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Exhausted by all the everythings

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There is so much noise, constant music, persistent flashing images and billboards and advertising, so much entertainment, so much social media, so many push notifications that we – whether we realise it or not – are mentally spent.

A young woman who is working at a computer at night, holding a cup of coffee in her hands, wants to sleep. File picture

RECENTLY I was reading a blog, or watching a vlog, or browsing through my newsfeed or binging on YouTube clips where I learned that – according to my very reliable online source – the exhaustion that we are experiencing these days is not due to working too hard, but rather because we are eating too frequently and eating too many carbohydrates.

Personally, I found that too much to process, so I made myself a sandwich; my favourite sandwich in the entire world – a peanut butter sarmie! Then, as I sat munching the sandwich, I passed the time reading the peanut butter jar’s label.

I was horrified to discover the allergen warning … This product contained peanuts! Imagine my surprise. However, as I grinned at the silliness of warning consumers that there are peanuts in peanut butter, my second discovery was not as amusing. The second allergen warning, on the same jar, was “contains soya beans”.

What monster, what harpy, would adulterate peanut butter with soya beans? It did disturb me though, seeing as I also stumbled across research – yes, on my ever-reliable Internet resources – that people who are experiencing issues with their thyroid should be careful of consuming soya.

Am I saying that people with thyroid issues should not eat soya? No. What I am saying is that if you have thyroid issues, it would be good to do some research on what is good or bad for you. This goes for any health condition, in my opinion.

Oh, by the way, personally I believe that the reason why everyone is so exhausted these days (besides the fact that we’re on the doorstep of December already) is because we are overstimulated. Our bodies and brains are just not given a chance to take a pause and chill.

There is so much noise, constant music, persistent flashing images and billboards and advertising, so much entertainment, so much social media, so many push notifications that we – whether we realise it or not – are mentally spent.

I mean, just in this last week news, opinion and information have been flooding in at an almost overwhelming rate. In South Africa we had one president flying off to England, while a former president faces the prospect of flying back to the coop – and all the media frenzy around those two stories.

The debate around pit bulls is everywhere you look, and emotions are rising on both sides of the argument. And there are plenty of arguments!

Meanwhile, I was paging through a Huis Genoot this past week, which must make me one of only 44 people left doing this, according to an Oscar-winning actress from Boksburg or Benoni or Brakpan. I tend to forget unimportant details sometimes.

No, I have no intention of trolling the movie star.

To be fair, Ms Theron has achieved remarkable success in her chosen field, acting, which essentially is a person pretending to be someone they’re not in the most convincing way possible. I admire actors when their performances are so compelling that it stirs my emotions.

However, we have to be wary of allowing convincing performers to take up too much space in our hearts and minds. No one dares turn off their brains when another person – no matter how attractive, talented or eloquent – voices an opinion. That’s just asking to be deceived.

Sadly, many South Africans are fed up with Charlize flouting her ignorance whilst pretending to be an authority. Social media has gone wild, painting the poor tannie as a harpy – a mythological rapacious monster with a woman’s head and body, and a bird’s wings.

I would not be surprised if Auntie Charlize alienated quite a few of her former fans.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, the Green Falcons gave Argentina a snotklap they will never forget. Could it be that the South American team underestimated the Saudi Arabians and got caught out? Then Germany also stumbled against Japan on Wednesday … maybe for the same reason?

And on that thought, I wonder if the Proteas underestimated the Netherlands at the recent T20 World Cup group match … just thinking. Underestimating one’s opponent and thinking that all you need to do is what you routinely do reduces one’s sharpness.

Sarel van der Merwe, a snake-catcher in Durban, discovered this fact when he was almost taken out by a black mamba he was trying to capture. The snake had been hiding on a property for a few months and, when Van der Merwe finally cornered it, things got a bit hairy when, as he fell backwards, the snake lunged at him. “He would have bitten me if I hadn’t fallen backwards,” Van der Merwe admitted.

I also have regular run-ins with what I believe is a snake in my bathroom. Someone once referred to the rinkhals, or the ring-necked spitting cobra, as “the snake that God should not have made” due to the reptile’s mile-wide mean streak.

I know all about that mean streak because whenever the water comes back on – yes, due to burst pipes, the water in our suburb gets shut off quite regularly – that spitting cobra tap has a go at me.

And as Charlize from Bonteheuwel, or is that Barberton, would say, “Ek skrik my elke keer lam vir daai spoegbek rinkhals!”

All this talk of current events has made me rather weary, so to the other drie-en-veertig Afrikaans speakers out there … Die week was swaar, so miskien moet ons maar gaan lê. En julle moet maar julle naweek geniet!

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