Life and Health

Feeling Unmotivated and Stagnant

I am feeling very Gretchen Rubin “rebel-like” lately. I don’t want to do anything and I’ve given myself the blanket excuse of if I can’t do it all perfectly then I might as well not do anything. I’m not sure why these feelings have washed over me in the past month. I was looking forward to 2022 because, even if it’s not over yet, the pandemic should be waning, my daughter is turning 6 and becoming more self-sufficient so I have time to do the things I want to do more and more but here I sit wanting to do absolutely nothing; productive, fun, or otherwise.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

I’m not sure if this is just simply a case of “obliger rebellion” as Rubin puts it when obligers decide they’re done meeting expectations. Usually, according to Rubin, the obliger is tired of meeting expectations but generally the rebellion is focused on habits or behaviors that only affect the obliger so it often looks like self-sabotage. Even if the rebellion is caused by external forces (say work, pandemic, other commitments) it seems the obliger can’t kick their butt into gear and that feels like where I’m at.

I can’t find the motivation to do the things I want to do that makes doing the things I have to do easier. I am in a funk of going through the motions. When I get any down or alone time it is often spent watching TV or mindlessly scrolling. I’m not sure why and I’m at a loss of words and ideas.

Over the past two years I’ve really narrowed in on my “needs” when it comes to feeling like a full and happy human being but the past month it has been really hard to accomplish any of it. It feels like whatever January was it was NOT the “new year” energy I was hoping for. I haven’t subscribed to new year’s resolutions for many, many years but there still is a hope that comes on January 1 for some reason. Even though I can make different choices in the next moment, day, week, month, etc.. January 1 still feels like a powerful restart but this restart seems to have sputtered and died out.

By the end of December I had reached a rhythm and routine that felt manageable and easing the mental burden of the chaotic school year so far and then that rhythm was disrupted in January by the omicron surge (as was everything else). January was another rough month of “what ifs” with pandemic parenting and teaching. There is a palpable stress in the world, like we’re all teetering on the knife’s edge ready to fall at any moment. January felt like a month stuck in hyperarousal waiting for the next shoe to drop and trying to plan for when it did.

Now that January has passed, trying to recover from the stressed state has turned me into an absolute slug regarding any and all things other than the bare minimums (doing my job and making sure everyone is fed). I’ve been trying to work on identifying the steps right beyond the bare minimums that pull me out of these funks but so far I haven’t climbed out yet.

Hopefully I will find a ladder to climb, stay tuned.

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