On Hiatus or Hibernating?
by Elizabeth deGraw Renna
When I started this Blog, with a dual focus on moments in time and the words that seemed to define those moments, I made a vow or resolution to myself to post something worth reading every Sunday. Up until recently I was doing well with meeting the goal of posting Blog pieces regularly.
Until I caught the flu bug of the season. I encountered the real Influenza, complete with fever for five days, body aches, a nasty cough that is still lingering. But a listing of my symptoms and general (temporary!) misery isn’t the point here. The point is that I haven’t posted a Blog piece since January 27, 2013 and up until about a week ago, I didn’t really care.
So my Blog went on hiatus. Or maybe I should say that I went on hiatus from my Blog and from writing in general. I even dropped my practice of writing at least three hand-written pages in my Journal every day. I wasn’t writing at all.
- A gap or an interruption in space, time or continuity; a break.
Yes, that seems like a good word to use to describe the break that has occurred with my Blog. There has been an interruption to the continuity of a weekly posting and to my goal of that regularity.
But I have been wondering if something else has been going on as well, both before and after my Influenza experience. Have I been in a sort of state of hibernation, physically, mentally, emotionally, maybe even spiritually? I pulled out my dictionary to explore the word “hibernate” and other words pulled me along from there. Here’s the word journey that “hibernate” took me on:
1) Hibernate, verb
- To pass the winter in a dormant or torpid state.
2) Dormant, adjective
- In a state resembling sleep.
- Latent (I’ll come back to this intriguing word)
- Temporarily inactive [OK, that's reassuring; hibernation is a temporary condition.]
- A biology term: In a condition of suspended growth or development
3) Latent, adjective
- Present or potential but not evident or active
[I like this word a lot. There is no evidence of activity, but the potential for activity is there. The thing isn't dead!]
4) Torpid, adjective [Such an intriguing-sounding word!]
- Deprived of the power of motion or feeling [I certainly had moments of feeling this way, especially when I was sleeping for 20 of every 24 hours for a couple of days there.]
- Dormant; hibernating
- Lethargic; apathetic [I've been experiencing lethargy, for sure; apathy is a stronger word, isn't it? I need to keep going and compare the two words.]
5) Lethargic, adjective
- A state of sluggishness, inactivity and apathy
6) Apathy, noun
- Lack of interest or concern, especially in important matters [Yes, I've felt some apathy lately. This feels like such a serious word and "condition"; I wouldn't want to be feeling apathetic for very long. And I don't mean to downplay or sound sarcastic about experiences of apathy. This is a big word for people who are experiencing depression.]
- Lack of emotion; impassiveness.
7) Impassive, adjective
- Revealing no emotion; expressionless
- Not susceptible to emotion
So what are my conclusions? I think that I have been experiencing a bit of a hibernating state of affairs this winter, but especially when I was sick and then recovering. My creativity and my interest in the world around me HAS been lying a bit dormant for the past few weeks, temporarily out of service as my focus has narrowed to the interior of my house and in particular my bedroom. It hasn’t helped to have two “snow days” just recently for which I didn’t have to report to work but instead had official permission to stay inside (except for shoveling all the snow that caused the snow days in the first place).
For now I will embrace the essence of hibernation and allow certain parts of myself and my life to lie dormant, resting, suspended temporarily. Spring is coming to our Midwestern town, sooner or later, and with it will come a budding of interest in being outside and going to different places, of coming out of the cave of my cozy house, and broadening my focus so that I can see (perceive) and seek out interesting and inspiring things. All is well.