I’m Not Getting It Together, or Prepare Yourself for a Long and Rambling Post

April 24, 2020

Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

I’ve been trying to figure out why I seem unable to get anything of note accomplished. Could it be because the world has gone mad? For instance:

  • Our local weather has been see-sawing between the 90s and the 70s with violent storms in between. 
  • I haven’t been to the library since March 14.
  • I go grocery shopping wearing a mask.

You’d think I would have extra time on my hands since I can’t pick up a few things at Target or meet a friend at Panera for coffee—or do any of the other little things that seem to suck up more time than you’d expect. Since we are so very, very fortunate to be safe, healthy, and comfortable during this stay-at-home time, I thought I’d be reading more books, creating art, and writing like mad.

I’m not.

Huh.

Guess it’s not just “lack of time” that keeps me from doing the things I say I want to do. What have I been doing? I really don’t know. I’ve spent some extra time with Tank because he was due for vet and farrier visits recently. Though honestly, since I’m still doing all the household things I did before lockdown, I don’t have as much additional free time as those who are home from their regular jobs. I’m still doing most of my “regular job,” so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at my lack of increased productivity. The good news is that this week has been better than last week, which was in turn better than the one before.

I see that many other people are struggling with the same mood and motivation issues during these strange days. If you’re struggling too, you’re not alone. Here are a few things that have helped me with the disconnect/anxiety/overall strangeness:

  • Dressing rather than staying in pajamas.
  • Checking in with one or two people every day.
  • Checking the news briefly, choosing the least incendiary headlines to click.
  • Writing in my journal.
  • Going outside for a few minutes to water the plants and seeds, and watch the dog run around.
  • Completing one or two small (I mean miniscule) tasks each week. This week I cleaned up some spots on the carpet in the master bedroom and cleaned and conditioned the boots I wear to the barn.

I also found this piece really interesting—the variety of things people are doing to stay sane. For example, “To guard against lethargy, despondency and slovenliness, structure feels important: appointments, schedules, achievable goals, regular activities.” (Simon Armitage)

Or

“It’s important not to beat ourselves up. You don’t always have to do stuff. Or achieve stuff. You don’t have to spend your time wisely and productively. You don’t have to be doing tai chi and DIY and artisan bread-making. Sometimes you can just be and feel things and get through and survive. It’s OK to just exist.” (Matt Haig)

I’ve spent a good amount of time online, but not reading the news. I’ve gravitated towards music and happier types of distractions, including:

70 West End stars perform Les Misérables’ Do You Hear The People Sing

Cast of Beautiful sings “You’ve Got a Friend”

(Can you tell I miss my shows at the Straz?!)

I’ve been listening to this almost every day.

John Krasinksi’s SGN (Some Good News) episodes are lots of fun. Episode 2 continues my personal musical theater theme with an appearance by Lin-Manuel Miranda and other Hamilton cast members.

If you’re more into operatic/classical music, click here for Andrea Bocelli’s performance at the Duomo in Milan.

Meteorologist Jeff Lyons of Indiana has been shooting his weather forecasts at home, with a little help from the family pet, who has now been dubbed Betty the Weather Cat. Click here to see them in action.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, or next week, or next year. This situation is unprecedented on every level. I’m simultaneously terrified and hopeful. I’ve heard about so many generous acts, such grace and kindness, and I choose to focus on those things rather than the actions of those who for whatever reason allow their baser instincts to take over. I’m trying to overcome my own fear and shyness to reach out to see how I can help others, and I’m doing it imperfectly and awkwardly and often missing the mark altogether. And I’m especially grateful for grocery store employees who never imagined they might be risking their lives to check me out at Publix.

I hope you and your loved ones are still safe and healthy, and that you’re about to enjoy a weekend of simple pleasures and everyday adventures. Let me know how you’re doing in the comments below. And if you’ve heard any positive stories coming out of this crisis, please also share those in the comments!

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6 comments

  1. "Checking the news briefly, choosing the least incendiary headlines to click."

    Agreed. The headlines are written in a leading way, leading straight to doom. I guess that sells. 🤔

    Your post is lovely and peaceful. Thank you. The sunshine helps, doesn't it?

    🌸

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandi--Yes, it does! Glad you found the post soothing, and thank you for taking the time to comment. Hope you're staying safe and well.

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  2. Kathy I think just being honest about how we all feel is important. I am still working every week but not every day. In the past I would have welcomed these extra hours but honestly trying even to read a book has became a challenge. I hear your pain regarding the library...hubby and I certainly miss our time there. Take care friend. Hugs!

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    Replies
    1. Debbie--I agree, and I'm seeing more and more admissions of feeling lethargic and unmotivated.

      I'm in the same boat--still working some, and have been finding concentrating enough to read a challenge. The good news is, that seems to be fading somewhat, and I've been feeling a bit more energetic and able to concentrate.

      Hope you and your husband are still safe and healthy, and that our libraries will be opening (safely) again sometime soon.

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  3. Hi Kathy, I have to diligently work at health and consciousnesss in order to be serene...to notice when I'm lapsing into a blurry state, or a frenzied state of overwhelm. I also find structures help. One of my concrete tools is setting a timer when I have to begin a task but am feeling hesitant. Another is to Notice when anxiety is beginning to strike so that I can have a choice to let it go. The idea of being gentle on myself in terms of how much I can "accomplish" in a day is helpful. As always, I love your reflective and helpful posts.

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    Replies
    1. Rita--thank you for your comment. I forget how much effort it takes to stay healthy, body, mind and spirit. Your words encouraged me that I'm not alone in the struggle. I go back and forth, trying to find the balance of gentleness with myself and self-discipline so I don't feel like I'm becoming too lazy.

      Yes, the timer! I love the timer and use it a lot.

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