If you’re new here, my Monday musing is some loving guidance I send your way weekly to tide you over or top you up or get you through. I believe that shit happens but we can fix it and feel so much better when we do. Life doesn’t have to feel this hard. LOVE doesn’t have to feel this hard.
I saw something on the news the other day, though I am not a news watcher by design. It was a segment about pilots, confiding that Covid has made them “rusty”. There is such a reduction in travel, and flights are so infrequent that pilots’ skills are not sharp and they are struggling with mistakes and oversights. Well if we didn’t already have enough reasons to be discouraged from travelling, Santa Maria. It conjures an image, a handsome wo/man in uniform, yawning audibly, rubbing their eyes and then opening them wide in hopes of gaining alertness, grappling for a Redbull from the service cart, “Hey John, Sandra, anyone remember what that this stick thingy is good for” as the plane lurches and three passengers squeal. “I dunno Bob, I’m trying to find the brakes myself”. “Oh, oh oh. I got it I got it. It’s the red button under the circle thingy with all of those numbers” *plane takes nose dive. “I don’t think this is good. No it’s not looking good. Can someone google how to land an airplane, asking for a friend? Just gonna take a powernap for fifteen, come back to it with a clear head.” “Great idea.” “Ya great idea” *3 pilots cozy into seats, heads dropping to the side as plane plummets toward the ocean.
I had a chat with a friend recently about the service industry, which even though it was one bazillion years ago, roughly, I still dream about. I call them server anxiety dreams and typically they feature me going to the same table over and over again with the wrong drink order while the restaurant continues to fill up with tables I can’t seem to get to *screams into the abyss. But that is not the point! We were conferring about how hard it is to give good service during slow times, because you lose your rhythm, alertness, the happy adrenaline that gives you the “this is fun” feel, the challenge, the payoff that happens when you juggle 100 things with flair and a smile. To diners it can be counterintuitive. It’s not busy therefore you should be lavishing them with extra attention and careful consideration, but it doesn’t really work like that.
And, my friend, neither does life. And neither does love.
The thing is that right now the worldwide pandemic, as absolutely weary and saturated we all are from hearing about it (think that gross teenager alcohol you got sick on when you were 15 and can’t even look at ALL of these years later without the bile rising in your throat) – has made so very many of us into Rusty Pilots, of our lives and our love lives. I am lowering my head in solidarity. Ugh. It’s so very true that it lands with a heavy thud. Can someone pass wine, or the Netflix or the blanky? It’s super comfy here in my comfort zone with the chaos and the mess and the hopelessness, like sleeping cuddled up to a hedgehog or a porcupine.
BUT alas, t’is true. Okay maybe it hasn’t happened to you and you can laugh smugly at the rest of us then but most of us are suffering from a thing called INERTIA.
1. a tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged. Similar: inactivity inaction dormancy passivity apathy accidie malaise stagnation dullness enervation sluggishness lethargy languor languidness listlessness torpor torpidity idleness indolence laziness sloth slothfulness motionlessness immobility lifelessness faineance stasis otiosity hebetude Opposite: activity energy
PHYSICS a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.
I don’t know about you, but I have defs been suffering from a few degrees of otiose hebetude, word.
The problem, if you will, is that our imaginations are dulled by inertia and therefore tend to create more of it. It’s not news that nothing feels like it used to, but over and above that little thang, we have just been hit too many times with “Nope, you can’t have that. Nope you can’t plan that. Nope you can’t foresee that.” We no longer know when IT is over. So we lose our steadfast push-through drive. We can no longer see a pot of gold at the end of the yellow shit road, oops I mean the yellow shit road. Once upon a time when we were young and sweet, we may have thought there were silver linings coming out of Covid, together times and new values and no more driving to work and that was something. But now we are all (by which I mean so many) suffering from brain fog, whether we have succumbed to the virus part of the virus or not.
Is that a problem, Erin? You ask me, looking up from your Netlflix, as you nap on the dog bed while Rover sleeps on your King sized mattress with the memory foam and the 700 thread count sheets. Idon’t see the problem, you slur from your breakfast cereal and Bourbon. I feel safe here. I just need to curl up, for a fifteen minute hour nap. Just to clear my head.
