Last night, I was feverishly baking paleo cookies at 9:30pm at night, while chit chatting with my sister on the phone about how I’m trying to cut out dairy to support an anti-inflammatory diet. This is really code for saying I’m trying to lose the extra pandemic weight that stacked up over the past year and a half. My husband walks by and smooths his hand over my crinkled forehead, “Relax.”
Since the world began to open back up, I’ve felt a bit more tense, my mind quicker. “Time to get rid of those extra pandemic pounds! OK, go figure out your work! Make those summer plans! Get back to the friends who text you!” There are more pull in demands. Admittedly, mostly self-imposed.
I saw this weekend that in the backdrop there is this building of agitation, a feeling of constant annoyance. I’ve been bringing my curiosity to it.
“Hello there, agitation, what is it you need?”
The response isn’t crystal clear. It is coming in little clues.
One, is noticing how much more I’ve been striving in response to the world opening back up. In pandemic life, there was really nowhere to go and nothing to achieve — while this limbo was uncomfortable, for the type of forward-leaning person I am, it was also deeply settling and grounding. On the weekends, there weren’t a collection of social activities to attend to or birthday parties to go to or friends to keep up with — there was a simplicity of leaning into family life, a quietness, a centering into myself that I hadn’t felt pre-pandemic. Despite all the many meditation retreats I’ve been on over the years, the pandemic retreat was most revealing: it highlighted deep-seated patterns in myself, in my relationships to those closest to me. Nowhere to go and nowhere to hide, and the truth illuminating herself… Being closer to truth — and less scattered by my whims in a shiny world — is grounding.
Secondly, in this pursuit of the more material aspects of life — my physical body, figuring out money and livelihood — while all super important, agitation was also wedging itself in the midst of it all. I’ve seen when logistics are the main focus, the creativity and juice of life can slowly dry out. A perfect recipe for a yummy, irritation soup.