Apologies for my absence

Apologies for my absence
Apologies for my absence

I am feeling a little scared and a whole lot worried, so I may have to vent today. This is not a cry for help or anything of that nature, I am just releasing some scary thoughts and feelings of the moment.

Sidenote: Did anybody watch that crazy American show on Netflix: The Tigerking? What a crazy, scarcely credible, slightly depressing, but had to watch to the very end kind of show that was. Are those people serious??? Anyway, that is what N0.6 of my post (above) alludes to today. For those that haven’t indulged in the utter ridiculousness of it, Carole Baskin is a supposedly ‘real’ character in the show.

You may have noticed (or not), that I have been MIA recently.

I admit I have been ‘teetering’ (like many), in this new and surreal environment: our new normal as the Media and Government like to impress upon us. I have been struggling (again, like most) with anxiety and totally uninspired to ‘put pen to paper’ or ‘fingers to the keyboard’ to write about anything at all… or put up any new posts. I keep reiterating to myself and my friends that it’s normal for us to be anxious in a time that we have never experienced before.

Nella, Sarah and I have, or should I say – had, all these plans for great over 50’s blog posts covering fashion and beauty, nutrition, health and wellness for Midlife Women and I just feel like they are so…. frivolous, unnecessary, irrelevant and almost inappropriate at this time. It all feels so wrong.

In my ‘Day Job’ as I like to call it, I am a Dental Therapist who looks after children’s (aged 0-18) oral health. (I am a clinician; examining, doing fillings where needed, pulling teeth as required, educating etc… I love interacting with the kids and parents, I genuinely enjoy ‘people’. I adore my ‘work-family’. Many of us have worked together for over 25 years and I miss them terribly.) I work for Queensland Health and we have been shut down as we are not an essential service at the moment. We are just seeing emergencies, but not in my clinic. So I will be re-deployed. I don’t have a choice as to where I go or what I will be doing, I am very nervous about being sent potentially to the frontline (one of the hospitals) or a government department that deals with the public. Don’t get me wrong, it is a privilege to help out where needed and I am happy to do so and not sit at home for 6 months or more. But at least in my clinic, I knew I had the security of thorough infection control measures to fall back on. I had personal protective equipment, masks, gloves, sanitiser etc… Will I have that where I am going? I may end up at Centrelink liaising with the public without the PPE. The unknown is unfamiliar and scary.

At home, we are in constant contact with elderly parents (my wonderful in-laws), one of whom sadly is nearing the end of life and is bedridden (God bless his beautiful soul), while the other (amazing woman) is in and out of the hospital or Doctors with hypertension at the moment. Worrying.

My own beautiful Mum resides in a nursing home with dementia. They are in a complete lockdown and while I don’t think she would be missing me (I am the only person she actually recognises now), I don’t know how she is coping really in her head and I worry about and am missing her tremendously. Will she know me at all when we are finally allowed to visit again, or will I have ‘lost’ her forever?

My youngest is in his last year of school and I am very aware that he is grappling with his own restlessness and apprehension about what this year means for him. Will he graduate? Will they have to extend the year? Will he be able to keep up with and be motivated to complete online study, lessons and assignments? Will he be able to socialise at all this year with mates that he is so desperately missing and may never see again? Will he have a formal or celebrate any right of passage? Have an 18th?

My middle-aged boy turns 21 this month. No 21st? He is also in his last year of University and meant to be ‘on placement’ somewhere in New South Wales at present. Not happening. He is also concerned whether he will be able to graduate.

Our Eldest rents an apartment with a friend down the Coast and is at University there. He, like many, has been laid off and has bills to pay: rent, food, living expenses etc… and has had to line up with the hoards at Centrelink to register for something, anything. It’s a worrying time.

I am mostly a very upbeat, glass half full kind of gal, but recently the positive mental mindset has surrendered itself to self-doubt, uneasy and unsettling emotions and thoughts seem to be more the norm. I don’t like feeling this way at all. It’s unfamiliar, alarming and depressing.

