Flashback: A few months ago I was watching Grantchester on PBS. I heard a quote during the episode but I didn’t write it down- I was watching the show and didn’t want to lose focus. I figured since I was DVRing the show I could always rewatch the scene. Then DVR had to be replaced. Lost the episode. I did write about the quote anyway, because we always follow the established blog pattern here at waking….but it irked me that I didn’t have the actual quote. And then….the episode aired again….

I now present to you: the quote…

Nun– (speaking about being a nun and living in a convent) Some people find this life constricting

Will– (sarcastically) I can’t imagine why

Nun Others find the constriction a form of freedom

So, now that you see the direct quote…

What do you think?

Does constriction offer it’s own sort of freedom?

I’ll tell you, personally, I am not liking the the pandemic restrictions. I don’t like all the things that we can’t do, or aren’t supposed to do. I don’t like how everyone is judging everyone else’s choices either. The particular constrictions we are living under is bringing out the absolute worst in people…

True, some have risen to the challenge…

But as time marches on, people’s patience and fortitude are eroding…

The supermarket workers in my neighborhood…they are really tightly wound right about now…Months of food shortages, long lines and annoying customers have worn down even the most optimistic of them.

Gone are the posts about baking bread and tie dying clothes. Gone are the lists of things to do, plays that are streaming…

The constrictions are really starting to get to people…

But anyway….

How do you feel about the quote?

Do you find freedom in constrictions?

Does lack of choice have benefit?

Now that you’ve seen the quote, what does it mean to you?

40 thoughts on “The Quote

    1. I’m reading a book, self help/mindful type. He’s got a whole section about how important it is for our well being to be in actual contact with people…I don’t love groups but I know I need people around

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  1. Lack of choice is fine if you never realized you had the ability to choose in the first place, otherwise I think you face a life marginalization, disenfranchisement, regret and loss. Being human is to make choices, good or bad, and move beyond.

    Speaking to the nun in the quote, I would say that even in her role and life in the convent, she has made a choice to believe the rules she lives with allow her unrestricted freedom from anything other than her religion and her god. As with every good PBS show, she will surely find something that may tempt her and cause her to question that choice… and then we are back to square one!

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    1. Ha…very interesting observation about the nun…there’s a lot to her in this episode….😉 it’s funny how I interpreted the quote the first time I heard it vs time and perspective because now I think of it slightly differently. I think too many choices is bad…because what if you have a hundred choices but still don’t like anything? You feel like a loser. Yet not enough choice makes you feel inhibited….but that harkens to, what is the right amount of choice?

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  2. Having seen that episode of Grantchester, the quote has more meaning when in context…which we learn about later in the episode. That restricted life does give those women freedom, because of what they have left behind.
    But, I do agree fatigue is setting in with restrictions. I think we are better able to cope with restrictions when we see an end result. Right now the tunnel still appears long and dark….but that is because we are in it…it will look differently to our older selves.
    I think it is very important, however, for people to be honest about how they are feeling…too many ‘perfect and striving’ articles makes others feel even worse…and how honest are those posts in the first place?
    Patience, patience, patience.

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    1. Good episode, and yes, it’s obviously out of context. But that quote just stuck with me….it made me ponder choices, or lack there of… and yes! I’m so tired if the relentless positivity posts! If you’re that happy all the time, I worry about you because we all have bad days, demons, whatever. I write in my journal every night, and I write out all the good, and bad, stuff that happened every day. Sometimes you need to look reality squarely in the eye in order to get to tomorrow

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  3. Does constriction offer freedom?

    I’d say yes it does, but it’s a qualified freedom. If the constriction is voluntary or done as part of a larger goal, then it’s good and you feel free. If the constriction is forced on you by circumstances beyond your control or understanding, then it’ll feel limiting. It’s always about the context.

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  4. Haha I think you’ve opened a can of worms! 😂 I can see where the nun is coming from – I suppose it’s a bit like the thinking that we need boundaries in order to feel really free? I agree that limited choice can actually be helpful but imposed restrictions – especially if someone doesn’t see the value in them – doesn’t seem like freedom to me. I totally get why the restrictions are in place right now but I also know that for my mental health I need to see people so it sure is a tough one to navigate.

