PERMISSION TO DO NOTHING
I’m giving myself permission to be a slacker. There, I’ve said it. I’ve been watching people via social media, because we can’t actually get together due to COVID19 social distancing protocol, live streaming of people playing their guitars, pianos, listening to horrible albums and providing a running commentary as they drink White Russians. As I watch these people making lemons out of lemonade, I think “I should do something useful, support my community during these uncertain times.” And then I binge watch Ru Pauls’ Drag race and go to bed. I haven’t felt good about that, been beating myself up pretty good about it. But not today. Today, I’m giving myself permission to do absolutely nothing.
I’m not going to clean the dust bunnies out from under the bed. I’m not going to answer that list of emails that has been piling up because I haven’t been able to bring myself to do anything constructive. I have had zero focus, and the more they pile up, the less I want to look at them. I’m not going to tackle that stack of books I’ve been meaning to read and just haven’t had the time for. I’m not going to clean up the shit from the back of my car that’s been collecting all winter. Fuck it, let it sit there. Who cares?
I’ve got a play I started writing a few years ago, I could work on that. Nah, forget it. I have no creative energy to do that, and forcing it would depress me because I wouldn’t get anything written and then I would feel worse. I give myself permission to let it stay on my desk, unfinished. I could cover the bottom panel of the chair my cat has destroyed with some new fabric. It would be easy. I have the fabric in my sewing supplies, it would take about two hours from start to finish. Yeah, right. Not gonna do it.
I could come up with a long list of shit I’m not doing, but I’m not going to do that either. I’m going to embrace the fact that this is all just very fucking weird and I feel like I’m in limbo. I’m not sick, I’m fully capable of doing pretty much anything I want to do, but I have no focus and no drive. All I want to do is sit here and stare at my cat.
As I’m taking to people, I’m realizing I’m not the only one who feels this way. We are all going through something together, yet separate. The illusion of being alone is winning right now. I know in my heart that I’m not. I can call someone and chat, hop on Skype or Zoom and see faces of people I love. I know we are all connected, that I am a single drop of water in an ocean. But it feels very strange. I'm basically an introvert, so I like my private time, but it's hard when there is a restriction from being social. I find myself craving being with others mostly because I can't. And I hate not knowing how this is going to turn out. I’m the kind of person that will look at the last page of a book to see if my favorite character is still alive. I know it’s terrible but I do it anyway, because I HATE not knowing something. But there is no page to turn to in this story, we just have to let it ride because it’s being written as we go and we have never experienced anything like this before. We move forward into the great unknown, together, but separate.
So, there it is. I’m a slug. Don’t judge me and I won’t judge you. We can sleep whenever we want to, and there is literally no reason not to because sleep is good and it helps us stay healthy, and we need to stay healthy right now. So, go ahead, I give you permission to do absolutely nothing productive and feel good about it. Press pause on everything and just eat good food. Make a batch of cookies and eat them all in one sitting. Stare at the TV or just out the window. Watch those joggers out there who are taking advantage of their fit bodies taking them somewhere other than their home. I can run, but I only do it if someone is chasing me. I will sit here and not feel bad about it. Ahhhhhh. That’s better.
And here's the funny thing, now that I’ve given myself permission to do nothing, I actually kinda wanna do something.