Psychologist Naomi Holdt beautifully explained what's behind the overarching exhaustion people are feeling and it makes perfect sense.
We're about to wrap up year three of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's been a weird ride, to say the least. These years have been hard, frustrating, confusing and tragic, and yet we keep on keeping on.
Except the keeping on part isn't quite as simple as it sounds. Despite the fact that COVID-19 is still wreaking havoc, we've sort of collectively decided to move on, come what may. This year has been an experiment in normalcy, but one without a testable hypothesis or clear design. And it's taken a toll. So many people are feeling tired, exhausted, worn thin ("like butter scraped over too much bread," as Bilbo Baggins put it) these days.
Psychologist and speaker Naomi Holdt beautifully explained what's behind the overarching exhaustion people are feeling as we close out 2022, and it makes perfect sense.
In a post on Facebook, she wrote:
"A gentle reminder about why you are utterly exhausted…
No one I know began this year on a full tank. Given the vicious onslaught of the previous two years (let’s just call it what it was) most of us dragged ourselves across the finish line of 2021… frazzled, spent, running on aged adrenaline fumes…
We crawled into 2022 still carrying shock, trauma, grief, heaviness, disbelief… The memories of a surreal existence…
And then it began… The fastest hurricane year we could ever have imagined. Whether we have consciously processed it or not, this has been a year of more pressure, more stress, and a race to 'catch up' in all departments… Every. Single. One. Work, school, sports, relationships, life…
Though not intentionally aware, perhaps hopeful that the busier we are, the more readily we will forget… the more easily we will undo the emotional tangle… the more permanently we will wipe away the scarring wounds…
And attempts to re-create some semblance of 'normal' on steroids while disregarding that for almost two years our sympathetic nervous systems were on full alert, has left our collective mental health in tatters. Our children and teens are not exempt. The natural byproduct of fighting a hurricane is complete and utter exhaustion…
So before you begin questioning the absolutely depleted and wrung-dry state you are in- Pause. Breathe. Remind yourself of who you are and what you have endured. And then remind yourself of what you have overcome.
Despite it all, you’re still going. (Even on the days you stumble and find yourself face down in a pile of dirt).
Understanding brings compassion… Most of the world’s citizens are in need of a little extra TLC at the moment. Most are donning invisible 'Handle with care' posters around their necks and 'Fragile' tattoos on their bodies…
Instead of racing to the finish line of this year, tread gently.
Go slowly. Amidst the chaos, find small pockets of silence. Find compassion. Allow the healing. And most of all… Be kind. There’s no human being on earth who couldn’t use just a little bit more of the healing salve of kindness."
Putting it like that, of course we're exhausted. We're like a person who thinks they're feeling better at the end of an illness so they dive fully back into life, only to crash mid-day because their body didn't actually have as much energy as their brain thought it did. We tried to fling ourselves into life, desperate to feel normal and make up for lost time, without taking the time to fully acknowledge the impact of the past two years or to fully recover and heal from it.
Of course, life can't just stop, but we do need to allow some time for our bodies, minds and spirits to heal from what they've been through. The uncertainty, the precariousness of "normal," the after-effects of everything that upended life as we knew it are real. The grief and trauma of those who have experienced the worst of the pandemic are real. The overwhelm of our brains and hearts as we try to process it all is real.
So let's be gentle with one another and ourselves as we roll our harried selves into another new year. We could all use that little extra measure of grace as we strive to figure out what a true and healthy "normal" feels like.
You can follow Naomi Holdt on Facebook.
This article originally appeared on 12.23.22
We asked our people to share their pet's weirdest antics and our audience delivered.
Pets are good for many reasons, from companionship and comfort to security and snuggles. But they can also be highly entertaining members of the family.
One saving grace during the pandemic was getting to spend lots of time with our pets and witnessing all of their silly, quirky antics all day long. How many times have you wished you could hear what was going through your cat or dog's brain as they do things that defy logic. The cat who likes to chew on people's hair while they sleep—why? The dog who spins around in a circle ten times before relieving themselves—why?
The reason animals do what they do may be a mystery, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable to hear about their silly habits. We asked our Upworthy audience to share the quirkiest things their pets do, and people delivered big time.
Check out some of the hilarious things people's pets do, as well as the heartwarming memories of furry friends who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge:
"My dog is obsessed with toilet paper rolls. Whenever there’s an empty one in the trash, she digs it out. Then she carries them around the house or takes them outside and puts them under her 'tree of recyclables.' — Michelle C.
"Memorizes commercials with dogs in them by their song. If she hears the song start she comes running in from another room to attack the TV." – Angela S.
"My Border collie hates numbers. We’ve tested it with loads of words and then randomly throw in a number and he goes crazy. He knows his numbers up to 100, I’m not sure where the habit developed from but he hates numbers so much we avoid saying them. " – Holly L.
