For the first 2 weeks all I did was cry. While I cooked, cleaned, folded laundry, signed into zoom classes, signed out of zoom classes. I was either holding back tears or crying. Crying from disbelief, anger, shock, fear. I’m an already anxious person who spends most days living in my head playing out worst case scenarios so that I am “prepared” for anything. (Is this how all people stay prepared and protected?)
Then Corona. The virus that changed everything. The virus that changed every aspect of everyone’s life all over the world. Whoever I spoke to in Australia, South Africa, Montreal, they were all going through the same devastating turn of events. I wanted it to stop, I wanted to go back in time. No I don’t want to home school my kids, why can’t they just play outside in their underwear and come inside when they feel heat stroke?
No I don’t want to prepare 16 meals for my kids throughout the day. Why can’t I leave bowls of water around the house for them for when they’re thirsty?
No I don’t want to social distance, I like warm hugs.
No I don’t want to make my own hand sanitizer because the world ran out. Why can’t I drink alcohol instead?
It hadn’t dawned on me the amount of free time I had before. I could make appointments and then go to them. I could make a call and then have a conversation. I could make a coffee and then drink it. I could take a walk which I never did. I could spend time planning and preparing dinner which I never did. The point is that I COULD do all these things. The freedom.
That freedom also came at a price. I felt guilt all the time. I talked myself out of it of course. It’s OK to leave my baby home with someone who I trust and loves her so I can go to appointments, make phone calls and have coffees. It’s OK that when I pick up my kids after school, it doesn’t take long for me to want to drop them back off at school.
I recently told my therapist in one of our sessions that I feel like I’ve re- engaged with my life. She thought that sentiment was beautiful. Yay for me, I impressed my therapist. She must have known it was a big deal for me to hear that because she knows I have an irritating need for constant validation. #workingonit And no I don’t want to talk about it, unless you want to compliment me, then yes I want to talk about it.
So now I don’t have the freedom but I don’t have the guilt, which one feels better ?
After 2 weeks of crying I started to get into the routine and reality of this new life. I felt more at peace and more uplifted. I can do this, I can figure out zoom and print out the lessons and do the homework and mop the floor and do the laundry and prepare dinner and wear a cute apron. I essentially turned into an octopus and found myself doing 8 different things all at the same time.
Then the adrenaline wore off and I was in a fog worse than in the beginning. In the beginning it was hard but it was new. The grief and reality and sadness of what was and what is now became so real. The realness of the situation then turned into me feeling like I need to ‘show’ my husband how hard everything is. This involved a lot of very loud sighs whenever he walked by. It involved a lot of me asking “I’m drowning over here why aren’t you?” I thank G-d I married a kind and patient man because I have been neither one of those things.
We need to flatten the curve. We need more tests. We need to wear masks outside. We need to wipe down all packages – after letting them sit outside for 24 hours. We need to wash down our fruit and vegetables with water and soap. We need to stay away from friends and family. We need to home school our kids indefinitely. The virus can be transmitted from direct contact. The virus can be transmitted through droplets 6 feet a part. The virus can be transmitted through the air from 13 feet apart. The virus can be transmitted through being alive. Stay safe. Stay home.
You know what I’ve learned over the last who the hell knows how many days? I’ve learned that in the end, I don’t know and you don’t know and none of us know. Without any knowledge of what will be, we are still here living and loving. Maybe that’s what Gd wanted from us, to do and to love before we know and understand.
Quick but important question, does drinking wine out of a crystal glass make it ok to start drinking at 3 p.m? Asking for myself.