It’s strange this lockdown thing. This time feels much harder to cope with, more serious, more impactful. Less motivation, less sunshine, less confidence both in myself and the world around me. This means that I am prone to overreact, to be sensitive, to flit between tasks and ideas and conversations which in turn means that I am overthinking, being indecisive, forgetting things, and struggling to feel like I am on top of anything. It’s a vicious circle and I want to get off.
This feeling of getting by, of making do, of hunkering down until this has all blown over is entirely contrary to my modus operandi. I have high standards of myself and my output whether that’s work, home, family, hockey or personal and I am failing to meet any of them even slightly. I am in the midst of marking student work and so I reflect on how I would mark myself and I’m about a D-.
Now, this blog entry isn’t about how I need to be more positive and plan and prepare and get my shit together. It’s more of a reflection on where things are at. I’m not beating myself up about this, more recognising how difficult things are at the moment and how challenging I find my enforced under-performance.
The global Covid-19 pandemic is packed to the gunnels with grief. As well as the illness and deaths, the pace, scale and impact of the changes that seem constant is exhausting. There’s lots of material out there about grieving processes which can be incredibly useful and one of the commonalities is that grief is unique to each individual. I am grieving, that is trying to process and reconcile, all the changes and crises and challenges so I can maybe, hopefully, return to 60, 70 or even 80% Awesome, to achieve some semblance of high performance.
This process needs time and space but I don’t have time and space because I am trying to deal with it all, all at once. I have prioritised, I have planned, I have used many many post-it notes and written umpteen lists and schedules. It helps to a point but you can’t plan grief. I even tried scheduling time for it in my calendar…. Didn’t work.
And so I am in a quandary, my usual coping mechanism isn’t viable, the situation isn’t about to improve, and I continue to oscillate between wanting to give in to it (and let myself be broken) and wanting to plan my way through it, like accelerating through a bend on the racing line. The thing is, neither end of the spectrum is sustainable and this situation isn’t going to end any time soon. I have to find a mid-line, balance both the plan and prepare with the grieve and accept, and to do that, I need to have energy.
For me, as an ENTJ in the world of Myers Briggs, I get my energy from being with other people and I need my sleep. Both of which seem out of reach right now. In my sleep-deprived state, I need to focus on small chunks, get a few things done well and focus on preparing myself to get some good quality sleep. I’m just gonna take one day at a time.