And that is because INERTIA has a mind of its own. It doesn’t want to disturb the force. And so I am here, curse me if you need to, to disturb your force. Gently, but noticeably. Because guess what? We are all in need of THE FORCE, right now. Our Jedi’s have stepped down. Yoda, is speaking in ordinary sentences. Where is the magic in that??? And how on God’s Green Planet or in Hell and Damnation are we supposed to have a life or fall in love, when love is not within arm’s reach of the remote and the pizza box?
I ADMIT, yes, yes I do, that I have deep dived into the annals of creativity to find you some spark and magic of late. I don’t want to argue with you when you tell me it’s all stupid, there is no point, you will always be alone, and that you HATE zoom yoga with murderous joy-stomping hatred and you refuse to try painting or meditating in the same forlorn four walls that now keep out the stupid frantic and yet somehow stupefied world.
So maybe it’s not yoga. Fair. And maybe Romeo or Juliette or even your spirit guide is not delivering pizza at 3am on a Tuesday. Instead of telling you what to do (come on I never do that anyhow give me some cred), I am going to suggest something sweeter. I am going to suggest that while you lie there with the lights blinking on and off on your airplane dashboard, and Rover making that Scoobie Doo sound that says “clearly you are decompensating” that you hearken back to your wonderful magical inspired self of old. Who is that you may ask me. I never had one of those. Can I find it at the bottom of the cereal box?
But wait, I retort. It’s easier than you think. Just work with me. Imagine for a moment a time when someone anyone saw you as all of those things that you imagine your best most thriving passionate self to be. Flip your hair or your collar. Smile with a little swag. Walk to the beat of a song you love. A cute someone with a crush, or a colleague. Even if that someone was you on top of your game, with good news in your pocket. Imagine feeling on top of your game, or world. Who is that mystical thrilling you? What does s/he do, how does s/he dress, what is s/he listening to? Who is your inner spy, or movie actor, or human rights activist? Who is your inner hero and how does s/he spend her day off? Take five minutes to write out the five most enthralling things about you, or the five ways you want to be seen by a crush, or by your esteemed colleagues, or by Rover who really really looks up to you, by the way. Pick your celebrity bro or girl crush. Imagine a script that is worthy of her excitement.
Then do something THEY would do. Do something for them. Be a hero for a day and help someone who really needs your help. If you endure too much then do something impulsive. If you are impulsive stick with something for a day. Wear a suit or a freaking ball gown. Dance in the street. Make a new playlist for your thrilling exciting love worthy self. Read a book that makes you feel out of this world. Make a list of all those things that lit you up as a child, fireflies or butterflies or stamp collecting or digging in dirt and go in search of one of them. Buy or create a thing of beauty. Send yourself three dozen roses. Go on one amazing date with your badass self.
You CAN be the outside force that breaks the inertia. You can feel alive again. It doesn’t have to be about writing War and Peace or sculpting a new body or all of those things that you didn’t accomplish in your spare time while the world was spinning and you felt sick in your gut or unglued and didn’t even wanna. But you deserve to feel alive. You deserve to fall a little bit in love with your self again, to get some game, or some swag or some pep in your step. Try to try to try, even if it feels like you’ve been left in the garage too long and the rust has progressed from your elbows to your very soul.
You knew how to fly this glorious beast once and you can do it again, even in unchartered territory.
Rusty’s been doing his best, but if you don’t stand straight in that uniform, the Bermuda Triangle is waving. And friend, I don’t know about the dating pool down there. I don’t know if they have wine or chocolate or Netflix. Or even sparkles at the bottom of that deep blue sea.
My favourite book in the world is about this unsung heroine who at a moment when the entire world is lost in the chaos of a revolution risks everything to re-inspire a leader out of inertia to take action and lead his people once more. It gives me goosebumps to imagine it even to this day, how her quiet bravery, a whisper in an ear, changes absolutely everything. You friend, have a leader inside you who needs your whispering, who needs you to see them in their glory, hidden as it may be right now in ratty sweats and dog slobber.
We fellow humans are your passengers and we’re not ready to go down in flames.
P.S. 2021 I am bringing on the love. I’ll be featured in a podcast all about better loving, from healing your broken heart to intentional dating to creating a relationship that thrives, and I’ll be launching a sister site for all of you relationship and love enthusiasts, with all kinds of insights and offerings. Stay tuned!
P.P.S. One of the kindest things you can do for me is to share my writing. If you enjoyed today’s Monday Musing and know someone else who would please forward it to a friend.