Weekend Coffee Share: Ennui

Good day, my fellow coffee share peeps! Today we’re having coffee in my brother’s house (still… I’ve been here for the last 2 months). I’ve got green tea, Earl Grey, and iced tea for my tea drinkers, and there’s a Keurig and pods with a nice dark roast for those of you who really want the java. So come on in, make yourself comfy, and let’s chat a while.

Here’s to another week in this not so normal quickly becoming normal existence during the CoronaVirus quarantine situation. Last week was fueled by my desire to get this blog up and running again. I even had a list of posts I wanted to do this week, but emotions and motivation have been low, and, until midnight on Friday, nothing I wrote seemed to be what I really wanted to say.

This week has been one consumed by a general feeling of ennui. I canceled Tuesday’s Zoom meeting with my students because I was having tech issues. They were very minor and didn’t actually warrant canceling my class, but I just couldn’t get the energy together to do it. As a former coworker used to say: “My Give-a-flipper was busted.”

Or, in other words (like I said before), ennui.

When we had our Zoom meeting on Thursday, I wasn’t actually very prepared for it. Usually, I look at the quiz that has been chosen for the week (not by me, which I think is part of the problem), and I put together a little mini lesson over the skills or information the students will need to know in order to do well on it. This week’s quiz was over “Fitzgerald and the Roaring Twenties,” but, for some reason quite unknown to me, also had a single question about Gothic literary elements, presumably because the next unit should be over the Southern Gothic authors, such as Flannery O’Conner.

I say “should be” because most of the students are just taking the quizzes required as a grade without doing any of the assignments prior to it, which would give them the actual knowledge they need to do well on said quiz. Hence why I’ve been doing mini-lessons during our Zoom meetings.

But this week, I wasn’t prepared for it. We were supposed to have finished Gatsby by now, so I was familiar with the Fitzgerald stuff, and yet none of the questions directly asked about Fitzgerald! Thus, I was not prepared, and, while I was able to muddle through the Gothic stuff, my give-a-flipper was pretty busted still, even as late in the week as Thursday morning!

Most of this week, my brain has been doing some sort of deep introspection. As best as I can explain it, it’s like my brain is defragging itself. I don’t know if it’s the two months on the family property surrounded by my brothers (both younger, and both firmly married), or if it’s the terrifying prospect that this pandemic really might change the way we live forever for the next year or so, or if it’s that suddenly I’m very popular on the dating apps that I’m on, even though we can’t actually meet each other in person (never mind the fact that I’m 4 hours away from my actual place of residence, so anyone I “match” with now would be a long distance relationship at best when life goes back to something akin to normal), but whatever it is, it made me very unproductive this week.

So, what did I accomplish this week?

To be fair, I started the week kinda strong. I cooked for my family Garlic Chicken Bites with Asparagus, and it was a big hit! There were no leftovers, which either means I didn’t cook enough, or it was really good!

I cooked a couple other times this week, but even my cooking wasn’t as good as it has been. I made a chicken in cheese sauce that was supposed to taste like jalapeno poppers, and while it was tasty, it was hard to eat except in a tortilla. Plus, the fat separated from the cheese sauce as I was taking it off the stove. The result being that my brother said it tasted good… so long as you drained the fat from your “taco” before you took a bite.

And, as I said, my writing has struggled. Nothing seemed to come out the way I planned until Friday night. Friday night (and really Saturday morning around 1ish) I participated in a Microfiction contest. I was given a genre, an activity, and a word that must be included. The whole story had to be 100 words or less, and there were only 24 hours to complete the task.

My genre: Romance

My action: Roller Skating

My word: forget

Seeing as paranormal romance is my preferred writing genre, that was a relative piece of cake. And as soon as I am permitted to share, I will be posting it here. It may be up to a month before I can share, though, since it’s part of a contest in stages. Saturday was the first phase, and I won’t know if I’m selected to move onto phase two for about a month.

One of my goals for May was to participate in a short story contest, and I suppose microfiction counts.

It also represented a step in my latest transition.

See, another thing this week was the Full Moon. It was in Scorpio, which rules secrets. I participated in two separate spiritual gatherings (via Zoom), and the focus was on transformation and empowerment.

