So, Taylor Swift is dropping a new album tonight. Artist release albums all the time, of course (that’s what artists do!) but the catch here is that she wrote, recorded and released an album all during these 5 months of lockdown.
Now, I’m a big fan, so this is great news. The music-consumer side of me is delighted to have something new to listen to.
The musician side of me reacted with a noxious combination of resentment and guilt.
When the shit hit the fan in March and our lives were put on pause, many of us, in an effort to find a silver lining, made grand plans to use this opportunity to do something we had no time to pursue pre-pandmic. Maybe we could finally clean out our closets, learn Italian, write a novel, take that online art course, read to our kids every night, meditate, lose weight, bake the perfect sourdough levain. Many of us were ambitious.
The reality of quarantine, of course, was anxiety and inertia.
And the truth of it is that my closets are still a mess and my Italian hasn’t improved. I feel like I get lost in the fear and frustration of our current global situation on a daily basis, and therefore don’t get anything done. I feel like I’m not producing anything, not generating income, not acquiring a new skill, not improving myself, not taking advantage of “down time”. And at the same time, Taylor Swift made an entire freaking album.
Comparisons are useless, of course, but that doesn’t mean that our minds don’t go there. And when we do so we can’t help but feel lacking in some way. It’s at the core of my own constant struggle, of not doing enough, of not being enough. And it can send me into a tailspin.
So today I’ve decided to practice some acceptance and to treat myself kindly. To find contentment in the simple acts of getting up, making coffee, caring for Pinkerton, supporting my husband, being available for my friends. To keep my gaze firmly on the day that is front of me, my own day, the one that only I can live. To move from comparison outward to focus inward.
But of course, at its 12 am ET release, I’ll be downloading that album!