Today as I walked Luna through the cherry trees that are just bursting, I was reflecting on a few things that happen when people are in extended amounts of lockdown as we are. While this is week 26, it is sometimes hard to talk about life in lockdown with my friends and family in the US because the US just really didn’t go through anything like it and won’t. It is a different world over here during the pandemic and it is so interesting to watch the US from afar. Yes, there are those who were responsible and went into quarantine life but truly, it is nothing like a 6 month lockdown in which you really can’t do anything (besides walk around outside and find creative ways to spend time in your apartment) and most things are closed and we can’t go anywhere (even if we could hop on a train to somewhere there would be no where to stay, tourism is illegal right now).
I was walking just Luna today because Ana needed a walk to clear her mind from the stresses of work and lockdown and so she took a therapeutic walk with Pushki. Sometimes you just need a walk and a dog by your side. We were both feelin it.
As I was walking, I kept thinking about how I talk with friends and then they reply, “It really sounds like you are busy.” If I list off the things that I am doing in my day, it does sound quite busy BUT from this perspective it really doesn’t feel busy because it is all happening from this spot. There is the illusion that I have done nothing because while I have been going to class, reading for school, working on my writing projects, planning a few things for our wedding, reading for pleasure, playing guitar, doing chores, zooming with family and friends, doing some church work…well most of that is from one of a few spots in our smallish apartment. Yes, I am doing things but then I pace around because it feels as though I haven’t done anything all day. It is a weird illusion that happens all of the time. Our brains are made for lots of types of input and stimulation. Some of that is happening by the projects but also we need different visuals and places. It adds to that notion of languishing that I mentioned before as well.
At the same time that this is happening, I have noticed something else interesting. When I am having a really good day it seems as though the next few days feel pretty blah or even down. It is as if in lockdown life, the high days make the low days lower. It is as if we have no where to go when we rise to the occasion. When we look around the next day and it is the same schedule, same place, same everything, it is a huge letdown. I am finding this to be true of most people I talk with. The disappointment in the status quo is fairly overwhelming. Ana is having a harder day today I believe because she had such a phenomenal weekend. I had a rough and disappointing Monday because I was over the top hopeful and super happy on Sunday. It is a weird kind of Ferris wheel that happens and our moods show it. There isn’t much to explain it except that in a world in which the lockdown persists, our emotions and mental health take a hit.
The numbers are starting climb again here as I read they are in Oregon as well. Our numbers are still lower than that but as Oregon is deciding to close indoor dining, here in Germany they are thinking about adding a stricter curfew and closing everything again…just as vaccines are peeking their little heads in our direction. It is incredible how much our bodies hold that kind of news. My neck starts to ache just thinking about it and my shoulders go up in tension. I have copes but these times call for extra copes on the hour.
There are signs that perhaps we will get to think about traveling and get to think about hugging our loved ones but we have to take it moment by moment. In the meantime I hope you enjoy this cute husky to raise your spirits just a little bit…