A quiet June
Or so I hope.
All of us can go back to the office now, and there’s no longer a group size limit for social activities, and we don’t need to wear masks outdoor anymore, and in-person events are trickling back on everyone’s agenda.
There’s exhilaration of course, that we are slowly, regaining some of the freedom that we used to take for granted. But I didn’t think I would feel so much dread, too.
My therapist called it overstimulation.
I understand and appreciate the connections we make along the way. But as I grow older, quietude becomes where I find the most joy and feel the most alive. It’s where I can finally gather what’s left of myself, to sit down, take a deep breathe and plunge deep into the pages of a good book. Or when the right mood strikes, roll up my sleeves and make funny, sad, depressing, laughable, pretty, ugly pictures – whatever my heart desires. It’s taking a mid-day stroll around the neighborhood to calm my nerves. It’s singing off-key and playing the same 4 chords on the ukulele. It’s being invisible in a world where everything is visible and public. It’s binging CSI and somehow still having the time to daydream and discover the million more “hobbies” I can abandon.
In this space of stillness, I get to take a step back and recalibrate my perspective – in the grand scheme of things, when we’re living through a climate emergency, work anxiety and all the small, embarrassing social hiccups, seem minute.
I can still do all of these things of course, but it’s increasingly difficult to get an uninterrupted 48 hours of absolute silence and isolation. The surge of “post-covid” gatherings feel overwhelming. There’s the official and unofficial urge to head back to the office, to expend our social energy and bond with each other. There’s the demand of networking, of meeting new people, the up-keeping of new relationships.
I don’t hate these activities (or people), obviously. Part of why I’m feeling the way I’m feeling right now is down to not being able to draw my own boundaries and living with it. But I wish we, I, had allowed myself the time to grieve what I found, the way I had time to grieve what I lost when COVID started.
I wish we still take it slow because I miss the sourdough bread era. Onwards to the old normal, I want to remember to fight harder for the things that matter, because it’s become so easy to get swept up by the current of busy-ness again. I want to be even more deliberate with making time for close friendships and family, and preserve the sliver of energy I have left at the end of each day to be a bit bored, a bit adventurous with myself, to take more Jalan Besar walks, maybe try to sew badly again even.
I’m making June my quiet month. And the thought of it already fills my brain with an abundant of happy chemicals.
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