26th March 2020
I feel like I should be more ok with the loss of agency that this virus is bringing into our lives. But I’m not.
Last year was dotted with big changes for us and many of those involved a sense of giving up some control: selling a house and moving into a bible college community; leaving jobs that allowed a high degree of personal autonomy and instead submitting to a neat and tidy educational timetable; welcoming a baby into our family and once again having our days dictated by feeds and sleeps and lack of sleep.
Perhaps in some way all that helped prepare me somewhat for the drastic changes now upon us all, but it doesn’t really feel like it.
The shock of this all has been reverberating throughout my whole mind, body and spirit, and I feel raw and on edge. Strung out and mentally and emotionally exhausted, the smallest things are irritating me immensely.
Conversely, the smallest things that remain in my control are bizarrely exhilarating. Buying groceries yesterday and finding most of the things on my list was ridiculously exciting!
So here I am, sitting with the discomfort and distress of all this sudden loss of agency.
Except that, really, it shouldn’t be so surprising. Life is actually always mostly out of our control. Indeed, some of us know this better than others; most of humanity probably doesn’t find this so surprising at all.
In the end, however hard it is to acknowledge, agency and control are largely an illusion, the luxury of a few; a luxury which I am fortunate enough to indulge myself in. But these illusions are inevitably shattered, one way or another, with decisive brutality, seemingly when we least expect it.
And that is not a comfortable experience at all. Nope, I’m not feeling comfortable at all.