Sometimes, There Are No Words

I’m supposed to be a writer, yet I have no words for what’s happened in Las Vegas. No words to describe the horror of it, the senselessness, the depravity of hurting or killing so many innocent people.


I can’t imagine the horror for the people that went out to enjoy a concert and didn’t come home. The pain of the families that lost mothers, fathers, sons and daughters to such senseless violence. The long road of healing ahead, both physically and mentally, for the people who were injured.

I don’t have words for any of it, and maybe there are no words.

This isn’t a political blog, so I’m not going to rehash any of the finger-pointing going on right now. It doesn’t bring back the people who died in the worst mass shooting in American history. And it doesn’t bring us together as a nation.

Interesting to note that while many of us were extremely sad and upset, no one I know was surprised. For me, Sandyhook was the final numbing agent. Each person has had their own, but at no point did I hear surprise from others or feel it myself.

After I learned the news, I took a few minutes to grieve. I tried really hard not to cry at work when I over heard others discussing what had happened and popped open Google news to see what it was.

Yeah, I’m a corporate cog, but even cogs can cry while we try really hard not to put ourselves in the people’s places who lost a friend or loved one. Or the children who lost a parent. Or the place of someone who lived while the person next to them died.

These actually feel bigger, shinier, and more important than most of us in corporate America do.


And that’s it. I turned off the news. It wasn’t trying to inform me anymore. It was trying to elicit an emotional response and a page click. To keep me invested even though there really is nothing more to tell the general public.

I wish I’d done the same thing with news about the hurricanes. I did do it with the news coming out of Puerto Rico.

No, I’m not heartless, but I have no control over any of these things. I did what I could and donated to the American Red Cross through a charitable drive at work. That’s really all I can do. I have neither the skills to help nor the power to do more.

So, yes, I turned it off. I only have so much to give before I’m emotionally empty. I need to save my reserves for things I can impact. My children. My spouse. My family. My community. My writing.

Maybe this is selfish, maybe this is just self-protection. I’m not sure anymore. But I have noticed I need to do it more and more often. And when I do, I’ve discovered I’m happier, less stressed, and more creative. Not sure if it’s right or wrong, but for me, it’s what I need to do to keep my sanity.


How about you? How do you handle the constant bombardment of the news cycle? Do you just turn it off? If not, how do you cope with the stress and helplessness?

Envy – Take 2

I mentioned before how I envy some of my make co-workers.

That envy intensified these last few weeks.

I’ve been trying to replace a handful of my work tops. My usual “uniform” for work is black, grey or ink trousers, a top, and then a jacket or cardigan to “finish” it. Ink, if you’re wondering, is a very dark blue. Darker than navy.

I try to follow the whole three-piece rule.

Like this. But, not orange.

If I choose a patterned top, I select a cardigan or jacket in the same color as my trousers.

You may be thinking this isn’t very creative attire for a writer, but my day job has nothing to do with creativity. People who get too creative in my line of work end up wearing orange. Not like the figure above, however.

The kind of orange you wear here.

Besides, this is the basic go-to for most business-casual in my part of America. Wearing it is like wearing camouflage. I fit right in and no one knows there’s an author in their midst.

Imagine my surprise when I couldn’t find basic patterned tops to replace a few I have that are starting to show wear.

Off the shoulder shirts, yep those were there in force. Peasant tops, sure.

Available now at Nordstrom’s.

Apparently “cold shoulder” tops are all the rage. These are shirts without shoulders. I’d wear them on weekends, but this is NOT appropriate work wear in my part of the country. Maybe for those of you on the west coasts, this is okay. I found the east coast to be more formal than even we are here in the the bastion of conservatism that is the Mid-West.

It also means I am probably going to be having dress code conversations with some of the more junior members of the department. *sigh* Those always go well.

But, I still needed a few tops, so I went to my standby. It’s a nice and conservative store, one I can rely on for the basics. Don;t expect trendy, but the quality is usually quite good. This is the store I turn to for business suits and jackets. Except, this is what they are serving up:

I have no idea what office this is appropriate in.


So, it looks like I will waiting until next year to replace some of my patterned tops. I was able to find some plain shells in the meantime. Once again, gimme a guy’s polo shirt or button down shirt (which can be found anywhere) and khakis.