I suppose I have always had a bit of a melancholy nature, deep down. In college, when given a choice in a film class to pick a director for a thesis project I picked Ingmar Bergman. Try watching all of his films in a week and see how you feel. In a literature class, I chose to do an extensive project on Camus and Sartre. The myth of Sisyphus particularly intrigued me. Apparently, existentialism appeals to some deeper part of my nature.
Today has been a day of ennui.
If you’re not familiar with the term, according to Dictionary.com, “ennui” is a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.
It’s not that I am depressed – that feels entirely different to me. This is a sense of utter fatigue and pointlessness. I found myself sitting at my desk, staring at my work computer, waiting to see if I would get an email. I did that for what felt like hours. Then I would get up and walk around the apartment, picking things up and putting them down again. I worked on a jigsaw puzzle for a few minutes here and there. But nothing seemed to really catch my attention enough to get me to stop and focus.
All of the spiritual work that I am doing – based on what I have written in the past two days of these blog posts – may have something to do with this. Sometimes, when deep and fundamental things are going on in my psyche, it’s like being a computer processing a whole bunch of different programs at one time. The entire system slows down while something happens in the background. I felt a bit like that today.
I have to be OK with not working from nine to five now. I don’t have enough work to keep me occupied for an entire day so I need to just let go of my feelings of obligation and realize that what is more important than my job right now is my own health and well-being. I am keeping up with all of the important tasks, and even beginning work on some long-term projects for next season. But I can’t just waste hours sitting here staring at a blank computer screen every day. That will cause this ennui to become depression, and I am not in a space where I am willing to allow myself to spiral down into that black pit – particularly when I am alone and have little ability to even get outside due to cold, rainy weather.
Unlike depression, ennui doesn’t lead me into self-destructive behavior (aka, comfort eating and drinking too much alcohol). I had a nice healthy lunch and for dinner ordered takeout from one of my favorite restaurants (to keep giving them as much business as possible). The evening meal was definitely a pampering moment for me. I plated it up using china, silver, and crystal. The meal consisted of Smoked Trout appetizer, sides of Roasted Asparagus and Southern-Style Coleslaw, an entrée of Beef Wellington-Prime Striploin (Puff Pastry, Red Wine Reduction), and for dessert a Salted Candy Bar (Shortbread Cookie, Whipped Cream, Seasonal Berries). I bought a bottle of wine from the restaurant to go with the meal, a 2018 La Capranera Aglianico.
Here’s a photo:
When I post photos like this on Instagram, I use a series of hashtags. I will share those here:
#singledining #diningalone #datingmyself #diningsolo #solodining #tableforone #tableforoneplease #takingcareofme #grateful #lifeisgood #alonebutnotlonely
Alone does not have to equal lonely. Yes, I am feeling a bit like my anchors have been removed and I’m drifting along without direction, but I truly believe that some higher power will keep guiding me to where I need to be. So for today, despite the overwhelming sense of ennui, my sparkling isolation is actually not too bad.
I guess I will keep drifting and see where I land.
It’s only Quarantine if it comes from the Quarante province of France. Otherwise, it’s just Sparkling Isolation.