Suddenly Struggling

2020 has been a strange year for everyone, no doubt about that. But whether it is the pandemic, my age, or some psychological change inside me, I am definitely struggling this year. As it went on, I found myself discombobulated, and everything started to suddenly become a struggle, even simple everyday things that most people get on with without a second thought.

I have already stated that I am going to be blogging less. That’s because I am really struggling to keep up with domestic chores and household tasks, and need to allow more time for those.

I am also reading less; nothing at all, to be completely honest. After loading up my Kindle and reading around forty books in two years, (not that many, but a lot for me) I haven’t finished a book so far this year. I find it hard to concentrate, and keep reading the same page over again, or looking back when I have forgotten something in the plot.

I am struggling with films too. I have notebook pages filled with Netflix recommendations, as well as almost 100 unwatched films on DVD, sitting on a shelf behind me. I flick through them intending to watch something, then decide I can’t be bothered and put them back.

I have hardly taken a photo either. Despite owning five digital cameras, I rarely even take one out. On my recent holiday, it occurred to me that I had already published photos of the places I was visiting, so took less than thirty shots in that week. Then I am struggling with the new version of Photoshop Elements, which seems to have changed the way I used to resize and save my images. I cannot be bothered to fight with any more technology, so just posted some photos in full-size files instead. I stopped caring about the space used.

Of course, you all know I have been struggling with the concept of the Block Editor. But I have decided to stop going on about that, as it just makes me angry and solves nothing.

Many of my dearest blogging friends are dealing with things that are much worse. Bereavement, illness, medical treatments, and disease. It makes me feel guilty to keep moaning about WordPress, so I am going to stop that now.

When I look back on 2020 in years to come, if I get the chance to do that, I will remember it as the year that I appeared to struggle with almost every aspect of my life.

111 thoughts on “Suddenly Struggling

  1. First of all, wishing you all the best to get better soon!

    Second, I just found your blog and read for the first time about you not liking the WP block editor. So, I don’t like it either, so I’m still using the old one. It’s still possible and I hope, WP is keeping it!

    Third and last, because 2020 really is something special but I found, that writing poetry, i.e. feelings thrown on paper unfiltered, helps a lot. It keeps my mind fresh and free for the work or household stuff to do. So, I recommend that for a little help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am also not using the Block Editor, but still angry about the way it has been forced on so many people. The old editor is supposed to remain available until 2023, according to some comments. Glad to hear that your poetry is jelping get you through this very difficult year.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am finding blogging really hard right now and keeping up with everyone’s blogs. There is so much going on with Little O starting school and working from home and just trying to survive that it’s fallen by the wayside a bit. This year is just hard.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It seems from the comments, that a lot of people are struggling. I know that covid has changed me and I do not know that I will ever go back to the previous ways. Maybe, we are all fatigued mentally. WordPress changing has been a big deal to me, for writing used to come naturally and joyfully, without a bit of dread. I suppose time and experience will kick in some time. Just watched “Social Dilemma” on Netflix-that was somber but rang true. I do not trust the government as I did, and it is so disheartening. So here we all are in the midst of chaotic and illogical times. There is a toll. I care about you and wish I had the answer. Do take comfort, in knowing you are well respected in this community and we are all cheering you on. x Michele

