So we have been out of full lockdown for a few weeks now.
I knew that I would take re-emergence slowly. I did not see myself rushing out into the world as if nothing had happened, but I did not expect to feel so depleted.
Those of us in Melbourne have lived in an altered reality for many, many months, and in some ways the effect of this is only now taking hold.
After the latest announcement from our Premier that more restrictions have been eased, I found myself walking around my home not really sure of where I ‘should’ go.
I wondered if maybe I was a little anxious about being out and about with people, or if it was my introversion that kept me inside when I could have been making plans with friends to have picnics.
Then I realised that because I need a lot of alone time to re-group and re-energise, the fact that I have not been able to be truly alone for 6 months, has left me energetically depleted.
Learning to move online for speaking presentations;
Writing my book;
Looking after my family and their emotional needs during lockdown;
Missing my parents overseas and not knowing when I’ll see them again;
Starting a YouTube Channel;
The BLM movement;
The US election week;
All these things, during a long complete lockdown, have left me feeling depleted.
I am not the only one.
As people have been asking me how I am, I have answered truthfully and it has created the space for others to share their truth.
Many people I have spoken to are feeling (or displaying) some form of fatigue or burnout.
In Victoria we have managed to get the virus under control, and it seems like that effort took everything we had as a society. We have been altered. And as a human race we have all been altered by the pandemic in various ways.
The other day while listening to the radio, I heard a psychologist use this metaphor: “We have all been in the same storm, but we are in different boats.”
I think this is a beautiful metaphor. It allows us all to own our experiences without judgement or shame.
We are all in different boats. I know I am in a very privileged boat in many ways, but my privileged boat is low on fuel at the moment all the same.
Although I know what I need most of the time, this time I needed someone else to tell me.
On Saturday, I sat with my husband after several days of low energy struggling to do the things I find easy to do, he suggested I take a few days away.
We tried to book a retreat, but surprise, surprise EVERY retreat was full.
So instead I am off to Daylesford, a stunning country town that reminds me of England in many ways. I will be alone in a little cottage with some books. I will walk alone. I will dine alone. I will be alone.
It is time to refuel my boat.
What about you? How can you refuel your boat? You may not be able to get away, but you may be able to say no to an invitation, or yes to some fun. Or ‘no’ to taking on more work, or yes to an inspiring work project.
Different boats use different fuel, and when the fuel is low, refuelling is needed.