The Weight of Covid-19
A lot of people have been asking me lately, even my mom which I didn't realize that she actually reads this - - Are you still doing your blog? The answer is - we don't know. As you may have noticed or not. . . we haven't written anything or posted during the quarantine. I've thought about it, but never seemed to find the energy to sit and write something. I have blog thoughts and conversations going on in my head all the time but between work and my daughters virtual learning, having to do something else on my computer just feels like another chore. Life since mid-March has been a navigation between a myriad of endless conference calls for my new job, trying to learn a new industry, virtual learning schedules, daily school assignments, the constant need for help and snacks and my husband working from home. Creating a daily calendar for us only worked a week, then the thought of making one weekly just felt like another hassle and of course it was something that I would be responsible for making. I know most of you can relate, because this has been the reality of many people that I know. Now it's mid May and we are still at it. Except school is out now and for my daughter it's SUMMER!! But for me, it's the same thing every day but with no summer camp! It's just a rinse and repeat over and over or like the movie Ground Hog Day if you are old enough to have watched it. 5pm feels like a school bell to me, it never comes soon enough. Once the bell rings, I feel like I have freedom from the four walls of my house - I am free to go outside, go for another walk, sit on the porch or drink a glass of wine. But then there is the dreaded pull of the dinner hour. My people want to know what's for dinner every-single-night! Why is dinner so much harder now? I managed dinner before all this happened but now it's an added weight. Maybe because there are so many dishes and meals during the day now? Grocery shopping is stressful between wearing a mask, one way aisles or everything in your Instacart not being available. Thankfully my husband has been doing most of the cooking because if it was up to me, we wouldn't be eating anything exciting around here. Dinner is another thing on the schedule, and I am tired of emptying the dishwasher all the time! I see all these people on social posting about these amazing meals that they are making and I am just not into it, I have zero desire to cook right now BUT unfortunately I haven't lost my desire for eating because I have gained several pounds in quarantine! WTH Quarantine! It's not like this hasn't been hard enough! Now you have added 5 pounds or more to my waist and it's getting hot outside......I don't like being hot and sweaty and feeling like my clothes are tight!
I will say however that there have been a few good things about quarantine life that I hope we will continue. As a family, we get out almost every morning and go for a walk, run or bike ride together. Sophie does not like us waking her up every morning, but once she's out there she really enjoys it and its been fun having that time together as a family. Plus she's gotten to be really good on her bike so that's a bonus. My other favorite has been the weekly get-togethers in the park or in our driveways (six feet apart) laughing and decompressing with our neighbors. The weekends have become the days where I truly exhale. I've noticed that during the week, I am holding my breath. Literally, I catch myself holding my breath. Yes there have been some funny videos, memes and photos going around depicting quarantine life and thank God for that because they have been the laugh that I needed at that moment but quarantine life is also scary as shit, sad, overwhelming and anxiety ridden. I find that now that our state is starting to open up, I am paralyzed by uncertainty and misinformation that I really don't know what is the wise thing to do these days. Do I ease up on my kid and let her have playdates? Do I even want to risk going to a restaurant? I would kill for a vacation and a change of scenery so I can stop looking at these same four walls but is that even safe? What if we F$%^ up this whole thing and my kid doesn't get to go back to school until spring next year, what will that look like? And if the economy doesn't start to recover, how much worse will things get? I started my new job in February and have already been cut to part-time status and now I have a new added level of stress of paying our bills and what this will mean for the longterm. Should I start looking for a new job since there are no guarantees I will be able to go back full time and how do you even look for a job in this economy? These are just some of things that keep me up at night.
Venting and putting it all down feels like I am complaining. And when I compare my circumstances to so many others that have lost their jobs or have lost loved one in all this, I feel like telling myself "SHUT UP or get over yourself!". If anything, it's like "really? that's all you got?" I think for me it all comes down to the feeling of uncertainty that is really getting to me. It gets under my skin like an itch that just won't go away and it brings me down. And since I am a planner by nature, the not knowing doesn't work well for me. Taking life one day at a time is what you are supposed to do, I know this, but I have to remind myself of that 100 times a day!. Summer camp? Don't know.....might not be an option? What to do with Sophie everyday while I work or try to find a job, I have no idea. More virtual learning? Umm no, we are over that. And I can't let her sit in front of the TV or be on the iPad 24/7 and frankly she doesn't want that, she is dying to play with friends and who can blame her! Baby steps as we figure out the path to transition back into the new normal.
So for now, here I am trying to be still and ok with that. I know stillness can be good for the soul and for the mind but for me it can also be a feeling of being paralyzed, the unwillingness to move or take action. I read posts where people are living their best life cooking amazing meals, cleaning out closets, binge watching all of Netflix, trying new workout apps, getting out and about. I'm just happy that I made it to Friday most weeks. As soon as 4pm on Friday hits, I hit the "peace out" button and EXHALE! That means two days of freedom without a schedule and without me feeling the pressure of life. I truly can escape the current state of our reality.
So today I felt the urge to purge my thoughts and put them down. Maybe because today is officially the first day of summer for my daughter and school is out. Maybe it's because I need to figure out plan B or maybe I just need to keep on working on being still and just take it day to day until I gain more clarity and comfort in our new way of life. As far as the blog, we haven't decided to blog or not to blog. Everything just feels different and it's hard to know what people really want to read and hear right now. We might do some podcasts and just talk or we might not, we haven't quite figured it out as so many things have changed and frankly we have changed too.
I hope for all of you that quarantine life has had more ups than downs and that in your moments of stillness you have found something about yourself or your family that you want to continue long after quarantine life is over. That there were, are and will be moments that you will treasure and look back on fondly as something that you are grateful for from this whole experience. Your story to talk about with your kids or a younger generation.
Until next time, whenever that is. . . .