Yes, after nine months spent ever so diligently avoiding COVID (successfully to date, although never say never), I am officially BORED.
As a disciple of habit, I thought this would never get old for me, but maybe I’m not quite as dull as I suspected.
I’ve been outside daily, getting in my 10K steps, discovering every possible walk nearby:
There’s the school running track I can walk with Kindle in hand.
There’s the walk through the park on the paved pathway.
There’s the walk that combines street viewing (to check out pretty houses along the way) and the forest path.
There’s the walk through the forest with the dogs.
There’s the walk through the forest without the dogs.
You get my drift.
I suspect I’ve finally hit my own official Groundhog Day role.
And I’m working, admittedly on commission, but regardless, there are only so many productive hours of work. After all, it’s” Still Work!” So I want a break after 8 hours.
All in all, my time spent at home has gone from being a joy to being slightly…less…joyful.
Now please don’t get me wrong. Next to that alternate life we all used to lead: getting up earlier to get that public transportation to the city, tussle with the crowds, work eight or so hours and do the return wrestle home. No Thank You.
Even writing that was exhausting!
So a commuting-to-work life is not the answer.
I’ve been thinking about France: about Parisian cafe culture, sitting outside, spring weather, blue sky, dressed cool – European style – tight clothing, dark, stylish.
I can picture it now. Perhaps with a few friends, perhaps smoking (even though I can’t stand the things after 25 years away). But generally living that life (remember that life?) when in hindsight we didn’t have a care in that pre-Covid world, and sitting around, huddled, close, like Covid dangerous close.
Oh my God, for someone who avoids social gatherings, even I’m longing for human connection.
So it’s time. Well, not really, we have more months to go. As with all life experiences, this has brought more insight, especially combined with daily writing where everything spills out.
I now know that even I, yes, anti-social me, want some human bonding it seems. My standard fantasy is about that log cabin – somewhere remote —North Dakota always comes to mind, as it sounds so damn isolated. But for the first time in a very long time, I’m thinking about crowded Parisian streets.
Being Paris, it’s undoubtedly a highfalutin fantasy, but still, it’s a populated one!
So we live and learn. When we’re put into a once-in-a-lifetime (please God, let it be) situation, we suddenly long for things we were bitching about 12 months earlier. Such is the human condition…
So we gain wisdom. Even in hardship (it’s all relative, I know —after all, we live in the US, it could be far worse), we can learn more about ourselves.
And as I write this, I suddenly feel some gratitude seeping in. That even when we’re in dark times, some inner wisdom, or amusement at my contrariness, appears. I get to see, all over again, parts of myself I’d forgotten.
I can so easily talk myself into negative or isolating beliefs, “I like to be by myself”, “I don’t need others”, “It’s far better by myself,” “I’m going to be single forever- I prefer it that way.” These are some voices I hear in my head.
And they do feel like my truth most of the time, apart from now. Suddenly, human connection in a social gathering sounds fabulous.
Perhaps this will change how I look at the world in the post-pandemic era. (Perhaps like the biblical references to years, BC and AD, we now need a PC (post-Covid) assignment as a future reference to this period and the years following.)
But I do suspect for a while at least, I will dare to go forth and socialize again.
Perhaps it’s the prompt I need to get back into the main thrust of life – but I’m dubious. A little at a time, my son!
For many of us, I’m sure this has been a reset on our lives. We’ve realized things about ourselves, about our nearest and dearest, our place in life, our foibles.
Some of us may re-enter society with more intention in our lives: to live with more purpose, to savor more of life, have more gratitude in general for the status quo.
That is certainly my intent. Let me grab that slice of life that has my name.