Yesterday I noticed that my mind is actually clearer right after COVID than it was before I got sick and I ascribed that to the almost absurd amount of sleep I got.
I still think the extra sleep was a big player, but (after testing negative last night and again this morning) I stepped back into the world of adult responsibilities today and was struck with another realization.
While I was stuck in my room convalescing, my life got very, very simple. I would work, sleep, and eat. But that's it. My wife (being a badass) did basically everything else for the entire family.
But this morning she started offloading a small part of the mental load she's been carrying (check this bill, clean that, fix this, test that, what should we do about this, find an alternative for that) and my mind started to melt a bit again.
And I fucking remembered that, right before I got sick, the thing I was thinking about the most was how Adulting Is Bullshit.
We would get erroneous bills from bullshit companies (looking at you American Home Shield, you're the worst) and then be forced to jump through hoops and spend hours on hold just to make sure they weren't sending us to collections for a "membership" they auto-renewed despite my having explicitly told them not to. Bullshit.
But this isn't about American Home Shield (may they burn in hell). AHS is just a singular example of the kind of mind-draining, agency-sucking, life-stalling friction that we've allowed companies (and the government, often) to put on us. And it's bullshit.
The IRS already knows how much we owe it. Why not just send us a bill? (Because Intuit has lobbied them over and over to make things as complicated as possible so we have to pay them to make sure we don't accidentally go to jail for being bad at paperwork). Bullshit.
Our heat pump died this summer, leaving our upstairs uncooled (which is a problem because of how poorly-designed this house is, really). It was under warranty - only 4 years old. But the company that made it (Maytag) needed a local contractor to jump through a bunch of onerous hoops before they would send the cooling element to them. They designed the warranty process so no self-respecting contractor would put up with it. Say it with me: bullshit.
So we had no choice but to replace the 4yo system. For $18,000.
And we're fortunate as fuck, comparatively.
There are thousands of people whose lives are ruined by the bullshit. Medical bills the insurance company won't cover. A justice system that only seems to work for the absurdly wealthy.
Becoming an adult is the progressive realization that the world is run by thieves and morons. And then realizing that you still have to do all the bullshit regardless. Because the tax man will still come and that scammy company will still bill you.
Back to today and my clear mind.
It is incredible how much mental energy it takes, at times, just to keep our heads above water. How many stressors creep into our lives by default. And how much effort it takes to systematically remove them.
As my wife started sharing the load again it struck me that perhaps this was a large part of my relative mental clarity.
For two weeks I'd not been pulled in a thousand bullshit directions. For two weeks my life was simple, and maybe I just detoxed.
This is why I say I aspire to peasantry.
The noise of the modern default is mind-numbing and I will gladly give up a large proportion of "modern comforts" for the simplicity and quiet I'm after.