My mind is pretty quiet these days, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get distracted.
In the past two days, I’ve tried to write two posts that haven’t really gone anywhere. If you’re wondering why my most recent posts have a dated feel to them, it’s because they’ve been dug out from the archives, edited, and then posted. I don’t mind this tactic. In my mind, each post has been relevant to my life, and it’s a way I get to reap the benefits of all the writing I’ve done. I don’t often find myself in creative droughts, and I’m thankful for that. When I do, though, it’s nice to know that I’m not left high and dry, that I can dust something off, polish it up, and put it out there for the world to see.
I place the blame of my creative drought squarely on the social distancing and quarantine order. I’m so used to being out in the world and observing it, talking to others, and finding ways to relate my own life to that of others. When you take Adam out of the world and lock him in his apartment, it was either going to lead to oodles and oodles of writing, or he was going to crack under the pressure and not be able to produce. I’m not afraid to admit that sometimes crack, and when I say sometimes, it’s pretty often. I crack under the pressure that I apply to myself. It’s a sick habit that I possess, the ability to make myself choke, but I do have it, and I can’t seem to stop myself from using it. It’s a way to kill my performance in an absolute hurry.
Social distancing has been rough on me, as it has been on so many, and yet, so far (knock on wood), I’m symptom-free. I know that I could have it so much worse, that many of us could have it so much worse. I know that it’s not a bad thing to slow down a bit in life, to look back and reflect, even if I’m struggling to do it right now. It’s not a bad thing to have our lives grind to a halt, and to realize what is actually important to us when we are stripped of so many things that we thought we were, things that make up our identity. Many of us, in this moment, are figuring out who we really are. I hope that you like what you see. I’m still making peace with who I see in the mirror.
As I regain my creative edge, there have been good things about social distancing and isolation, and I’d like to bring some positivity to a time when we desperately seem to need it, at a time when we don’t know how this will end. It reminds me of other episodes of my life, when the conclusion is an indeterminate amount of time away.
Walking: Anyone who knows me knows that I love my walk to work. It’s an easy 1.5-miles to and from my office, and so being kept in my apartment has been a struggle. I know that I should stay in, and yet, I can’t help but walk a familiar rectangle each and every day. Most of these days, I’m on the phone with my sister, talking about everything and nothing. I listen to her talk to my nephew about the things he sees in the world and wants identified. I wish that I was there, but I’ll have to settle for the distance, at least for now. Either way, the walking, it becomes a way to mitigate my anxiety at a time when I desperately need something to calm me down, especially in the late afternoon.
On my walks, I frequently see people walking their dogs and/or with their children. My sister and I remark that we are so lucky that this is happening now, so we can get outside and enjoy the nice weather more than we ordinarily would. I hope that when this is all over, that people still get outside, that they still do seek to enjoy the weather in all of its forms, the way I get to when I walk to work every day. I get to appreciate so much, and I’m glad that everyone around me is getting to join in the fun.
Cooking: Okay, I’m not sure you would call what I do cooking, but I know how to heat things up in a skillet, and that’s more than enough for me. I’ve never been one that needs much in order to figure out a meal, even if the people around me remark that it’s rather sad what passes for a meal in my eyes. Still, I’m forced to keep things in the cabinet and the fridge that I can subsist on, and for once in my life, I’m actually saving a fair amount of money, when I’m so used to eating out for lunch every day. I’m not saying that I don’t miss those days, I just know that for right now, I’m enjoying the change in pace.
Apartment Living: It’s a long story that I won’t get into here, but for about two months, I was living with my folks during what was one of the most difficult periods of my life. I’d come back to my apartment every now and again, but truth be told, I wasn’t so sure if this was a place I wanted to live anymore. There were plans to move into an apartment with a roommate, but for right now, all of that has been scrapped as I switch to a month-to-month agreement. I’m not sure it’s the worst thing.
I sit here and write and realize that this apartment isn’t so bad, and I’m happy that I’ve been able to make peace with it as I’m forced to stay here. I may opt for greener pastures the longer this drags on, but for right now, I’m happy where I am, and I’m feeling relatively free, as free as anyone can feel these days. I’m a one-man show in a studio apartment, and as much as that scared me at one point, I’m feeling much more comfortable in my surroundings. To me, that’s an absolute win.
I hope that you’re able to find the small and large wins that are available during this time. There’s so much stress and anxiety. There’s no end in sight, but there is gold to be found if you’re willing to look for it. I hope that you’re able to find enjoyment, that you find something you love to watch, or a book you really enjoy. I hope that you take time to reflect. And, as always, thanks for reading.
2 thoughts on “Social Distancing”
I am so glad to know you are weathering the pandemic as well as you are. I too am very social and draw some of my energy from interactions with others. This is a tough time. I want things back the way they were. But we also have much to be thankful for. Continue your walks. Exercise, fresh air and sun shine do wonders. Xo, Ugly
This is definitely a difficult time, but we’ll get through it together. I hope that you are doing well. Are you in Florida or back in Quincy?
I’ll continue my walks and all the other activities that are keeping me sane. Sending love your way.