What day is it?
This is not the first time in the past seventeen weeks that I have lost track of time. I know I’m not the only one who has moments of confusion around the day of the week – let alone the hour of the day.
It’s not that every day has the same tasks, but this enforced isolation in my apartment makes it incredibly hard for me to feel any kind of novelty. Since my morning commute to work is now about seventeen feet instead of seventeen miles, there’s not much in the scenery that can change to make me feel like today is different.
But it’s more than that. Something about the “not knowing” makes me feel like I am in a perpetual holding pattern. At the beginning of the quarantine things were scary and disconcerting, but there was a feeling of novelty in the experience. Not necessarily in a good way, but still a sense of this being something new that required a great deal of energy and attention to navigate.
As things began to drag on longer and longer, I began to settle into habits and patterns. I have addressed the issue of “ruts” a few times during this series, and when I realized that I was getting into a place of tedious repetition, I worked diligently to find ways out of that – quite successfully for the most part.
Still, time has kept on ticking by and in the past couple of weeks I have felt a new dullness in my energy. My past few posts have talked about my exhaustion and fatigue. Today I realize that part of that is the sheer weight of not knowing.
At my job, they keep changing course about when they want us to return to our physical offices. They also keep changing protocols about how to get back to campus. I’m not blaming them for that, they are as confused as the rest of us. Every day it seems like something happens that either moves us backwards – making me feel sad and depressed – or forwards – making me feel hopeful.
Every time I feel hopeful, however, something seems to come along to throw cold water on that feeling. It’s the Coronacoaster experience – up, down, around, through, fast, slow – all with no real pattern to it. That’s what is exhausting me and making me feel unfocused and dense.
That’s the word I was questing for – dense.
My energy feels heavy and mucky – like trying to wade through a pool of sticky mud. Each step is a huge effort and just when I see a goal it gets obscured by clouds and while I am trying to peer through the gloom, I get stuck and have to expend energy to manipulate my way out of the blockage.
My inability to recognize what day it is, or what hour of the day it is, or even what the date might be today – June, July, August? – all of that is a symptom of the looming uncertainty. So today during my sparkling isolation (day 120, actually, since I missed a couple of days of posting) I have to just push on and try to do my job. I have meetings, webinars to host, barges to tote and bales to lift.
Even though it all feels utterly pointless to me right now, I guess I have to keep on trying to feel as “normal” as possible. I just wish I knew even a glimmer of where I am going right now.
It’s only Quarantine if it comes from the Quarante province of France. Otherwise, it’s just Sparkling Isolation.