COVID cases in Houston continue to skyrocket. With our family’s self-imposed quarantine now entering its fourth month, I am struggling to answer questions about what’s new and how I’m doing. Nothing is new. Absolutely nothing. I have described my life as closely resembling the experience of Phil Conners, Bill Murray’s character in the movie Groundhog Day. Each day is identical to the one before it. However, there is a benefit to relieving the same day over and over again. It gives you time to learn something new and practice it. In the case of Phil Conners, he learned to play the piano, speak French, and mastered some form of interspecies communication with the film’s eponymous woodland creature. Due to a general lack of energy and trouble concentrating, my quarantine pursuits have not been nearly as exciting.
Looking at my time thus far, I can say that I’ve worked on my writing and my research skills, both of which have improved to some degree. I’ve definitely gotten physically stronger through working out daily. At the same time, I don’t feel very accomplished. It seems to be one the insidious aspects of our productivity driven culture that a frequently applied measure of our worth is what we produce in terms of goods and services. I have very little to show in that arena.
I take solace in knowing that I’m using my time in a way that is ultimately serving me in my goals to be a healthier more whole version of myself. As I’ve written before, there can be comfort in the familiar and the rote. In this case, I’m focusing on what feels like progress to me, rather than what I think I owe to anyone else. It’s as liberating as it is exhausting and scary. But, as they say, I am here for it.