March 2020 – a month for which no one will ever be nostalgic.
After all the years it took me to learn to really slow down and not wish for the next, presumably better stage, my thoughts whisper that a year from now, there will be less uncertainty. A year from now, we will know how we all come out of this pandemic. But each day is still precious. Each day, though it brings tragedy and stresses of all kinds to many of our global community, also brings hope, creativity, and love to much of the world.
For me, it’s not the social distancing and staying home that has made this month feel like a year, but the combination of constant change and continuing threat. The thoughts I try to avoid: will I see my parents again? how will we support our friends who sustain losses, when the best we can do is teleconference? how on earth can we support the health care workers, who are generally always overstretched? There are many painful questions. I’m sure that you know them, too.
No one knows the answers to the big questions. The entire world is experiencing the human and economic results of the pandemic. These months will be in the history books. Our children will tell their children and grandchildren about it.
I don’t think there was any time in my life prior to right now that it was an advantage to be a complete introvert. My forever best friend is as extroverted as I am introverted. To me, it always looked so easy for her to do so many things that were difficult to me, like speaking to anyone in a room full of people (now I usually give myself permission to not talk much if there are more than 6 people). While the stay-home order gives me a time to recharge, she has that harried, unsettled feeling that I get after times without enough quiet space.
But that introversion also makes me prone to ruminating, particularly in the middle of the night. To fight that, I keep busy and try to make myself too tired to wake up at 2AM. Working at home is efficient in terms of time (no commute) but leads to a lot less walking during the day, so my evenings are devoted to moving. I anticipate many projects being completed around the house in the coming weeks, possibly even the one I’ve been avoiding for nearly a year, which is painting the kitchen ceiling after patching up the damage from a pressure cooker incident. I just finished a task I’ve long had on the back burner – assembling all important information in one place so that Thom and Mari could easily access it.
I call family and friends, email, and text, trying to focus on the positive and entertaining, like the crocus that are blooming in the front lawn, the beautiful, gigantic spring snowflakes that fell this morning, and how our dog tucked herself under a blanket yesterday to hide from the thunderstorm. I’ve been writing real letters, on paper, hoping to give a distant loved one a smile. The daylight hours are expanding and warming, and soon evening biking, walking, and gardening will become routine.
How do you embrace the gift of each day during this difficult time?