With the summer coming to a close, it’s time to send the kids back to school, and by “send,” I mean, “keep them locked up at home and try not to get them killed.” Though that’s Job #1 for all parents (Job #2 being fully restocking the wine fridge), never before has the job felt so immediate and overwhelming. So is that why I’m feeling so anxious, or is it something else entirely?
Spoiler Alert: it’s not something else entirely. The situation right now is universally known and acknowledged to be fucked up, and it’s enough to make even the Buddha pop Xanax and binge watch Headspace videos on his iPhone. I won’t get into all the external forces at play here – you know them already, and listening to another trip to my soapbox is probably not what you had in mind when you indulged my clickbait.
What I’m concerned about are the internal forces – specifically, the things that are keeping us inside. COVID-19 is certainly one of those, if not the major one. But here in northern California, the wildfires have forced people to stay inside even when they can socially-distance themselves safely outside. So now, I’m inside all day. And so are the kids. I also work from home. And the kids go to school from home. And food is delivered to home.
In a word (or two), we’re bottled up. And as such, we’re suffering from Bottle Shock.
Bottle Shock is a nasty condition that happens to wine after its been bottled. Wikipedia defines it as follows: Bottle-shock or Bottle-sickness is a temporary condition of wine characterized by muted or disjointed fruit flavors. It often occurs immediately after bottling or when wines are given an additional dose of sulfur.
Muted. Disjointed. Fragmented, with a lingering bitterness. Yep, that’s me. In the latest episode of the podcast, I look at the connection between the anxiety we’re feeling now – especially with kids going back to school – and the phenomenon of Bottle Shock. Is there a happy ending to all this? Will our juice finally mellow out and be approachable?
In other words, are we going to age well?