Apparently I’ve been living a ‘confined’ life, for the last 2 years and a half.
Psss…. I’m calling it my ‘confined’ life for this piece but I do not feel confined, I just live a simple life!
For the past 6-7 weeks now, we’ve been confined in our homes and a lot of people are having a hard time. Loosing track of time, getting bored, being scared, drinking too much, missing humans interactions and generally feeling slightly depressed.
My partner seems to be heading toward this general feeling, for sure. Because of where we live and the rules in place, he is still allowed to get out and exercise. This helps a bit. He has also managed to get into a work routine that works. Yet, he sometimes looks like his willingness to live is fading…
I kept asking “what’s wrong?” “what’s bothering you?” as he looked so sad the other day. But he couldn’t tell. “I’m tired of being at home, I think” was all he could express. “Do you miss going to the office?” He looked puzzled, afraid to said “yes” so he mumbled a “no”.
If you feel a bit like my partner, then maybe you should read on!
My “confined” life
So you are wondering how I am doing? Well, pretty normal, schedule wise, at least. My life has not changed significantly. I have not been feeling confined and being at home has not been a burden.
OK, I’m a bit tired of seing my partner too much 😉
Sure, the trips to the supermarket or the bakery feels slightly different. Like I’m putting myself in danger of sort.
Yes, I’m worried about the health of my family and friends and dread reading the morning news. The big concern I have, is whether to go see my dad or not.
And indeed, I fear for the future and what it will look like. I’ve published recently a very long piece about our bleak future, so yes, it does worry me. It does worry me tremendously and I does affect me. But this is an almost normal state of worry as well, as I have been suffering from eco-anxiety for a while now and this pandemic is kind of the cherry on top of the cake, that is the climat change crisis.
To tell you the all truth, I am actually relieved my own life is on pause because I had too many things planned for May, June and July that I was feeling slightly overwhelmed. Now that everything is cancelled, I feel that I might get a chance to catch up on the things I want to do. I have not had a chance yet. After 5 weeks of confinement, I was still late on my usual business, so my own projects have not gotten the attention they deserve.
So overall, my life hasn’t changed much during this confinement.
Some of you will think this is utterly sad. How could you be living in confinement like this? It’s not normal. People need to interact, be together, have fun…
Hear me out! I’m not a psychopath, I’m just an introvert.
And introverts need more time by themselves, than extroverts do! It is just like that.
If you are an extrovert, you probably don’t realize that many people are likely feeling fine, just like me…
All the writers, painters, artists and crafters of all sorts or even book lovers… all the people who can loose themselves so much in their passion, that they forget to eat. All the people who get so focussed on their crafts that do not realize that the sun is setting, when they thought it was still noon…
Oh and please, don’t even think of saying this means we lack compassion for the ones suffering.
Being an introvert often means being extremely empathic actually. So all of this just means we have build ways to cope, to stay sane, by ourselves. We tend to retrieve inside to not let the shit stop our lives, hoping for something to come.
As a friend of mine pointed out recently, there is however a big difference between my normal “confined” life and what we are living today: the possibilities. Choosing to stay at home and being forced to stay at home are different things.
Choices vs obligations
Choosing to do something and being forced to do the same thing are different and usually have different results.
Presently, we are all forced into a confined life and our decisions are limited to wether respect the rules of confinement to the letter or not, for example. It’s limiting. It feels like a huge burden, an infringement on our freedom to most.
Whereby indeed, I chose my life. It became like this progressively and I eased into it. I set priorities and I’m happy with the priorities I set, the boundaries I created.
In normal times, there are no external rules preventing me from coming out of my shell and mingling with friends, or going on a road trip or whatever else I fancy. I acknowledge that and if the forced confinement was to last a lot longer, I might suffer a bit, from this as well. But it is presently not the case.
So, maybe you still feel like pitting me for living what you see as an hermit’s life, a boring life at the very least. But maybe at this point, you are wondering if part of the choices I made were, maybe, just maybe, right?
How to live a simple life?
You can declutter and fengshui your life if you want. You can redecorate your home, cancel your FB account & streaming suscriptions… You can apply all the little tricks possible. But it probably won’t lead you to your destination if you don’t truly know what is your destination.
So instead, try this: find the answers to the 2 below questions.
Who do you want to be?
I think that you need to get the big picture of what you want your life to be & who you want to be. Once you have that, you’re on the right track.
If you’re answer to this is “I want to be married by 35 with 2 kids, a dog and a house” you should rethink the question. This isn’t what you want to have, career wise, bank account wise or else, it’s about who you want to be.
For now, I simply want to be a kinder person. One that generally does more good than harm, with my words and actions. It’s easier said than done actually.
The current crisis we are facing shade some new lights on the impacts of our very own existences. Deforestation, industrialization, our way of life is in question. We are all responsible for this crisis, and the ones to come.
And when you realize that, now, the simple act of breathing can kill others, it puts things into a new perspective.
What will be your legacy?
The second part of the questions you should ask yourself, apart from who you want to be, is what you want your legacy to be.
I wrote about this already (you can follow the link above) and don’t have any extraordinary answer for myself. It’s quite ok not want to leave an extraordinary legacy! But I do stick by what I said there: I don’t want my legacy to be a mountain of plastic trash in the ocean!
I know those are really tough questions but once you’ve answers, it will be easy to simplify your life!
Set your goals and get going on your journey!
Once you’ve found your answers on who you want to be and what you want your legacy to be, you will have goals that will make it easy to remove all the noice, all the things that are not serving your purpose. Yes, this include the people who drag you down on your journey.
You’ll set priorities and boundaries that will help you on your journey.
Actually don’t even focus on setting boundaries, just stay focused on your goals! People who are not in alignment with your goals, will disappear from your life, faster than the ice caps are melting. Unimportant things will loose their grip on you. You will question your previous choices and often realize that what you thought was important, actually wasn’t.
You will probably reconsider your consumption habits and this isn’t an easy path. We are not conditioned to think for ourselves or deviate from society norms. We are told relentlessy to consume more and more, even now, maybe especially now, for the good of the recovery of the economy, for profits and GDP…
Don’t get me wrong, you will probably have to take tough decisions at some points. But these will get easier and easier as your goals will get closer to becoming reality.
Keep in mind who you want to be and what your legacy will be and stay focused. It’s really simple!
Still in confinement? You probably can find the time to do the required introspection, even if it’s hard. And maybe this is the perfect time to start your new life!
If you are still not convinced, you can read about the super powers this new life will give you, maybe it will convince you!