I’ve felt overwhelmed, lately. Between the house, work, Covid-19, protests, and personal things I began to have trouble sleeping, was dealing with anxiety, and generally just felt stressed the fuck out.
So, I’ve taken the last three days off work to recenter. I do feel better, but I’m realizing that the things I would normally due to find my equilibrium aren’t possible in this environment. See, I generally feel at my best when I’m able to fulfill three parts of my life:
- Exercise or play
Work is a constant, and often is the reason I lose my handle on the other two. Creative pursuits are something I need to actively do, but if I’m disciplined and comfortable it’s usually not a problem. Exercise or play I take care of, in normal times, with hockey. Covid-19 has taken that away.
Over the past few days, in between taking care of the house (a pipe burst and flooded our basement, so it’s been constant contractors in and out) and trying to relax, I’ve been thinking about how to update my equilibrium in these strange times. What I’ve settled on, for right now, anyway, is to change how I treat myself and how I define certain activities.
First, I’m forgiving myself for not going the extra mile right now. If I miss blog posts, or if I don’t write a thousand words per day (or at all), that’s ok. I’ve lost my designated space, my mind is distracted with new stressors, and because it’s our busy season at work I need to stay as sharp as I can be to focus on that.
Instead, I’ve changed my idea of creativity to include “passive creativity.” Stockpiling knowledge and ideas for when I’m able to attack it again. I’ve committed to reading more non-fiction (starting with Kevin Kelly’s What Technology Wants and Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist to deepen my understanding of the things I’m interested in and that have profoundly affected my thinking recently. I’ve already felt inspired by both, for different things.
The last leg of the stool, so to speak, is exercise or play (work, the first leg, is a given). Hockey is more than exercise for me. It’s almost the entirety of my social life. That can’t be replaced. Due to my family situation and our low risk tolerance for anyone getting sick, until there’s a vaccine I’m afraid that’s a “c’est la vie” situation. Instead, I’ve settled for making working out as fun as possible for myself. When quarantine began I bought a set of dek tiles from a local rink to practice my game on and support the rink while it was shut down. In addition, I recently bought a standing punching bag to do cardio on (I hate running) and vent frustration. I had a hanging bag when I was a kid, and lost a lot of my form since then. I’m looking forward to getting it back.
Whether or not these changes in perspective and approach actually help or not, I won’t know for a while. This whole year feels lost in a lot of ways, and I think accepting that things will be different for a long time so an adjustment in perspective and approach may be necessary is helpful to me.
Once I get back onto a regular schedule with this blog, I think you’ll know I’ve made it out of the woods.