This is the Land of Confusion

Definition of twenty-twenty hindsight: (via Merriam Webster Dictionary)

The full knowledge and complete understanding that one has about an event only after it has happened. Example :With 20/20 hindsight we now see where our strategy went wrong.

Think of an animal that is usually considered harmless, something common like a dog. Most of the time they are happy creatures who go about their day. But what happens when they are cornered? What happens when they feel fear? Their survival instincts kick in to fight and protect themselves. This does not make them inherently mean or violent creatures. This just means they are defending themselves the best they know how against what they perceive as fear. Even if we are the ones who have cornered them and we don’t understand their fear, or we don’t even see it, the point is that they feel it and they feel a need to act out to protect themselves.

I don’t believe that humans are inherently mean or enjoy being mean. And just like the family dog, what once was a seemingly nice mom or dad next door can show serious wrath when they feel provoked. Again, being provoked is a matter of perception, just like fear. So when someone feels fear they are going to kick into fight or flight mode. What causes fear? Uncertainty, loss of control, confusion, the unknown. What are people fearing for right now? So. Many. Things.

When it comes to our kids there is fear of them getting sick. There is fear of them bringing sickness into our homes and spreading it to those nearest and dearest. There is fear of a virus which we know so little about, with facts and science and studies changing daily, if not hourly. We have a right to feel scared of something we don’t understand . There is little to no control, save for practicing perceived safety measures. There is even less navigation for the future – where is this going and how long will it be here. Then there are fears of succumbing to fear. Do we want to let fear of our kid’s physical health outweigh our fears for their mental and emotional health? What are the effects of being isolated and being on a screen for hours a day? Not just the short term of glazed eyes and blurry vision but long-term burnout and a deficiencies in social skills. Take away sports and there’s even more fear when we see our kids laying around and not learning and improving on a sport or activity that means so much to them. A fear that restrictions to their activities, their academics, and their athletics will cause negative impact on their futures.

Both of these fears are correct. There is no study to prove or disprove either one because fears are rarely based on fact. They are raw emotions. And what it comes to our kids that is the rawest form of survival instinct emotion we posses. Ever heard of a mom being able to suddenly lift a car to rescue her child? That’s super-human raw fear acting out for survival. Ever heard of a parent lashing out on social media about their kids state of mental health and well-being being damaged by not having in-person school? How about another parent lashing out equally about their kid getting ill or spreading an illness to a loved one, a teacher or even a stranger for that matter? BOTH of these are out of fear and both can look really mean and really ugly when we feel we are fighting for our kids. Fear can bring out the best in people but it can also bring out the worst. Corona, Covid-19 and all of its noise has made us so freakin angry. We can’t punch, kick or scream at the virus so it seams that everyone is taking it out on anything and everything else they can. Fear can move us forward and it can get things done but it can also tear us down.

Looking back on the beginning of all of this I now realize how our great big pause was too good to be true. We all needed a pause, but we didn’t necessarily need a full stop. With a pause we got the chance to slow down, to reflect, and for some of us to spend time at home with our family. We craved a reset, talked about not returning to normal because we all knew that wasn’t good for us. For most of us our normal was too fast, too much, too loud. But you can’t hit reset without losing some information. Ever tried to fix your computer or phone with a reset? The first warning is that you may lose some stored information. This could be a good thing and bad thing. Starting over, going back to factory settings can mean erasing some things to make room for new things. It can mean a fresh start but it’s not always a clean start. And to change we have to look back at the past, we have to confront the ugly stuff and decide if we want to walk backward and fix it or go forward and start anew. Not everyone thinks or feels the same so we are all going to choose differently. There are many types of emotions and one of the strongest is fear. Emotions cloud things up and muddy the waters because our emotions fight with our brains and our bodies. They start as whispers but end as shouts. They are super hard to ignore.

Change is not easy and the Universe just may fight us on it. Like a psycho ex the he universe says “Hey, wait a minute, it’s not going to be that easy to forget about me.” It’s going to pull a Carrie Underwood in the Before He Cheats video and start smashing your windows and slashing your tires. It’s going to spread rumors as whispers and scream false facts. You can change mascots and statues and names but if you aren’t changing your attitude and your beliefs nothing really changes underneath the surface of what we can see.

