Anhedonia of the Times…

As I keep reminding one of my friends, these are strange times and nobody’s normal. By “normal” I mean no one’s their normal self. I’ve now done three days of my Internet diet, and day three wasn’t very successful. I realized that the Internet is a place I go when I feel that icky combination of depressed and anxious. Boredom — I think — is often a result of depression and anxiety. I don’t mean major depression, just the depressed mood thing. I fought it, but I also accepted it. One thing I have learned from stopping other bad habits is to cut myself slack.

This one is a little different. I live in this country and I’m horrified that — in this day and age — nearly 130,000 people have died of the virus. I’m horrified that people don’t use critical thinking skills to seek out accurate information and act in harmony with it. I’m horrified that “beliefs” aren’t questioned more. I listen to our esteemed leader speak about his plans for his second term (which I pray he doesn’t get) and all he can say is talent is more important than experience and now he knows a lot of people in Washington DC. As a reader of this blog said, we go online and scroll hoping for good news. She is right.

I have seen that the real challenge right now is overcoming my preoccupation with all this stuff and because, really and truly, all I can do is wait for November. Believe me, as soon as that ballot arrives, I will carefully fill in the bubbles and follow instructions then drive it to the City Clerk in Del Norte, Colorado and stick it in the ballot box.

Meanwhile, out in the garden, which is still pretty ugly, with the deck I have yet to enjoy, things of nature are offering me a model for life by pursuing their internal imperatives unquestioningly.

All of the beans are doing magnificently. Li Bai, of course, ahead of the others as befits China’s most famous and honored poet (not bad for 1500 years!!!!) Bai Juyi is alerting me to the likelihood that he’s going to need some support soon. Tu Fu and Li Ho are pursuing slightly different directions. Rather than sending up one vining tendril and blooming early, they are reaching out in a couple of directions. The squash is a type I have never grown (or eaten) but it seems happy. A couple volunteers have emerged — the one I thought was an Aussie pumpkin turns out to be zucchini. I’ve eaten salad from my garden. The tomatoes are happy.

Aesthetically, the yard still leaves a lot to be desired, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. I made more progress this year than ever before. As the progress evolves I see what I need to do differently. Basically, I’ve decided I need to fence in this whole area, but I can’t do that now. This temporary fence works pretty OK.

This morning the first song I heard on Mohammed’s Radio was The Clash, “I’m So Bored With the USA.” I had to laugh. Here’s the song. It’s punk rock so it might not be to everyone’s taste.

25 thoughts on “Anhedonia of the Times…

  1. At least you have a garden…my flower beds and lawns look like they could have a grass fire anytime soon.

  2. I love the garden! Sparky’s sweet peas have bloomed and I was surprised to see purple and yellow and white flowers! Our summer squash is just starting to flower. Can’t wait to make the favorite recipe – Yellow Squash in Tomato sauce (wash, slice, saute squash then dump in a jar of spaghetti sauce). Sparky would have it every day if he could. Considering he planted 9 squash plants I think he might get his wish!!! Hope Bear doesn’t destroy the backyard in search of snow.

    • Bear hurt her paw in search of snow. 😦 My favorite squash recipe (summer squash) curry. Sauté squash in butter with coriander seeds, fennel and curry powder. When the squash is soft, stir in plain yogurt and eat it. 🙂

  3. Congrats on making it to Day 3. But I agree, it can increase the isolation & anxiety in the not-normal world and…maybe there WILL be good news if you scroll long enough. 😉 I may do a post on that if it happens (notice I wrote “if”…mmm…already biased). Meanwhile…yes, wait until November. I love the looks of your garden. Those are signs of hope for the future – even if it’s a culinary future. And I appreciate the canine commentary too. ❤️

    • I’d like to read that post. One thing I’ve learned from this behavior change is that my blog and its readers mean a lot to me. Facebook? It’s more like touching base with people at a distance and less like a conversation. I will be so glad when this is over. ❤

      • Oh my, me too. Some days it feels like I’ve been holding my breath all day. Must be a subconscious waiting-for-it-to-be-over thing. Exhausting and I haven’t really done anything. Like you say…not normal. I know what you mean about blogging and I agree. ❤️

