I’m incapable of enjoying anhedonia…

For far too long we’ve all been making the best of it. I know it’s a recurring topic here on the daleleelife101.blog as I try to appreciate such sentiments as “Those who travel outward seek completeness in things; those who gaze inward find sufficiency in themselves.” while I swing between being grateful to have a safe, nurturing homelife and resentful the rest of my life is in limbo.

A week or so ago at the end of a busy but dull week, I looked at the G.O. and sighed… I’m not bored, it’s just I feel so underwhelmed. When the word anhedonia leapt out at me from this paragraph in a Guardian article, I wanted to understand it and once I did, I knew I needed to find a different outlook.

“A word I have returned to repeatedly recently is anhedonia – the inability to take pleasure in things, a lack of joy where joy should be. I think the trauma of the past two years, living with the unknown and the unknowable, being separated from family and friends who provide well-needed perspective, distraction and connection, shouldn’t be underestimated – even before we mix in climate change and war. It’s easy to “go flat” in situations like this as a protective mechanism: when we numb one emotion, we numb them all.”

After a lacklustre start to 2022, it’s important to appreciate the things I’ve wished for.

Our Resilient Communities program is up and running. However, inevitably it’s accompanied by the spectre of Covid. So far two people who attended our recent workshop tested positive for Covid in the following days. Will nothing ever be simple again?

Carers NSW got in touch, referred me to a counsellor who referred me to a Peer Facilitator, Carer Coach who suggested a number of activities including a carers’ coffee catch-up, an online workshop for facilitators of Carer Support Groups I have signed up to do in May which will hopefully lead to formation of a local Peer Support Group, and also the possibility of future face-to-face wellbeing days and 2-day workshops.

Ongoing rainy weather and flood events during February and March dampened everything including our spirits, house and garden, and plans for short local caravan trips during my favourite autumnal season. A necessary bright side reminder-to-self is we’re only cleaning mould from the house not putrid mud, and it’s given us time to reconsider our approach to outsourcing a few issues with the caravan which if we’d not taken the opportunity to have another look at them, would’ve involved significant expenditure.

A lifebuoy, in the form of Hannah Moloney of Good Life Permaculture. I’d watched Hannah on ABC’s Gardening Australia [impossible to miss the pink hair and ebullient laugh], subscribed to her various social media accounts which led me to read her book published last year, The Good Life: How To Grow A Better World, and then to seek out podcasts featuring conversations with Hannah, of which there are numerous pre and post book. She always comes across as cheerful, inspiring, interesting and relevant… a perfect antidote to doldrums brought on by reading media articles about the 2022 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on climate change mitigation, and the prologue to the upcoming Federal election in Australia.

The only way is up
Autumn skies… the only way is up.
Stop and smell the roses
Smelling the roses, and anticipating arrival of new rose plants in June.
The village
Sunshiny autumn day in the village.
Sweet potato slips
Free plants… growing sweet potato slips for the garden.
Food collage
We’ve been growing and eating a lot of delicious food… most of it cooked by me but not much photographed… the exception a delicious market food lunch.
Strawberry Guava
Sweet discovery of a wild strawberry guava in the rubbish trees out the back.
Walk the plank
Walk the plank to pick the beans…
Pumpkins finally
Pumpkins… finally.
Cucumbers hopefully
Cucumbers… hopefully.
Garden helpers
Pineapple sage and red sorrel solution to a too-wet bathtub wicking bed.
Garden survivors
Rain survivors.
Marigolds soon make way for garlic planting
Marigolds made a comeback but soon need to make way for garlic planting.
Long overdue visit from grandson number 1
Ride on! The G.O. enjoys a long overdue visit from Grandson Number 1.
Deez
Days like Deez!

For when I forget…

If we don’t want life to pass us by, while the world is swiveling around us, let’s look inwards and turn things upside down in the inner chambers of our mind. Only after reshuffling our rooted values, we can look outwards, find out the fascinations of life, and rediscover our selves, layer after layer.
~ Erik Pevernagie


14 thoughts on “I’m incapable of enjoying anhedonia…

  1. Oh goodness, yes the doldrums, not good. But what a lovely home and garden you have. Love the blue pots full of tomatoes. My cure for the dumps is to go to the top of a hill and look down on life and realise how small we are in the scheme of things. My carers group was brilliant for me , and after my husband died the continued support has made a tremendous difference.Hopefully things will better tomorrow..

