What the Funk?

In my little world the Covid vaccine has made my life more “normal.”  I feel guilty saying that as India suffers devastating losses every day and in some areas of the US thousands of cases are still reported every day. My “world” is pretty small and I’ve been cautious about where I go and who I’m with, but I’m able to do lots more than I was at this time a year ago.

So why am I in a funk?  It’s not an easy feeling to describe – the word malaise works. Generally, I don’t feel like doing anything. There are days when I read and doze, wander the house, sit and stare, avoid social contact, work jigsaw puzzles, and look forward to an early bed time.

I have a standing walking date with a friend three days a week at Lake Lily (below). Because someone else counts on me being there I force myself to show up. Thank goodness for that. The company of my walking partner gives me an opportunity to get out of myself for 45 minutes, or 5,200 steps, whichever comes first!

I’ve Googled “chronic fatigue” and other illnesses I imagine might cause this lack of emotional and physical energy. It would be easier to have a physical condition (other than ageing) to blame.

Why am I longing for life as it was a year ago? I did not leave the house for weeks. When I did venture out the roads were deserted. It was eerily quiet out in the world. Because all my obligatory volunteer work was canceled I felt no guilt about staying home. No guilt about spending two hours reading. Life was simplified.

Online ordering became my favorite activity. The one person I could count on visiting me everyday was the Amazon delivery person. I discovered Etsy and the endless fabric shops that curated bundles of fabric for me. My interest in quilting was revived. I bought and sewed, and bought and sewed, and then bought and stored. The quiet visual and tactile pleasure of sorting  and touching each length of fabric was soothing. Now I have a fun fabric collection and have lost my oomph for sewing. I have completed quilt tops galore and they are hanging in my “to be finished” closet. So many of the projects I wanted to complete during pandemic lock down (photo sorting, closet purging, kitchen reorganization) are still undone and I feel like an underachiever.

I am dealing with a case of the “blues.”  I can now go to restaurants, hug my friends, be with my kids and grandkids – and yet I feel myself withdrawing more and more. The kids have hugely successful and chaotic lives of their own (wasn’t that our goal?). The grandkids are now the independent teens that we still think our kids are.

Our writing group began meeting again in person a few weeks ago. Guess what? I’m not the only one feeling this sense of disorientation, lack of energy, desire to isolate, funkiness. Gloominess.  The desire for gray, rainy days as an excuse to stay inside.

I do believe this is a temporary condition. I know there is a way out of this feeling of inertia. There was a hint of optimism yesterday when I returned to the sewing machine for a few hours.  I forced myself to stay away from my napping spaces. I watched my son-in-law try a court case that was streaming online. I was the 13th juror and felt so engaged that I wanted to text my opinion!

It will take some intentional acts on my part to get back in the world. I’ve mooned around long enough. I’m even annoying myself with my grumpiness. It’s time to re-engage with my gratitude journal for I have forgotten how abundantly blessed I am.  Today begins my journey back to peace.