Please tell me I’m not the only person in the world these days who is finding it difficult to justify getting showered and dressed each day. By the time I have breakfast, then retreat to my La-Z-Girl to finish reading the paper and drinking my tea, it’s mid-morning. So, I casually pick up my iPad mini and tuck into the latest book I’m reading, which adds another chunk of time to my morning dallying. Before I know it it’s almost noon, I’ve read quite a bit more of my book, my eyes are tired, I need a nap, and I still have not showered or dressed. Sloth, thy name is Lynda.
It’s getting harder and harder every day to motivate myself. I look longingly at the fashions in magazines that arrive in my mailbox and think, Why bother? I have a closet full of lovely clothes that never get worn, a drawer full of pretty jewelry that is tarnishing and gathering dust, and an embarrassing number of gorgeous shoes that have not hit the sidewalk in nearly a year. Everything in my makeup drawer will be past its Best Before date before I ever crack open a blusher again. Corralling my hair into something presentable while hair salons are closed down is a lost cause and regular mani-pedis are a long-forgotten memory.
COVID fatigue is getting harder and harder to bear. Some of us, myself included, have lost a parent during the pandemic (not necessarily due to the pandemic) and were unable to gather with family and friends for a funeral or celebration of life. Grandchildren are being born and not yet held by loving grandparents. I find myself wondering if I’ll ever be able to rouse myself from my current lazy stupor and resume a normal life of visiting friends, shopping, socializing, and entertaining—all those fun retirement activities we waited our entire lives to do. Will I forever forgo the joys of a lovely meal out in a restaurant and default to Uber-Eats instead? Will my lack of ambition become a permanent character trait?
No doubt my negative state of mind and feelings of despair are related to being locked-in and locked-down in a shitty Canadian winter. Or, perhaps I’ve just given up. With no end to the current situation in sight, it’s becoming harder and harder to keep ourselves psyched and in a positive frame of mind. My house should be immaculate considering all the free time I spend in it, but it’s not. I’m more than capable of doing my own mani-pedis, but I don’t, and would it kill me to wear something other than yoga pants once in a while? I should be a gourmet chef by now, or at least capable of more than microwaved mac n’cheese. But I’m not. Hubby and I share kitchen duties but even collectively our skills are going backward not forward. We’re bored, uninspired, and fed up. Even signing up with Netflix hasn’t helped alleviate the stupor.
I’ve tried to relieve my fed-up-ness with the current situation by reminding myself of how much worse it is for people who are trying to work from home and home-school their children too. My friend’s daughter has her computer set up on a card table next to her furnace in the basement while trying to simultaneously ensure her two boys are learning online. This has been her office for nearly a year now. The New York Times included an entire section recently devoted to the challenges encountered by mothers working from home and trying to juggle home-schooling. There was a picture of one mother squatting on a stool in her walk-in closet with her laptop on her lap, trying to do business away from the demands of domestic life. Another has four children and one laptop. Yikes! Cancer treatments are being deferred. Elective surgeries are on hold. How much longer can we hold on?
I suppose I could wash the kitchen floor or do the ironing but why bother? Those things can wait ’til tomorrow . . . or the next day . . . or maybe next week. Even my little dog is fed up. She can’t understand why we no longer sit outside and throw balls for her to fetch, or take her walking on the salty, freezing streets. She knows things are off but can’t understand why.
My husband begs me to let him go grocery shopping to give him a change of scenery and something to do. He’s starved for activity. When I give in, our house becomes overstocked with fresh supplies of Danishes the size of pizzas dripping with lethal amounts of sickening white icing, multiple varieties of cookies, deep-fried whatever, assorted gourmet pickles and olives, and strange snack foods that resemble nothing on the Canada Food Rules chart. Which helps explain the expanded waistlines associated with the lockdown.
Fortunately, the days are getting progressively longer which means spring is coming, eventually. In three or four months we will be able once again to sit outside, breathe fresh air, do some gardening, soak up some sunshine and Vitamin D, and connect with the outside world, with restrictions. Outdoor physical distancing will be possible without freezing your knockers off, but will I still possess the ability to carry on an in-person conversation? I’ve noticed in recent telephone conversations that I find myself searching for words that should easily be within my grasp.
I’m losing my vocabulary and my social skills. I’ve always enjoyed striking up a conversation with strangers in the street or at the mall, but my social interaction these days is limited to shouting small-talk to the kind people we meet when we step out onto the road to avoid cross-contamination on our daily walk. Sigh!! I guess I’d better get at that floor, before I need a jackhammer to chisel off the grime.
Then, there are the mammoth screw-ups by various levels of government and big-pharma for getting the vaccine out to vulnerable Canadian boomers and others who need it most. Let’s not even go there. Lots of people dropped the ball on this one . . . big time! It’s becoming harder and harder to find that elusive silver lining, don’t you think? Maybe I’ll feel better after I have that nap, or maybe a glass of wine is a better idea. Make that a bottle. How are you coping?