Yes, it’s a real word. There are varying definitions from super scientific to actually comprehensible, but in general (and in my application of this blog), it means: the way we allocate energy because we can anticipate the need for that energy. As a running example, we know what pace to maintain in a marathon because we know that marathon is 42.2 kilometres. We know what pace we can sustain. We know when we get to the 40 kilometre mark that there are only 2.2 kilometres left to go. It doesn’t matter the pace or the distance. What matters is the knowledge. It’s the knowledge of the environment and circumstances, and it’s the knowledge of what we know we can do.
Part of the reason COVID really sucked in 2020 is because we don’t have that knowledge. There is no teleoanticipation. We don’t know how long it’s going to last for. We don’t know how we are going to handle it in one months, six months, one year…. Longer?
I am a different person now than I was before. People evolve over the course of their lives, but that’s not what I’m referring to now. I mean that, since the pandemic started, I’ve had to change a lot of things about the person who I thought I was. I know that I am not the only individual experiencing this. For example, I like asking questions and if someone sees that as challenging, that’s not my intention but I know I’m not responsible for their interpretation. I enjoy feisty banter. Now, I have to work very hard to be more compassionate and empathetic than I ever have. We never actually know what someone else is going through but we do know that right now, everyone is being affected by the pandemic. I don’t want to make it worse. No amount of banter is worth it.
In most years of running, I spent the winters running over ice and snow. Since I moved, the winter means rain. I really dislike running in rain. I might have changed to prepare for it before I could, priorities shifted. So I will acknowledge that I have not been running as much as I would like. Some days I go for a short walk. That’s a big change from having been planning to do an ultra-marathon. Physical activity has usually been part of my life and now, I don’t even do yoga on the yoga mat in my apartment because I’ve lost that motivation.
I tried painting. I really enjoyed it but it didn’t hold my attention for long. Costume makeup is fun but I would really love to be doing it with someone rather than just by myself. I’m sure there are lists of things I could be doing but I’m actually burning out. I might go a week without leaving my apartment. Yesterday I counted and I hadn’t washed my hair in five days and yet I still put it off until today. I do watch a lot of Netflix. I have more interaction with my television now than I do with real people.
I don’t know when the world will open up again and I am preserving my energy for this indeterminate time period.
Except that, I am a human being. We are human beings. These changes are impacting both our physical and mental health. Running was good for my body and made me happy. Now, I’m barely bothering with running sneakers and instead just existing in slippers and a house robe. COVID is getting harder to endure because we don’t see the end. We don’t know if there is an end. So we change who we are and save our energy for this unknown period of time. How depressing. That’s why more and more people are experiencing anxiety and depression, myself included.
Tonight I am going to work out. In my little apartment. On my yoga mat, with the dumbbells and medicine ball that I have. Tomorrow I will go for a run even if it is raining. Maybe that is not preserving physical energy, but guess what?! My body will make more. I might even try painting again this week. I’m going to try to get back to the place, that level of energy exertion, that I had before. Maybe even more because, as it turns out, I like being more compassionate.
My world has had a lot of changes. The whole world has had a lot of changes. We may not be able to see the end of the pandemic, we may not know how much energy to use/save or what the results will be. That doesn’t mean we need to stop moving forward. We keep moving forward now, it doesn’t need to be a New Years Resolution.