Habit and the Comfy Place

Work this week was … blerg. Yes, there was a confederacy of stupid, but, if I’m honest, I wasn’t on my A-game. I didn’t care. At all. So everything seemed like a slog and I had zero patience for anything making it feel sloggier. I think my attitude came from bestie having come for the weekend and gone – so now there’s no upcoming thing to look forward to that’s pretty much right around the corner. I mean. There is stuff in a month or so. And by stuff I mean seeing people in the flesh whom I love. But not right now, you know? Also, kiddo went back to her dad’s for a week, so it was my first full work week in this house where I was alone all day and all evening. She came back Saturday morning at the ass crack of dawn for just a couple of days to pack up and then drive back off to college. So I think it felt like a practice week for the upcoming transition. And it was good-ish, until I realized what I’d habit’s I’d been falling into without seeing it and then it was wrinkle my nose at myself in frustration instead.

Photo by Photo by Ian Keefe on Unsplash
Image of person mostly hidden behind a white curtain holding the sides to ensure they’re hidden

First couple of nights all on my own were nice. I went to the beach after work. Cooked what I wanted (tell me there’s nothing more satisfying in the kitchen than cooking to please yourself instead of others, amirite?). And I had it in my head to finally make some basic curtains for all of my very naked windows. So I worked on it little by little each night. Very satisfying and not overwhelming. They’re all done now except the craft room drapes, which… Meh, can wait a bit. I worked out each day, which has been awesome since I finally feel, physically anyway, like i’m through with Covid. I read a lot. Overall, good stuff. Now fast forward to Saturday. It was hot and muggy, yes, and I was up at the asscrack of dawn to get kiddo from the airport, but there’s a town festival going on down by the harbor. And did I go? No. Was I in jammies at 5:30 with zero plans to walk on the beach or go downtown? You betcha. Did I realize it’s been DAYS since I took a walk to the beach? Sigh, yes. Hermitting and it’s practically irresistible draw–it’s real, ya’ll. 

I live somewhere new. I have zero people’s phone numbers here because I’ve made zero friends so far. Which, isn’t unreasonable as an older adult. It’s only been a couple of months and more than half of that I had or was recovering from the plague. Also, it’s going to take time. But my odds of starting to correct that increase dramatically if I, ya know, leave the house, especially when there’s a big social thing going on where people will be out and about and leaning toward the gregarious side. Even if there’s not – being somewhere people are feeling chill and out and about, like the beach, do increase the odds of meeting people who might become friends one day. Monday night I met people on the beach – Melanie and Alex because I said nice shirt to her Dave Matthews Band tour tee. See. I also got some tips on where to bother with outdoor concerts and where I should pass.

Photo by Maxime Bhm on Unsplash
Image of sunsetting at a outdoor music venue with the back of a woman in the foreground

So why hibernate? Why does it sound so easy and leaving the house so hard? I used to end up doing the same damned thing in Utah, even before the modern plague. I actually had embarked on a campaign wherein I promised myself to leave the house and do something social so I could meet people once a week about 6 months before the plague. I went to game stores on game night and to some new to me bars, joined an introverts book club I only went to a few times. But I was trying. And it was hard. But I rarely regretted making the effort to go out.

It’s just so easy to think of reasons – real things to do, like making the curtains – or excuses  damn, I’m so tired, I couldn’t possibly “people” tonight. And then cozy up and hide in my house. Comfy. Habit. One I need to break out of. I’m a god-damned delight when I want to be.  I need to want to be that more – ya know, around in person actual humans.

Photo by Ellery Sterling on Unsplash
Image of little girl at edge of a pond watching a duck family swim. This image has nothing to do with anything other than I’d find that a delight.

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