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  2. I’m feeling it too. I have a room full of creative possibilities and no spark, no urge. I have taken refuge in the words of Justin Rhodes of The Rooted Life: “Don’t be intimidated by new projects. Do 1% every day. Over time, it compounds, and soon, you’ve done 75% of your project.”

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    1. It’s amazing how much putting one foot after the other accomplishes. A week of nice autumnal weather has made all the difference, and with grandson visiting his appreciation -and 16 year old’s appetite- for what is simply day-to-day fare has sparked up my attitude to cooking it. And of course, a blog post… writing it always makes me feel connected ♡

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  3. I’m doing better than I was but I think it’s because I started my Pandemic projects later than most people. Last year I learned pastel painting and the first four months of this year have been devoted to home renovations…more a necessity than by choice, but it has had the desired effect of keeping my mind off the dreariness of the current situation. We are just not able to travel yet, but have booked a trip for 15 months away, in hopes things will be a little more predictable. As usual, we are on a similar path with our writings and mental meanderings…mine is still in the works. Your efforts with local groups are admirable, but getting started is always the hardest. Hopefully you will enjoy some fruits of your labours soon…strawberry guavas included! xx (Thank you for ‘fixing’ the comments section!)

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    1. I’m so pleased the comments “fix” was successful. I’m happy to as usual be in your good company even if it is simply mutual acknowledgement of dreariness… I find it challenging to muster positivity in the face of our ongoing Covid, climate, political, global uncertainties, and it sometimes spills over and dulls the balm that is enjoyment of everyday life. The panacea of spending time at my desk putting those thoughts into words and receiving others in return helps a lot.

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  4. It has been one thing after the other in NSW…. Hard not to have @the drums”… 😢 but looking up does help. It’s hard to dig deep when u don’t feel too deep…. Take pleasure in your beautiful garden and you will get there 💖
    Hugs 🤗

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    1. So very kind of you to say, and I know it is heartfelt as Victorians also have had a time of it. I agree, a little digging in the garden helps turn over the dusty feelings and grow fresh appreciation of what is essentially a fruitful life.

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  5. I was doing ok for a very long time, but the last few weeks have been less than stellar, at least partly because I’m having some health issues [NOT Covid]. I’m glad you’ve got your lovely home and stimulating outlets for your mind. The pandemic isn’t over, despite the wishful thinking of politicians and business owners, but it will end, eventually, and then we’ll recognize all the valuable things we’ve learned in the interim. -hugs-

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    1. I’m so sorry to hear you’re dealing with health issues… tends to suck the joy out of life. Yes, further easing of restrictions imminent despite high numbers… won’t make much difference to us, we’ll be dealing with it as we always do keeping ourselves busy at home, anticipating the day when we’ll be confident in the freedoms… and never ever give up hope!

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      1. My policy of avoidance has been derailed a bit as I’ve had to get some tests done, but otherwise we’re doing the same. Vic is being a bit more cautious than NSW, but I still think it’s insane. -shrug- I guess we’re just going to have to hunker down and hope that winter flu season isn’t a bad one.

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  6. Yes, it’s hard to even plan the smallest of things – and then because some of them either “get postponed” or “nothing doing right now, come back later” through to the dreaded word/s “cancelled – not postponed – just cancelled”

    I’ve spent almost 18 months with ill health with medical profession saying things like “you will get better…just do ???” and actually it had like “nothing in the ???” I finally found part of the problem…some seemingly innocent edibles, that I ate every day!

    But in turn that has meant I’ve not been one of my lucky friends who have swanned on longer or shorter holidays … mostly of course internal but still getting away to the beach, the snow, other. I’m totally jealous that they feel they can do that…of course they have vehicles making it easier to come home if they need to isolate. My travel mode means I could be “trapped” if I test positive (NZ has restrictions and rules)

    Hoping that maybe next Spring I shall be able to “swan away” and do something exciting. In the meantime I’m being creative as much as possible…

    Life is so unpredictable for all of us – for sometimes vastly different reasons – much care and virtual greetings

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