, it makes me “crazy” what is happening in our country. Our societal norms are continually under attack or at risk of being permanently dismantled by the commander in chief.
    In my retirement I am active in politics and volunteer with phone banking and door knocking for our country’s future. Obviously Twitter can be insightful but brutal in the political arena. I always try to start my twitter day on a positive note by going to your account first. That way at least I’ve smiled once on this crazy media site. Keep doing what you do so beautifully Nancy. ✌️&❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The best thing I have found I can do is work small and work local. I am a huge fan of Together Rising and donate whenever I can. They do amazing work in so many areas of need. I also realized we are constantly manipulated by the political machine and the best thing we can do is not fall prey to it. Self care is critical. And for me, so is turning off the news and social media. Then work diligently where it makes a difference. Be gentle on you — and your dogs.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Keep speaking out. There is strength in numbers. We must take risks and stand our ground. This administration, the lies and the hatred must be stopped.

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  13. Cathy

    I heartily agree with you! It’s been so hard to try to find some kind of balance. I want to stay informed but get angry at what’s happening on a daily basis. I can’t watch Trump or hear his voice without wanting to tear my hair out. As a result I’m working on practicing mindfulness, deep breathing and deliberate kindness. Also putting my money where my mouth is by donating like never before.

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  14. Laurie

    This is an awesome piece. Poor Henry. He will forgive you. Just explain to him all the political stuff going on.

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  15. Lee

    You are not wrong! Things in the country are going horribly. I am NOT an optimist and I’ve been in a funk ever since 2016. I never understand why some people are so blithely cruel to others, and that’s being CODIFIED now!!! Often I need to step away from the news because I’m so sad and angry and frightened, but the thoughtful things you post are part of my emotional-support system. It may seem like a small thing, but it’s important to me.

    If speaking your truth causes some to Unfollow then they are not very nice people anyway. The kind, loving people will keep finding you. I am very sure of that.

    I grew up in a household full of pets, so I remember what it’s like to have a slew of them jockeying for position with humans and each other. They’re basically small children who never grow up. They can be a huge trigger and some days losing it is inevitable. But they’re also a great source of love, companionship and comfort, which you know, and is why they live with you. They’ll be there for you, just as you know you’ll be there for them when you feel calmer. Here’s hoping you’re already feeling at least somewhat better.

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  16. I nearly had the same kind of “that’s the limit” moment today, and the dog wasn’t even involved. We’ve had so much rain the pool is green and I can’t get the filtration system restarted–waiting for the pool guy to call me back (First-World problem, I know). BUT my husband has Parkinson’s and had an almost-fall this morning. THEN I hurt my back while stupidly bending down for the stupid trash of all stupid things so now I’m all bent over in pain. AND we’re raising our 12-year-old granddaughter, AND we’re all leaving for a trip in two days, for which I will do ALL the arranging, getting us to the airport, driving the rental car etc.–the Parkinson’s, you know (AGAIN, first-world problem). So, Nancy, be kind to those dogs. Pet them, snuggle with them, go for long, tiring walks. I totally share your political and social views but you have it damned easy. END OF RANT, thank you for listening. (As my granddaughter would say, after being mean to me, “I love you!”

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  17. cj

    You’re not alone in the slightest. I just hope there are enough of us out there who are willing and able to vote this terrible person out of the presidency.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. lydiaschoch

    I love this post. Like CJ said, you’re not alone. I (and many other people) are right there with you.

    Like

  19. diane

    It was very daring to put your views out there, I think I will too,

    Trump 2020

    Like

    • Lisa

      TRUMP 2020!! KAG!

      Like

  20. I struggle with this too. I have always said you don’t have to like the President but you have to respect the office. I said that a lot when Obama was in (though I liked him many of my more conservative friends did not.) When this president won I felt, at the beginning, that I would live by the same rule. But he has made it impossible to respect any aspect of his presidency. Now I am out of the country for a few weeks and I find it oh so much more peaceful to be hear, not turning on a TV, not hearing arguments for or against him (most people I’ve run into in Norway don’t like him.) It’s so nice to be away from the circus that is our government.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Pam

    I’m going to be daring, too. ANYBODY ELSE 2020!

    I already knew where you stood politically by reading your posts. I’ve often wondered how you could be so happy and upbeat in spite of politics, how you could remain above it all. I thought you were just avoiding the news. I have lost sleep over politics since before the last election, first time ever. As a matter of fact, I like to come here to see what you’ve posted because it always cheers me up after watching the political news of the day. And I have been worried because you haven’t posted in a long time. Glad to see a new post. It still cheered me up hearing you speak out politically. Glad to be on the right side of history with you!

    Dogs are forgiving. That’s why we love them. You are THE BEST doggie mom.

    Like

  22. Molly McVay

    I’m crazy about your blog and books. Rant whenever you need to. I second your emotions. Life feels scary often now and I don’t know when this will stop. Keep writing this because it helps and if you lose some followers so be it. Know you are loved for your many kindnesses and insight.

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  23. I’ve been a moderate my entire life, and identified myself as Republican. That was then. I started getting really turned off when the Tea Party started getting so loud. I did NOT vote for the current administration, and I never will. If he could turn the White House into a ‘reality’ show I think he would…heck Kim and Kanye are regular guest stars. If he could turn his family into a dynasty he would. I live in an EXTREMELY red area of the country. Talk about depressing. I just deactivated my Nextdoor account, because I couldn’t stand reading what my neighbors push. I hope it makes you feel a little bit better to know that some of us are leaning to the left these days.

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  24. Being at one’s limit is not good but it happens to all of us at some point

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  25. Jacq

    I am sorry you are at your limit but very glad you now feel able to be open with your views. You are entitled to them and have expressed them well. Even if someone disagrees with you politically you have given them no reason to take offence – it is imperative that we all have reasonable dialogue otherwise we’re in a social media bubble that only reflects back our views. This distortion and lack of balance of information is, I’m sure, a huge contributory factor to the mess we’re in. I’m living in the UK, our politics is frankly depressing, I feel ashamed and I neither voted for Brexit or for this current shambles of a Government. I’ve basically been absent from social media since the Referendum as it was vitriolic. I was a government worker, it actually made me ill, along with colleagues around me. If the general public understood the truth, rather than the spin and lies, I hope (really hope because I no longer feel sure) outcomes would be different. Please don’t bottle things up, eloquent, reasoned voices are needed. Big hugs to you and your dogs xx

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  26. Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen…..could have written all of it….exact words even! The US has it’s head in the sand and I”m mad people are standing up to do the right thing! SO MAD! Heaven help us all……

    Like

  27. Hey there…is there anyone can be a good friend of mine

    Like

  28. It is angrifying! Trumps are multiplying throughout the world like mould.

    Like

  29. Magbanua Catherine

    Nice post!

    Hi im Catherine Magbanua
    http://bestinformaticsstudents.com/all-about-catherine-magbanua/
    thanks

    Like

  30. kathie

    Thank you. I don’t understand our country these days (or some of the people who live in it), so it’s comforting to know that others feel the same way.

    Like

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