Yesterday, Kae posted an interesting comment:
I wonder if part of what has made you feel more “upbeat” lately is the shift in the stage of the pandemic? I mean, I know people have been doing things again in public again for a long time now, but overall I feel like a majority of life is just more recently REALLY back on and the general vibe has definitely loosened a lot. Before, I always felt constantly uneasy/ unsure of what was okay, what was not, should we travel, should we not, can the kids play with friends, should we go out, the whole masking everywhere thing/ always distancing, etc. was just so draining and mentally exhausting. A constant underlying buzz of stress and uncertainty. I now feel the general consensus, from the government and healthcare providers alike, is that it’s generally ok to resume living in a mostly normal way. Since you like social interactions, I wonder if all the restrictions/ stress of the pandemic was affecting you more than you realized? I could be totally guessing! But you just seem much happier, smiley and loving life again, involving a lot more social activities than you’d seen in a long time.
It’s an interesting take.
I definitely feel more positive about life lately. But I don’t think this is quite the reason. Having had COVID relatively early and sort of succumbing to the idea that we are not really willing or able to prevent getting it again, I’m not sure my lifestyle has been impacted much by COVID for the past year or so. Example: Keys trip we took with friends last June. Some of this is cultural (#florida) and some of it is just becoming sort of numb to the endless exposures between 3 kids and 2 medical jobs. I guess we are more lax about playdates and things like that, but we’ve been traveling and eating in restaurants and having family/friend gatherings for quite some time now. Some people I know (virtually or IRL) may never approve of this. Oh well . . . I supposed I have come to terms with that just like I have essentially assumed we will get COVID again.
That said, I feel I went through a mild depression (or depressive-like phase? I’m not a mental health diagnostician) in Feb/March of this year and I’m not sure what brought it on. A lot of work stress was definitely part of it, and some of that is still there, but less so.
Some time in late April, I just sort of decided to take life by the reigns again and for whatever reason, it worked. I cleaned up my eating habits (and reflected on that here + here) which resulted in feeling better in my own skin. I became more consistent with other things, such as reading, staying ahead of podcast work/ads/etc, and creating and following through with daily plans. And I really leaned into trying to anticipate and ENJOY fun events like a playdate/dinner with another family or the mini-getaway Josh and I took.
I don’t know what my own secret sauce is, or what snapped mid-April, but that is something very much worth reflecting on. Because life is still challenging and there are still many difficult things going on, to some extent in my own life (always-looming threat of illness, COVID or otherwise; work stress; homeowner growing pains & financial uncertainty; etc) and to a much larger extent in the world.
I will keep thinking about it.
In the meantime, here’s a little preview of June’s goals: