“How is this my life?” Kate asked last night on This Is Us. I found myself asking the same question this morning.
I used to hike, climb rocks, strap on my climbing boots and walk all over San Antonio without a care in the world. I was young and impuslive once, walking home alone from bars, taking risky chances in bars, not afraid to go and do whatever I wanted by myself. Crazy? Maybe, but I felt alive!
How is it now that I’m making excuses to get off the couch? Watching my dogs fighting over a pecan in my just-cleaned bedroom, fighting the cat for my yogurt cup, the Oikos sugar-free vanilla with all my yummy fruit and home made granola in it? Struggling to find acceptance as a freelance writer from my own husband and family even? How is it that the most exciting part of my day is when I allow myself time for crafting?
I realize it’s partly my fault we sit here on the couch night after night watching whatever show I’m addicted to next, but David sits right here with me. Have we become that boring old couple with no friends and nothing better to do? I also realize it was my decision to stop working outside the home for the sake of my sanity, is it so crazy that now twenty plus years later I’m facing the same thing here at home? Is it the grieving that makes me feel stuck? Or am I just a bore these days?
Day after day I get up and wonder how to proceed with my day, I try to get myself in a routine. I think one day I’m on to something because I got my workout done early and my Bible and Spanish lesson done. I cooked the dogs another batch of homemade food and even shared it to Instagram. Not exciting, but the next day I’m struggling to move off the couch, telling myself, just one more episode and then I’ll get busy.
Busy doing what, though? Everything I do feels insignificant. Nobody cares. Nobody knows. I’m alone. David’s at work, the kids have their lives, and my friends are all moved away living their best lives. I’m stuck here wondering ”do I write, crochet, do Diamond Art, work in the yard, do housework, or nothing at all? Who would know, or care for that matter.
I realized in my creative writing class last night that I’m a real bore. Not a deep thinker, I had a hard time with “What’s a thing that’s special to you and brings you joy?” Well, I like to sing and I like taking trips. So I wrote a silly little poem about it. So embarrassing. On top of that, I got emotional about it. Is that all I’ve got? I couldn’t come up with anything more exciting than that? No, that is how disconnected from life I am right now. I was invited to join a writing group on Facebook, that would be helpful, I’m sure.
I busted my hump cleaning the house? Nobody cares. Worked that corner garden, cleaned out the garage or cleaned the side yard up? Not impressed…or noticed. Just wrote a killer article or blog post? Thats nice. Why bother?
What gives me joy? Helping others. But also: Appreciation. Acknowledgment. Attention. Maybe that’s why I’m happy to drive somewhere, anywhere really, and sing to the top of my lungs. At least I’m pleasing myself and I’m happy in the moment. Maybe I need to go back to work, or volunteer somewhere again. At least I’d feel useful. Sure, I’d be giving up my freedom, but I don’t feel free right now, I feel trapped. I miss spontaneity, taking hikes, going to movies, and night clubs, and risky behavior. Things that made me feel alive.
It’s not that I don’t like my home and my alone time, but I miss people! I miss friends and coworkers, I miss being part of something. I miss caregiving, volunteering, and game nights with friends. The pandemic and it’s after-affects have made me lazy, tired, and unmotivated. Does anyone else feel like me? Maybe we should all go take a hike.
I met one of my neighbors the other day. She really seemed interested in me and my writing. She even took a couple of copies of the magazine I write for and we invited each other to come for coffee sometime. I haven’t hear a word. I even went next door and left a sticky note with my contact details so she could call or text. Oh well.
Well, I’m off to listen to my Bible lesson, maybe I’ll start my new paint-by-number, after which I need to work out. I could work on my jigsaw puzzle. Then figure out what’s for supper…no, I forgot, Dave already got stuff for chili goop. Maybe while we’re watching Survivor tonight, we can play pool at the same time. Then again, I doubt it.