"My puppy steals bras and socks on laundry day and runs around the house with them." – Maggie M.
"One of my dogs (big lab mix) was scared of the kitchen floor. I had to lay a carpet runner from the carpet to the back door so he could get out. Sometimes he would get stuck in there and freeze.I had to physically slide him across the kitchen to the carpet. I loved him." – Katie D.
"My cat always watches the water go down when I flush the toilet. Literally jumps up on the seat to watch it go down the pipe. " – Tara L.
"My cat Westley loves spinach, broccoli, cucumber, bell peppers and squash. If I’m preparing any of them he goes berserk begging for a piece. When I give it to him he carries it off under the dining room buffet to eat it. Always finding broccoli florets down there." – Amy D.
"I just lost my girl Puffin. Every night she'd snuggle in the little crook in my arm like a stuffed animal and sleep there with me all night. She was terrified of plastic bags and would run and hide when we changed the bins. She also loved waiting for me to get out of the bath sitting on the side of the tub waiting as long as it took for me to get out." - Dallas T.
"Although my baby Jerome is no longer with us, he LOVED the swivel barstools. He would get as far away as possible and make a hard run to them, jump up on them and spin. He got up to about 5 or 6 revolutions." – Bonnie G.
"She gets upset if I sneeze and rushes to my side crying as if she thinks I’m either in pain or hurt (cat)." – Patty B.
"My dog thought his collar was his clothes. If we took it off for any reason, he would run and hide until we put it back on. He also would never go outside without a leash. He would stick his nose out of the door and sniff the air, but as soon as his leash was on he was raring to go. Still miss him. Goldens are the best." – Mike R.
"We lost our little Zoe kitty three week ago but she LOVED to watch stuff boil on the stove. If I was cooking, she wanted to be picked up so she could watch. She also enjoyed her 'coffee' every day that my daughter gave her. Zoe’s coffee was a minuscule dollop of Rediwhip and she would sit so perfectly and wait patiently for her coffee. " – Julie S.
"My dog likes to spill her food all over the floor (knocking it out of her bowl) so she can eat it piece by piece across a larger surface. We like to say she doesn’t like her food to touch." – Nicole A
"Mine hunts worms. He sniffs them out, gently digs them up, rolls on them, pulls them out a little, rolls on them some more and then may or may not eat the smoothed worm." – Amy S.
"My female mini dachshund sits on her older brother’s (male dachshund’s) head like it’s a little stool." – Dirk B.
"I would always put our undies at the bottom of the laundry basket because our pug would stop at nothing to dig them out and run thru the house. But, only when we had company. Not to mention he was so short, he'd often trip over them. He was a pervert." – Twila P.
"When my dog was alive, he did not like to leave his 'droppings' in sight. So, he would back his rear up to the nearest bush, go, and then cover what he could with dirt. Also, once, when I was detained too long, and had left him in the house, he squeezed (he was a Keeshond, medium sized dog) thru the cat door, and did his business in the cat sandbox. I didn’t teach him any of these things…." – Judy J.
"My grand fur baby Scratch would often get up on the piano while my granddaughter was playing it. Now, Scratch plays the piano for treats. Often for short periods but sometimes he plays for several minutes. He does this on his own looking for the treat reward but will also do it on demand when you ask him to play the piano he will. He brings us such joy." – Kim F.
"We have a plot hound. We keep an old towel by his dish because ever since he was a puppy if he doesn’t feel like eating right away, he takes the towel & covers his food until he is ready to eat." – Pat B.
"First dog ate all the backs out of all my right shoes. Never ever left shoe. Cat only drank running water. We had to leave a faucet dribbling all the time. Current hound has figured out how to open a clam shell plastic container and eat whatever is in there without breaking the seal." – Sandy L.
"My cat loves my husband's dirty socks. He sleeps on them, rolls on them and sometimes he bites them and tries to kill them. He is a little weirdo!" – Leona C.
"One cat crawls under blankets and throw rugs, the other cat stands on top of her and looks like she’s surfing as the below cat wiggles." – Kathleen B.
She was shocked by the amount of reactions—both good and bad—that her viral tweet ignited.
Last year, single mom Emily Taylor made some sound Thanksgiving advice that is still great food for thought.
As Taylor shared with Today.com, she had been talking with another parent, one who had two adult sons, when they argued that “boys can't stay in the kitchen all day like girls can when helping with Thanksgiving stuff.”
Taylor was, as she put it, “flabbergasted,” and continued to ponder that comment until she was compelled to share her own thoughts on the subject.
In a post shared to X, formerly known as Twitter, Taylor urged families to rethink how they view gender roles for the upcoming holiday.
