Recently, while struggling with some serious writer’s block, a friend asked me what I had done lately. She encouraged me to write about a recent experience, a great book I had read, or a new show I had watched. The problem was that I really couldn’t write about any of these because I haven’t done any of these things in a while. I can’t think of any post-worthy experience I’ve had in a few years, the last few books I have read have been “just okay” or started out great but ended disappointingly, and I don’t start new shows because I never get around to finishing them.
During the school year, my life is consumed by my work as a teacher and my role as a mother of school-aged children. My days include going to work very early in the morning, teaching all day, picking up my kids, helping with homework, making dinner, putting my kids to bed, and then falling into bed myself – on repeat. Weekends involve praying my kids will let me sleep in, running errands, cleaning the house, and maybe watching a movie together as a family (probably one we’ve already seen a hundred times). Throw in a pandemic that has affected every potential vacation or social event, including postponed and canceled concerts (I cried!) and the reality is, the last few years have been a season of blah.
I find myself regularly telling people that I “don’t have a life.” And let’s be honest here, I’m an introvert, so I never was and never will be a risk-taker or a party animal, but I do miss socializing. I miss going out without having to plan a week in advance to ensure we have a reservation and a babysitter or worrying about Covid exposures. And even when I make the effort to plan, I’m so tired from the work week that I’d rather stay home in sweatpants. When I do get excited about events, they usually get canceled or postponed (again). I’ve found myself almost unwilling to plan new things or commit to events because I’m convinced I’ll have to deal with a refund or reschedule, and the effort will be wasted.
I wonder if others, so productive with their sourdough starters during the early parts of the pandemic, have also felt a slow decline in their willingness to do new things and reengage with the world. Or am I just turning into whatever the female version of a crotchety old man is? Does this season of blah just come with the territory of being a full-time working mom of young children, or is it the triggered response of two full years of viral uncertainty?
I don’t know the true cause of this season of blah, but maybe even this Type-A introvert is actually struggling with a profound lack of spontaneity and social connection.