Question of the day (15th August).

Do you think anything good will come from the pandemic?

My answer:

I strongly believe so, but a lot of it may be on an individual level rather than more generalised, and the good vs bad outcomes may vary a lot for different people. We can already hear people who see a lot of upsides in it regarding their personal life, or their internal life, development etc. and a lot of people who are seriously struggling with all this and barely managing to stay sane, and I think there are loads of factors involved into it, from whether someone and their family has actually had been personally affected by Covid and how severely, to how people deal with being alone, to how people’s financial situation might have changed over this period, to how their overall health is doing and whether they’re at a very high risk or perhaps have a lot of health anxiety… So whatever I’ll be saying here is definitely not meant to regard all people, just some good outcomes that either I have experienced directly, or that I frequently see happening for people around me.

I like how you can do a lot more stuff online ever since the pandemic has started. In a way I’m surprised though that it seriously needed as much as a pandemic for people to figure out that, for example, you can work online, even in a field where there’s no such tradition really, that you can do school from home (of course there are a lot of cons to it as well but I think a large portion of them is also due to how people have had to adjust to this remote learning in so much rush, without more far-sighted thinking really, at least it’s definitely the case here, and some aspects of it are slightly irrational), that you can do concerts online and lots of other things. I guess once the pandemic is truly over, whenever that may be, a lot of it will come to an end, but I hope that still there will be more things that we will be able to do online if we so choose, than it was before the pandemic. Some people do better working from home, and in larger cities it certainly must help with the traffic. My Dad, who is a tanker driver and delivers fuel across the country, has been saying that one aspect of Covid he really likes is more low-key traffic.

I think it has helped a lot of families to connect more with each other. I’ve heard a lot of people saying that they have discovered some new hobby that they like spending their time doing, that they’d never have time for discovering, let alone learning, otherwise. A lot of people around me say they have benefited from having more free time, either because they’ve got to do things they’d never had time for before, or because they could simply spend some time with themselves and tune into themselves better. Interestingly a lot of people seem to have been reading more books. Some people have learned to cope with aloneness a bit better. For example our Sofi. Being alone is still very far from her preferred state, and she’ll always much prefer when a lot is going on around her, with a lot of people, but I think it’s good when you’re able to accept and manage somehow when things aren’t like this.

It’s also cool that we now get to appreciate our own countries more when it comes to travelling and vacationing. Rather than going to some distant country, locking themselves in a hotel with tourists from your own country and sitting by the pool with a drink, people seem to explore their own countries more here in Europe.

I think for many people, due to the hardships that they have experienced during this time, the pandemic might have also contributed to increased resilience.

As for myself, I haven’t really been affected by Covid very much on a personal level. So far, I feel extremely lucky that it hasn’t affected a lot of my family members, and those who have been affected had mostly mild cases. My gran was an exception, as prior to Covid, which she got shortly before last Christmas, she also had pneumonia, and then before the pneumonia she had bronchitis, so she had already been sick for a long time before she caught Covid, and we were all prepared that, given her very recent infections and her age (she’s over 80) she would most likely die. Thanks to all the dedication of my cousin, who is a doctor, and my gran’s own fierce will to live, she made it through and is perfectly healthy now, so people say she’s indestructible. She really wasn’t sickly or anything before that bronchitis, so I guess her immune system must be very strong given her age. We also haven’t been affected financially, and, except Sofi, no one in my immediate family felt particularly deprived of human contact, probably because we’re already five people living here plus Misha & Jocky, and my Dad and Olek were still working so they got to hang out with people there. I, as you know, have been happy being able to reduce the outside peopling to almost non-existent, and I work at home regardless. Not having to deal with people as much means my social anxiety has reduced quite a noticeable bit, which is nice. And, like I already mentioned, it’s so cool having access to more things from home. For example, last year, when most of the world was in lockdown, I was able to take part in a few concerts of my favourite artists online, in which I certainly wouldn’t be able to take part otherwise, because here people don’t even know they exist so I’d have to travel to other countries, which is tricky even without Covid involved, and even if it wasn’t, being a hermit I would still definitely not be able to relish them quite as much as I could from the comfort of my lil hermitage, with Misha laying next to me, not being distracted by anything from immersing myself in music.

What good things do you see, if any? 🙂

Question of the day.

Whether you are an extrovert, ambivert or introvert, what advantages do you have from your extroversion/ambiversion/introversion in the society?

My answer:

I am quite decidedly an introvert and find it to have a lot of advantages. My Mum, who is generally more of an extrovert-leaning ambivert but has her more introvert periods, always kept telling me as a kid that introverts are very useful and needed in the society, even if to some people it might seem like it’s better to be an extrovert. She always claimed that introverts are better at listening than extroverts are, and so if the world consisted only of extroverts, they’d keep talking about themselves but no one would listen to one another. I am pretty sure that listening skills or lack thereof aren’t strictly corelated with introversion/extroversion, because there certainly are extroverts who can also be great listeners, they simply tend to do it in a different way, just as I know introverts who are extremely self-absorbed and the mere fact that a lot of introverts don’t like talking about themselves doesn’t mean they’re automatically good active listeners, but I do think it might be true that introversion helps with listening more than extroversion does. I guess it does help me, anyway. I like listening to people and often find it interesting even if also usually a bit challenging at the same time because I feel I don’t always know how I should/how they want me to react to whatever they’re saying and I always fear that I don’t react appropriately or adequately to whatever is expected. I do have to have the brain energy for it though. I also think my introversion makes me a good observer, or in any case, better than I would have been otherwise, because often when I’m in a large/medium group of people I’ll often be the sort of person who is on the outside, looking in, so I often don’t engage very actively in the conversations, but will much more happily analyse the situation, people’s behaviours, what they’re saying, people’s interactions and relationships with one another, what they seem to be like etc. as I find it far more interesting and far less stressful, because I find people in general quite fascinating in their diversity and complexity, yet actual interacting with them is very exhausting. A lot of people think that you miss out on a lot with this sort of attitude, and that I in fact must be longing to be more in the centre of things, as is apparently the case with a lot of people who act similarly, but I seriously do not and I don’t do it solely out of anxiety. Perhaps I do indeed miss out on some good things that could have come out of it if I was interacting with people more actively and openly, but it gets compensated by all sorts of little things that I pick up on and that other people don’t because they’re too engrossed in engaging in peopling more actively, so I like to think that my perspective is in the end more multidimensional. I think being good at observing and analysing things does come in handy and useful and is therefore valued as an advantage in the society. Similarly, we introverts tend to be more in tune with all sorts of lil gut feelings and things, which can also be very useful for us and for others around us.