"As we approach Thanksgiving, I beg of you please involve your boys in the preparations as much as you involve your girls," she wrote. "Let them measure and mix and bake and create alongside their sisters. Have them set the table and pour drinks. Make them help clean up too."
To sum things up, Taylor added, "don’t let another generation of boys grow up to be men who think the kitchen is the domain of women until it's time to cut the turkey,” adding that these outdated gender norms rob young boys the chance to learn valuable life skills.
"As a single mom, it's important for me to teach all of my kids to be self-sufficient, to participate in family life and to contribute to everything that's going on in our home,” she said.
While some parents were vehemently against Taylor’s stance, many other parents agreed, even adding that inviting young boys in to do some of the Thanksgiving cooking could help them discover a new hobby they would otherwise miss out on.
One mom wrote, “my 5-year-old loves baking. We ended up creating our own business.”
My 5yr old loves baking. We ended up creating our own business. He does hate cleaning though. I tell him I don’t like it either, but it needs to be done. pic.twitter.com/FdM3VdFfJw— ToddleIntoLife (@ToddleIntoLife) November 21, 2022
Another added, “some boys grow up to be great cooks. I want them to write books about their journey that brought them into the kitchen. We need more of whatever that is.”
Several men who did grow up learning to cook chimed in as well. One said, I grew up in an Italian family so I was put in the kitchen at an early age. Cooking is a love language. It’s therapeutic. Let me cook anytime and I’m in my happy place.”
Another comments, “my mom did that with me growing up and now I make Thanksgiving dinner for my family. I love it.”
One person even made a point that other domestic skills should really not be assigned to one particular gender, saying, “and if there’s a tire or oil to be changed, have your girls go out to help. My hubby takes our twin daughters out to the garage. It’s awesome.”
Taylor agreed, replying, “none of my kids are allowed to get their license until they can demonstrate they can change a tire.”
Taylor ultimately hopes that her viral tweet inspired parents to think about what messages they’re sending kids with certain holiday traditions.
“We can help dispel myths that are prescribed to certain genders," she says. "And who knows? Maybe more boys will learn to love cooking and more girls will love watching football when we're doing all of those things together."
It happens to other English speaking people from other countries too.
Music is something that crosses all barriers, including the language barrier. It's so much easier to learn songs in a foreign language than it is to actually learn the language itself. But there's something interesting that happens for people who normally speak with an accent when singing. Suddenly their accents are gone.
Some of the biggest singers in America didn't grow up in the United States and yet when they sing, they do so with an American accent. Lewis Capaldi, Ed Sheeran, Adele and Harry Styles to name a few, are all from England with the exception of Capaldi, who hails from Scotland. They're some of the most popular singers in the world but their speaking accents are drastically different than their singing accents. But why is that?
In his video Huxtable dissects pieces from Adele, Harry Styles and discusses what it would sound like if they were speaking the same words they were singing.
"It's actually not just British people. It also happens to people from Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and all other parts of the English speaking world," Huxtable says.
The language coach explains that it was The Beatles who were some of the first artists from the UK to start singing in an American accent but they certainly weren't the last. Huxtable reveals that American mainstream music is so popular and easily accessible now that it makes sense that listeners would pick up singing in the accent of the artists.
It's quite trippy to hear the stars talk in their normal accents then immediately hear them sing in another. When only listening to their music you almost forget that they have an accent at all. But Huxtable's impressions of the artists and his deeper explanation on how it all works is a must watch to get the full effect.
"Gifting in America has become insane. So I’m changing my ways."
After becoming fed up with the material nature of the holiday season, a Redditor who goes by Somanycatsinhere, shared how she is putting her money towards things that matter rather than mindlessly buying gifts. Even though everyone's situation differs, the post is an excellent reminder that we don’t have to give someone a store-bought gift reflexively. Instead, we can focus on getting something they actually need.
“I’m over buying gifts to be thrown away or donated,” she started her post. “I decided I’m done.”
The Redditor explained she usually visits her family a few weeks before the holidays for a joint Thanksgiving and “Early Christmas” celebration, and this year, she took a different approach to gift-giving.
“I made a visit to my sister with my 3 amazing nieces. … The kids have everything they can need or want: toys and clothing-wise—and it’s all so overwhelming. The kids don’t even play with most of it. It’s just piled up everywhere,” she wrote.
So, instead of buying them more toys and clothes, she opened up a college fund for each niece, who receives a monthly amount “gifted” to them at birthdays and Christmas.
The woman's sister is having financial difficulties, so she got her something super practical. “Took my sister to the store and told her she could fill the cart with household items and groceries for her and her husband's Christmas present. Laundry soap, paper towels, toilet paper, groceries, etc. She loved it!” she wrote.
For her nephews who have everything, the poster gave them gift cards for their annual trip to Disney.
