Sometimes I surprise myself.
The past few days have been serious up and down affairs – still riding on the Coronacoaster I wrote about a couple of days ago. Yesterday was a perfect example. The day was mostly good, then something happened that plummeted me into depression, but then I had to set it all aside so that I could go live online and conduct the first of a series of weekly interviews.
I had a genuinely great time during the interview – nothing feigned there at all. It was a surprise to me that I could set aside the nasty negative experience from 4:30 p.m. and channel a natural exuberant happiness at 7 p.m. After the interview, I remained in a fairly good mood until I went to bed.
The night was difficult. I rarely have trouble sleeping, but my nightmares were excessive and debilitating last night. I woke up around 3 p.m. and found it nearly impossible to go back to sleep until close to 6 p.m. I eventually had to get up and focus on getting some very difficult projects done for my job. I had a staff meeting today, and all of us were brutally honest with each other wondering just how secure our jobs might be at the moment. Fear is never a good thing, and although we didn’t dive deeply into it, all of us are clearly thinking about it.
Luckily, the weather was gorgeous today and I had made special arrangements to be allowed back into my workplace for an hour today to take care of a few things that required me to be there instead of remotely working from home. Strangely, there was something rather zen about my whole experience of driving to work and spending time alone in my building.
The drive down allowed me to actually get out of my apartment and travel somewhere. I rode with the windows down, despite the temperatures being ever so slightly too cool for that. The wind cleared my mind. At work, I was alone in my building for an hour and I spent time focusing on some possible solutions to issues that have recently come up.
As I left, I ran into one of my friends from work – at a distance – and had a nice semi-shouted conversation. The drive home was another lovely time of rolling down the windows, enjoying scenery, and generally feeling good about the simple fact of moving instead of sitting still.
The best part of the day was yet to come. I got home and had to start making some potentially stressful phone calls. In the middle of it, I got a text message from a good friend telling me to come downstairs to the front of my building. I was curious! I went down and this friend came out of her car (wearing a mask, of course) and handed me a beautiful, bright, flowering plant. She knew that I was having a difficult day and was fully aware of the issues going on for me, and went out of her way to pick up a plant and deliver it in person.
It may seem like a small gesture, but for me it was a huge turning point in the day. Despite the problems, the difficulties, the work-related stress, and my general feelings of anxiety I found myself feeling happy again. Sometimes all it takes is one small thing to turn everything around.
I surprised myself by the mere fact that I did not allow myself to get dragged down by something that could have easily dragged me into despair. I surprised myself by finding such joy in the simple act of driving and spending time in the beautiful building where my office sits. And I surprised myself by forgetting that I have so many fantastic and supportive friends.
The flowering plant was a joyful reminder that I am not alone and that I do have support – no matter what happens as a result of the current situation.
Happiness in a time of great stress – a joyful surprise.
It’s only Quarantine if it comes from the Quarante province of France. Otherwise, it’s just Sparkling Isolation.