The Miscellaneous Goings On Of Tom - Lockdown Struggles


It's Harder The Third Time Round, But What Can You Do?

I think everyone agrees with the sentiment in the title. This lockdown is hitting so much harder than the previous two (the fact I have to say two instead of one is a joke in itself). I mean, I absolutely love winter and I've enjoyed being out as the sun sets in beautiful shades of red and orange. January as a month though, is a nightmare. It lasts so long regardless of how quickly you spend your time and given that we are 14 days into 2021, the world just continues to descend into chaos and madness. The bleakness of today seems to echo that of the emotions we are all currently experiencing. There is a bit of hopelessness attached to that, but the best thing for me it comes out of frustration instead of the darker place that I was previously in. The anger I feel towards the situation is that I feel it's holding me back from my progression as a person, not a new source of pain to suffer through. Whilst I've said reading has given me a big boost of escapism and I'm enjoying my reading challenge that I set for myself this year, I'm yearning to go out into the world and see the very real places in these books. The biggest issue is the lack of motivation, it can be hard to find the will power to leave your bed on these cold mornings, and just the general feeling of being uninspired. Alongside the real world problems of not working, not feeling secure on furlough, it is all just a giant steaming pile of crap. I know I'm not the only one that feels like this and nor will I be the last, but whilst I am processing all this, I still have an end goal in mind.

 One of the best things about having this much time to think is you can plan ideas, which in turns lifts your hopes. My family know that as soon as we can travel safely again I'm getting on the first plane I can out of here, and I have started to formulate a little spreadsheet of where I want to go and what I want to see. I've found its the smallest things that keep your mind occupied and active, and it has helped. This time I see the lockdown as the real test of how far I've come as a person and how I cope with uncertainty and instability. Before I used to retreat into myself, sleep for ages, play games and doom scroll, just waste my day essentially. Now I want to make the most of my days, I sit and do 15-30mins of German on Duolingo, I write, I read etc., one thing I'm thankful for is that I can feel myself breaking certain negative habits and it gives me such an endorphin rush because I feel like I'm reclaiming myself and in doing so I'm reconnecting with passions that were once suppressed under the heavy weight of bad mental health. I guess what I'm trying to say is that in these dark times, find if you can, something that ignites your passion and consumes your mind, even if its the smallest thing. Invest in yourself, I know it is easier said than done and there is a degree of cabin fever but I believe that you can find a cause in this mess we find ourselves in. I want us all to get through this once more, and if the sea shanties keep becoming popular then I cannot wait for the day that I see you in the pub for an old fashioned sing song! 

What I'm Listening To At This Very Moment

Spamming the Windir discography in honour of Terje "Valfar" Bakken who died on this day in 2004. I love that on his debut album, 1997's Sóknardalr he used his native Norwegian dialect of Sogndal "Sognamål"for the lyrics and the song titles are in Nynorsk, the other standard form of Norwegian. Definitely a band worth listening to if you want something in the same vein as middle era Bathory. 

What I've Been Jamming To This Week

In all honesty not a lot, I've mainly been listening to audiobooks whilst doing the house chores, not very metal I know. However, I have been listening to a lot of Wardruna as I engage in the more spiritual side of myself. You don't need me to wax lyrical about them any more as it is firmly established how much I love them, but you have to admit the music is a great way to initiate the connection to something older than yourself. 

Exploring My Spiritual Side - Eclectic But Focused

As I mentioned above, I have taken a lot of time recently to think about who I am spiritually, it has been something I've wanted to try and understand for a while. Turns out what I draw influence and comfort from is an eclectic set of beliefs and values, whilst there is a dominance of the Germanic traditions such as Norse paganism, Nordic animism and Anglo-Saxon paganism, I take great joy in looking at all things Celtic too. I feel like I am more of a student and observer to eclectic paganism but it has allowed me to learn so much about myself, my values and my connection with the earth. I have always considered myself to be born in the wrong age, as the frightening speed of modernism gives me great anxiety alongside the destruction of our only home. There is something about sitting in quiet contemplation with nature that I really enjoy, it inspires me, grounds me. Looking at songs, poetry, prose of all these things is something I indulge in, and seeing them inspire some of my favourite modern stories, mainly Lord Of The Rings, is so awesome to me. I have a passion for learning about these old ways and studying them in depth, but doing it in my own way, whilst of course showing the upmost respect. Mortality seems to be of increasing awareness, so there is comfort in believing that the earth will recycle me when the time comes, and the next stage of life begins. It has taken years to be comfortable with that idea. Although I have been ridiculed in the past for these beliefs so for a long time they were suppressed, this new awakening in me has been so transformative and this is small part of it. Being influenced by the here and now, with what's around me helps me refocus, even though I am only just starting this educational journey and I am fully embracing it. I think I've taken to it because it's the "religion with homework" so to speak, there is no one central book dictating things to us, we have to find them ourselves. This encourages constant self-growth, which like I alluded to earlier is so important in these strange times, as it can be incredibly rewarding. I like to generally keep these beliefs to myself, so this is probably the only time I'll discuss them openly, but I will ask if anyone knows about any more good resources to find more information, send them my way! 

Stay Safe 💙

A bit of a long one today, which I apologise for but I feel I needed to get it off my chest. I hope that some of you have had some comfort in this post, as life just seems to be getting perpetually harder. Either way, we'll get through it, so make sure you're staying safe, big love as always 🤘💙


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