Syrian air strikes and the washing up

I woke up feeling quite sad this morning. The radio comes on at 6.30am, and penetrates my sub-conscious for a good half an hour before I properly wake up. I listen to BBC Somerset so that it will be mainly nice stories about old men who have been making their own cider for 50 years and dogs who have rescued cats from small house fires, but this morning there was no getting away from Syria.

My dreams between 6.30am and 7am then followed a bizarre plot line – I was responsible for finding a new manager for Yeovil Town, who were actually a group of school girls all dressed in orange, at the same time as canvassing MPs for how they were going to vote today.

It was very stressful.

I’m sure it’s a terribly naive way of thinking, but it just feels wrong. It’s just not been the same since they sacked Gary Johnson. I’m kidding, I mean Syria of course. Perhaps there really is no alternative, but it feels to me a bit like blowing up a wasps nest because you don’t want to get stung. Surely you’re just going to make the wasps even madder?

And as if that wasn’t enough, then I went downstairs and looked at my kitchen.

washing up

You know those days where you’re thinking you can just about handle work, family, money and an international conflict, and then you see the washing up and it tips you over the edge? I think, like a lot of women my age, that I operate at about 93% of my full capacity at any point. It’s fine most of the time, because it means I get lots done and am generally very on top of things, but it also means that it only takes a few extra things, like feeling responsible for the future of a local football team and a glance at a huge basket of washing that needs putting away, and it flips a switch.

In these situations, a bit of a stock take is required to bring things swiftly back down beneath the critical level, and to stop the red light flashing. There are essentially two types of stresses – those that I can do something about, like putting the washing away rather than feeling obliged to sit next to Belle while she watches I’m a Celebrity, in case she feels neglected, and those that I can’t, like Syria. And Yeovil Town.

The difficulty of course, which I’m sure a lot of you will recognise, is that when all of the things are staring you in the face, it feels hard to know what’s what. A little perspective is normally all that I need; a brief trip into the future, to reassure myself that my tax return will get done and the washing does get put away.

And then go out, because everyone knows the dishes don’t count if you can’t see them.

Image – Paul Michael Hughes/shutterstock



  1. 2 December, 2015 / 12:02 pm

    I can totally relate to all of this. I feel the same. Good advice – I find going out (and actually speaking to people!) always helps to bring me back into some sort of level of calm.

    • Jo Middleton
      2 December, 2015 / 12:20 pm

      Yes, definitely. It’s easy to get caught up in a conversation in your head – having a real life conversation can help to stop that.

  2. 2 December, 2015 / 8:22 pm

    I like the title of this post and I feel much the same way. There’s nothing I can do and worrying about the situation won’t help anyone.

    Have a great evening. x

  3. 2 December, 2015 / 8:25 pm

    totally agree Jo, when I’m feeling like this I dro everything {well, not the baby!!} and get out of the house – makes a huge difference.

  4. 2 December, 2015 / 10:06 pm

    I’ve been feeling sick and powerless about Syria all day…and you’re so right, it does flip a switch doesn’t it? Feels like such a control thing x

  5. 3 December, 2015 / 12:08 pm

    Feel pretty crap about the whole Syria thing too. It’s easy for the big and little things to get on top of you isn’t it. I think I suffer from a combination of lazy apathy and low level anxiety about not getting everything done. The result is I feel mildly stressed nearly all the time. I definitely recommend going out when the house gets too much. This is why I spend half my life in coffee shops ;-) xx

  6. 3 December, 2015 / 12:34 pm

    I feel awful today after waking up with the news that we have already started bombing Syria, it’s all just awful and I feel genuinely scared about what is going to happen. I did get on and do the things I could do something abought though like tidying my house, it was an absolute state this morning, well it always is to be honest! x

  7. 3 December, 2015 / 12:47 pm

    This is me, too! Whenever I get tipped over the edge I generally just want to go back to bed, which doesn’t help anyone. It’s annoying that the world events affect us like this but sometimes I wonder if there’s any hope? Hopefully you managed to put Yeovil Town and Syria in a box and not worry too much xx

  8. Isabel O
    4 December, 2015 / 7:12 pm

    I went on The Guardian website today and saw a picture of a little girl who was just killed by Russian air strikes. I had to click off, I felt too sick and sad. God what a world we live in.

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