Many times over the past few weeks I have attempted to sit down and write…however, each time I just haven’t been able to find the words. How does one sum up all the emotions of navigating life during a world-wide pandemic? Writing about my recent challenges of working at home while caring for my two children is a natural go to for my typical blog posts-but yet it doesn’t feel right. Many people would be grateful to be in my position and still have a job. It feels almost thoughtless to talk about what I am going through.
And yet, I have found over the past few weeks that the best thing for us has been to talk about it. At this point, what else can we do besides stay at home alone with our thoughts and our worries.
I have wavered between many emotions recently. A lot of sadness. Sadness for those who have lost loved ones, sadness for those who are going through this isolated and alone. Sadness for all the lost face to face connections, cancelled events, activities, and gatherings that make life feel that much more meaningful for all of us. Sadness for those around me who have been affected so much financially and are worried about what is to come.
(A photo from our recent flight as the world was changing before our eyes. Never have I been on such an empty plane-what an eerie feeling.)
*Overwhelmed. My job has completely changed overnight. Every day there are new policies. We are constantly trying to catch up on how to manage to provide an essential service in a way that has never been done before and sometimes it feels scary to think I cannot reach out and protect the children I work with in the ways I usually strive to do so. All of a sudden I am working mostly from home and my children are home full time. Parks are closed, play dates do not happen. Our routines have gone out the window. I am apparently also their teacher now. I spend my days juggling video calls, breaking up fights, putting out activities, and trying to create some type of “normal” routine in our home. I find myself having to reassure my kids I will be careful and will be safe when I leave our home to go to work or the store. Trying to find a balance of telling them enough but not too much.
*Solemn. Overnight our grocery stores have become places with shelves emptied by hoarders. Playgrounds are taped off. Parks are closed. Schools are closed. Weddings postponed. Wherever we go, there is a sense of quiet, somberness in the air. We are missing the sounds of laughter, gatherings of friends and children, the bustle of people milling about. Even our house feels quieter with the lack of traffic we have grown accustomed to be constantly zooming by our street.
*Grateful. My children are safe. My loved ones are safe. I have a job, a home, our health. My husband can work from home and we are in this crazy time together. And simple things I took for granted just weeks ago are now cherished. I have never seen my kids so excited for my grocery store find of toilet paper last week as we were down to one of our last rolls! Friends calling to check on us, and connection with others in a new way. In a strange way, life has slowed down with so much being canceled and closed. There is time to pick up a new hobby, play a game with our kids, or call a friend.
*Hopeful. In this time I feel fortunate to be healthy and in a position to others. I am trying to take this time to start to look for opportunities to help others who may be struggling. I may not be able to work front-line in the hospital, but I can be a listening ear to those having a hard day. I can make a surprise delivery to others feeling isolated. I can send a grocery card to someone in need. My hope is that we can help each other get through this.
*Resilient-I look at history and past epidemics the world has gone through. People struggled, they were scared and overwhelmed, but they persevered. They were resilient and came out on the other side.We can adapt to a temporary way of life. We may have a lot of sacrifices along the way, but these are worth it for saving the lives of those we love. Who need us to help keep them safe.
I don’t know how life will look in a few weeks, months, or this time next year. But as we are all saying over and over again-let’s take it one day at a time and get through it together.