The first was a Girls Night In activity with my Woman Unleashed group. They use art and movement to connect to the divine in different forms. They do something every Thursday. This Thursday, we talked about Frida Kahlo, drew a quick picture of her and asked the question: What advice would she give us today? Below is my drawing (keep in mind, the whole exercise took less than half an hour).

The second was a guided meditation to connect with the moon and the energy of Scorpio, which, as I said, controls inner secrets. The idea was to see what potential was within ourselves, and could we shed our old skin to embrace a new ideal. Seemed appropriate given that everything is changing right now.

My big focus in both was learning to believe in my own power, my own ability, my own worth. We’ll see if I manage. This week doesn’t bode well, although seeing as both those things were on Thursday, and then Friday night I was suddenly able to write… maybe that means something.

I am thankful for the energy of this full moon, the Flower moon. It marked the official end of Beltane, and I could see how my week leading up to it might represent me preparing to bloom like a flower. Like, the ennui and the mental defrag was saving energy and making room for my creativity to come back… Maybe?

Whatever was going on, I hope it’s gone. I have entirely too much to do over the next couple of weeks. We’re only two and a half weeks until the official end of school, and I will have to go back to Houston to clean up my classroom at the very least. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do after that, and the not knowing makes me super nervous!

I wonder if that anxious, nervous energy is the cause of the ennui… sometimes I will shut down when I’m too nervous, and it usually begins with a numb mental block. Hmmm…

Anyway, that’s what my week has been like. How are things in your world?

If you want to be part of the coffee share, check out the host:  Eclectic Alli, or go straight to the link-up here

About Elizabeth

First and foremost I am a teacher. What I teach is a blend of grammatical art, literary love, and a smidge of spiritual awareness. My blog tries to combine the best of all three over a cup of tea.

11 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share: Ennui

  1. I know how you feel. Before and during this pandemic, I work(ed) from home. After a while, I felt lethargic. For me, a new project, book, or virtual game helps me feel a bit better. …And some tea 🙂

    1. That makes sense. I keep thinking I need to create a routine to keep me going, but no one around me is sticking to their routine either, which makes it hard. I’ve got some writing projects that I’ve meant to get back to; I’ll try to focus on those this week.

  2. Hope that this week treats you a bit better, and you can get back to some bit of normal sooner rather than later, maybe helping to shake off some of that ennui. Have a great week!

  3. Hi Elizabeth,
    We’ve been going through a lot of these issues here, expect I am the parent of a 16 and 14 year olds and we’ve been receiving lengthy, chatty letters from the 16 year old’s principal who said things will be “clunky”. Establishing a daily routine here has been really difficult too. I sat down to plan my week and I have one concrete appointment. I tend to arrange my routine around meal times and we use the term “flexible routine” and I guess and probably looking at my output over the week, rather than a day.
    I think it’s particularly important to be kind to ourselves atm. This is short term and it too will pass, although we need to keep ourselves safe to ensure we’re still here when it does.
    I hope you find your mojo this week.
    Beest wishes,
    Rowena
    PS I forgot to post my coffee share link but I’m still open for coffee.

      1. Elizabeth, you’re definitely not alone!! However, in so many ways we are alone with this social isolation, or can feel that way and it’s more different to have that social banter you have about how things are going around the like of the coffee machine at work and you can just mumble something about your struggles without have to make a big announcement over the PA system.
        I came across the Swiss philosopher Henri_Frederic Amiel the other night and this quote resonated with me: I can find no words for what I feel. My consciousness is withdrawn into itself; I hear my heart beating, and my life passing. It seems to me that I have become a statue on the banks of the river of time, that I am the spectator of some mystery, and shall issue from it old, or no longer capable of age.
        I related to being the statue on the side of the river bank a bit and thought of the Statue of LIberty and googled what she sees when she looks out on the world. I didn’t actually know you could climb up inside and into the crown or that my own Dad had done that. So, that thought of isolation actually opened up into connection, exploration and a more complex understanding of how life can be for that lone statue by the river.
        I hope you have a better week, although it’s going to be awhile til all of this eases and we’re all having to learn how to sit with all of this and keep going somehow.
        Best wishes,
        Rowena

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