#LockdownDiary – One of many – Day 03
The idea of a collection of daily words describing how you felt for 30 days of social distancing and isolation feels really meaningful to me and something that I think I’d really appreciate having in 10 years. Think outside the box of what you might typically write!— NaNoWriMo (@NaNoWriMo) March 31, 2020
Listening to the audiobook version of Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury this quote stopped me in my run. I had to pause and jot it down in my phone. I mumbled the sentences as I typed, anchoring them in my mind as a mantra for days to come.
In this passage, Lina is berating Leo for having created a happiness machine. She had been trying to explain to him that such a machine would never work. You cannot create happiness, not in the sense Leo was working with. He imagined happiness as all the things people could want. Riches, travels, dances… But for Lina, pushed into the machine, those are the source of sadness. Happiness is not created artificially but comes from within. It is, in part, learning to be content with ones life. Happiness is not a constant state of being but moments in space and time, savoured in the present and remembered for the future.
I don’t believe she negates having dreams or asks the reader to be satisfied with the problems in their lives. For her, there are things we can control and things we can’t. And we need to work within the framework of what we can control.
Her words, repeated in my ears, whispered under my breath, and typed on my screen were a reminder to let go of my daily life expectations. Before Covid-19 spread through the world, I would go to work during the week, work on personal projects in my spare time, and spend a day or two walking or cycling at the week-ends. But now I cannot do that and I have to learn a new routine.
Weekdays are easy. I work on personal projects as if they paid the bills, a rather enjoyable experience. But week-ends are difficult. I find myself itching to get out and explore. But this, for now, is not possible so I have to shift my expectations. I cannot want to see Paris or visit Rome. Instead I have to be content with homebound activities, adjust my framework and within it find happiness.