I’m trying this thing where I sit in silence for 30 minutes and write about it. If you’re curious about how the day before this went, click here.
Today’s 30 minutes of silence was kind of annoying. If I wasn’t thinking about writing about it every day just to document how it goes and because I think that will make it easier to make it a habit, I probably wouldn’t- I’m not sure it’s really anything worth talking about. I did feel a little bit more well rested after the fact, but that’s probably due to my not getting great sleep last night so any time spent just sitting still with my eyes closed I’m sure was useful just for relaxing a little bit.
When I first sat down, I was really fidgety like how I was the first time I tried this. (I didn’t write about that time, but I tried this while I was in the bath and basically as soon as I put my phone on silent and put it down I got super fidgety. I ended up touching random imperfections on my body like the scar on my knee and spots I’ve missed shaving and overanalyzing them, and while I think I got some good thoughts out of it just in terms of seeing where my mind is at, how antsy I felt in the tub once the distraction of my phone was gone was worse than I would have expected.) So when I instantly started fidgeting today, I thought the same sort of thing was going to happen.
It did at first, but then I became really focused on not fidgeting. I wanted to actually see what my mind would do if I left it alone because the fidgeting I think is really no different than looking at my phone. It’s still a distraction for my mind, albeit a far less interesting one. I did manage to get myself to stop fidgeting and my mind started to wander, but I guess it just didn’t wander as deep as I would have liked.
I basically just thought about the general state of things; how we’re coming up on two months since everything shut down, and how in the beginning of all this we figured we’d be working from home for two weeks and then things would start to go back to how they were. I envisioned going to a crowded grocery store the night the initial stay-at-home order was announced, back before masks were really even a thought and social distancing was hardly in the news. Then I thought about how much my job had changed, and how while I’m happy to still be working, everything I’m working on is totally different.
At this point my overall feeling was similar to a lucid dream. I was actively thinking of all these things, but at the same time it felt almost like I was an outsider watching the situation and being a little frustrated by it (which is something that often happens when I know I’m dreaming. There’s this one recurring dream I have maybe every other month or so, and usually when it happens I can’t help but think, “This again?” while I’m going through the motions of what I know is going to happen in the dream because I’ve seen it all before.)
I’m sure the fact that I had that similar feeling swayed where my mind went next, but it really didn’t get much better. For some reason, I got really stuck thinking about how there are so many different theories and opinions about the virus and how I really just don’t have patience for the things that are completely and obviously wrong. My parents are a big problem with this, blindly believing everything they see on the news (and what’s worse it’s usually Fox News….) There have been instances throughout all of this where I try to explain some part of the situation to my mom, citing a variety of legitimate sources of information only for her to simultaneously respond with, “It’s a new virus so they don’t know that though.” I keep finding myself frustrated (in real life) with my parents’ apparent ability to all at the same time believe whatever they see on the news (and I think on Facebook if we’re being honest) while also telling me no one knows anything about it when I present them with actual facts.
I really wish my mind went somewhere else during my 30 minutes of silence, because I’m well aware that this is an issue with my parents as I’ve been living here throughout all of this so I’m hearing about whatever their opinions of the situation may be every day. What makes it more frustrating is that I’ll spend half of my workday sometimes listening in on webinars where I’m learning more about the virus and what the plans for recovery will be when it’s safe to reopen only to stop working and be met with extremely uninformed quite frankly opinions from my family. It’s draining and I wish I didn’t have to spend so much time just thinking about the logistics of the situation. I know that it’s good to be informed about what’s happening (clearly) but I don’t think it’s doing anything for anyone to just think about it constantly, and sometimes when I get caught up in trying to educate my parents on it that’s what it feels like I’m doing.
I probably had about five minutes left at this point, and I got myself to snap out of all those thoughts but then it seemed like my mind just didn’t want to come up with anything else to replace them. I felt restless again and thought about things on my to-do list that I didn’t finish at work earlier, and how I wanted to go for a walk but it’s probably too cold outside now- nothing of real substance, just the kind of things anyone would probably think about when sitting alone like that.
Even writing this out it almost feels more like a journal entry than what I really wanted to get out of doing this, but I guess that’s just going to happen sometimes. I’m totally new to doing this, but I assume it’s like anything that some days you’re just not going to be in the right frame of mind for it and you may not get the ‘results’ you’re looking for.