Attempts at Fun During a Pandemic

May 1 2020 Isabel Janssen Cahill 5th Year

As Covid-19 spreads to even the darkest corners of the Earth no one is safe, with many risking their lives on the front line, students panicking about the uncertainty of their futures and many people’s jobs being held precariously over their heads, not knowing if they will be financially secure after this pandemic. We find ourselves alone, left with our worries and thoughts (always a dangerous pairing), so to combat this we attempt to find little golden nuggets of joy in this dark sea of mystery. However, my attempts have been lacklustre to say the least.

My mom finds solace in painting canvasses, so I thought I too would give it a try, to no avail. It turns out my painting skills are less Van Gogh more Montessori and although that is no flaw, combined with my perfectionist tendencies, it was not a match made in artistic heaven. So, I turned to my brother, I tried to see what he was doing during this time of crisis. It turns out very little. He started a free trial for Disney+ and was determined to watch every official Disney movie, a large task to accomplish within one week! David’s time was precious, and he had no time to help me out and I could not stand the idea of spending my time watching ‘The Great Mouse Detective’. I left him to his devices and took a long look in the mirror. What did I want to do with my time? As someone who fills their time with hanging out with friends and participating in team sports, quarantine was a minefield of boredom. It was time to find other things I liked, and the answer was not going to be Disney+ or painting.

I tried my hand at baking and cooking, and although I liked making rhubarb stew and spaghetti (not together of course) my stomach did not share the same mindset. With that I retired my apron, to my stomach’s delight, and I gave up on fun for a while and focused my efforts on study. If I was not going to quench my boredom, I may as well do something productive. I filled my mind with formulas, definitions and equations I was sure to forget almost immediately. Study was fine, in a weird way it was fun, but I could not sustain the amount I was doing. I was in a rut when I was not studying, which left with a bad taste of guilt. So, I gave myself a new task, to learn a new trick. I may not be a jack-of-all-trades, but I am no one-trick-pony either! When I was younger, I loved to juggle and tried new, stupid ways to suspend inanimate objects in the air for picoseconds, so I rolled up my sleeves and grabbed three oranges, and seconded them for their new intended purpose. Finally, I was smiling again, for fun, fun that was self-made fun, not emergent from productivity or a cringey joke on some Netflix original.

This pandemic is a time for panic, hardships and uncertainty for many, but it’s also a time of golden nuggets, where we can reignite an old love of ours. A time where we can rediscover new sides of ourselves and help us realize who we are and want to be. So, take a long, hard look in the mirror and find what makes you smile again. I suggest you grab that withered apple or orange from your fruit basket and just go for it. Just don’t begin juggling with live chainsaws or fire!