My daily life has not changed that much since before Covid. I was retired before; I am still retired. I had to plan my own schedule before, I still do that. I stayed home most of the time before, I still do. I visited the gym infrequently, mostly walked for exercise; I now only walk for exercise. I used to enjoy going to the grocery store; now I enjoy shopping online (sort of). I used to dress up a little and go to church every week; now I put on those clothes for the online Zoom portion of our weekly church service. I used to do the NYT crossword every day and I still do that. I still have unlimited access to online books and movies. I used to enjoy going out to eat once a week or so; we now pick up food somewhere almost that often. I used to see my kids and grandkids about every 4-6 weeks; now I don’t do that but I talk to them more often by phone or Facetime than I used to.
Besides being physically present with friends and family (and that’s big, of course), I can’t remember what I did before that I am missing so much. I can’t remember exactly what it was about life pre-Covid-19 that makes quarantine life feel so different. And yet the feeling is very different.
I feel blurry. A little stupid. Maybe “in a stupor” is a better way of putting it. I can’t concentrate on anything for very long. Entertainment isn’t very entertaining. Projects don’t get finished or, now, even started. There are a few rather important things I really could be doing but I can’t bring myself to focus on them. They require focus and creativity that I don’t have.
There are few obvious reasons for this except that I am following the news closely and know all too much about the disaster unfolding just outside my direct experience. That is the big, ever-present distraction that is causing a kind of attention-deficit disorder. Covid-ADD (not ADHD; one thing I’m not is hyperactive).
I hope sometime soon (after all these weeks!) to summon the power to divert my attention from the things over which I have no control, long enough to do some things I can control or at least to better shape my own response. I am missing in myself the creativity that I see others exercising. I miss being generative. I want to be part of the solution. I’m still, myself, something of a problem.
I am waiting, perhaps too passively, for my inner fire to come back. Is there something I could be doing to make that happen?