There are already millions of voices out there talking about this “trying time”, this “unprecedented moment”. Honestly it’s a good part of the reason you haven’t seen anything new here in the last month. Other people have been finding the time to create and encourage and share and when “this all” got started I took a break. I traveled away from home and took care of my family, somewhat unintentionally spent two months 1000+ miles away from the home I’ve made in Southern Florida, continued my social services job from my in-laws living room, and generally hunkered down and made it work like everyone else.
Now that I’m home, with my Calphalon dishes and more than four outfits, I’m ready to write again. You might have heard these sentiments a few hundred times already, but you haven’t heard them from me, and you deserve to hear them again.
This “whole thing’ is different. Life, even at its most basic isn’t really the same. We are all adapting and changing and just doing the best we can. If you stop and think about just how absurd and impossible this situation would have seemed just six months ago, you can better appreciate truly how well you’re handling life. If you have space to stop and think. If the future isn’t too intimidating and the present not too loud and overwhelming.
Whether you’ve been exercising your patience, your body, or your right to not wear pants in your own home, good for you.
If you’ve been having Lucky Charms every morning, subsisting on take out, or pulling a Julie and Julia and cooking your way through the Childs anthology, a round of applause.
Maybe you’ve finally started meditating, taken up dressmaking, or learned the chords of your favorite song. Maybe you’ve read the same book three times, watched the entire Gilmore Girls collection, or earned every achievement in your favorite video game.
Maybe you’ve kept small humans alive, explained “shelter in place” and “germs” for the thousandth time today. You’ve made palatable meals that at least half of the family eats and you’ve done it all on canned pantry products from 2018 and a frozen chicken stock from Christmas.
You’ve battled chronic illnesses without the usual supports and tools that you need. You’ve taken care of yourself and your partner with a health condition. You’ve become support staff and case worker for your best friend or neighbor or dad.
I don’t know your situation but I know this, things really are pretty trying. We have habits and hobbies and schedules and routines for a reason and for most of us at least some if not most of those things are currently on pause. All that work we put into fostering affirming coping skills and mental health bolstering activities now has to be severely modified.
I want to just remind you that your adaptation is impressive. This new life you’ve managed to create is really huge. Your feelings are valid.
It’s healthy to mourn opportunities lost and cancelled events. It’s natural to feel totally out of whack, off your game and in a rut. It’s also ok to feel happy and content at home in your little nest, not having to interact with the world around you. Don’t feel guilty if you are having the most productive three months of your life, returning to old hobbies, enjoying your family, creating more than ever. Your enjoyment is no less valid than someone else’s frustration. And that overwhelm at even thinking about going back to “real life”? Perfectly legitimate.
We’ve all lost. And gained. We’ve been confused and uncertain.
We’ve been feeling feelings folks, at an unprecedented rate and I don’t think they’re gonna stop any time soon…
So give yourself a little space. Enjoy the heck out of the things that make you happy. Be ok when you acutely feel those rugged and unpleasant feelings, knowing that they don’t last forever. Do whatch’ya gotta do.
With a ton of love from me.