A Sense of Future

Today was a strange day, friends and colleagues talking about their struggles to focus, to ‘be on the ball’, to work efficiently. So it was a strange, grey, rainy autumn day that somehow put a sound absorber on the brain. However, the shared experience that unsettles me most is that lack of a ‘sense of future. I have a notion, can ‘see’ until about Christmas, another friend said they cannot see beyond the next couple of weeks.

Yesterday evening, whilst stabbing the ground with our Nordic Walking poles a friend and I mused about this strange phenomenon of not being able to hold–in our internal world–the idea of future. My friend keeps coming back to the fact that one cannot really plan anything, would we be able to fly and see our parents, book a holiday, go for dinner, or not, in two months, six months time? I wondered if having teaching until December enables me to have a sense of future until then, because no matter what happens all around me; in this digital world, I have continuity and structure. But don’t ask me about January this is a dark spot, I will book annual leave and plan some writing and sewing projects but I cannot hold the image of these activities–the sense that this is what will happen–in my mind.

I try to keep reminding myself that the sense of future is an illusion anyway. Things are fluid, they change, so why would we now be so unsettled by something that isn’t real to begin with? Are we suffering collective trauma?

Trying to find ways to cope, this is what I have come up with so far:

  • daily pause and consciously accept the situation
  • then virtually count my chickens, draw to mind all the things I am grateful for and there are a lot once I start
  • when on my daily walk try to recall the joys and good things that happened despite the weird year
  • consciously do not plan further than a couple of weeks
  • focus on living day by day, plan the day, be mindful of a nice cup of coffee, the smell of rain, the joy of my work, the pleasure of writing or drawing
  • exercise
  • snuggle under a warm blanket and switch on all the colourful lights

What do you do to cope? Do you also have this lack of ‘sense of future’?

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