Saturday, 8 May 2021

Do it Small

Do you wonder why you are not all perky and energetic as we enter the 14th month of the pandemic? 

According to psychologist Adam Grant, it’s because you are languishing. Languishing, it turns out, is a recognized psychological term referring to the mid-point between crippling “depression” and good feelings of “flourishing” -- the peak of well-being.

“Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021,” says the Times in an article posted below.


I’ve diagnosed myself, and I think I am in that state. I’ve tried blogging, making art, reaching out, but the energy is not there to carry through. I wondered how to get myself moving again along the road to flourishing.

Self-help articles with ideas to help you combat languishing are fine – and you can find a link posted below. What struck me as I read further was the emphasis on “small” – small steps, small goals, small projects. Immerse yourself in something small, and see where it takes you.


I’ve tried writing blogs in the last few months, but they were not successful. Now I realize I was trying to say BIG things in them. The  news of the world is full enough of big things: big tragedies, big lies, big numbers, big needs. It’s almost too much to take in. What if I tried a smaller story, one that doesn’t have a big lesson for you to absorb, but something just to enjoy, just because it is a story?

That’s when the YouTube story of Canuck the Crow appeared on the resident sweetie’s Birds of BC Facebook page. One of the techniques Al uses to keep his “languishing” at bay – besides enjoying the birds outside our window –  is to listen to short “feel-good” stories on YouTube, and this one was right up his ally. He called me over because he figured I’d be interested, too. And I was, because it’s a story about a crow. Since crows figure big in my first blogs, inspiring me to think about my place in the world, it makes sense that crows might just teach me a thing or two now, as well. And maybe this story might give you a boost, as well.

You can watch it here on the link below – it’s about 18 minutes long. Spoiler alert: This film was made in 2017. Canuck the Crow disappeared shortly after, and has probably gone the way of all flesh now. Take the story for what it is worth – of course, some wildlife enthusiasts would disapprove of making friends with this bird – but I love how Canuck helped his human climb out of depression towards flourishing, and all by just doing little things. As the song says, “All God’s creatures have a place in the choir, some sing low and some sing higher...”

Documentary: Canuck and I:



Youtube version of “All God’s Children”:

Article about Languishing:

Questionnaire: Are you Languishing?

Article about ways to move on from languishing to flourishing:


  1. Thank you for this oh so timely inspirational post.

    1. Glad it meant something to you, Mina. The concepts of languishing and flourishing certainly made sense to me. It's a comfort to know that others are going through the same things.

  2. My daughter sent me that article about languishing and it's now firmly entrenched in our vocabulary LOL. I had just experienced a couple weeks of blah and it helped me also pursue small steps. With the return of nice weather, that has helped immensely and I'm back into working on my UFO's :-). Thanks for a great blog post. I will watch that you tube when I have coffee :-).