30 Mayıs 2020, Cumartesi

Pollyanna In the Quarantine Days

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As all of us know, we are all living in the days of coronavirus. In these days, most of us enjoy ‘with pleasure’ touring from our living room to the bedroom, from the kitchen to the bathroom. In this article, I will tell you indeed how good it is to get bored and be distressed in these days. Let me tell you from the beginning, we are actually writing this article together with Pollyanna. (This article contains a high dosage of corporate life in Turkey).

For only a minute, imagine that your alarm goes off in the most pleasant part of your sleep and you rise with the lark, abruptly. You have to hurry up so that you would catch the employee service that will take you to your job. And then, you find yourself in front of your computer in your office before you can open one of your eye-lids actually.

Meetings, project deadlines, and the endless work… At a specific time in the evening, getting in the same employee service to return to your home while you are dead-beat, taking a short nap on this service vehicle if possible and there is traffic jam for hours. If you have a child, taking him/her from the kindergarten or school where you leave him/her at the crack of dawn… Coming home with an exhausted body and mind, preparing dinner, caring for the child for a while, tidying up the house, going to bed, and sleeping like a dormouse.

While it was hard to write them for me, I thought I had been in this vicious cycle for many years. I thought while I was a slave of the system, the elapsed time actually did not add anything to me. In this system, like yours, my own wishes were not found anywhere. Also, I did not have any time, controlled by myself. Even, how alienated “I” from myself was quite destructive.

Especially, when I have talked to my friends who have been studied long and hard in corporate companies in Istanbul and now who have been working from their homes due to coronavirus pandemic, they mentioned about how pleasant it is to work from home in these quarantine days. Since they do not spend two or three hours everyday stuck in traffic (to shuttle between home and job), they continued to mention that they were able to allocate this time to themselves. Some have gone on an inner journey, some have found time to start the book they wanted to read for a long time, and some of them have begun to question their life and their wishes again.

In these times that we have lost or minimize communication with social life, it may be the beginning of our inquiries about ‘who we are or who we will be’ and it may be time to purify our souls even for a while since we have been receiving less stimuli to distract us from the environment where we live. It will actually be good for many of us to convert into an inward-looking person, to listen to the inner voices inside us and to simplify the life a little. It is not me; it is Pollyanna who says that.

Because, before these interesting (!) days we have been exposed to, we liked to postpone and find excuses. Because while we were determining our priorities, we avoided to ruminate about them. Because we were used to cut corners. Now there is a huge uncertainty ahead of us. We have no stimuli to postpone, find excuses, and cut corners. We are by ourselves. That is why we have to take ourselves to a maintenance and repair period right at this time. In fact, this quarantine days do not pass by puffing and blowing, being bored, or sinking into pessimism. Am I wrong?

In addition to ourselves, it is also important to realize different aspects of our partners or children and to gain insight about what we have. The other day, the confession of a mother who have been working from home and who has been at home with her four-year-old daughter due to the quarantine, surprised me in a group I have been following. She said, “I thought that my daughter was very well-behaved, but as I spent more time with her at home, I realized how active she was, and she had a completely different character than what I had thought earlier.”

Probably the mother was a mother who could spend just a few hours on weekdays with her daughter in the vicious cycle I mentioned above and who try to do her best in these congested times. A mother who loves her daughter so much but does not have enough idea about her daughter due to the system’s enforcement. The same is true for our partners, is it not? When was the last time we were so close to our partners, at least physically? Remember that! No idea, because of the intensity of working life.

That is why it is a perfect timing to get to know again our close relations and friends, especially ourselves; to decide who or what we miss or do not miss in these quarantine processes; even, to throw away whatever is unnecessary – an object, a person, a wish- in our lives. Even, to take steps to make your dreams come true; so as to rest your tired soul and to let something ride. This is not Pollyanna’s recommendation; this is my recommendation as a psychologist. I am sure you will not regret it.

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