Yesterday I focused on gratitude – the need to stop and pay attention to things that are going well in my life. I continue to do that. At the same time, today has been a typical example of my swings during this pandemic.
Yesterday, my pendulum swung into a more positive and thoughtful place. Today, it moved all the way back into the other direction into a place of despair. I know that word – despair – sounds dramatic but it’s the best word I could find to reflect my current state of being.
“Despair” is defined as the complete absence of hope.
So I guess perhaps it is a bit dramatic as I am not completely devoid of hope – but today, my sense of hope is very dim. What’s weird is that nothing specifically bad happened to me today. On the contrary, many positive things occurred. Chief among them was getting an email asking me to come review the opening of a new restaurant!
Yes! Even in the midst of this pandemic, there are new openings and I was invited to attend one of them. That’s a HUGE positive in my world.
Despite that, I find myself today feeling a sense of “What’s the point?” I went to my office today for the first time in a couple of weeks, and for only the fourth time since March 17. I got plenty of work done. I went shopping at my favorite liquor store to buy supplies for the wine certification class I am taking. I took myself out to one of my favorite restaurants and had a great meal with wine and cocktails.
Life should feel great right now.
But, sadly, I am feeling anything but great right now.
I suppose this quarantine – isolation – dealing with the unknown – seeing the horrid narcissism and stupidity of people – watching the world fall apart – all of that has contributed to my existential angst. Still, it feels so personal to me today.
As I was driving home from dinner, my thoughts spiraled into a dark and dangerous place. I suddenly thought to myself, “If I disappeared tonight, who would really care? In six months, would anyone even remember that I existed? Have I created anything that would live beyond me? Is the world any better because of me? Would my death/disappearance make even a minor ripple in the fabric of the Universe? Why do I even try to keep on doing anything at all? What’s the point?”
Yes – that sounds horridly dramatic and like I need an intervention. Don’t worry, I am fine. But I have to acknowledge that those thoughts exist, and they are all valid for me at the moment. Every day, I wake up and labor trying to keep on doing my job, but frankly I feel most of the time like I’m just taking someone’s money for doing nothing of importance.
And to be honest, I find myself thinking more and more that my life has no meaning at all. Nada. Here I am at 55 ½ years of age with no savings, no retirement fund, living alone, little prospect of a better job in my increasingly “youth-centric” and “anti-establishment” industry, feeling utterly hopeless about the future and wondering if I am even relevant.
Tonight, quarantine feels less like “sparkling” and more like a muddy, murky swamp of existential angst.
It’s only Quarantine if it comes from the Quarante province of France. Otherwise, it’s just Sparkling Isolation.