• Virginia Tolles

Is That What's Going On?

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I read an article yesterday in the New York Times that assigned a new term for what we are experiencing as we enter the second year of having our lives turned upside down by that darn virus (Grant, Adam. There's a Name for the Blah You're Feeling: It's Called Languishing). Mr. Grant describes languishing as being off our game, but not fully depressed. In short, our get-up-and-go just can't seem to pick itself up or to accomplish anything we might need or wish to accomplish. He doesn't think languishing is as serious as depression, but it's definitely a sign of how hard the pandemic is affecting us.

I've noticed that fewer YouTubers I follow are posting on a regular basis. Worse, perhaps, is the fact that those who post seem to be going through the motions. Their hearts just don't seem to be in it, not the way they were a year ago. Similarly, I've noticed that members of my website Remembering Jack Lord don't want to participate in activities, as they once did. At one time, we had weekly challenges and fan fiction writing challenges. We e-mailed one another. We sent gifts to each other and exchanged Christmas cards. No longer. The number of unique visitors is three times the number of returning visitors. That certainly wasn't true before that darn virus blew through.

So, what is the solution? Mr. Grant boils it down to staying busy. It's not new advice, but we take the first step, let it lead us to the second step, and keep going. It's a tactic I learned many years ago, when I was battling mood swings brought on by menopause (What a basket case I was!!!). Whenever I would become anxious, I would make myself get up and do one chore. To my surprise, that chore invariably was much easier to accomplish than I had expected it to be, so I would perform another chore. I do the same thing, now. I start by loading the dishwasher and cleaning the kitchen. Then, I vacuum up the granola crumbles that have fallen on the floor. And so forth. Within twenty minutes, the house is passably clean, and I'm ready to return to my computer. No, I will never be the perfect homemaker, but someone could come to the door without my having to pretend I'm not at home.

Not only that, when I sit down at my computer after completing those chores, I have more energy for maintaining my websites and Facebook page. I do notice, however, that I make more mistakes now than I did before. I have to proofread my work much more carefully for misspelled words and lost words from cutting and pasting. So, is everything back to normal for me? No, but at least I'm keeping on keeping on. Give it a try.

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