I love when happy synchronicities come up. I listened to a podcast on The Happiness Lab about languishing the other day, by the author who wrote the virally famous piece about the same for The New York Times. So many people experienced this feeling during the pandemic---they weren't flourishing, they weren't depressed, but they were in this middle ground of, I'm not sick, but I'm not well. The habit that disrupted the cycle was finding flow by doing something enjoyable in an immersive way for a period of time. We are constantly trying to disrupt our flow by constantly checking emails, texts, and notifications. But if we can turn all of that off, and find that thing that you can dive wholeheartedly into, you can find yourself in a place of joy, at least momentarily. Looking back on myself during this tough time, I think I subconsciously knew this. I created collages like a madwoman throughout the pandemic. I knew that I needed to keep my hands busy, and peace followed. I certainly had days that were better than others, but I didn't have a long period of feeling like I was languishing.
I thought about the above podcast while I was teaching collage classes this weekend. I always find that there's an element of psychology in getting students to begin. It's not that they don't want to start, it's the invisible barriers that get in the way--I'm too much of a perfectionist, I can't draw, I don't have the right materials/space/supplies. Once we get through that, they become completely immersed in cutting and glueing. And if nothing else comes from my classes, I want someone to be able to say that they were in the flow, at least for those blissful two hours. It's a small thing, but it's a big thing.