Worried and addled

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I am so worried and preoccupied about the nuclear reactors in Japan, and the people without homes and water and shelter. It's cold there, and I'm thinking about all the parents who are desperate to give their children something to drink and eat and to keep them warm while they figure out what next.

It's making it hard for me to concentrate on the things I need to do, and on helping anyone else.

Head down, shoulder to the wheel, push through.

Be strong for the kids.

What's up with you?


35 thoughts on “Worried and addled”

  1. I’ve been really worried and preoccupied by Japan too. Unreasonably so. I keep thinking about the 4 month old baby found alive three days after being ripped from her parents arms by the tsunami and then I think about DD (4 months next week) and then I start crying. And I can’t sleep at night because I keep running through all our emergency plans in my head. I think part of this is just generalized post-natal anxiety (with my son, I had extensive and unreasonable fear of dropping him down the stairwell). Ugh. Baby girl is sleeping like a dream and yet I am still up half the night…

  2. You can only look at the Japan situation and hold your breath, cross your fingers, pray, etc. And donate what you can to a relief fund.Over here, trying to transition a 15 month old to a single midday nap. The one nap is too short. It is hard to push her to a midday nap, but she wakes up at 5:30am. And no, that isn’t changeable. Tried that.
    I hate naps. I know I would love them if I could get them to work.

  3. I am really preoccupied with the Japan situation too. I feel really stressed about it. I don’t even want to blog at all. Thanks for sharing.

  4. The tsunami wave and the image of the baby being scanned for radiation are going to be seared on our collective retinas like 09/11’s images. Time will tell, but I do think so.The terrible plight of the survivors of the earthquake/tsunami is overshadowed by the nuclear drama. It sounds heartless but I do believe the Japanese are about the world’s best societies to deal with the aftermath of natural disasters. In that sense nothing exemplifies human vulnerability like what’s happened and is happening. Worried or not we onlookers are in my opinion helpless, but I don’t think the rescuers on the scene are. That’s what I hope as well as believe of course. We can give money, and I have.
    The nuclear drama is getting worse and worse and really we’re all expecting that mushroom cloud- which won’t happen. What will nobody knows. For sure that this will change views about nuclear power stations forever too.
    It’s a morbid fascination for anyone born during the cold war after Hiroshima and hard as it is, I do think it’s best to turn the news off most of the time. An elderly neighbour of mine told me that in WWII they had news at noon and at 9PM and that was it. Really we can only hope for the best.
    My DH travels a lot for work, and so do his colleagues. During an important meeting there was an important private phonecall to his boss, from the boss’s elderly mother. She’d rung to say that whatever he did not to let his employers send him to Japan.
    She was worried as a mother. I also feel for the parents.Motherhood has changed how I react to news of disasters for sure.
    “About suffering they were never wrong,
    The Old Masters; how well, they understood
    Its human position; how it takes place
    While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along; ”
    Wrote Auden. I’m walking dully along. Trying to keep my eyes off the news. And I am sticking doggedly to the normality of routine. That’s all no help.

  5. Count me in on the worrying. I have a freind in Tokyo that will be living this fear and worry for a long time to come.Nothing much here. My car got broken into and so I have been running around getting a police report for the insurance and photos of the damage. I tried a new route to work this week and that landed me with this and a couple of late arrivals at work. Think I’ll go back to the tried and true. It might be gruelling ( 3hours travel), but I never came back to a broken in vehicle.

  6. It’s been a terrible week for news. There are the tragedies in Japan, of course, but then closer to home, there was the horrifying tour bus accident in NY, and even more local for me, there have been reports of preschool-aged children dying for various reasons (escalator accident; parental murder; unknown, but not suspicious…). I haven’t been sleeping well and am feeling rather down. I’m trying not to look at the news, but I do work at a computer all day and it’s hard to break habits of perusing news sites now and then.In my own, selfish, relatively unproblematic life, we are just finishing up a huge kitchen remodel (we’ve been without a kitchen for 2 months), and I just registered my only son for Kindergarten. A lot of mixed emotions going on.

  7. I don’t have cable TV. I listen to music in the car. I get my news when and where I want it, and I really don’t need minute-by-minute updates about what people think might/could happen and what today’s death toll is or where the stock market decided to go on this news.The reactors have already melted down, the boron has been dropped, the spent fuel rods exposed to air, the prevailing wind currents are to disperse it over the Pacific. It’s not really in my nature to look on the bright side, but worrying is not going to change what happens (and believe me, I am a worrier).
    I think that maybe with our disaster drills at work and our constant morbid risk-assessment I am just somewhat immune to this kind of tragedy (at least insofar as I worry about it affecting me…I do feel terribly for my colleagues north of Tokyo who have lost all of their belongings but still have their lives).

