Friday, May 15, 2020

Covid-time has not made me a better person.

I took this photo of dandelions in the store's parking lot yesterday:

This long social stagnation has been/ is hard on me and many others I know. (Maybe you too?)
Part of it is, we're alone too much with our monkey minds.
I've felt like such a failure during the eight weeks of Stay-at-Home.
I've berated myself:
Why haven't I organized my entire block to do aerobics in the street?
Why haven't I set up a Zoom group?
Why didn't I pursue a medical career when I was young?

And, Why, why, why [my standard] aren't I already a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, now out on the street interviewing people who live rough?
Basically: I must have made all the wrong choices all along, right? or I'd be rising to the occasion as A Better Person.

I know full well:

When the whole world is shuddering, simply staying on one's feet is hard. And being knocked down is normal and sane.
[One could point out, the world is always shuddering, and some people always register the shudders. But I mean, for a thicky like me, I'm feeling it too.]
Far from being an angel of mercy, encouraging all around me with my wand of stardust, instead I've had conflict with HouseMate (all is well now); Sister (we're not talking! good going, Team Human); and a very dear friend (still to be resolved, pleasegod).

Isolation is not good for us.
My favorite podcast Hidden Brain had an episode on Loneliness (during Covid, or anytime)---it's a public health problem too:
Loneliness can become a self-perpetuating downward spiral--people get lonely, feel bad, and stop trying to reach out.
When there's no obvious way to reach out, like now, that can be bad.
My blog has been extra-important to me these past couple months. 
Blogging has been an anchor---
or, better, it's been a filament in the underground mushroom network,
through which forest plants communicate.

I haven't needed much to help sustain me--
simply the light touch of knowing there are other bloggers out there.

But I miss the rub of contact in person, which is more like being in a rock tumbler than brushing against a spiderweb.
Again--I'm so grateful the thrift store is letting people come back to work while we're closed. (Especially since we'll stay closed at least another week).
Seeing my coworkers reminded me, we are all little animals, easily knocked off our feet.
(I know NO Pulitzer Prize winners.)

One of the best things about going to work yesterday was hearing my coworkers all saying much the same thing:
And did that make me feel better?
It really did.

I suspect being a "better person" might mean accepting that wondering "Why aren't I a better person?" is a trick question, and just getting on with not being one. 

Now off I go to work, to be a schlub among schlubs, and glad of it.


  1. I think the question is a trick one! I've been contemplating the same thing especially after I read about how someone has created (hand-pieced and hand quilted) 6 (!) quilts over the last 6 weeks. I started thinking about that and realized how much fabric and batting you would need.......

    I look back the last 6 weeks and wonder what have I done......why haven't I created more.....


  2. It's interesting -- I know so many people who have similar angst about not being "productive" enough during this time of Covid. But the whole world has been shut down! How could we be more, do more? (And you have some super-high standards there, let me just say. :)

    I feel fulfilled if I just manage to vacuum the rug or pot up a few plants.

    We ARE social animals, though, it's true, and I think the isolation weighs on us all in different ways.

  3. I've lost weight that I shouldn't and done nothing. Except establish that the sweetest hours to sleep are between 9:30 and 11:30 in the morning. And that bedtime is best about 1AM. (Not that useful when your spouse is an early bird). And broken my arm and poked myself in the eye (a month apart).

    I've been following you throughout and been inspired and uplifted by your activity. So there you go, you never know...

  4. We are all human - or, at least, most of us are - and so we are not perfect. Take time to write down all the things you achieve in a day and you will be surprised that you had time to do them all!

  5. KIRSTEN: We must be related! :)

    STEVE: "I feel fulfilled if I just manage to vacuum the rug or pot up a few plants."
    Well, exactly!

    High standards. Heh.
    I've heard that before:
    Once an artist friend said I was good at drawing, and I disagreed, saying,
    "Not compared to Leonardo."

    But who do we compare ourselves to, if not the best?

    SALLY: That's lovely to hear my activities have been inspiring!

    You know, sleep is a much overlooked "activity"--so good on you for finding out what works for you. Really!
    It's a pet peeve of mine that many people act as if it's some sort of moral good to go without sleep, when actually it's irresponsible:
    Good sleep makes good humans!

    JABBLOG: Thank you for that perspective. Some days I lie on the couch and read, and it's true, it's nice to have the time to do that!