I told a friend this morning how bored I’ve become lately. With the boredom, comes lack of motivation to do anything. As the time spent in COVID grows old, so does living without Peter. He used to be my amusement, the answer to the question of ‘what do you want to do’, the ear to my conversations, and even the spark during arguments. Now, it’s all so boring. I’m not good with boring. My boredom was birthed from my aloneness, an aloneness sprung forth from widowhood, COVID, and maybe my writing.
My profession as a writer is a solitary one. My time is spent alone, in my own head, or the head of my characters. Time goes quickly for me when I write. Only sometimes, I miss human contact. See, I am a cross between an introvert and extrovert. I need both. I embrace both. I love both. In my old life without COVID and with Peter, I could seek out both. I could coddle my introvert and feed my extrovert. Now, in a COVID and a Peterless existence, my extrovert is famished, and boredom has become my ever present hunger, one I can’t seem to feed.
I rented out an Airbnb by a lake for a few days. I took all the necessary COVID precautions of making sure no one occupied the place for 24 before me, packed up disinfected wipes and sprays. I also made sure I did not book an apartment or hotel. I am very obsessive when it comes to COVID precautions. I was excited to mix up my surroundings, get out of the lazy boy I write in, and do something different. That is, until I wasn’t.
I know part of it was the timing. I booked a few days in between my birthday and anniversary and well, not the best time for me, probably will never be the best time for me. It was more though. While booking it, I felt a foreboding with a nagging thought of going alone with no stimulation, no ability to explore – thank you, COVID – and Peterless. My boredom would be just another suitcase to unpack there.
I spent the time writing a few more chapters in my book, and yes, getting distracted with reruns of Glee. One morning, I went around town in my car, and walked along as much beach as I could without the cold yelling at me to get back into the car. As I stared out into the vastness of the waves, I had a connection like I never had before. Normally, waves crashing against the rocks, or roaring in before they settle down into soft ripples on the beach, gives me such a peace. I look at water like life, always something threatening and then a settling down. But on my mini getaway, I viewed the lake, the waves as something else. I took in the scene and thought about the enormity of my life playing out in front of me. The waters eventually chilling out in kisses to the sand reminded me of my once were’s disappearing. I was alone now in this world, and scared to dip my toes into the coldness of it all.
I snapped many sites on my iphone, trying to capture my feelings. One of the scenes I tried to capture was of a branch, stripped of its leaves, digging in to the sand for a hope of resurgence as waves crashed against it. One had a bird, flying out over the waves with a certain grace, a tease, and a view of what lie beneath it as it traveled higher. And then there was one of a small tree, hanging onto where it was planted, as the winds of a storm ahead blew it side to side, and the waves banged on it in anger. Despite the elements, it hung on, standing with strength.
I stared in knowing at the tree for a long time. I got it. I was standing on a brink of a whole new life, with COVID and widowhood slapping against me, alone in all of it. I bend when I need to, stand straight when I can, hold onto my leaves as I move, and never have I snapped apart. There was a beauty in the tree I watched, in the waves pounding on it, in the storm brewing ahead, and in my connection to it all.
I went back to the Airbnb feeling understood, yet still alone, still bored. I couldn’t stay there any longer. While the views I witnessed were poignant, there was a reality in them, a harsh one that didn’t belong in a vacation, mini or otherwise. And yes, the sadness of spending another birthday, another anniversary, without Peter echoed too loudly in the rooms of a place not home. And despite knowing boredom waited for me there, I had to leave. So I left, a day earlier than planned, I left.
As I told my friend this morning, I continue to be bored, some moments more than other. The knowing Peter is not there to amuse me, for me to do the amusing, for us to seek out amusement together, can be too much, can be too boring. Boredom is the byproduct of loneliness, at least for me. But I will not snap from any of it. I will sway in it. I will be that small tree, waiting to grow more, waiting for COVID to end, and when being Peterless is part of my branches, but not my roots.