The National Citizen Shut-ins

The politicians and medical experts talk of ‘lockdown’ and ‘job disruption’ and ‘inflation/recession’ (depending on who is talking).  As a participant in these odd times, mariner feels more like a shut-in. Perhaps many who are not working at the moment, who are forced indoors not only by harsh weather but by the influence of online dependence – not having to leave the home to shop, be entertained (sort of), eliminating many opportunities to at least talk even to a McDonald’s clerk, church services, storefront shopping, movies (are they gone forever?), short trips just for the experience and restaurants.

Mariner has friends who live in isolation in their homes, who live in the existential vacuum of a retirement home, assisted living or hospice care. In this national environment, however, millions are trapped by a disruption in their lives for one reason or another; the home if they can keep it is, comparatively speaking, little more than a caveman’s home. Many of us are shut-ins.

Being a shut-in means there is a lot of idle time in a day. One may be frustrated by being trapped with children but at least there is human interaction and accountability, albeit often burdensome. As time goes by, idleness breeds dissatisfaction with one’s circumstances, eventually leading to depression and frustration. One suffers with thoughts of failure and incompetence. Eventually a bottom is reached where nothing is interesting, nothing has value, and reality slowly loses its presence.

Don’t expect the government to deal with this nor the expensive health industry. Each of us must climb out of the well on our own accord.

Mariner draws from several sources some suggestions to regain control of one’s normal ego:

Upgrade your sense of obligation to improve your environment. You don’t ordinarily scrub the toilet bowl each week but make that a conscious responsibility – and the myriad of other low-interest tasks required to manage a home.

Within your skills, repair everything and anything you have ignored under normal circumstances – repaint the living room? God forbid the overhead and inconvenience – from what?

Make a conscious effort to visit other people – family, friends, charitable events where you can help.

If you are fortunate to have an active hobby, step it up a bit and take on a challenging project.

Haven’t played your musical instrument for a while? Now is the time!

Create a family tournament with any number of games like scrabble, Life or cornhole.

Stop by a store that has potted plants for sale; create a miniature garden spot in the home.

Does the reader get the drift? Invent situations that require accountability and sustained responsibility.

These times are tough across the board. There is no aspect of normalcy that is unaffected. A self-defense strategy is necessary.

Spring is coming.

Ancient Mariner

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