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are voicing how many of us feel Pete and having recently read Vera I don’t think you have done badly at all, in fact you have created some wonderful stories. I find blogging therapy as my next book of stories languishes on the sidelines as I find it difficult to right with hope at the end of my fingertips .. but I do believe it will come back. I have scheduled posts out slightly longer that I usually do as it gives me a days when I can read, sit in the last days of summer and listen to music. Let’s hope that the clash of Covid and the annual flu virus ends in a knockout for both of them… hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are not alone, Pete. I bet most of your blogging friends have been feeling much of what you are feeling. I came close to quitting teaching in May. You’re the first person I have told. I am struggling with masks and social distancing with preschoolers. It’s not natural. I can’t seem to vacuum or dust much. On and on. Like you, I don’t complain because so many people have real issues to worry about. I just want you to know you’re not alone. It has been the unexpected – like Roshan – that has helped me. I hope you find an unexpected, too. Best to you, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for adding your own thoughts and experiences, Jennie. If you thought of quitting, then you were definitely at a low point too. The second wave is arriving here at an accelerated rate, so I am trying not to think too much about the coming winter.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are most welcome, Pete. Are you (England) already experiencing a second wave? It seems early for that. Public schools just started here, so the next few weeks will tell if we will have another wave. More than 9,000 have died in our tiny state of Massachusetts.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. When I get in a “funk” I always turn to my canine companion…..MoMo refuses to let me get down. I agree 2020 has been a crappy year all around…..and only 3 more months to go…..hang in there my friend….chuq

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Itsnt it great, having him by your side, and i am sure he never would leave your home without you.
        Struggling was mine too, this year. At first i thought i had missed the digital age, and all away from me can not really deal with the homeoffice challenge. Now i know they can, and without using paperwork the correspondence has increased.
        Best wishes, Michael

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Pete, I hope it helps a little to know that you have a lot of company. My reading is off dramatically and, as for my blog, I’ve gone from demanding of myself a post every single day to taking one or two days off every week.

    The news Friday night was awful for us here in the US and has certainly galvanized a lot of us but I’d rather be back in the doldrums with the upcoming election being my main concern…

    On a more positive note, while I’ve always had vivid dreams, this year they’re downright awesome!

    Keep hangin’ on, Pete—sooner or later, things have to get better 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So many of us have experienced struggles this year, Pete. I know that’s not much consolation, but at least know that what you’re feeling is pretty standard right now. I’m seldom depressed, but I’ve had my moments this year. What works for me is to be active. My mental health improves when I’m getting some exercise and having some conversation (socially distant) with people who are also out and about.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pete, as I mentioned before, your words sound as though you’re depressed. I certainly pick up on a depressive element. Perhaps speak to your GP? Most of us (including myself) are fed up of the Covid situation, and I haven’t written anything in weeks. What a year it’s been.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It certainly has, Stevie. I am obviously depressed about the situation in general, but everyday life is not affected. Therefore, I doubt it is ‘clinical depression’, more like wishing it could all go back to how it was.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah yes, we all feel that way I’m sure. I think things will settle down in time, and we’ll all have to be mindful regarding being in crowded places. Until then it’s gritting our teeth for a second wave and enduring perhaps another total lockdown. It’s all about learning to live with Covid as we do the common cold and other viruses, as unfortunately I don’t suppose it will be going away any time soon.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. It seems a small thing that WP has been changed so much that it feels nearly unusable to me. The things they offer are of no use for me and the tools I like to use are gone.
    I have decided not to give up on writing blogs but to do it in a slower speed.
    What also bothers me is the feeling that I can’t trust our Danish Government for their decisions on their reaction to the ‘virus’. I see it as if we are frogs put in cold water and slowly the water is boiling

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s an interesting way to look at the government handling of the virus, Maria. I also believe that most of our governments are happy for many of us to die, until it gets to the stage where they no longer have enough cheap labour.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I was unable to cash/deposit the $2400 coronavirus stimulus check received back on May 8th. After working tirelessly with a U.S. Senator from Nevada, the IRS, and the bank, the only option that remained was to return the check to the IRS in Fresno, California, along with a two-page letter explaining the situation and offering a solution. I sent the check/letter via priority mail on July 24th, and it’s been sitting in Fresno waiting to be picked up by the IRS ever since.

    To add insult to injury, the coronavirus prevented me from working a part-time job in April and May, and that put me behind in my bills. It got even worse when truck registration and the annual sewer had to be paid in late July.

