Disquietude

dis-

word-forming element of Latin origin meaning 1. “lack of, not” (as in dishonest); 2. “opposite of, do the opposite of” (as in disallow); 3. “apart, away” (as in discard), from Old French des- or directly from Latin dis- “apart, asunder, in a different direction, between,” figuratively “not, un-,” also “exceedingly, utterly.”

quietude (n.)

“rest, repose, quiet, tranquility,” 1590s, from French quiétude (c. 1500) or directly from Late Latin quietudo, from Latin quietus “free; calm, resting” (from PIE root *kweie- “to rest, be quiet”).

Normally at this time, I choose a word for the coming year. However, a word for 2021 chose me a couple of days ago on my daily walk through the churchyard in the town where I live. I came across a flowering primrose.

Beautiful and one of my favorite flowers, but it should not be in bloom at the end of the year. This has been the warmest December on record and not only are many flowers blooming unseasonably but some animals are coming out of hibernation early.

This flower sums up and represents so much that has been making me feel disquieted – the Climate Crisis, Brexit, the increasingly corrupt and inhumane Tory government that currently has the UK gripped in its iron fist, the rise of populism and fascism in many countries across the globe, anti-vaxxers . . . . It’s hard for me to find my usually optimistic and hopeful outlook. This disquiets me almost as much as what is causing my disquiet.

I had a therapist a few years ago who gently reminded me to remember that I’m OK in this moment when I got anxious about things I have no control over or worried about the future/past. Good advice and it continues to help at times, but this feels different.

So rather than lifting my chin up and getting happy I’m letting myself be in this place of disquiet. Some feelings need to be felt, not ricocheted away from. I’m trusting that going through the disquiet will bring me to a different place.

And I will be back in a few days with my word for 2022.

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