I Need a Pause Button.
By Keren Liew | Published on May 11, 2022
“You look so tired,” She said to me, “I was the one who had been sick, but you look as if you were the one who had been sick.” This was a comment I heard from a colleague when we were at our online Zoom meeting that happened weeks ago, but it lingered on my mind till now. She had just recovered from COVID-19 and had undergone symptoms of sore throat and flu before that. Her comment to me might sound insensitive in a way, whereby somehow, she might have wanted herself to be the attention in the meeting since she had been sick and is now getting back on her feet to work. What she said to me might be offensive as well, where people would not really appreciate their appearance to be remarked as looking ill. It could be the way she presented the comment, or the expression she had made when she said it. I felt very uncomfortable as she could have said it in a more compassionate way. No matter what her motives were for those remarks, after the meeting, the first thing I thought to myself was, do I really look tired? Am I tired?
In fact, I have been feeling overwhelmed recently. The feelings of being overloaded with tasks to be done and responsibilities carried on our shoulders; the pressure we feel from the burden we must bear – they are certainly not pleasant. Why does it seem like we always have something to do? I believe that there might be times when we just feel like screaming our lungs out, especially when work or chores seem like there is no end. I certainly feel like screaming. And now someone commented on my face that I looked tired when I didn’t think so? Oh please, I need a pause button.