Holding on to sweet nothing!
I saw a funny article’s headline today: ‘Introverts joy of lockdown getting ruined by extroverts filling their schedules with video appointments’.. followed up by the wistful caption: ‘The struggle is real.’
Yes, we home bodies are rumoured to be taking to this social distancing well. But it seems just as I was rubbing my hands together contemplating how delicious it will be to sink into a solitary groove of pottering with a side dish of quiet reflection. There have been a barrage of Facebook public service announcements and meme’s: “Make sure you stay connected! Make sure you keep a routine going! It’s important to schedule exercise and social time”.
My hopes to cash in on some guilt-free ‘nothing’ have been dashed by a rising tide of mania to stay busy as though our lives depend on it.
Now there’s no need to ‘miss out' on aerobics, pilates, Zumba or yoga classes. They’re all available online, hoorah! Along with work meetings, strata meetings, make sure you’re prepared for meetings meetings.
And don’t forget to schedule in those lively Zoom cocktail parties and Skype dinners, and connect with family all over the world for a glitchy check in.
And why don’t I use this time wisely to catch up on all those ‘someday’ jobs that have been lurking in the pipelines. Yay, I can finally clean out those cupboards, organise the shed, plant the garden, write that novel, make my own deodorant, brew some kombucha, plaster the holes in the walls, learn a language, get my website up and running, try new recipes, etc.
As Jamie Catto puts it, “If you don’t come out of this quarantine with your side hustle started, you clearly don’t lack time, you lack self-discipline!” (tongue firm in cheek)
We’re all so used to being hectic. There’s a discomfort about being left to our own thoughts for a minute, and a multitude of antidotes to avoid a collision with ‘nothingness'.
It’s true that social connections and a sense of purpose are vital for our mental health but so is permission to just rest and disconnect. Ah sweet nothing, don’t let it slip away.
Of course I can just log off and tune out the collective megaphone. I’m just pondering this once-in-a-lifetime sweet spot of the world being on hold and doing nothing without FOMO. Never before has there been such nobility in choosing to stay home and see people less. A legitimate, official declaration on doing less for the sake of our collective well-being.
If anyone needs to hear it, it is okay just to rest! There is an unknown thing happening worldwide accompanied with much collective anxiety and grief. We need to go gently on ourselves. We need time to process.
I’m glad businesses and services can stay afloat by transitioning online. I hope we can all find a way to join in or pass, to do or not do whatever we need to stay healthy and sane right now. Consider the occasional self-permission slip to go offline and relish this unprecedented chance for downtime.
And for the next unnecessary video appointment you can always fall back on ‘technical issues’ ;)
Link to article: https://boingboing.net/2020/04/09/introverts-joy-of-lockdown-g.html
Jamie Catto: https://www.facebook.com/JamieCattoWorkshops/