When The Pandemic Is Not Inspiring: If Creating During Crisis Is Not Your Thing

When The Pandemic Is Not Inspiring: If Creating During Crisis Is Not Your Thing

I’ve written a lot of titles for a lot of blog posts that I have not written.

I have this overloaded and ridiculous ideal that I should be able to crank out work and be one of the most creative people of all time during everything that’s going on.

I mean, have you SEEN what’s going on?

But reality has other things to tell me. My kids. Are always. HERE. And I have no idea what to do with them half of the time. My mothering strategy previous to this was to get out of the house as often as possible and let them be as active as possible for hours at a time while I talked to friends or read on a nearby bench. We’ve still been going to parks…

But guys, it’s snowing outside. Or sleeting with snow threatening later. I don’t know. What I do know is that it is cold and wet when it was 99 degrees two days ago and all the indoor places I used to take them are closed.

And did I mention we’re tied to our home internet connection anyway? Because we are. I have two separate remote schooling schedules to keep track of and one two year old to keep from spontaneously combusting. It just has not been that great for creative output. Also my kids have been on screens so much that I am afraid their brains may melt and start draining out of their ears within the week.

All last night I dreamed that all of my family were just floating through my house talking about bad weather and how they couldn’t sleep. And I was so stressed about how none of us were sleeping. Also I’m pretty sure one of my family members was ghost hunting. Anyway, I woke up super anxious from my sleep anxious that no one had slept, when really I slept but dreamed that I hadn’t.

I’m going to have a chat with my brain about how it is supposed to be on my side. It seems to have missed the memo.

I am not historically an anxious person. I have always been able to sleep, always been able to do what I need to do and shut down whatever part of the brain is supposed to remind you that things could be going wrong or may be about to be going on has always been something I could shut the door on. Or, at least I thought it was.

Since before quarantine, I’ve been learning to meditate and tune in to the part of my brain I tend to ignore.

I can be whiny, I can be a sad sack, but that part of me that worries has mostly been put into a straight jacket and kept in secure vault somewhere in my mind. It has, I know, always reminded me of its presence through dreams–but lately I’ve been letting it out during the day time. And what a time to be tuning into my intuitive future pacing mind. UGH.

It’s not been a great time. Or great for productivity. Or the trying not to feel overwhelmed.

But. I knew, before this, that my right brain was never very appreciative of the fact that I tended to take it out to do parlor tricks and then tuck it away again the second it became inconvenient. I am a person who has let my left brain be in charge for way too long.

If that doesn’t make sense, you should check out this video here. Your right brain doesn’t know how to use words, but it absolutely can contain different information and motivations than your left brain. And it can contain feelings and frustrations your left brain is not interpreting correctly. Oh how I have betrayed and abandoned my right brain.

Right brain has taken the quarantine to show me this, which contrary to my productivity and success minded left brain, has meant slowing down to LISTEN more than to produce. Because it turns out, sometimes you need to take time to connect with yourself in truth before you can be effective.

I’ve needed this time out. And it’s killing me. Are we done yet? Have I successfully made peace with every piece of my fractured and over busy self yet? AM I WRITING LIKE A MASTER YET?

Buh. Blerg. I’m working on it. More meditation needed.

Anyway, does what I’m doing sound interesting and yet way too vague? Let me list some of my current goals and actual activities.

1. Learn to meditate with the Calm app!
2. Admit that I have procrastinated and avoided meditating way too often.
3. Downloaded the app “My Strength” to get help with depression, anxiety, and some goal mapping.
4. I set a goal to read 2 chapters a day. Since my current reading could never match pre-child days, my goals usually get too lofty and I burn out or avoid reading because I don’t have time to sit and read a book cover to cover like I used to. Yup. Nope. I can’t ignore the children for that long. 2 Chapters.
5. Letting my mind wander without direction or goal. This is different than meditating. I’m not trying to clear my mind. I’m trying to listen to it.
6. I deleted Facebook. Yup. Just gone. Of course I have like 25 days to make that permanent, but I’m planning on it. You can go to settings and then personal data to find a way to download everything first, and then delete that sucker too!
7. I have set a goal to have more personal phone conversations with people I have real working relationships with. Wish me luck!
8. I am going to write letters again. I used to sometimes, but then once I felt really weird after a friend received a 5 page hand written note I’d crayon colored in rainbow and seemed to think it was a bit much. She was nice. I may have just been insecure. (Note about me…I’m semi-terrified my friends will discover just how much I love them because I’m afraid it would freak them out. But chances are that if we are friends, I five handwritten rainbow colored pages love you.
9. I’m running. I highly recommend the app “Get Running” which is just verbal directions to cut through your music at set intervals to get you up to running 30 minutes consecutively (which is supposed to be 5k, but I’m me, and I am slow, so I assure that it’s not 5k for me personally. I’ll get there though).
10. I am questioning my own negative thoughts and feelings out loud to myself whenever I feel overwhelmed. I find I have to say it. Like a crazy person. Sometimes I have to hug myself too.
11. I gave up caffeine. I didn’t think this would matter. But holy cow am I never going back to regular consumption of large amounts of caffeine. My spousal fights have gone down about 90 percent since I quit. Along with catastrophizing and impulsively yelling whatever was on my mind.

So how’s quarantine going for you? Whatcha up to? Any self-improvement? Any movie watching world records being set? Domino mazes being knocked over? Let me know!