For more music analogy; if 2020 was an album it would be Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill, angry, raw and in your face. It could also be described by the Genesis song that was released way back in 1986, whose lyrics are spot on for where we are today.

I must have dreamed a thousand dreams
Been haunted by a million screams
But I can hear the marching feet
They’re moving into the street
Now, did you read the news today?
They say the danger has gone away
But I can see the fire’s still alight
They’re burning into the night
There’s too many men, too many people
Making too many problems
And there’s not much love to go around
Can’t you see this is the land of confusion?
This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth living in
Oh, Superman, where are you now?
When every thing’s gone wrong somehow?
Men of steel, these men of power
I’m losing control by the hour
This is the time, this is the place
So we look for the future
But there’s not much love to go around
Tell me why this is the land of confusion
This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth living in
I remember long ago
When the sun was shining
And all the stars were bright all through the night
In the wake up this madness, as I held you tight
So long ago
I won’t be coming home tonight
My generation will put it right
We’re not just making promises
That we know we’ll never keep
There’s too many men, too many people
Making too many problems
And there’s not much love to go around
Can’t you see this is the land of confusion?
Now, this is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth fighting for
This is the world we live in
And these are the names we’re given
Stand up and let’s start showing
Just where our lives are going to

If you were a child of the 80s like myself I’m sure you remember the video which was totally unique in the time in that it was full of handmade puppets of dozens of famous faces. I guess you could say things were simpler back then in some ways but I think that’s because I was a kid so my entire universe was really just about me and my immediate family. Now having my own family I’m still sometimes in denial that I’m supposed to be the adult in the household, or at least one of them. Being an adult is not fun. It’s hard. Making decisions about who my kids can see and where they can go and how they should learn? Even harder.

This post obviously has nothing to do with fashion and getting dressed. That topic is overwhelming to think about as I struggle with how important it is to get dressed and how not important things like designer shoes seem during a world wide pandemic. I have always based my business on being genuine to my clients. Right now it’s hard to talk about trends and shopping when everything feels like we are in some kind of holding pattern. It’s like we are all just waiting for someone to tell us what to do but as soon they do we feel upset because there is no answer that fully feels right. I feel like when you hit pause on your tv and it stays there so long that eventually it times out and turns off the program. I’m burning out on all of the information and even more on the emotions. This fear has people acting out and they are mean. It makes me sad but it’s hard to blame anyone for their behavior because we truly don’t know what each and every family is dealing with behind their closed doors. We are all drained, we are all anxious, we are all scared for each of our own reasons.

I don’t know what the rest of this year looks like, but I’m prepared to put blinders on if it continues to look this ugly. It may sound selfish but it’s my form of self-defense. My brain and my mental health can’t handle the negativity. My kids are frustrated enough so I am going to do what I can to stay some form of steady for them. That may mean not as much social media, not as much talk of politics and probably very little news. I don’t blame any parent for advocating for their kids because I know we all want we think is best for our kids. But being caught in a crossfire is something that I am fortunate enough right now to excuse myself from. Wake me up in 2021, when hopefully there is a viral spread of kindness throughout the world. Even if it starts really, really slow I really hope it can spread. Let’s throw a side effect of forgiveness in there while we are at. I think we all need it.

Thank you so much for reading, if you are still here! And please don’t hesitate to reach out and connect. I’m feeling all the feels too and there is no judgement on my part. I know I always feel better if I can get it out. And in the meantime I am going to take out my anger by letting my dog chew up a stuffed version of Marty the Robot that stalks us around our local grocery store and declares spills out loud. I have a deep disdain for him and so I’ve chose to direct my anger here. It’s very satisfying to watch our dog rip it apart.

*Insider Tip –

If you want to know what is happening on the runways of the world and what will eventually trickle down into your local J.Crew, then you need to read this article in the New York Times. It’s an excellent piece about the collapse of parts of the fashion industry, even you don’t think you have any interest in that type of thing normally. But it showcases the ripple effect of business and what we wear and why we wear it. You can read that article by clicking HERE

Published by suziegaffney

owner at Suzie Gaffney Styling

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