We can all agree that 2020 is the worst episode of Punk'd ever, right? It's been a solid 5 months since the global pandemic hit the Northeastern US. And while our section of Pennsylvania is in a kinda green phase (closer to normal than red), our family takes this situation pretty seriously.
this is how we do groceries now?
We don't really go out, except to pick up food or medicine, or to walk the dog.
We did rent a vacation house for a week in Delaware last month, but even there, we just went to the beach and back. Brought all of our groceries with us. And we even had the house treated with vital oxide (don't ask) before we arrived. I still felt nervous using the silverware in the kitchen without washing it myself first.
When I watch TV, it's pretty much all pre-covid shows, and my brain thinks that everyone is standing too close and rude for not wearing a mask.
Clearly, my brain is having a challenging time adjusting to so many new realities:
The one where we can't go anywhere, hug anyone outside of our quaranteam (which for us, at least includes my parents), relax, put groceries away without disinfecting them, send our children to school or camp. Oh, also the allergies that give me a constant sore throat also send me into a panic every day.
The one where my children have a very VERY limited existence and can spend more than 7 consecutive hours talking to friends in one day.
The one in which my dog wishes we would just leave already.
The one in which my phone never runs out of juice because, have I mentioned, I never go anywhere?
The one where we have a major presidential election in just a few short months and our choices are either Biden/Harris or a giant, loose, orange turd and his faithful nodder.
The one where all I want to do is scream and yet, I cannot get out there and protest.
The one where one of my very closest friends of 27 years is not alive. This one is really the hardest of all to grasp. It's been 10 days since she embarked on the next part of her journey without the rest of us. What I've come to realize about the process of grief is that it's really a process of changing your expectation about the world. I expected her to always be there in my world, and she was. I still expect her to be there, and my instinct is to call her or text her because my brain still thinks she IS there. So grief is like installing a new program that changes your expectations and instincts. But my brain is not just a computer, and changing it hurts, it even makes me want to vomit. You know how when you sleep (thank you, ativan the wonder drug) you forget, and when you wake up, you remember and the remembering stings every time.
I keep thinking that there are ways I can comfort myself but they mostly involve chocolate/wine/saturated fats and none of them involve bringing her back, so they all just suck.
What even is this? It feels like the alternate reality of Back to the Future Part II. If only we had a Delorean or if we could get Sam from Quantum Leap to jump around (I'm thinking first we send him to 1619 to stop the birth of the TA slave trade, and go from there?).
Truly though, I can say my world has been rocked. I'm reverting back to the gratitude practice to help ground me. Let's see how many times a week (a month?) I can do it to help me find some calm.
Tonight I'm grateful to have finished a work project that I was feeling stuck on for the last few weeks and was due tomorrow. Curriculum to teach kids about friends. Couldn't have come at a more important time for me. Done.
I'm grateful that my dear, sweet friend heard my letter before she left this world. What a wonderful husband to have read it to her.
I'm grateful that we have fresh fruit and vegetables and coffee and milk and all the foods my children need. At night I can hear crickets and see fireflies outside. If I need a doctor, I can call one, and even have medicine sent right to my home. I sleep in a clean bed, and sometimes I even have time to watch a show on the telly.
I'm grateful for my sweet, soft puppers. I love to bury my nose in his little furry armpit and smooth his fluffy eyebrows. He's happiest when he's sitting on my lap getting belly rubs.
I'm grateful for our neighbors, especially those who have kids the same age as Z, so his kindergarten experience won't be a complete loss. I'm actually a little bit excited about him finally getting to spend some regular time in the presence of peers, even if it is in this bizarro universe where you go to virtual school at your neighbor's house.
I'm grateful for this space to help sort through my thoughts and get them out of my head.