For the past four years, I have been used to striving for a goal. Usually a health goal. Usually related to healing from my severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and coma. I have gone from someone who can’t hear to someone who hears somewhat (check out my latest TBIthursday to learn more about my hearing changes). I used to rely on a wheelchair and now I use a cane only sparingly. I used to not be able to communicate very clearly and now I talk… a lot.
So, I have realized that lately, I have been in a bit of a funk. Perhaps because I haven’t been working towards a goal with dedication. Or, what’s more likely, is the world is in a funk so I am too. And once I started to come to terms with the bulk of my funky feeling coming from months of the world struggling with COVID-19, I wanted to write about it. Because if I’m struggling, odds are others are too. In this monthly essay I am exploring what it’s like to experience a pandemic funk.
I have goals but I haven’t been actively working on them and because of that the months of uneasiness surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have caused me to slip-slide into a funk. As I talk to others I am seeing that as a common thread. There is a kid’s book “Alexander, and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” The book chronicles the day of a kid as he has one misfortunate event after another happen to him in a day. 2020 has felt like that… for the world! Which is an unfortunate realization. Usually, when things go wrong they happen on a smaller scale. One part of the world, a region, a country, a group of people, or even just one person. In 2019 and 2020 misfortune has struck worldwide. It’s hard to get out of a funk when the whole world is affected.
Even in my darkest times, when I was unemployed for months in 2008-2009 or when I was in the near-fatal accident that gave me my severe TBI, coma, broken bones, and deeply distorted hearing, I had moments of escape. And the reason I could escape was that what I was suffering from wasn’t affecting the world. My world was affected but not the world at large. So I could watch a movie or TV, read a book or magazine and not see constant reminders of the pain I was suffering from. The difference now is that COVID-19 has reached deep, wide, and far. It’s much harder to escape it. Turn on the TV… and it’s there (in the news, commercials showing people wearing masks, etc.). Turn on a movie and even an older movie causes your mind to think “Well, [insert activity] couldn’t happen now!” Even the ads for “back to school” has you thinking about what exactly that is going to be like.
So it’s no wonder that I am in a funk and others are too.
My question for myself is “how do I fight this funk?” To answer that I go back to the beginning of this blog post where I said I haven’t been actively working towards a goal. I have been wishy-washy about finishing my memoir. And while I think that’s still a goal to work on, I am going to focus on just one central goal. And I think when I achieve this goal more achievements will fall out of it. Here’s my new central goal: Daily Exercise!
When I exercise on our stationary bike and when I take Selby for walks ideas blossom in my head like flowers. So, because of this new goal of daily exercise, I think my writing goals will follow. And little Selby has been kind of bored with our new sedentary life, so she will definitely enjoy regular walks. We have this somewhat annoying toy for her called a Giggle Ball. The idea is that it’s a plastic ball with knobs and tubes in it that make a giggle-like sound when the dog moves and pushes the ball around. Even though my hearing is greatly compromised and distorted… I can still hear it. It isn’t close to sounding like a giggle. Which is good (because that would be creepy). And as a part of my daily commitment to activity for myself, I am going to play Giggle Ball with Selby. It requires me to run around and grab it from under things, etc. She loves it and it tires us both out!
So, I will report in a little while how I am doing with my daily goal. I must say that I don’t plan to do strenuous exercise daily. The goal isn’t to exhaust myself. The goal is to be active and not sedentary and hopefully, I will achieve things like endurance, weight loss, and balance. I still use my cane for long distances and outside of the house. I would like to say bye-bye to my “Hurrycane” (both because it’s a dumb name and because I don’t want to be dependant on it).
#CreativityForDays Weekly Project
I am loving my new hobby of making cards for people. I ordered blank cards and envelopes from Amazon Prime and have been drawing cards for friends and family. It’s also nice because it’s harder to get to the store and buy a card and now I don’t have to.
A Selby Sweetie (and friend) Conclusion
This little pup of mine makes me smile even when I’m in a funk and the whole world is in a funk! Visit her Instagram @selbysweetie if you need a smile too! I also run her cousin Bella’s Instagram @bellajocavalier (she’s my sister’s Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel).
5 thoughts on “An Essay: Pandemic Funk”
It’s a interesting observation that when “only you” are in a funk, you have an escape, but when the whole world is in a funk, there’s no escape. How true!
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It’s kind of freaky, isn’t it?
My father has been using a hurrycane more and more, and for whatever reason, he loves the name. I can’t really tell where I am in the pandemic funk. In some aspects I’m fine (work, exercise, being social) and others I’ not fine (obsessions with the news, OCD responses to sights and smells, inability to read a book). I got two library books out today (one by blogger Debbie Frick). I’m hoping to get into them, but ine night done and I haven’t cracked either one,.
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I find the name Hurrycane condescending. Perhaps because I worked in advertising for years and I know what it’s like when they are pitching names for things! I hope you can read again. It does really help. I haven’t really gotten into a book since Trevor Noah’s but I am looking for the next one to read.
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