when it becomes too depressing is not only wise, it’s prudent.

We have such limited time on this earth.

You have to pick and choose your battles.

And yet writing this is giving myself the advice I need reminding of.

Foolishly I started watching the Republican National Convention footage. Watching all these white people’s faces contorted in rage and hate…was really depressing.

And it did something to me.

I thought, how could we ever reach such people?

And then I realized no, we can’t.

And today, when I logged onto the blog, there was a comment waiting from yet another xenophobe who was furious at black out curtains for Muslim women who want to swim.

She said something like many women buy bathing suits designed to show off their bodies, why would you prevent that?

And I thought, “Omigosh! What a different way of thinking.”

And she ended with ‘you’ll never change my mind’. And I thought, yup, lady, you’re right about that. How could such a mindset ever understand the desire to be modest? To swim without exhibition, just for the exercise and not having men gawk?

Upon seeing that hate, the first night of the Republican Convention, I couldn’t stop eating!

First I ate some pecan bars left over from Eid. Three of them. Even though I knew the sugar would make me suffer.

Then a bowl of honey nut Cheerios, and then a bag of popcorn.

I couldn’t stop feeding my face!

Like I was a baby who wanted to suckle and a blanket.

I’m definitely an emotional eater.

I tend to eat when I feel hopeless. When the world seems to be ending and I figure what’s the point of trying?

I could see that I was eating in a crazy way, but I couldn’t seem to stop myself.

So the next night, I just flipped channels. I didn’t watch the whole convention. I saw a bit of Chris Christie bloviating, and caught a bit of the smug smile of Donald Jr. but for the most part I avoided the convention and had no problem whatsoever controlling my appetite.

But I felt exhausted.

And I think the past few weeks have taken their toll, because I felt like I’m coming down with a cold.

And I thought to myself, how fitting.

Basically I’m allowing myself to heal right now. Taking some time off from creative endeavours to take care of myself, physically, emotionally, mentally.

I feel fragile.

And that’s okay.

It’s time to regroup.

To remember that I don’t have control over anything but myself and the stories I write.

I obviously don’t write for everyone.

I read a very interesting article about the top seven tips from Stephen King. I really admire his discipline and many of the stories he writes. One of the tips was about writing for your ideal reader. He said you should picture a person you know and write a story, almost in an intimate way, to that person. And then he said that his ideal reader was Tabitha, who is his wife, I think.

And he said ‘write the truth’. Be brave.

I needed to hear that. With the project I’m working on right now, I needed to hear that.

It will take all the courage I can muster to tell the truth.

So much hate in the world.

The sides have never seemed more far apart.

God help us all.