Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Stay Focused ?

Right. This should be a great opportunity for everone who's self-isolating to unleash their inner creativity, shouldn't it? Or get around to long postponed projects. Or just get to know themselves? Shouldn't it?

I exempt from this those parents with children at home--though I suspect some of them are getting mighty creative in their dealings with their offspring. The same for folks working from home--the commute may have disappeared but other bits of life may well be more complicated.

In talking with the students in my (now online) creative fiction class, most of them have said they are writing less, rather than more.

I'm not surprised. Aside from the other online distractions --museums and zoos on display, impromptu serenades, and any number of other opportunties for amusement and/or improvement, I find myself paying far more attention to the news these days, spending lots of time reading opinion pieces and articles, all of which contribute to a kind of low-grade worry--mainly for family and friends but also for the state of health of our democracy. 

How can I be creative, how can I even undertake spring cleaning when I see the chaos in this administration's response to the pandemic? I can just barely manage blog posts, normal household chores, and my editing for class; how could I possibly start a new story when I read the news that SCOTUS is abetting the Republican push to make voting harder, even in this time of plague or that the Orange Ego is firing everyone who speaks the truth and putting Jared in charge of yet another bit of government. 

Of course I've called and written my congresspersons--and received  soothing form letters in return--not that I ever expected anything else.  

So I turn to comfort re-reading -- Pride and Prejudice followed by John Grisham's The Firm ( a classic example of terrific pacing in a thriller, plus, and this is no small thing these days, the good guys triumph over both the bad guys and the FBI) -- and comfort viewing--still working our way through All Creatures Great and Small,  with a break away now and then -- A Fish Called Wanda, The Big Lebowski, O, Brother Where Art Thou? (for the dialogue and the laughs) and The Client (another Grisham where the little guy triumps over the Mob and the government) were recent diversions.  

For me, that's what matters right now--doing what I can to keep our life normal, finding joy and sometimes even focus in the small familiar things.  And, of course, Josie is one of those.

Stay safe, you all, and find what works for you in this strange time.


Anvilcloud said...

Yes, I think one tends to shrink one's production (although I don't like that word) as one's time expands.

KarenB said...

I think there are two different things going on for many. First is that, as Anvilcloud points out, somehow it is easier to get stuff done when you are already busy. But more importantly for us now, the kind of anxiety and worry we are all living with every day is energy sapping. We are all in a state of mental distress and that state makes it difficult to be productive and very difficult to have the energy and enthusiasm to start some grand new project. This is what living with low level depression feels like. We need to be gentle with ourselves and with each other as we navigate this new reality.

NCmountainwoman said...

I am staying totally away from the news, relying on my husband to inform me of anything that I need to know. He's a news junkie so I spend my morning hours in our library sipping my coffee and reading while he switches between CNN and MSNBC. Karen said it well. Our mental distress drains our energy to start new things.

Barbara Rogers said...

I went through a period of "no news - it's all awfulizing!" And about then I stopped meditating, stopped reading the inspirational blogs and FB posts, and just read and watched shows where good triumphed over the "dark side." But beautiful spring has re-energized me and I am doing small outings by myself. Then Dr. Martin Shaw's interview hit me (shared on my blog) and I'm trying to connect again with the divine as well as the facts of our political lives. And needing nature. You are at least immersed in a beautiful setting. I always appreciate your photos.

jennyfreckles said...

I'm in a slump as well. I can't even get excited about taking photos at the moment. But I'm taking care of myself. Reminding myself that 'This too will pass'.

Anonymous said...

I belong to the Yancey County Mask Makers. We're busy making masks for our health community, grocery store workers, retirement homes, etc. So far we've made 200 masks. I have found this very helpful to my attitude. Rosie the Riveter lives, right here in Yancey County!
maybe there's a group in Madison County.... There are groups like this all over the US. I bet there are some in other countries, too.

Love to all!

Deana the Queena

Vicki Lane said...

You all are doing great work, Deana. I have made a few masks for my famiy but I have to limit my time at the sewing machine as any longer than 30 minutes puts my back into a really bad spasm.