There’s a pandemic in my productivity contest
Season’s greetings, jingle bells, and ho ho ho. As we stare down the barrel at another < ̶i̶n̶t̶r̶o̶v̶e̶r̶t̶’s ̶r̶e̶t̶r̶e̶a̶t̶> lockdown, I wish you and your dear ones a great holiday! Me? I’m good, enjoying my vacation. With all this extra time I got, I’ve been definitely growing into my best productive goddess life, leveling up my skills in bread making, meditation, and shamelessly lying about how I feel. Spoiler alert: I feel fine. I’m fine. I mean I understand, there’s a pandemic, there are people in literal life or death situations who struggle to breathe, and compared to that I’m sitting here on my mountain of health privilege, flexing my breathing ability. But meditation is more than deep sighs with purpose, it’s about willing your mind to calm down and reflect on itself < ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶f̶a̶i̶l̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶m̶i̶s̶e̶r̶a̶b̶l̶y̶>
For god’s sake, I’m Hindu, my ancestors pioneered this whole “look stoic and breathe deep, let’s call this enlightenment” shtick. I grew up with it AND I don't have any distractions like partners, kids, or pets in the house. This should be a piece of cake. Okay, I’m prepared, the lights are dimmed. The ONLY thing I have to do is relax, breathe in, breathe out. Five minutes later there will be a ping. My eyes are closed. Observe the thoughts as they come and go. Hmm, I wonder where these weird multicolor visualizations come from when I close my eyes. Wait, is my nose itchy? Is my butt itchy? Why is my butt itchy? When did I last go to the doctor? What if I go to the doctor and I find out I have butt cancer? Does butt cancer even exist, I need to google that. DAMMIT FOCUS WOMAN okay, calm, even breaths, distractions happen, observe them. I’m hungry. After this, we’ll get food. I still have potato curry from yesterday. Why is it called potato? Po-tay-to. Ooh, Taylor Swift released a new album. Shake It Off! Shake It Off! That’s it, I give up.
It’s not just me. A typical conversation with a friend, colleague, or family member has become - “Yeah, it’s nice, I’m enjoying the downtime. I had 14 hours of zoom calls today later I’m going to clean my house, bake some bread, water my plants, crochet a new sweater and write a Russian novel since I have an extra one hour in the day without the commute. I have been given the gift of time and I don't deserve this if I cannot use this productively. Let me just squeeze all this productivity juice out of my noggin and then, I will have conquered this quarantine and I am now worthy of this crown of Productivity Royalty. PRODUCTIVITY!” (proceeds to drink 5 Redbulls and benchpress and elephant)
You are in the middle of a global pandemic. If you’re feeling uncertain about the future, that’s okay. If your focus is a bit less or your home is a bit messy, that’s okay. If you’re feeling bummy and unproductive, that’s okay. Don't ignore your mental health. Relax, take a few minutes to be unproductive and kind to yourself. And if feel really bored, you can check out the new Taylor Swift album.