The Artist’s Way

25 Jan, 2021

To paint the picture of last lockdown just shy of one year ago, I was working fulltime in a high stress environment, I had two small humans at home, a 13 year old worried about her final few months of grade 8. We also had an 8-year-old, and the schools did their best to provide a swift change to online learning but we did not know how to teach him while also both myself and my partner working fulltime. I had been running on high stress for years and as I’ve mentioned before in previous blogs.

During the beginning of COVID I was terrified, unsure of what to expect, worried for mine and my family’s health and trying to hold it all together. At the time community was rallying together to support front line workers. People were checking in on each other and although the streets were quiet with cars the world seemed to hold an energy of collective reflection, patience, and compassion.

I spent the last lockdown struggling with my mental wellness while managing (as much as one can) the external chaos in my world. The last lockdown was painful, difficult, and abrupt. However, there was reassurance, love and wholehearted concern for one another. I believe at that time for me anyway, there was plenty of motivation to stay-home.

​Now here I am, almost one year later, more of my trauma has healed, I have new ventures, opportunities, and I’m connected with my family in a different way. We have all had to learn how to love each other more deeply. To check in on one another and prioritize connection in our home because we can’t connect with the other people in our lives like we want to. We have become much more efficient with online learning and continued to work on a routine that makes sense for us. We take many more mental health days off then we used to from school and work. The constant state of crisis that I had been living in for so long has since passed and I wake up in the mornings more grateful for the mundane things, the ordinary things then ever before.

Oddly, there has been this new feeling I have had for the past week or two. It comes and goes. I can feel it in my body it feels restless, my mind not able to focus for too long on any one thing. My usual go-to skills for dealing with feeling such as painting, art, crochet, reading etc. do not seem to be what I need at the time. Finally, it hit me. The feeling I am having is boredom.

Now, my intention here is not to be dismissive of others experiences I am sure many people are not having this same experience. There are so many pandemics that have been intensified as a result of COVID and we will talk about many of them on this very blog over the coming months. For me, as a person who has lived my entire life operating from flight, fight, freeze and submit responses, and consistently pouring from an empty cup. Boredom is a significant milestone in my healing. To not be living in anxiety, depression or dissociation and to be able to sit and know that boredom is not dangerous it is a profound gift.

So this time for me the stay-at-home orders feel so different. I am so full of gratitude for this time with my family, for the coffee that I drink each morning, for the snowflakes that floated to the ground this afternoon and although I miss travel, other humans, connecting, conferences, movie theaters, restaurants, lunch meetings, sky zone, bowling, friends, parties, and many other places so much.

I can not wait to experience them after experiencing being bored. If bored can feel this good, I simply cannot imagine how incredible every one of these things will feel when it is time to do them again.

So, until then, I will continue to get through this phase of the pandemic on coffee, gratitude, growth, and love for the mundane (for today at least who knows what tomorrow will bring)

I invite you to share in the comments, how are you doing during this second stay-at-home order?