Isolation. Lack of purpose. Boredom. Laziness. Loneliness. Stir-craziness.
During this unprecedented time, I am sure we have all felt some combination of these things. I don’t know about everyone else, but for me personally it has been difficult not to get sucked into gloominess and wallowing.
Just before this all happened and everyday life as we know it changed, I was in the middle of a move. I left my home, my job, and all my friends to move to a new area far away, and literally days later, everything went into shelter-in-place. That was pretty daunting to say the least, but I am so fortunate enough not to be alone in this time and have someone I love in which to share it.
Despite this, however, I was still struggling with the discouraging prospect of staying home and not having a job or source of income or friends or being able to explore anything in my new area, for months on end. Not the greatest feeling.
But after these past few weeks of wrestling with this and the blend of emotions that came with it, I started branching out to different resources and slowly trying to turn my perspective around. This was for a few reasons. First, who really wants to wallow in self-pity for weeks on end? Second, if I didn’t stop and get myself together, I was going to start gaining weight like crazy, and that’s never a good feeling. And third, I started to get the sense that life was hard-core passing me by, and I was completely wasting the time that I now had in abundance. I needed to get busy to stay sane.
Because really – when is the next time I will have this opportunity? I have so few real responsibilities right now – how often have I been able to say that in my adult life? Literally never. It is a privilege to be where I am right now: fortunate enough to have a safe place to live, a warm bed, someone to share this time with, and some semblance of security, at least for now.
Putting aside the fact that it’s scary to not have a job or the freedom to do things outside the house, what reason do I have not to accomplish all the things that I always make excuses not to do? When else am I going to have copious amounts of free time in which I could learn to Dutch braid, learn acro-yoga, bake crumpets (what even is a crumpet?), write a book, crank out some poems, catch up on my reading list, get in great shape, etc. The list could go on and on. When I literally have nothing else eating up my time, how do I still manage to find excuses not to do all these things that I legitimately have always wanted to do?
When I came to this realization, I had to ask myself: are you going to keep binge drinking and watching embarrassing amounts of Neflix and Amazon prime shows? Or are you going to get off the couch, put on some big-girl pants, and learn how to do whatever the hell you want, produce amazing (or not amazing) creative works, and kick this quarantine in the ass?
Let me tell you – I’ll be the first to admit that I do love the occasional Netflix and wine binge. But here’s the difference: I don’t want that to become my reality. I’m not sick, fortunately – in fact I honestly have never had more energy in my life.
I have no excuse, and I don’t want one.
I realize that everyone is different and is dealing with this in their own way. Yes this is a difficult time, and many people are affected and definitely not as comfortable in their situations as I am. But I’m here, healthy, capable, stir-crazy, and have practically unlimited modern technology and access to information. I know myself enough to realize I can’t be content sitting on the couch. So what better time to get after it and accomplish something great?