The woman's extended family “throws nothing away” and collects “everything,” so the Redditor got them to agree to a family Christmas trip instead of exchanging gifts.
The post received over 150 comments from people who shared their approach to giving gifts during the holidays. Many who responded said they prefer to buy experiences for their family members instead of material objects.
"I gift experiences. Like membership to a batting cage for my nephew or a season pass to the zoo. I suggested horseback riding sessions or archery lessons for my daughter and some kind of jump park or karate class for my son," Savvymama30a wrote. "I've also started buying more "experience" gifts than physical items. I've gotten gift certificates for massages, fancy restaurants, and concerts or shows for my parents the past few years," Purplezara added.
During these challenging economic times, practical gifts can be a huge help.
"I think, slowly but surely, people are coming around to this way of giving. As a practical person, I thoroughly appreciate being gifted things I’ll actually use,” Yourdailysugarcube wrote. "When I was younger and newly on my own, my mom would gift me bulk items from Costco like paper towels, garbage bags, etc, and while it isn’t glamorous, it saved me a lot of money. I really appreciated those gifts!"
Ultimately, the holidays are all about spending time together, expressing gratitude for one another, and embracing the things that truly matter in life. Everyone has their love language, but this Reddit poster seems to be on the right track by focusing on giving people gifts they can use instead of something they’ll stick on a closet or get rid of at a yard sale.
The historic meeting was overshadowed by the horrors of November 22, 1963.
November 22, 2023, will mark the 60th anniversary of one of the most horrific moments in American history, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The anniversary has been greeted by a host of new documentaries and renewed interest in the conspiracies surrounding the assassination.
One historic moment from Kennedy’s short but consequential presidency occurred on the last night of his life, Thursday, November 21, 1963. That night, Kennedy, his wife Jacqueline, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, and his wife, Lady Bird, visited a formal dinner in Houston, Texas, held by LULAC — the League of United Latin American Citizens. The event featured a welcoming party of Mexican-American World War II veterans, including Medal of Honor recipient Macario García.
The event is believed to be the first time a sitting U.S. president publicly recognized the Latino vote.
President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (partially hidden at left) greet visitors upon their arrival at the Rice Hotel in Houston, Texas.
via Cecil Stoughton. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston
The visit was a thank-you to Latino voters who played a significant role in Kennedy taking Texas in the 1960 election as part of his razor-thin victory over Richard Nixon. Mexican-American military veterans, angry that they still faced prejudice and second-class citizen status after serving their country in the war, bound together in the state to create the Viva Kennedy movement to elect the first Catholic president.
"[Veterans] assumed that things would change, that they would be like they were in the foxhole, or the military unit," Professor Ignacio Garcia, author of “Viva Kennedy: Mexican Americans In Search of Camelot,” told NPR. "And when they came back and discovered things were not changed, they became very adamant about changing things."
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, and Lady Bird Johnson applaud during a dinner held by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) at the Rice Hotel in Houston, Texas. Past National President of LULAC, George Garza, stands at far left; dinner attendees, Debbie Briones and Lisa Herrera, stand at left in foreground.
via Cecil Stoughton. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston
Kennedy’s trip to the LUAC gala was a way to publicly rededicate himself to Latino voters. However, the president’s primary goal on his Texas trip was to soothe party tensions caused by the fight between gubernatorial challenger Don Yarborough and Governor John Connally.
Kennedy arrived at the Grand Ballroom at Houston's Rice Hote to the sound of the song “Kennedy, Kennedy” played by El Trio Internacional. When he took the stage, he said some words about his policies in Latin America and then introduced Jacqueline, who made a short speech in Spanish.
Jackie Kennedy addresses LULAC gala in Houston, Nov. 21, 1963; the night before #jfk #jackiekennedy #jacquelinekennedy #vincepalamara #palamara
After the couple’s speeches, the room erupted with chants of "Viva Kennedy! And viva Jackie!"
Dr. William Elizondo, who was present at the historic event, recalls taking the opportunity to tell Kennedy about the problems with poverty and health faced by many Latinos in San Antonio. He remembers Kennedy saying, “I'm definitely going to look into it.”
“He was so vivacious about what he was going to do,” Elizondo told My San Antonio. “We felt grateful that things would be made better and change in a positive manner.”
Sadly, the next day, at 12:30 pm, Kennedy would be struck down by an assassin in Dallas, with Jacqueline by his side.
But Kennedy's death didn’t squash the growing Latino political movement in the U.S. It would carry on, with many of its leaders, such as Edward Roybal, making their way to prominent roles in Washington, D.C. This new wave of Latino leaders would lobby to expand the Voting Rights Act to include Latinos, from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and establish the Latino vote as one of the nation’s most influential blocs.