I blog because I love writing and connecting with other women, I love learning and teaching new skills, sharing what I know and what I think might be of interest to other women like myself, but my enthusiasm is waning at present. I am scared for us all, worried for my friends and family and for the vulnerable and those who will perish without anyone by their sides to hold their hands…


Me after isolation
Me: after isolation

12 thoughts on “Apologies for my absence”

  1. Whether you write to rant and relieve the stress (one of my uses of writing) or you go silent because you cannot find the energy…. do what is right for you! The blog world will be there either way – to listen to the rant or to wait for your return. I’ve read repeatedly that we need to practice self-compassion more these days than ever. My life isn’t impacted that greatly – with retirement we’ve learned to have many days happily “at home”. Maybe not 26 in a row (yeah, I’m keeping count), but I personally am not having to balance working from home, home schooling, and dealing with an aged parent who I cannot visit…. which is the challenge one good friend is facing. Even then, my anxiety flourishes as I hear about the loss of life and livelihood of others. Sending you a virtual hug…. hang in there. And we’ll be here to listen…. now or in the future.

  2. I honestly think you would have to be weird to not feel down or worried sometimes at this time, no matter how positive you normally are. And the worries you share sound very real. Hope things work out for you. #MLSTL

  3. Hi, I found your post very close to home. I’m a nurse in Qld Health and I’ve seen such huge changes across the public and private sector that – is it any wonder we have a sense of anxiety. At the moment it feels like the calm before the storm – lets hope all the preparation we’re doing will lessen the impact of Covid-19 when the shit finally hits the fan. And it will. My family has been affected too, one son stood down for at least 2 months from his job and having to pay rent etc. My husband who works in the transport industry is busier than ever and my other son is flat out in his job too – retail but deemed an essential service.

    It’s hard not to feel a sense of anxiety, so be kind to yourself. We’re trained to cope with all situations as health care professionals but when we go home it’s usually totally exhausted from putting on a brave face while we deal with people who often are going through one of the worst days in their life. Take care, this storm will pass, regards, Christina

    1. Thank you Christina. Virtual hug to you! I know we are all feeling it and will for quite sometime I assume. I take my hat off to all you frontliners, you are doing an awesome job! XXXX

  4. Hi Shelley, I hear you! It’s a hard time in so many ways and by articulating your thoughts here it helps everyone – you as well. We are all impacted in some way and have worries don’t we? I have concerns for my MIL who lives alone, out of town and with no transport; my mother who lives alone but is more mobile; my daughters and their babies. Technology is helping us all stay in touch at the moment and blogging is a good way for me to escape some of that day to day worry. I feel for you and your family and wish you well. Take care #mlstl

    1. Thank you Debbie! I know we are all feeling it! It makes it so much more bearable to talk about it occasionally and receive so much support from our blogging community!

  5. Oh wow, I so felt all your struggles as I read this. That is a lot on your plate of worry. I have no answers but thank you for being a health care provider.

    I have spent a lot of time at Westmead (Sydney) oral sciences after having a mouth reconstruction in 2017. I am due for a check up in May but doubt I will be going because I am pretty sure they too will be closed.

    Take care of your mental and emotional health. I hope you get a chance to share with a professional over the phone if needed. We are all struggling in our own ways but some more than others.

    Denyse. #mlstl

    1. ThankYou so much Denyse! I will be fine! There are so many worse off and with more worries. I just felt a strong need to express them yesterday. It makes it so much easier to bear when you receive so much support back from you caring Ladies. Thank you again, I honestly appreciate everyone’s support and communication. You Ladies Rock!!

  6. Hi Shelley – this COVID-19 thing impacts us all so differently. I stopped working last year, my husband works from home part-time (his income has dropped but we’re doing okay), my adult kids are married and settled and working from home or from a safe school environment. My two grandgirls are both home with their parents. My Mum and MIL are nearby and self-isolating and quite content. All in all I feel quite calm and not at all unsettled by all of this.

    ……. However, I can see how it would be having a big impact on you in so many different areas. My theory when it comes to blogging is that it’s a hobby – there are millions of us out there all writing our little blogs and the world in general couldn’t care less if we stop/pause/continue – or whatever. So my advice would be to focus on what makes you happy, what you can control, and trusting the rest to God (or the govt). Write if it makes you happy, don’t write if it’s a burden. Be kind to yourself and I hope you find good things to balance out all the sucky stuff.

    BTW I was a dental therapist in a previous life – I stopped when HIV became a big “thing” because at that stage I’d swapped from school dental to private practice and it was just too risky with a young family. I’ve stayed in the dental and medical field but in reception – where it’s a lot less spitty, bloody, germy!

    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

    1. Isn’t it amazing! So many of us have so much in common! I too, blog as a hobby and agree wholeheartedly with yours and others comments. Thank you for your encouragement, it means so much, and thank you for creating such a wonderfully supportive community! Virtual hugs XX

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