    So it was a tough summer for me. In order to save money where I could, I hardly used the A/C. Many days were skipped, and I never ran it for more than three or four hours on the hottest days, specifically those in excess of 43° C. Imagine paying an electricity bill that’s less than $80/month during a hot summer in Las Vegas! The down side to this is that I constantly dripped sweat at the computer, and often became too drowsy to concentrate on writing any fiction. As a result, I made very little progress on my book.

    Now that we’re slipping into cooler temperatures (i.e., below 38° C), and my swollen index finger, which got caught in a car door on September 9, is finally able to touch the keyboard without a jolt of pain, I’m ready to get back into my novel. So, in terms of writing, I’m suddenly rather upbeat. Of course, I’d be even more upbeat if the IRS would finally swing into action…

    As for your own situation, I hope your home renovation and beach vacation cheered you up a bit. We all value your blog, but it’s true that you also need to tend to your daily life (which is real world, not virtual), and spend more time with your human and canine loved ones. Hopefully, you’ll rekindle your motivation, and will once again be satisfied with the level of productivity you achieve. The U.S. Declaration of Independence says we all have the inalienable right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. But it doesn’t say it will be easy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry to hear about the problem with that cheque, David. We pay around £35 a month for electricity, but of course have no air conditioning. This year has been hard on everyone, and I am luckier than many others, I know that.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s weird but it seems that a lot of people are struggling with the same things. I did as well and am still trying to claw my way back to being productive. A recent break away has helped a lot. Perhaps you can take a break away too? I hope you feel better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sorry to hear it Pete, I think we can all relate, especially those of us who are retired and need to self-motivate every day. I’ve also done less reading this year though the stacks are piled high. Blogging and photography still keep me busy though I don’t always feel inspired – I just do it anyway. And simple prayers help; and trying to find the bright spots whenever they arrive; today here it’s a cleansing rain and we finally have breathable air again.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Sorry to hear this Pete but I do think it’s the world we are in right now – it’s more difficult to be creatively inspired, or to “drop out” and enjoy something like a movie or a book – how can you when there is the worst worldwide crisis in a century rages all around us, changing every aspect of our lives?

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Whenever I get stuck in the foggy, uninspired days of life, I make a list or say aloud five things each day that I’m grateful for — a pretty sunrise, a breeze, Ruby running in a field of grass utterly happy, a delicious glass of wine, my firm mattress, a hug from my granddaughter–you get the idea. I have to consciously embrace the positive and ignore or push away the negative thoughts. It helps. You are going through a transition. Blame it on the pandemic.
    BTW, I have a stack of books to read, lots of movies and series I have seen but have not posted about. Oh, well!
    Que sera sera!
    Love, Cindy

    Liked by 3 people

  16. The stress in the world can quietly build up in our own minds. I have to say, you have been one of the most up beat people I have met. This is just a phase that will pass. The shock of returning after enjoying yourself while away, may have triggered these feelings. Just remember, you can just take another little break when you need it. As someone else in the comments said, be kind to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. You are not the only one, Pete 2020 has been a struggle for almost everyone. Hang in there and be kind to yourself. Sometimes when I feel at my lowest, I look around and see how fortunate I have been. You were one of the first to welcome me in this community. You are important to me and to many others I suspect. Just like Ollie, maybe you just need a little more free time to wander and observe. Endless tasks can be daunting.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m sorry you are struggling, Pete. I think the events of this year are really getting to people now and many are being affected mentally, emotionally and physically. I think the ones who insist on behaving as if it is all over are being incredibly stupid and selfish but in a way I can understand their desperation to have a normal life back. Unfortunately, until they accept and abide by the rules none of us are going to get a normal life back. I’m not sure if even a vaccine will ensure that. Don’t worry about grumbling on your blog – it’s so much healthier to have a good grumble and a moan that to bottle it up – and we’re all probably doing just as much moaning anyway. Don’t beat yourself up about not doing things like reading or watching films. Once the work around the house is done and you can relax about that, you’ll feel more like doing other things. But do not make a list of daily tasks – one thing achievable a day is enough. Today mine was to put up my blog post and i did it so anything else I achieve today is a bonus. I’m now going into the garden to direct Jon and David as they do the work on clearing up the planters for bulbs.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Really sorry to hear this. Sorry, but not surprised. Morale is creepingly lower all over the place I think. Be kind to yourself, congratulate yourself when you DO get something done, don’t beat yourself up when you don’t. You are very much not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I liked your blog because you shared your feelings with your blogging friends. Life has been terrible this year. I have always believed there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of a small candle. Regards

