Saturday, April 24, 2021


I read an interesting article on the New York Times this week, titled "There's a Name for the Blah You are Feeling: It's called Languishing" by Adam Grant. 

I've read it several times and it makes so much sense. We are languishing. The article says:

"It wasn’t burnout — we still had energy. It wasn’t depression — we didn’t feel hopeless. We just felt somewhat joyless and aimless."


"In psychology, we think about mental health on a spectrum from depression to flourishing. Flourishing is the peak of well-being: You have a strong sense of meaning, mastery and mattering to others. Depression is the valley of ill-being: You feel despondent, drained and worthless.

Languishing is the neglected middle child of mental health. It’s the void between depression and flourishing — the absence of well-being. You don’t have symptoms of mental illness, but you’re not the picture of mental health either. You’re not functioning at full capacity."

What do you think of that? Are you functioning at full capacity these days? 

It's not that I'm unhappy staying home, stitching and watching YouTube. I feel like I'm doing the safe thing that I need to do for now.  But, I'm also thinking, maybe dreaming, about the time when we get back to normal, knowing that might not ever happen. Oh, and don't tell me about the "new normal".  If it's new, it can't be normal. I want to think that what we are living through now is temporary, but come on, this temporary has been over a year, with no end in sight. 

Two years ago, I bought an expensive 2020 Olympic ticket, knowing this is the closest I will ever be to any Olympic Games. Last summer they were postponed for a year.  This year the pandemic is worse than it was last year, yet the Olympic Committee insists the Games will be held this summer. Yesterday I read one of the Police Officers directing traffic for the Olympic Torch Relay tested positive for COVID. I want the Olympic excitement of two years ago when I was able to buy this ticket in the lottery of millions of people who were trying to get tickets. Mostly though, I want to be safe.

So far less than 1% of people in Japan have received their first dose of the vaccine. Do you think it is possible that all of Japan will be fully vaccinated before the start of the Games on July 23rd? I say the odds are against it.  

My students talk with me about what they are dealing with because the economy is bad, and the difficulties they have in their jobs because of supply chain issues and other things, and they have children who don't understand why they can't go to Disneyland and festivals like they used to over holidays. My students continue to work hard at their jobs and take care of their families, but something is missing.

I think, we are languishing. We are just waiting to find out what happens. Maybe this is the Twilight Zone. Maybe we are languishing in the Twilight Zone. 

One more thing - Yesterday, there was another small earthquake where I live.


Vireya said...

Languishing sounds like a good description of 2020. I don't feel that way right at the moment, as here life is a lot more like normal now. But there is always the dread that 2020 will return! The people of Perth are once again in lockdown after the virus escaped from quaratine yet again.

I don't know how the Olympics can happen safely. How can you safely have people from all over the world mixing together? It sounds like a recipe for disaster.

kiwikid said...

Languishing is a good word, we are kind of waiting and hoping, I too wonder if normal will return. We were looking good but now the virus has escaped in WA as Vireya says and it has come to Melbourne, who knows where that person went before his positive test came back, we could be heading for another lockdown here too. I wonder how the athletes will be kept safe and healthy, I understand all the building and planning that goes into a Games and all the training the athletes do, but is it worth the risk.

Jeanie said...

I read that article too and I think it's spot on. I think a lot of us have felt similar. I haven't much -- Much. A little. Rick, I think, has much more. For me, not much changed apart from a couple social things. For Rick, business really slowed and it's hard to keep up enthusiasm.

That's a dilemma with the Olympics. I'd be afraid to go if I wasn't vaccinated. I just wish you could come back to the states, get one, wait for the few weeks and go back. I know. It costs a mint -- I know how much! But I wish you could. I think they're terribly brave to try to pull it off with so many unvaxxed. I know you'll do the right thing for you, though, and will do whatever precautions required to feel safe.

Queeniepatch said...

I think languishing is spot on!
Some other things, apart from the pandemic, have happened that made changes in my life. A LOT of the usual ways in which I used to live have been put on hold, and I can not decide is that is a disaster or just something to accept.
I fear that the OS will be a languishing event, too! All the crowds who were supposed to be here will stay home and watch the games on TV. This will happen all over the world, also here in Japan. Poor athletes, it won't be any fun to compete in empty arenas. Poor service businesses (hotels, shops, restaurants, taxis, museums....) how are they going to cope with the lack of business and staggering loans they have taken out.
One thing is for sure, this will be an OS to remember!

diamondc said...

Pamela: This has surely been a trying year for all, all over the world.
I believe you hit it on the button languishing, I for one will be happy to go back to my previous life style, I miss going out for lunch with the girls, I also miss my book club and the Thursday Night Ladies where we meet for dinner a beer and talk.
I hope the earth quake did not do any damage, it scares me to think we are getting into the tornado season here in Minnesota.
Have a wonderful day


Leonore Winterer said...

I've read this article too and yeah, I'm languishing for sure, with some anxiety and actual burnout mixed in there, too. I've recently realized that some where along the way I went from 'hope things will be normal again soon' to 'oh my god what am I going to do when things are back to normal?!' The thought of leaving my home, being around lots of people, or even traveling gives me panic attacks. Yesterday I had nightmares about planning a small gathering with five people and sixteen showing up! I think it will be quite a while until I can function 'normally' again, even if things calm down soon.
Saying the olympic games will be held this summer as planned seems to be overly optimistic now that it's May with no end of then pandemic in sight. Germany is at a little over 10% vaccinated right now, and I think the prediction is that we might reach some significant rate by the end of the year. Do you think they will postpone the games again, or cancel altogether this time?