“It wasn’t burnout — we still had energy. It wasn’t depression — we didn’t feel hopeless. We just felt somewhat joyless and aimless. It turns out there’s a name for that: languishing.
Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021.
As scientists and physicians work to treat and cure the physical symptoms of long-haul Covid, many people are struggling with the emotional long-haul of the pandemic. It hit some of us unprepared as the intense fear and grief of last year faded” (Grant).
Last week, everyone read The New York Times article, everyone nodded a yes, and I too thought, this is exactly what I am feeling after this past year. Before I read the piece, I had coined the sense as ‘mopey’. Just that downcast and defeated feeling after a hard year of cynicism and despair might leave you moping around your living room.
Today I was struck by the sentiment found in Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress” which, ironically, was published posthumously in 1681. Carpe diem then, and now. Here are the tenets: “Carpe diem is a philosophy that took hold in Europe during and after the Black Death plague (1348-1350). The population had seen so much death and destruction that some people embraced the philosophy that every day is a moment to be made the most of, whether it be to eat or to love. All of life’s pleasures are to be indulged; there is no time for waiting because tomorrow might never appear” (CourseHero). Sounds like the perfect philosophy for life after the black plague, and most certainly the days post COVID19. I think we are universally on the crest of roaring back with fervor once more!
If you are like us, you spent Thanksgiving within your own household, adjusting that gloriously BIG American meal for a smaller quieter crowd, and then got real inventive with the leftovers. You did this because you really do care for our extraordinary health care professionals and brave service workers, bus drivers, police and firemen, and the caring teachers who are still manning their in-person classes. You did this because you understand science, and care about the spike in COVID cases from coast to coast and you know that you can make a difference by minimizing your close encounters of any risky kind. Right? As we cross into December, it is clearly time to take this advice to heart and get our priorities straight, if for no other reason than for this waiting game to come to a close. Collectively, can we possibly agree to call the 1.5 million worldwide deaths enough? Are you ready? Can I count on you? Continue reading