Life in these strange times: motivation

Motivation. I’m supposed to write about it today. It’s the blogging prompt. But what if I said that I don’t feel much motivation to write about motivation? Well, I’m not motivated, but, nevertheless, I will write about motivation or lack thereof.

I have to say that motivation has a far different feel to it for me now than it did six months ago, just as things were getting locked down. Six months of living in the midst of a frightening pandemic have changed me, and I suspect that I am not alone. The things that motivate me are different now than they were six months ago, a year ago, two years ago.

Although I am by nature an extrovert, I am no longer motivated to go to events that I know will attract a lot of people, even if the group is far from a crowd. Months ago, I struggled with loneliness. Now I struggle with wanting to be around people, but, at the same time, feeling the need to get away from people. I struggle with understanding verbal communication. If people talk quickly or if they give a lot of instructions, I am lost. Several months of isolation have erased much of the benefit that I got from years of therapy for my auditory processing disorder. I wonder exactly how much personal space I really need. I have always needed more personal space than others because of my sensory processing disorder. But now, I need even more personal space than ever. I used to crave touch. Now, I purposely avoid it.

I was very fortunate this summer because my seasonal job as a gardener at Buffalo Harbor State Park gave me everything that I needed to feel confident and safe while working. I spent hours digging up weeds and various types of invasive plant species. And I felt motivated to go to work and to really (yes, pun intended) dig in. I actually referred to my job as “an activity.” I am hoping to go back to working at state parks next season. But that is months away.

And speaking of motivation or lack thereof, there was a discussion about it at my new watercolor painting class. About how, during the pandemic, no one had the urge to paint. They felt completely unmotivated. The intention was there, at the start. But, as the weeks dragged on, the motivation disappeared, and the paintings did not happen.

I learned from those stories that I was not the only person to struggled with motivation during these six months of pandemic.

But still. I am so grateful to be alive and healthy. I know people who have been infected and who survived. I also know people who have been infected and who did not survive. So many of us may be struggling with less motivation than we had before all of this started, but we have our lives and we have our health. Let’s keep it that way. Wear your mask when you can’t socially distance. Yes, it feels a little silly, but it really is a good idea. Wash your hands thoroughly. You should be able to sing happy birthday twice while washing your hands. You could even pick a person and sing happy birthday to that person. If it’s their birthday, that’s bonus points.

And be happy. If you’re not motivated to do great things, it’s all right. As the saying goes, “and this, too, shall pass.” Eventually, things will go back to some sort of normal. I expect that it will look and feel different than the “normal” that we once knew. You might find yourself with even more motivation than ever. Who knows what sort of adventures await us? I know that I intend to keep open to the possibilities.


And now, for the bonus blog post within a blog post! The Lady in Read nominated me for a Sunshine Blogger Award! I’m supposed to answer eleven questions and nominate eleven bloggers for this award. Unfortunately, right now, I truly can’t think of eleven bloggers who haven’t already been nominated. So I will answer the eleven questions and will say thank you to the Lady in Read for her kindness and her confidence in my blog. Well, here are the questions & my answers. 

  1. If you could send one thing on a one-way trip into space, what would it be? One of my paintings. Maybe a space alien will find it and will think that the painting represents all of earth. On the other hand, the space alien could attack it, thinking that the painting is endowed with all sorts of superhuman powers. You never know. But a painting in space. That’s pretty cool.
  2. Have you learned a new skill these past few months? I don’t know if I learned a totally new skill but I have honed my skills in recognizing and attempting to eradicate invasive plant species, although, sometimes, I still need to use reference materials.
  3. Your dream vacation? Oh my gosh. Bhutan. I want to go there so badly. That country has a Gross Happiness Index, instead of a Gross Domestic Product (index). That’s pretty cool. Even if happiness isn’t achieved, and, for sure, it isn’t always achieved, it’s still a worthwhile goal.
  4. Have you watched any movie multiple times? Which one and why? Yes. That would be “The Wizard of Oz.” It’s very entertaining, with such an assortment of characters. But the character that I enjoy the most is the Wicked Witch of the West. She is so wicked and she cackles so much that she is hilarious. Margaret Hamilton played the role to the hilt. She was obviously having the time of her life as she screeched, “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!” But the best moment was when Dorothy threw a bucket of water at her, which was well deserved because she tried to set the (not very scary) Scarecrow on fire with a wicked exclamation of “How about a little fire!!” She suddenly melted, whining, “I’m melting. You’ve destroyed my beautiful wickedness.” For years, I wondered about how smelly she had to have been because she could never take a shower or a bath. Oh, and she was green. Probably mold. LOL.
  5. A happy memory of yours associated with blogging? Oh, it’s got to be my (ongoing) imaginary trip around the world. I’m having fun traveling, and I haven’t even gone anywhere.
  6. One book which you read and thought “I wish I would’ve written this” Probably “A Walk in the Woods,” by Bill Bryson. He hiked the Appalachian Trail and then wrote about it. I could write it, too. Of course, that means that I have to hike the Appalachian Trail. That’s a long walk. A really long walk. It stretches my limits by a lot. Maybe in 2023. Who knows? Anything is possible because life is an adventure, not a guided tour.
  7. Do you have a favorite song? Oh, yes. I love “Green Grow the Rushes O.” Its origins are a bit muddied. Maybe English? Maybe Scottish? If you know more about the origins of this song, feel free to post it in the comments section below. Here is a link to a performance of the song by Cherish the Ladies: 

  8. How do you reward yourself when you want a treat? Mostly, I make a cup of tea for myself. I have a nice selection of teas and I pick a more extravagant type of tea if I want a treat. Right now, my two favorite brands of tea are Ahmad Tea and Stash Tea.
  9. If you could have any superpower what would it be? Well, I would have once said, X ray vision but I really don’t want to look at people and see their birthday suits. That sounds unappealing. So maybe eagle eyes. So I can see clearly for long distances. I’ve been saddled with glasses for years. I think that it would be awesome to wake up in the morning, look out the window, and see everything clearly without having to put on eyeglasses or contact lenses.
  10. If you had to choose one place you have been to, to recommend others to visit – where would it be and why? Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. It is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. I spent one very short day there. To visit the island, I had to travel by boat, which makes it feel both isolated and delightfully private. There are a whole bunch of islands in Lake Atitlan, and island hopping would be fun. I visited an island called Santiago Atitlan. It was beautiful. The Mayan residents had a very unique pattern in their traditional clothing that was thoroughly gorgeous. Just being there was an amazing experience.
  11. Any weird talents like, being able to touch your nose with your tongue? My sister can do that, but I cannot. But what I can do is to write with both hands, forwards and backwards, simultaneously. It is a very funny party trick.

4 thoughts on “Life in these strange times: motivation”

  1. I think we can be motivated to be unmotivated, especially with all that's going on. I love your reply to question #5, I have enjoyed following you on your imaginary trips!

  2. "Several months of isolation have erased much of the benefit that I got from years of therapy for my auditory processing disorder." – Oh no!!! I am SO sorry to hear that. I had no idea that could happen. And I know what you mean about not being motivated. I can relate. Congratulations on the Sunshine Blogger Award! You deserve it.

  3. I love that photo of your laughter caught in the mirror!!
    And love your answers to my questions.. no worries on the nominations (I know that is one of the toughest things as well)
    Your weird talent is cool…. the book choice by Bill Bryson as well.. and that Lake sounds like one I would truly love visiting..
    Bhutan's GHI is inspirational to say the least..
    And I love the wicked witch as well…. way more than Glinda…:-)

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