This is my third time trying to sit down and write this. I’ve got all the time in the world right now and I just can’t seem to do anything with it. I know I’m not the only one who feels like this, my friends and classmates have all expressed just how difficult it is to do anything right now. None of us could have predicted how psychologically taxing quarantine and isolation would be.
I remember when I first heard that I would have to sit at home all day with nothing to do. I was actually excited. I was excited because I felt like I would have all this free time to start bettering myself. I was going to start cooking more, do some online exercise classes and stay active, learn to play an instrument, get work done without distraction, and a myriad of other ambitions. Ambitions that now look like a pipe dream.
The worst part about self isolation is it feels like I’m losing time. I get assigned to write an article like this on Monday, due for Friday and suddenly it’s Sunday and I have nothing done. How is it so easy to forget whole days? When each one is the same, wake up, eat, stream media, eat, stream, sleep, repeat, it becomes so easy to lose which day is which. As each hour passes into the next, so do the days.
This leads to a lot of procrastination and I’ll-do-it-later’s. Even finally sitting down to write this piece I had to take two multiple hour breaks. Why? I wish I had a reason.
It’s funny to think we all thought that one of the most mentally taxing periods we were likely to live through would be the time we finally got productive. I can’t say I’ve produced a single notable thing in the last month and a half.
However, isolation has been making me appreciate little things even more than I ever have, which I guess is a positive thing. But, when I catch myself getting excited over the idea that when I run through this bar of soap I can bust out the newer, better smelling bar, it’s bittersweet. But, I appreciate appreciating the little things. I even appreciate the fact that I can appreciate that. Weird.
That’s the trap I find myself getting into more often than not, that circular type of thinking. When your thoughts get trapped in a loop, it’s so easy to let the guilt about being unproductive keep you in the cycle of ‘unproductivity’.
I think that’s what myself and others need so desperately to start doing:
Break our cycles.