It’s good to be back. After writing about how I languished through this year’s Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride I decided to do something about it. The languishing, that is.
Shortly after the ride, my wife shared with me a podcast about languishing that offered a counterpoint – dormancy. It resonated and I decided to try going dormant. That was a month and a half ago.
Adam Grant’s piece, “There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing” introduced many to the term and idea of languishing; being in a state between depression and flourishing. In the podcast my wife shared, Talk Therapy: Languishing vs Dormant: Making sense of the emotional long haul of the pandemic, a piece by Auston Kleon is discussed in response to Grant’s on languishing. Kleon’s I’m Not Languishing, I’m Dormant, provides an alternate narrative; one which I decided made sense and was worth a shot.
Kleon suggests, simply, that now (during a pandemic) is not the time to try to flourish, and that it is okay to go dormant and wait until the time, or ‘season’, is right. His article is worth a read. So, I made a list. I made a list of things that I would let go dormant, and allow myself to focus on only those things that I could and wanted to; at this time, in this season.
This blog was one of those things I decided to let rest a while. Other things I decided to let go dormant were:
- The band, Class of 91. Instead, I would just play guitar for fun and enjoyment and wait until the band could again gather.
- Dreams. Of opening a coffee shop, of making shirts, of being an entrepreneur, really, anything that I felt needed to wait until a sense of the post-pandemic future emerges.
- Writing, in general. Journals and blogging. Dormant.
- Working out. That is, with any firm objective in mind. Instead, I would only maintain a loose routine and move when the mood hit me.
The result? I gave myself time and space to relax and reflect, to focus on those things important to me now, and that I could effect some control over. These being;
- Family. Spending more time at home and being present.
- Climbing. The one activity that I currently share with my kids, and always brings me joy.
- Guitar. When the mood strikes, and with no intent other than to make some noise.
- Working. More shifts at the coffee shops. Keeping myself busy.
- Reading. Some philosophical, but also lighter fare.
I was languishing, I was trying to flourish ‘out of season’. I now understand better what I was feeling, and I took some time to apply new methods to managing during these trying times. This is not the time to flourish, and so I will wait to make any big decisions or purchases. I won’t stress on future goals and plans, nor start, for example, writing a book. Most of all I will stop beating myself up for not being productive or engaged. When lethargy sets in I am just letting it, for now, and accepting that I will not be productive, or flourishing just now.
The band has reformed and we’ve had our first rehearsal since March. I am writing again. I am starting to think about the future again, but only musings, nothing committal or with deadlines or stressors. They remain, however, in a state of dormancy, only beginning to reawaken.
So, don’t be hard on yourself. Maybe you too were/are languishing, maybe you’re just dormant. Either way, these past 18 months have not been the right time to flourish. Be patient, the season will turn. ‘Spring‘ will come, and we can all start to grow again.
Head back up to the third paragraph and give Kleon’s article a read, it is well written.
P.S. I know my Instagram feed is broken and I will work to fix it 😉
It’s good to be back.