Retreat Day 7: Signs of a Crisis

Day 7 of my retreat brings a drawing-in. I’d already decided to be stricter about my social distancing before the lockdown came in. My routine is now settling. Waking early (4:45am today), physio, walking to the pier then back through town. Home, breakfast, writing, work.

Of course, I have it fairly easy. There are many people in cramped or dangerous domestic situations. My mood is good, but not as resilient as I would like. I’m working on that, paying attention to how I’m feeling. Hopefully, once I am more settled-in, I can look for ways to volunteer and do something to help.

I’ve mostly ignored the news today. The constant updates were getting wearing. Obviously, this won’t work for everyone, but the situation seems dangerous yet relatively slow-moving. It’s getting too easy to make myself anxious about things.

Life is surprisingly busy, even if we have to be sociable behind screens. I’m loving the voice calls and the chats, but also wary of not making time to relax and contemplate. There’s also the danger that this initial burst of energy/activity might fade, so I am keeping an eye on that.

I’m also trying to settle into this slowly. There are lots of things I could do, but I don’t want to commit myself to anything just yet. The structure is building slowly, little routines, and new habits. I like having a candle burning, sometimes even when I am working at the job. There is no need to hurry here.

Today, workmen started next door. It was a little frustrating to have my day disturbed by chainsaws. I guess i’m one of the few people’s whose life will be improved by a full lockdown.

My biggest problem is sleep. I am waking up very early but not feeling tired. My appetite is also not as good as usual, and I’m having to force myself to finish meals. I’m keeping an eye on my weight in case it starts falling too fast.

It feels like we have fallen into a Douglas Coupland novel. That’s OK.

I’ve been practising juggling, and practising the first ball of Mill’s Mess. The thing I’d forgotten about juggling: it’s not the catch, it’s the throw. All the skill is in the throwing.

The news about the lockdown came in while I was on a zoom call with some friends. That’s something I will think about tomorrow though. One day at a time.

Today’s plank was a disappointing 87 seconds (20 off my best). My body is still wrecked from the hike – and I think I’m losing a toenail.


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