  8. I’m not really thinking about what’s happening in Japan. I think I can’t really. I’m too pregnant and emotional. Also, I don’t really know how bad the effects of the nuclear reactor issues could be for anyone – I don’t really want to know because I don’t think it would help me to worry. It wouldn’t make any difference to anything except that I would get even less sleep.For us, we are very tired. My husband is working nights, the baby was sick last night so couldn’t go to nursery, so had to look after her during the day. She’s turning into a toddler rapidly and doing lots of screaming and also insisting on playing with things she knows she shouldn’t. I find it exhausting trying to work out what to do. We’re off on holiday to the in-laws at the weekend and that will hopefully be a nice break, once we’ve achieved the 9-hour drive to get there. After that I have three weeks or so at work before I start 6 weeks of annual leave followed by 9-12 months of maternity leave. I am really looking forward to getting onto my annual leave so we can start really preparing for the baby to arrive.

  9. Re: the Auden poem – that’s what is killing me right now. The fact that I’m making sandwiches in my warm little house while people across the Pacific have lost everything, and are struggling to survive and take care of their families. When others are suffering so much, I feel horribly guilty having a glass of wine, shopping for shoes, laughing with my husband, or watching Real Housewives (well, maybe I should feel guilty about that).Am also feeling extreme anxiety about a similar disaster hitting our city. A major earthquake/tsunami would liquify our waterfront and cause mass destruction and thousands of deaths. And it absolutely could happen, and will someday. Trying not to think about it too much – trying not to throw all my things in a moving van and high-tail it to Colorado or something.

  10. I’m staying away from the news. I am not in Japan, I can’t do anything to help (jobless), and I know how completely worn down I get when I do immerse myself in Disaster Story of the Month.This is not because I’m heartless. It’s because I feel it so much, like many of you. But I need to remind myself that global media shouldn’t mean that I am affected all the time by happenings everywhere else.
    We just got home from a town meeting. Keeping our little school open, getting easy loan money for those who want to make energy improvements and/or invest in sustainable energy sources, a national park in our area. These are things I can focus on.

  11. @Claudia- I love your idea of focusing on the things I can change. I am also a bit occupied by the disaster in the Pacific but I am trying to remember that I personally can’t change that situation- I can effect change here in my life. I can be a better (well, maybe not better but certainly more consistent and patient) mom, I can be a better colleague, I can make a real change in the lives of my students. If you beleive in the butterfly theory, then my acts of kindness eventually will be felt across the world. Somehow I am finding a renewed focus during this time. I am drawing strength from our Japanese neighbors and finding small ways to make my world better. I’d like to take the bet that no one in Japan wishes they picked their kids up later from daycare so they could fininsh one more thing at work. I’ll bet that they are all expressing love and gratitude toward their friends and family on these scary days. Hope you all find a little extra love in your lives today. I am so grateful for this moxie world- it has been a real source of comfort for me since becoming a parent four years ago.

  12. I can’t imagine disaster on this scale, just can’t get my head around it. I’m focusing on the tiny scraps of light, the baby miraculously found… and otherwise trying not to spend more time in front of the news than I should.Also, I live in a country that, while not seismically active, is highly dependent on nuclear power. I’m now not so sure how I feel about this. So I’m suddenly being more conscientious about turning out the lights, and I’m starting to think about how I might reduce our energy footprint. I suppose it is only by taking small steps like this that I can make the world safer for our children… maybe it’s all useless, but it’s the best I can do.

  13. My very dear friend is at Misawa Air Force Base in Japan. She just had a baby 2 weeks ago and her parents left the day before the earthquake hit. Her husband is deployed in the Middle East. She is ok, but I am thinking about her constantly. It is horrifying what she’s been through, but even more so to go through it with a newborn and when your husband is far, far away.

  14. I can’t even connect to the Japan situation, there’s too much going on in my little world. My sister keeps posting stuff on Facebook about the reactors and the crews, and I can’t stand it.There’s nothing I can do, and it adds to my ptsd issues, so I stay away. I’m stretched thin dealing with my child’s health & school issues, my health, when oh when will I feel able to work for pay, dysfunctional extended family issues…
    My husband and I went to a literary event last night and saw former colleagues of mine. I miss them, being part of that community and being part of the university where I worked pre-kid.
    trying to accept the things I cannot change, and have to courage to change the things I can.

