How to decline a post-COVID new life
and log-in with your previous self ?
What are my keywords? Have they changed in 2020? How has the pandemic influenced my own life?
That’s the questions which came to my mind when I received a text from a former colleague last night, telling she had found a temporary job this summer – which will probably turn into a permanent job considering the situation. No she will not go back to the ferry company we used to work for. And yes her new position which involved a whole bunch of senior assistant tasks looked challenging and … shaping!
Talking about shape, it makes me think of the snowball effect…. I’m currently on my way to the shape of a snow ball. I’m getting round, cold when handled for too long, rather useless although entertaining. I know I’ll disappear at the end of the Covid story and will be turned back into water like everybody else, flowing like the rest of the rive towards the sea… But right now I’m a snowball. And 2020 is lasting, lasting, lasting. Sometimes for a minute or two, I forget about the snowball effect. I forget my day will ominously resemble the previous one: I’ll check my e-mail box while drinking my 3rd mug of coffee and browse through the jobs Indeed is suggesting for me (95% of them will not be suitable) or check the advertisements for flats in Paris (too small) and houses in the South of France (too far away from a city). I’ll take care of the laundry. Cook, occasionally bake. Check Instagram. Check WhatsApp. Reply to messages from friends who live faraway. Eat. Cuppa? Check my emails. Fill in the everlasting day until the rest of the family is home and we can have dinner. Eat again. I will probably forget to go outside the house again. I probably won’t walk the minimum 5000 steps required for my health. Fuck FitBit. Yes I know the snowball effect will lead to weight gain, increase my risk of bone loss, muscle atrophy, becoming diabetic and a litany of issues. Good news though, limited lockdown is easing and as from Saturday, people will be allowed to exercise within a 20km (12-mile) radius of their homes and for up to three hours, rather than the current 1km, one-hour limits. Do you have any idea what my 1km radius looks like??
According to a Chinese proverb, our thoughts become our words and our words become our actions.
And some non proverbial people even think our keywords and stories become like old friends! I’ve read that somewhere.
My thoughts become my words… Humm, i guess I could write a selection of terms which can be found in the lexical field of abysmal hopelessness? But that would be a little negative and showing too much of my defeatist attitude, wouldn’t it? let’s infuse a little bit of that American We Can Do It! Let’s make my life great again!
If the old me still exists somewhere hidden in the maze created by the pandemic, I guess I just need to reframe the old to integrate with the new. Yes, emphasis and reframe! Only it’s like integrating fire with ice…
The first step, is to accept the fact I am not living in a parallel universe. We’ve all been swimming in that mess for nearly a year. But when we’re struggling with not bringing up the Past World constantly, I feel I’m dwelling in the Nearby World. Have you heard about Phloeodes diabolicus?
It’s’s not exactly pretty, looks like a stone and can get banged up without flinching. This beetle has lost the ability to fly millions of years ago, its two elytra – the envelopes that cover and protect the beetle’s wings – have fused together to form an impenetrable shell. Instead of breaking suddenly under pressure, its structure slowly fractures, allowing it to withstand extremely heavy loads. It’s the insect equivalent of Thing, the member of the Fantastic Four journalists are saying!
My heart aches for poor Diabolicus and I feel oddly close to that survivor. Now I wonder if once this is over, once I get a job back, once I settled down in a stable life with indefinite boundaries, once my everyday regular problems don’t threat to break my back with heavy pressure: will I still be able to fly?
We have an expression in French which goes like this: “être à côté des ses pompes” – to stand beside one’s pair of shoes (eq. out to lunch). I love how visual it makes being too confused to know what is really happening . I feel like a little girl surrounded by adults who struggle with something. And no one has an answer to the problem. Or like someone on a desert island where I would be stuck with other humans but each of them would be adapting more or less, working on things like the Hypotenuse definition or jumping from a linear function to a quadratic function (*), when me, I would play dead, busy fusing the envelope protecting my wings.
Right… keywords we were saying? Words leading to Actions… 2021…
Training, career change, lunch break, friends, colleagues, fun, work, after-work meetings, after-work drinks, drinks with friends, restaurants, bars, festivals, concerts, theatre plays, museums, travels, contacts, energy, freedom, company, fellowship, gathering, life…
What about you?
(*) linear function : my 15-year old daughter is presently working on that atrocity in maths. Please note she will major in literature and foreign languages next year. Why, oh why do we have to feed our children with this ridiculous mental nourishment at some point in their lives???