Less is more.
This morning I sat down to write a post about yesterday – day 87 of my quarantine. Things are opening up a bit in Illinois, at least in the suburbs. I finally got out to a restaurant after thirteen weeks of not dining out. Grocery shopping seems to be slightly less obnoxious than it has been. Most businesses are waiting for the next phase plans from the governor, but are slated to begin more reopening by the end of the month.
Overall, there is small but steady change happening. That’s a good thing and it should have elevated my mood. “Should” being the operative word here. I’m not saying that I’m completely depressed, but even the excitement of finally getting out and sitting at a restaurant for the first time in over three months did not shift my mental space significantly. Oh, it made me happy in the moment and I am still feeling a sense of contentment, but overall I still feel a little numb.
It’s like all of my emotions are covered in some kind of thick, wooly blanket. They are there, underneath, but overlaid with a buffer that mutes them somehow. So this morning, as I sat to begin writing, I found myself sitting quietly and trying to touch those elusive emotions.
As I sit here now typing, I have a nice cup of coffee. I have relaxing meditative music playing in the background. The temperatures are in the upper fifties and a lovely light breeze is coming through my open windows. The sun is out and the sky is clear and bright blue. I realized that I had been sitting here for nearly ten minutes typing nothing, just sipping coffee and staring out the window at the sky.
My first response was to stop and say to myself, “Stop wasting time, Tommy. Get with it and write your post.” Then I realized that was not my voice. It was some kind of collective voice of all the “shoulds” from my life that have always tried to make me feel guilty if I’m not constantly moving, constantly achieving.
So today I realize that sometimes all that is important is taking a quiet moment to sit and do absolutely nothing that those type-A voices would consider “productive.” The most productive thing I can do for myself in this moment is to just stop, breathe, and enjoy the beauty of this moment.
Thinking less allows me to just “be.” That’s a good feeling.
It’s only Quarantine if it comes from the Quarante province of France. Otherwise, it’s just Sparkling Isolation.