Prep, cook, eat, clean, repeat.
I mentioned this yesterday, but I honestly do feel like I am in some weird dystopian remake of the movie “Groundhog Day.” My apartment is not small, but at 66 days into being isolated alone in that space everything I do feels like a repetition.
Up until today, I have been actively working remotely. Today I start to use up some accrued vacation time that has to be used before June 30 or I lose it. I am not complaining, and I am not missing the things associated with my job right now, but the lack of that focus on work is making me turn my focus more than before to myself and my physical environment.
Way back in Sparkling Isolation – Day 10 I wrote about the concept of ennui. I revisited that concept in Sparkling Isolation – Day 39. Well, it’s back. A more accurate version of today’s post title should be “Prep, cook, eat, clean, explore the outer boundaries of ennui, repeat”.
I have become totally obsessed with food – purchasing, prepping, preparing, plating, photographing, eating, cleaning up, posting the photos on social media, then beginning to think about the next meal or the next cooking project. My freezer is fuller than it’s ever been and I have more to freeze today. Basically, I think about food nearly every waking moment when I am not dealing with my job.
Well, with one exception which is my exploration of ennui.
The tedious repetition of activities coupled with the tedious repetition of physical movement through my apartment has created a sense of pointlessness in my life. Everything feels like it’s just not important any longer. I frequently find myself thinking, “What’s the point? Why should I even bother trying to finish this project? Who cares?”
I know I have mentioned this before in multiple posts, but I think my obsession with food is because it’s one of the few things I can control. For a brief shining moment in the course of creating a meal I can feel totally engaged and creative. Once it’s all done, however, I am back to ennui. It is even becoming more of an effort to plate my food attractively – one of the few things that I have maintained as a more-or-less strict focus. As long as I can keep at least one thing beautiful and special, I won’t feel totally hopeless.
Friends have told me that I should use this time to catch up on shows that I have never seen or haven’t watched in a long time. It’s no use. I gave up binge watching Netflix and Amazon Prime weeks ago. Nothing could hold my attention long enough for me to become engaged, so it was easier to just stop entirely. I have finally started reading books again, but even that seems to have lost its previous luster for me. As an avid reader, that’s a depressing thought.
So at the moment it’s all about food. At least I know I have nearly total control over this one, small part of my life. Now that I’m between meals, however, it’s time for a visit to the world of ennui for a while. I’ll leave you with a humorous cartoon about the subject:
It’s only Quarantine if it comes from the Quarante province of France. Otherwise, it’s just Sparkling Isolation.