Just Another (Un)Manic Monday


Sitting on the couch at home on a Monday morning, drinking coffee with no particular urgency, I am the envy of working adults everywhere. But, naturally, I find myself envying those very folks who are bleary-eyed and schlepping through their Monday morning routines. You, know, the grass is always greener and all that...

We all want what we ain't got,
Our favorite doors are always locked.
On a higher hill with a taller top,
We all want what we ain't got.
We ain't happy where we are,
There's greener grass in the neighbors yard.
A bigger house and a faster car,
We ain't happy where we are. 
-Jake Owen

To be clear, when I was running in the rat race, I was always looking for a reason to duck out of it and rest my soul. Now that I am on the sidelines, I am longing for that sense of purpose and expectation to be somewhere. The pandemic has changed all of our routines, but mine is a 180° from where I was a year ago. I've gone from running at full throttle to idling in place and am now suffering from the psychological whiplash of it. At no point in my life have I had time to sit, especially at the start of the week, in the morning no less, and quite frankly, I don't know what to do with myself. My kids are old enough to navigate their virtual school platform with relative ease. They're also very laid back and log on when they need to without struggle. So, while I need to be present for them physically, I don't need to stand over them and monitor their every move (again, I feel the envy of stressed out parents seeping through the screen as they read this.) They need me just enough to need to stay home, but not enough to keep me occupied all day.

I'd been struggling to identify to the feelings of malcontent swirling around my head this morning, when my sister in all her wisdom, put a name to the demon that haunts my every movement (or lack thereof.) Guilt. The bastard of all the emotions, the thief of joy, and creator of anxiety. It's something that I've been living with for as long as I can remember, and yet it can creep up insidiously and infect my thought patterns without me recognizing it. Guilt, coupled with the insatiable personal need to be perfect, eats away at my sense of self-worth until there's precious little left. It's a nasty feedback loop that, once started, is difficult to disrupt. 

We live in a world where guilt is the constant companion of many of us. When we're at work, we're feeling guilty about things that may be slipping at home. When we're at home, we feel driven to attend more to work. When we spend, we worry that we should save. When we prioritize building that nest-egg, we suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out.) We're all being guilt-ed and should-ed into the ground. I find that as I age it's becoming harder and harder for me to stay grounded in the present moment. I'm either worrying about the future, or ruminating about the past. I can't be the only one because the market for mindfulness is growing by leaps and bounds. Meditation and mindfulness-based businesses are raking in cash to the tune of billions...with a B. 

Unfortunately for me, I am terrible at meditation...it actually makes me more anxious. 🙃 I am however, in all of my newfound time, beginning to explore other methods of turning down my mental noise and quieting the guilt-monster. I am trying to normalize having a hobby, or time dedicated to, gasp, my own enjoyment. I have re-visited crocheting and found a new love for things creative, including creating content for this blog. As I sip my coffee and reflect on my state-of-mind, I'm realizing that maybe the act of reflection is productive enough. I will eventually have places to go and people to see but for now, it's a holding pattern and I have to hold tight to present and let go of everything else.


  1. I've read a study in the past that 12 percent of people who try meditation to control anxiety end up becoming more anxious like yourself, so you're not alone there, just like you aren't alone in the struggle of the daily grind.


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