Today has been a cold, wet, rather gloomy day. In the past, during spring months when the weather can be so changeable and so often dismal like this, I have been able to cheer myself up through social connections – going out to the gym for a great workout, visiting the Art Institute of Chicago, heading to my favorite bar to chat with a favorite mixologist and have some excellent cocktails, moving on to a fantastic restaurant and treating myself to something special.
Obviously, none of that happened today. Instead, I am sitting here alone – still – for my 39th day of pondering how to navigate this isolation. This really isn’t a complaint about the weather. I can’t change the weather any more than I can change the current world situation. This is more of a stream-of-consciousness journaling about the strange energies I am feeling today.
On one hand, I feel listless and unmotivated. It’s clearly a classic case of ennui. Way back on Day 10 of this experience, I posted about the energy of ennui: HERE.
At the same time as ennui, however, I am also feeling restless and agitated. It’s like oil and water, really. I have the urge to move, to do things, to be productive yet at the same time I have no energy and my entire outlook feels like a living exploration of the word, “Meh.”
I am not going to blame the weather – entirely – but it certainly doesn’t help. Walking outside is neither comfortable nor intelligent on a cold, rainy day like this. I could bundle up, but it would be miserable and I would come home wet and frustrated and cold. Yeah, not a good idea.
The more productive-minded of my friends would certainly say, “Then just exercise! You don’t need a gym for that. Do some yoga, some Pilates. Find an online fitness class.” I thought about that for about ten seconds, but the lack of inertia is far more powerful than the desire to force myself to do something just because I hear somebody else’s voice in my head trying to make me feel guilty for not exercising.
It’s amazing how pervasive and powerful those internal voices can be – those voices that tell me what I should and should not do. Guilt, shame, guilt, shame. It’s an endless cycle of that until I can find a way to shut them up. Today, there are especially insidious. I have projects to do, sure. I have creative things I could dive into that could potentially lift my spirits. Yep. I could clean or vacuum or iron clothes or any of a dozen other home-improvement or home-cleaning tasks. Check.
Am I doing any of them. Ha! Take a guess.
Today’s dose of isolation does not feel particularly sparkling. It’s dull and tired. Still, I have to understand that some days will be like this while others will feel all bright and vivacious. Rather than focus on the cold, gloomy weather perhaps I can remember the words of poet Thomas Carlyle:
Long stormy spring-time, wet contentious April, winter chilling the lap of very May; but at length the season of summer does come.
As I typed that, I realized it’s a metaphor for my life right now.
Summer will come.
It’s only Quarantine if it comes from the Quarante province of France. Otherwise, it’s just Sparkling Isolation.