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Pete, you’re not alone….I struggle more this year with the smaller things, an motivation. But a friend has metaphorically kicked me out of it to a degree by helping me with some stuff, and encouraging m… I do think a lot of it is this weird year

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I am sorry to read this, Pete. I think a lot of people are struggling. Many of us have taken some time to realise that we are struggling with the fact our lives and worlds have been turned upside down. We feel pressured to cope and appear as if we are taking it in our stride when we are not. Slow down and take it easier. Everything passes and this will too. It may take longer than we thought though.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Well Pete, I’m sorry to hear that you are struggling so much. It sounds like you are really out of energy, and well as Fraggle said close to depression. I have dealt with depression a lot. My own father had it about ten years back, and a very dear friend of mine did as well. I hope truly that it can be avoided, but honestly you have nothing to feel guilty about. We all have our own struggles, each in their own way. And I have always felt that one should never compare what one is going through to someone else’s troubles. What can be true horror for someone, might be shrugged off by someone else. So really, never feel guilty about anything.
    All I can say is that you really have a lot of people here that care about you (myself of course included) and want to see you well. It can sometimes help to just said small tasks for yourself each day. Like for instance today your goal is watching one movie, or read one chapter in a book. Never put pressure on yourself, or feel bad when that goal isn’t reached. Just take it slow, and well do the things you like to do the most and the things that give you the most energy.
    This year has been one of the worst, if not the worst year we have probably all lived through, and there is very little things in it that bring a smile. But…and that’s a big but: we are all still here, and we will kick this year’s behind eventually. I truly hope that you will be able to get your groove back. If there is anything I can do, or if you wish to talk about it: you know where you can reach me. Take care my friend, and on behalf of everyone who is here and reading your blog: best wishes😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for your thoughts and kind words, Michel. I really enjoyed my break, and I think coming back to the same old routine in Beetley didn’t help my mood. Maybe when I have been back a bit longer I might manage to shake off these feelings.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  24. Lack of structure is an issue for a creative writer, and lockdowns past and future, make it harder. We’re all struggling to adapt, and you’re not alone. And as an avid film-watcher, I’d suggest that your wall of 100 unwatched films probably doesn’t help. You don’t need to watch 100, you only need to watch and enjoy one and if you get the right choice, your enthusiasm will return!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. If it’s any consolation Pete, I think many people are feeling the same way; having family & friends close by who understand, and possibly [although not ideally, of course] feel the same, always makes it easier to survive these times. My heart goes out to anybody who might be struggling financially, but if money isn’t your biggest concern, I think just trying to enjoy life, whatever that means, and surviving, of course, has to be our top priority now. Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. It has been a weird year and as we get older things take longer. I keep thinking I ought to go to the beach, but then I can’t be bothered to. The beach isn’t going anywhere. And one day, hopefully, I will be in the right frame of mind. As ML Kappa says, don’t be so hard on yourself. You have a lot of positives in your life. And who cares about housework! The dust only comes back 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  27. With all due respect, stop being so hard on yourself! You blog every day, you have written several short stories, you walk the dog for hours, on top of all the chores etc. As my son keeps telling me, it’s not homework! If you’re struggling, take a break. You might have noticed I’ve posted nothing on my blog for a month. I was busy with other stuff and not inspired, so I left it for a while. Your readers will not vanish into thin air. And nobody’s counting how many films you’ve watched or how many books you’ve read. It’s been a weird, complicated year, and it’s not over yet. We need to pace ourselves. 🌹🌹🌹

    Liked by 3 people

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