  15. I’ve been following the Fukushima updates via the MIT dept. of nuclear science blog: http://mitnse.com/It’s much more level-headed and non fear-mongering than mainstream US media. I have friends in Tokyo as well as farther away in Osaka. Tokyo is actually back to business as usual, for the most part.
    I’m also working on a blog post series about disaster preparedness. I think it’s something that people shrug off – a lot like life insurance, an emergency savings lump, etc. – and I would like very much to inspire at least a little bit of thought towards an emergency kit and evac plan in people who have perhaps been apathetic about it so far. That would, I think, bring a lot of good out of the Japan tragedy.
    Putting my energy into that, instead of worrying, is what is helping me.
    Also? Season 1 of Drop Dead Diva. lol. What a fabulous little show! 😉

  16. It’s odd–I feel like Japan is all over the news, the images are unbelievable, the stories are incredible. Yet, people around me don’t seem to be talking about it.Although I know we’re all watching the news and we’re all moved by what we see, the subject has yet to come up when I’m with friends or family. Either we’ve got nothing left after Indonesia and Haiti, or else we’re stunned into silence that a place with money and structure and disaster preparedness can get hit. Because then anyone can.
    Other than that deep thought, I’ve got freelance going a good clip every night, and I’m holding out for the 18-month sleep PROgression–cause I’ve yet to have a full night’s sleep yet, so I’m hoping S hits the big 1-8 and suddenly turns into a great sleeper. That’s how it works, right?

  17. Exactly Tina! I feel like I’m the only person talking or posting about it. My heart is aching for everyone in Japan. I’m scared for them and for the food supply and I’m scared of the giant plume of radiation that will travel across the sea and be here in California by Friday. Risk is minimal but I can’t help but think if all of the reactors meltdown – what then? What about the beautiful island of Japan? Moxie, as you can tell… I can’t concentrate on anything else right now either.The only thing we’ve done is prepared our Earthquake kit and stock piled food and water in the garage.
    On a lighter note, my “little” is learning new words everyday. “Rock,” “book,” and “up” are the latest. I’m so in love with him 🙂

  18. I have been so completely overwhelmed with work that I haven’t been able to obsess about the tragedy in Japan or the turmoil in the Middle East. I listen to the news on my way in and out of work, but I barely had time to help plan my daughter’s birthday party, so no time to spend reading the stories about those things.My heart goes out to everyone. But maybe it’s a good thing that my mind is focused on how fast the search is returning and why pages are loading correctly…

  19. The situation in Japan is making me feel flattened, and like a greyer version of myself. I can’t stop thinking about the people living there. The news last night showed rescuers digging through rubble while the snow was falling. It was beautiful and terribly sad.

  20. I don’t watch the news and only read select articles online, so I’m not obsessing about Japan, but I do get that it’s horrible and catastrophic there.Something that was a really nice surprise was learning that I could donate to the Red Cross at my Wells Fargo ATM. I deposited a check, clicked donate, entered amount and printed the receipt right there. That was just so awesome to me. To read about the disaster at the ATM and be able to do a little something to help right then and there. Brilliant!

  21. I am in the same boat. I’m a current news junkie already, and having a hard time thinking about other things – worried about those in Japan, worried about longterm radiation effects and earthquakes there and here in the Pacific NW. Found myself urgently reading an update on the nuclear power plant last night while distractedly nursing my sweet 22 mo. Ugh. I think it’s time to set news intake limits for myself like I did after 9/11.Mamahood has definitely left me feeling more vulnerable and thin-skinned about horrible things that happen to children and families all over the world. It’s reassuring to hear others express the same feelings…
    Recently, while waiting for a staff meeting to start (before the earthquake), my coworker was talking about the body of an Ice Age boy that was found — he had been 3 years old when he died. Another coworker and I (both parents of littles) instinctively said “Awwwww…..” He’d been dead for thousands of years, but we still felt the pain!

  22. Marriage slowly dying, kid’s school is in such financial straits they may close April 1st, business is ok, but not robust enough to withstand major change, and can’t imagine dealing with sudden total loss of daytime childcare. I can’t even think about Japan. Just trying to put one foot in front of the other day after day in hopes of finding some bright spot. Some days, knowing my kid needs a mom is all that keeps me going.

  23. I live in New Zealand. Over three weeks ago a huge earthquake struck one of our biggest cities and at this stage 182 people are dead and a a huge part of this city has been ruined.Obviously, on scale, we are not having to deal with what Japan is dealing with and it is heartbreaking but our small country has been crushed emotionally – and we have been in mourning ever since. Its been really hard.
    My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in New Zealand, Japan and every other country that has been affected by such disasters.
    It DOES make you realise that life is short and you must live every day to the fullest. Life is for living. Do not sweat the small stuff. Tell the ones that you love that you DO love them.

  24. I am struck (and comforted) by the Auden poem. Thank you, Wilhelmina, and to other commenters who have said what I’ve been feeling this past week. A grayness. Eldest is in the bath. She stands up so I can wash her off. “We’re so lucky,” I say, soap suds running off her shoulders and the mirror is steaming. “To have clean water, and a warm house.” Tears come to my eyes. I kiss her bellybutton.

  25. Lots of free-floating agitas over Japan as well as being a state worker in a state with very bad budget problems. It just all feels very hard right now. I just want to sleep more, all the time. I suppose it’s a less destructive escape than other choices, but I do want to escape.

  26. I can’t imagine the situation of the people in Japan with such that kind of crises they have been encountered. Let’s help the people of Japan through helping hands. Praying hands will help, but helping hands will do.

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