Lockdown and Flow

One of the things that the COVID-19 Lockdown is really highlighting for me is the way energy and mood – they’re connected, I think – ebb and flow.

After a super-productive and energised day yesterday, today I have been mostly feeling… flat. Not sad, but glum. There’s no particular trigger for it, but there is a general background of racial injustices being brought – once more, thanks to the persistence of Black Lives Matter activists – to the forefront of thinking, and of living a pandemic and all the associated worry, concern, and just extra thinking that that brings. Who else here is missing just… deciding to go wander around an art gallery and being able to do that, without worrying about what the safest way to get there would be, whether such a trip would be irresponsible, and when it might even be open?

And, of course, there’s a particular kind of loneliness that comes from going months without being able to so much as hug your partner and friends, or even, really, spend more than a couple of hours talking with them because no-one has the patience for Zoom calls longer than that. Even now we’re able to see people outdoors and can in theory use the bathroom if needed (Imagine a senior government minister having to clarify that a trip to your friend’s bathroom is acceptable, if it’s really necessary and if said bathroom is properly wiped down afterwards and then you go back to socially distancing in their garden. 2020 is wild.), we tend to keep visits short-ish because we all feel funny about it because other people’s houses remain otherwise off limits.

There are day-to-day niggles, things I’m waiting on or hoping for that haven’t happened yet, and things that are waiting on me that I haven’t got to yet (I’m sorry, seedlings – the weather has been awful and I’m a fair weather gardener. I promise I’ll take up that turf and give you a proper veg patch soon.). There are myriad reasons and no specific causes for this particular glum.

I’m actually content with the work I’ve done and the changes I’ve made during Lockdown, both internal and external. My home office is looking much better, and so is my garden. I’m feeling physically stronger and fitter than ever thanks to my amazing personal trainer. I’ve kept my professional skills sharp with some courses, and I’ve revisited and refreshed my career goals. I’ve felt some huge positive shifts in my personal growth and mindset. There’s plenty more to do on each of those things, but I’m seeing the things I’d still like to get to as iterative improvements rather than as additional pressures. I’ve put in both literal and figurative spadework and I’m genuinely feeling the journey.

Just, sometimes, you’re in ebb rather than flow.

And that’s normal. Not the New Normal we’re all talking about these last few months.

Just… normal. Human.

Sometimes we are concerned that glum feelings should be fixed, when really, they should simply be felt. Look for correlation and causation, sure, but they’re signposts rather than encyclopedia: don’t spend forever trying to read them.

Feel the feeling, take the lesson if there is one, and move on.

You’re 60% water; flow.