        • I think we desperately want something to happen. Things are so bad that looking on the bright side (which is a good idea) is really difficult. No one around me is acting like themselves. I have never stayed in Monte Vista this long without a trip at least to Del Norte to do some cool small thing. I only leave town to pick up groceries. The post office is a major expedition that I get through as fast as I can. Only the Big Empty and maybe a walk through the hood that ends up in a chat with the kids. But even as I do that, I know it could be dangerous since they see family and doctors and so on. I have realized that if I had ANY trust in the government, this would be less nerve wracking. IF I didn’t feel that the government (as it is right now) is aiding and abetting the “freedom” notion that masks are for cowards, it would be less nerve wracking, but that’s a thing down here, too. Plus all the tourists coming in most of whom come from Texas. Normally, that’s awesome, and they’re nice and friendly (and wealthy) but they don’t seem to have a lot of respect for the realities of these communities and the absence of health care. It would be a lot better if all the people in the country were willing to see that this isn’t something to argue against. Honestly, I’d love to emigrate. 😦

          • I think you’ve zeroed in on a huge part of the issue. So much anxiety could be lessened if the government could get their collective act together and actually show some empathetic leadership. Use the science. Set an example with the masks. And the tourists – here it’s the ones from Massachusetts. Same fears that you have about the Texans. Here they pack the beach and not a mask in sight. But I see that with the locals (though not as much) and it is scary. So, yeah, I desperately want something to happen. Something hopeful. I hope I don’t have to wait until November. Where would you emigrate to? Canada?

            • I just had to tell my cousin whom I haven’t seen in 20 years and whom I love that I don’t feel comfortable with her and her daughter visiting next month. My cousin is on oxygen. I have asthma. The C-19 numbers are rising here. There is absolutely NOTHING to do. Everything that’s fun in summer has been shut down. We can’t even go get a pizza in Del Norte. I have resisted telling her because who knows? She’s in her 70s and not in great health. But I don’t want her to get sick. I don’t want to get sick. I don’t want them to have a bad time here. I really think you’re right. Empathetic leadership and kindness from the “powers” would have made a huge difference in the way certain factions have dealt with it. When I saw today’s statistics, I was horrified. Here the EU has managed to send its curve way down and ours just keeps rising.

              In a perfect world, I’d emigrate to Switzerland. 🙂

              • And the EU has just banned travelers from the USA because our numbers are so high (from what I heard on the news tonight…see I can’t help but watch…). I can understand your worry about your cousin’s visit. There is just no easy answer AT ALL. And what fun is it to be understandably on edge the whole visit? None. I’d be the same way. Not worth the risk. (I didn’t know the numbers were rising where you live). And 20 years…so hard to let that visit go. Did your cousin understand? Rescheduling to some random future date would give some hope for a future visit. Just a thought. ❤️
                Switzerland sounds good 🙂

  4. Your garden is bountiful, and beautiful! Although Bear looks a little annoyed that some of her space has disappeared. Does she like to sample the vegetables?

    Your columbine are gorgeous.

    Re Covid-19: I think the point most people miss is that this isn’t just a “get it and recover” virus. If one is infected and survives, it’s quite likely they will have long-term, perhaps even life-long, negative impacts on their lungs, heart, liver, etc. Unlike the flu, one doesn’t return to pre-illness health in a couple of weeks, if ever. My health is precious to me, more than anything else I have, so I’m going to continue isolating and avoiding people as much as I possibly can until – if? – there’s an effective vaccine. It’s wise to remain anxious and wary, as difficult as that state is on our emotional well-being. We’re in this for the long haul, even if many of those around us mock wearing masks or taking other simple precautions for the benefit of all. Their ignorance and selfishness marks them as people to shun and avoid.

    Focusing on the little stuff – my dogs, the wildflowers and birds near my house, my nearby forest trails – keeps me sane, just as I’m sure those same things are helping you. Thank gods for dogs.

    And, as I like to remind myself daily, all of this 2020 awfulness – virus, police brutality, social unrest – is finally turning the political tide, making it more likely that the current idiot in the white house will be rejected/ejected in a humiliating defeat in November. Always look on the bright side 😉

    • You’re right. I see it exactly the same way which isn’t what makes you right, but not getting sick (if one can avoid it) is just rational — and a very large bright side. I’ve been dreading having to disappoint my cousin, but now it’s done.

  5. The garden is impressive, Martha. I found that when setting up garden specific fencing, each garden jail/gaol also needed a gate.
    On the other matter, it has highlighted to what extent people have become commodities. Of course, certain groups of people have always been commodities. Under the guise of economic success, it is a philosophy that has been widely pursued, not just in the US. I yearn for the day when common decency and respect for well intentioned scientific endeavour becomes the norm.
    The internet is not always a force of evil, although many use it for such purposes.
    I hope you and your cousin stay safe. We really do need to be flexible about our travel plans at the moment, as awful and constraining as that is.
    PS. It is school hols here. Some people think they are the Almighty and can manage the risk without actually doing anything differently on their holidays to manage it.

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