Yes, I know it is NaNoWriMo time, and by today I should have a few thousand words written, and who knows by tomorrow I might be headed straight into some fictional dysfunction that pulls me into a whole cast of characters, but for the last few nights, with the uncommonly warm temps, I’m just too happy to still be out in the garage studio dragging my brushes across and up and down with all the colors that just hit me right.
“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.
As of this week 44.7M people world-wide have contracted COVID19; a staggering “1,175,400 people have died, and the virus has been detected in nearly every country…” (Covid World Map). The United States has the highest number of cases, and has the great distinction of being first in deaths too. New cases are growing here and abroad, causing a round of new restrictions and major despair everywhere.
These sobering numbers don’t care about borders or politics or whether one’s dictator or elected president did more or less than they could, there has simply been an unprecedented spread of this contagion. Unlike many people, I see no silver lining in this pandemic or the collapse of our economy from one end of the globe clear around; COVID19 and our response to it is a shit-show which has taken away our sense of normalcy, safety, and mental health. If it hasn’t caused you to cry on the floor for at least 20 minutes every day, I have to wonder what type of gilded tower you have escaped to…