Spinning my wheels.
I feel a little like a hamster racing around on one of those little wheels in a cage. The cage is my apartment – and today I couldn’t easily get outside. I woke up this morning to a blanket of snow and even as the day improved, it was still cold and not inviting to go outside. So I stayed in.
The wheel in the cage was my day full of activity. Nothing I did today was pointless, nor was it wasting time. Everything had a reason, but as I sit here tonight sipping Chianti and typing, the entire day of activity does somehow feel pointless on some level.
On a cursory examination, I was busy and productive:
- Virtual coffee date to help a friend celebrate a birthday
- Virtual weekly staff meeting
- Catching up on work emails
- Finishing up a grant project for work
- Preparing a healthy lunch
- Preparing to host a webinar
- Hosting the webinar
- Ironing and rehanging some curtains
- Doing some hand washing of clothes
- Cleaning the kitchen
- Getting a bit more work done
- And now – writing this post while binge watching the original “Tales of the City” on Netflix
Not a boring day, and at times I felt rather busy. And on a positive note, I got my $1,200 direct deposit from the federal government today. But like that hamster, the energy felt entirely circular. Round and round and round but really taking me nowhere at all. Something about all the activity felt empty to me, even the times I was having fun and accomplishing things that really do matter to me (like the webinar).
Why do I feel so empty? I guess everyone is having moments of this during this time of quarantine. There are moments of normalcy, then suddenly something will remind you of just how bizarre our lives have become – face masks, gloves, closed businesses, physical distancing, isolation, empty grocery store shelves, etc.
It’s not at the front of my brain, so I cannot truly articulate exactly what I am feeling. But what I sense is that deep down I am processing another level of anxiety right now. I often looks at spiritual evolution not as a linear path, but more like a spiral. I go around and each time I rise a bit higher, but I keep coming back to the same spot, only seeing it from a higher level each time. Right now, I guess I am spiraling up (which is a good thing) but I am coming around the bend for another chance to stop and look at some things in my life from a slightly higher perspective.
These feelings of pointlessness are symptoms of my deeper anxiety about my life. I am not ready to actively sit and ask myself some hard questions about the future – not yet – but I think those are bubbling around and getting ready to present themselves to me soon.
For the moment, I think I have to just be OK with activity even if it feels pointless to me. Doing something is better than sitting around doing nothing, because the latter will only lead me to dysfunctional rumination.
I guess it’s OK to just “spin your wheels” sometimes.
It’s only Quarantine if it comes from the Quarante province of France. Otherwise, it’s just Sparkling Isolation.