For some of us, we’ve been in a better position during the pandemic, as we naturally tend to deal better with isolation and aloneness than more extroverted folks, and I’ve come to realise that this is a really huge advantage in prolonged situations like this, and I really feel for people who find it difficult to cope on their own.

And, also recently, I’ve particularly grown to like the fact that my introversion makes me fairly self-sufficient emotionally. I generally think that, overall, life’s easier when you are an extrovert or at least more ambi-, but this one thing in particular is a really big upside to introversion in my opinion. I mean, our Sofi is very strongly an extrovert and she needs a lot of stimulation, adrenaline and a lot of stuff to be going on around her, she’s easily bored if she doesn’t have people around her and if things aren’t changing often enough. She needs things like having sleepovers, or herself sleeping at her friends’/cousins’ houses, parties, outings, travelling, people to play or even just hang out with on a regular basis, or if she’s alone she needs to have a clear idea what she’ll be doing in this time and preferably some strong, fun emotions, and she struggles to actually come up with any ideas herself of what she could be doing so she needs some prompting and encouraging and stuff. If she happens to have a week where no one can visit her, or she can’t visit anyone, can’t go anywhere or do any very fun activity, everything is meh. These are the things she looks forward to and her life goes from one such thing to another. Sofi only has a good day when it’s spent having a lot of WOW experiences and big emotions, surrounded by friends. And that’s fun and cool, except people aren’t available 24/7, 7 days a week, so she’s bored quite often and has to depend on others to provide her some kind of entertainment and stimulation. Which I think is sad, because her friendships are often quite flaky and superficial, and even in the best friendship arguments happen, plus her friends have other friends and social obligations, and can’t spend all their free time with Sofi. And then there are things like COVID that can get in the way. Over the last couple years Sofi has learnt to tolerate being alone a lot better, as in the past she needed pretty much non stop attention to feel good, but her own company is still far from being something she likes for more than half an hour max, and it feels quite tricky to me when you have to depend on other people to make you feel good, therefore I’m really grateful that this isn’t the case with me and that I don’t need people to feel happy or stimulated or have fun, and that I rarely feel lonely as in in need of contact with human beings. In fact, as I think I’ve often mentioned, I often actually feel more lonely when I am around a lot of people, and I find this feeling way more difficult to manage and quite crushing than the regular loneliness.

How is it with you? 🙂

Misha’s belated Thankful Thursday.

Hhrrru?! 😻

How are you doing pets and peeps? This is Misha, of course, and I haven’t posted anything in a loooong time! Mila usually only allows me to write my usual posts, or “The Human Life of Misha Hhrrru?” stories but today she let me take part in a blog link-upcalled

Thankful Thursday

and this is a lot of fun so I’m very happy!

What I’m most thankful for, this week?

Guess what, I know i’m probably going to sound very ignorant, but I don’t care. I know that there is that COVID-19 thing going on for humans, but I don’t really know what it is other than it freaks people out and is somewhat dangerous and that because of it, my peeps are at home way more than they usually are, even though they don’t freak out about it at all. Usually, Mila is most of the time with me, but now all of the peeps are in, and I am so happy about it. I’m not freaking out about this COVID thing. Do you think I should? If it makes my peeps like staying at home more, I’m thankful to it and for it. I only know a little piece of the world but know enough about the world to understand that many things have both good and bad sides to it, and I hope my peeps can skip the bad stuff. I think it must be awful if they talk about it so much in the telly and radio so I don’t want my peeps to have to get through it. I would like to be able to help so they would stop calling me selfish.

Also, there is another benefit for me from COVID-19. Lots and lots of food! Earlier this week, Mum went out and came back with like a dozen of tins with my favourite food and a lot of Mish ice-cream as well! So I have a huge supply of good food. What can be more comforting in tough times?

ANother good thing is that because of the COVID-19, no one is allowed to come to us either. And I am so happy about it, because, as you may know, I really dislike most strangers, unless they are nice and quiet and sound and smell nice. But most people don’t, so in general I only like my peeps and maybe a few others of those I know. It’s so disturbing when you wake up from a nice nap, go down to the kitchen to have a dinner and suddenly you realise that there’s a stranger in there. Some don’t care for me at all and some get offended if I don’t come to them if they call me. They don’t understand that my name is Misha, not Kitty or Pussycat, so I only come when someone calls Mish Mish Mish, and when I feel like it.

So, in short, I’m thankful for the good stuff about COVID. What are some good things that come from it for you that you are thankful for, pets and peeps? Does it scare you and what about it scares you the most? What else are you thankful for?

Mishpurs.

Misha 💜 💚 💙