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  5. Fewer avenues equals empowerment for some, and I kind of understand it even though I don’t relate to it. Admittedly, I could drive myself crazy with the bucco options that demand decisiveness, but I wouldn’t want less as the substitute. I’ll figure out my own way, thank you very much.

    That said, I watched a video this morning that shows a woman (white) in a Starbucks, lambasting the barista for having the “nerve” to ask her to put her mask on. Never mind that she did put it on initially, and never mind that the barista (who is black) is simply following the rules and not singling her out because she was a Trump person. So the irate customer concludes things by saying something to the effect of f$%* BLM on the way out.

    Sorry for rambling on, but your post brought to mind what is and has been happening since the initial “We got this!” attitude wore off. People are taking corners, and they’re sharpening those corners. And I wish I knew this would all end well, but I don’t. And I think that is where a lot of people are right now. As a people, as a country, as a world, we’ve always figured out the worst case scenarios and right now? We’re feeling unsteady.

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  6. I agree with Ally Bean’s observation. Obviously, the nun’s reference was related to the freedom found in her faith. The COVID situation puts a different spin on what we Americans define as freedom. I think back to the months/years it took to overcome the 1918 pandemic and think our 21st century tenacity pales in comparison. Most people are ill equipped to handle inconvenience over a long period of time because we are a culture of instant gratification. It was novel in the beginning and a lot of people posted upbeat/funny comments. Now that the $#@t has become all too real, a lot of people don’t know how to handle it. It’s serious and something I believe there is no one-size-fits-all solution to handling it. But that doesn’t stop people from criticizing whatever approach taken. It’s a hot mess that’s going to be with us for quite a while longer.

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    1. We have the happily ever after syndrome as well. We wrongly assume there are happy endings for all, so when there aren’t, we fall apart. No one understands adversity and resilience….and there’s no actual solution…and no one has the answers. We have to accept that too….

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  7. There is, but it’s not a popular idea. Even after people become constricted because of poor choices, they sometimes still think their ‘freedom’ to sacrifice health or safety or whatnot was a good choice.

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  8. “no one understands adversity and resilience”…sorry, I taught classes and led groups in stress-hardiness, emotional aikido, etc. for about ten years after i retired in 1993. I still practice what I preached. Andy and I haven’t been affected much by COVID so far and I love the simplicity of my life. I’m not getting much done, but hey, I’m 80 years old. My main job is to keep as happy and healthy as I can so my daughter doesn’t worry about me. So far, so good. Fingers crossed for the future.

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    1. Ok with resilience, if people were resilient, I don’t see the need for participation trophies. People would be able to accept losing. I have a college sophomore. I spent the past 19 years watching parents coddle their kids and come up with every excuse as to why things didn’t go right except accepting the fact that things didn’t go their way that day. Personally, I don’t see resilience. I am glad that your life hasn’t been affected, but my life and the lives of my family and friends have been turned upside down. There are those of us who are not having such a great time now. The mayor of my city said the 106% rise in crime is entirely due to people being bored and tired of COVID restrictions. Consider yourself extremely fortunate that your life remains the same.

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      1. It’s one of the perks of being very old. Remember this when you are 80 and everything takes forever to do. We just keep trudging along, appreciate that we still have one another, and keep our fingers crossed for the future. It won’t last forever.

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  9. I think a lot of that feeling of constriction depends on choice. If you choose to do something, it is usually more pleasant. In this case, I would add that my personal distaste for the constriction of our state governments on our freedoms has to do with a very divisive issue. As time has gone on, we have learned more about this virus and much of what has been learned has been kept from the public as a form of manipulation. I initially was willing to give up my freedom for a limited period of time for the greater good of others. Now I resent that my freedom has been restricted for an indefinite period of time for what many doctors now say is not necessary and is in fact causing great physical and mental harm in our society in addition to and coupled with economic disaster for many.

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