I just made up the title, “Motivation Loss Syndrome,” and then found that there is a named condition very similar to it:  Abulia.  While this sounds very much like a plant I wanted to buy yesterday at the East Bay Nursery (Abelia), Abulia is something no one wants.  Its definition includes: 

-loss of productivity, effort, and initiative
-lack of plans and goals;
-poor attention and being easily distracted.  

There are more symptoms but these are the ones with which I am all too familiar. And I am not alone.  I learned from the check-out clerk at the nursery that she, too, feels like she has lost all motivation.  (These days I am very chatty when I encounter a person who is not in my 24/7 bubble.)  She reorganized her refrigerator by adding covered plastic containers.  I reorganized a storage closet by foisting unwanted items off on Goodwill.  Neither she nor I was proud that this was all we were motivated to do in more than four months, though at least she had the excuse of working part of the time.

Here are a few things I planned to do before Loss of Motivation (my Abulia) set in:

-touch up all the dings in the trim paint throughout the house
-commit to actually writing the novella I have been writing in my head for the past 2 years
-master the features of my iPhone so that my kids won’t make fun of me
-learn how to use the many useful features of the car I have driven for 3 years
-Sand and paint the small table on the deck with equipment I bought two summers ago
-read more fiction

My conclusion?  If the sort of Abulia I just described is a symptom of mental illness, then it is a second pandemic that was created by the COVID pandemic.  I don’t think it will be cured until we can safely go back to our COVID-less lives.  In the meantime, let’s give ourselves and each other a break and soldier on.


Photo of adorable dog by Bianca Ackerman on Unsplash



About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.
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