Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lessons in humility


One thing this papacy is doing for me, is making me realise that there is a big gap between our perceptions and reality, mostly created by the media. They have made a kind of virtual reality world, populated by famous people whose actions and motives are weirdly stilted and artificial. It is making it clear that we have allowed a strange and false interpretation of reality to be overlaid on everything we see and think.

It is also making me want to ask, "What does real humility look like?"

I think this weird, artificial wonderworld is having a big influence in making people become much crazier than they have ever been. It creates a kind of self-enclosed bubble-verse in which we can find ourselves trapped within ourselves. I think the media-created mirrorverse is what creates things like this. Outcomes that would have been inconceivable in any previous time, by anyone, no matter how mad. It's not that crazy people, narcissists didn't exist in former times, it's that the new media-created world allows them to take it to extremes that would simply not have been tolerated.

But we can no longer tell the difference between a preening narcissist, playing out her life before the cameras, and "spirituality" or "humility". We simply no longer have any categories.

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I'm having a bad morning, especially since it's after two pm, and I just woke up an hour ago. I'm experiencing that horrible, desperate, helpless and frantic condition one gets when one has completely buggered up one's sleep cycle by flying around the world and back, powerless to fix it.

I started swimming to the surface this morning about ten am, after sleeping about four and a half or five hours. Every time I squinted blearily at the clock, I thought, "Get up now!". Next thing I knew, I'd be doing it again, and in about five minutes an hour would have passed. When I thought it was 11:45, I got up in a haze of misery, self-loathing and desperation, only to find that it was nearly one.

It's been eleven days since touchdown, and I've been struggling every day. No matter what I do, I'm still up til four and in bed til well into the day. And I'm exhausted. Even with nine hours sleep, if it's the wrong ones, I can't wake up. The first day back, I slept around the clock and woke exactly as miserable as when I fell asleep, fully clothed, 13 hours before.

It's the feeling of being trapped by it, weirdly constrained, that is the worst. I'm shocked and horrified to find I'm physically incapable of breaking out of the trap. I HATE not having control over such a basic thing.

This ... hangover, effect is the real reason I don't EVER want to fly across the Atlantic. The misery it causes for weeks afterwards. I'm nauseated, exhausted, I can't eat and my energy is at about the level of a snail. I can drag myself from the bed to the computer, and the only reason I get up every day at all, is because I've left it on the dining room table, instead of bringing it to bed with me.

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7 comments:

Birmingham Bernadette said...

Hilary, can you get hold of some Melatonin ? You can buy it on the net. I don't know if it is available over the counter in Italy.

It helps with jet-lag.

I hope you feel better soon.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

It's not helping.

Birmingham Bernadette said...

Maybe instead of fighting it, go with it for the time being. Your body clock will right itself. And please try not to be so hard on yourself. You make it sound as though you've commited a crime. This isn't your fault !

James C. said...

Oh, for the days of transatlantic ocean liners!

Anonymous said...

My husband struggled with terrible jet lag after flying from Europe to Australia (almost a 30 hour trip if you count stop overs). I went to the pharmacy and got an over-the-counter sedative so that he would be forced to sleep through the night, thereby breaking the cycle. It worked. Give it a go.

Lydia

Marta said...


You need to have people around you. No melatonin, but meet with friends at 9 am for late breakfast/coffee, then have lunch out, and in the afternoon plenty of meaningful activity with and for other people. After two days your jet-lag will be gone, I promise. I have had two transatlantic (return) flights in the past 30 days, and the next one is coming in two days.

Marta

Tom Ryan said...

I fly for a living and found the best thing is to just not fight it.