- Covid 19
- Stay at home
- Essential/Non essential
- Social Distancing
- Hot spots
Those rarely used vocabulary words have now become our updated jargon. Our new normal is so different than what we could have ever imagined when we celebrated the start of 2020! And to keep it real… I am over it. Totally over it.
Over the winter months I was very busy and I kept saying, “If only I had time…” Suddenly I have more time than I know what to do with, and I wish I was busy again. When I was constantly on the go, I had lists of things I wanted to accomplish at home like cleaning out my closets, organizing my cabinets, decluttering my rooms, deep cleaning all the neglected corners of my house. My to do list was longer than hours in my days.
Now I’ve been at home for about 2 months and besides gaining ten pounds, all I’ve really accomplished is binge watching 16 seasons of Gray’s Anatomy and several seasons of Survivor. I have also read a few books (just to keep my mind working at minimum capacity) and slept around 12 hours a day. I feel like such a sloth, my new spirit animal. Please tell me there are others feeling the same way. Others who have not tackled their to do list and instead are sitting with a bag of chips in front of their TV. It cannot just be me, can it?
Can you imagine if we knew all this was coming on New Year’s Eve? If we knew we would be forced to stay at home, watching endless hours of TV, only going out to search for tissue to wipe your backside because crazies would hoard even the one ply. Or if we understood we would all start looking like Sasquatch because we wouldn’t be able to get haircuts, roots dyed, or eyebrows waxed. Or if we realized that we could watch church in our pj’s with no bra on (Yes, I do that now!) or that we would no longer know what it feels like to wear pants with a zipper and button because our wardrobe would only consist of yoga pants and T-shirts. If we knew what was coming, would any of us shouted Happy New Year or would we have been sitting in the corner freaking out inside?
I think the hardest thing about being at home is the isolation. I am a people person. My energy comes from interacting with people. (Maybe that’s why I am not accomplishing much. That lightbulb moment just occurred to me as I typed the previous sentence. 💡) Not seeing or interacting with people, especially not seeing my family and friends, has been the hardest part of the stay at home order. I want to go visit my mom, who is still grieving the loss of my dad and is isolated at her home with HGTV for company several hours away from me. I want to see my father-in-law interacting at church rather than alone in his senior living facility as the anniversary of my mother-in-law’s death approaches. I want to hang out with my sister-in-law wandering around Marshall’s or Hobby Lobby. I want to see my local kids and go out to dinner with them. I want to drive to Virginia to visit my other four kids like I had planned. I want to see the expanding baby bump of my daughter and feel my grandson kick. I want to be planning my daughter’s baby shower that was supposed to be at my house in May. I want to see my nieces and have them over for a sleepover. I want to go to lunch with my girlfriends just to chat for a few hours. I want to go to Target and aimlessly walk (okay… wheel) through the aisles. I want. I want. I want.
Yes, I realize how spoiled and selfish I sound. Trust me, I am thankful that I have a warm and comfortable home to stay in. I have plenty of food, including Oreos. I even have a few rolls of toilet paper left. I have activities like television, books, and games to occupy my time. I have technology and can see my kids, my mom, my friends on FaceTime or in Google Hangouts. I can watch church services online and talk to my youth group on Zoom. No one in my circle of close friends and family has been ill from this horrible disease. I am grateful. I am blessed. I am appreciative.
But today I’ve been blah and grumpy. And I think that’s okay. I think it’s okay to be down in the dumps and sad about the circumstances going on right now. I really think it’s okay to share those feelings and be real that we are lonely, scared, frustrated, bored, anxious, and over this new normal. It’s okay to say I am sick and tired of being in my house. I am tired of watching hours of mindless TV. I’m sad from missing my people. I’m depressed that I can’t travel to see my family. I’m over the loneliness. I’m bummed my daughter won’t get a baby shower. I am worried about my daughters-in-law still working in health care environments. I’m concerned about my daughter who is 10 weeks from giving birth to my first grandson. I’m scared over all of the conflicting news reports, especially as I head off to work in the public. I’m anxious about my friends/family’s safety as well as my own since I’ve already experienced exposure. I’m frustrated with it feeling like Groundhog’s Day. I am discouraged for those unable to have graduations, weddings, sporting events, even funerals. I am disheartened to see small businesses struggle and people lose their livelihoods. I’m grieved over those who have lost their lives or for those who have lost a loved one. It’s such a difficult time.
I am thankful that I can share my real feelings and fears with Jesus and that I can rest in Him when I’m weary and overwhelmed. God knows what is going on during this crazy time. In my life. And in your life. And He is still on His throne. I don’t need to fear. He’s got this. Yes, it’s still scary and difficult. But I will trust Him.
If you are hurting, be real right now. Reach out. To God. To family. To friends. Journal. Text. Call. Just reach out. If you need to talk or need anything, please ask. These emotions are real and it’s okay to say I need some help. I need to talk. I need to cry.
On the flip side, another way to combat those moments of struggle is to turn off the TV for a bit and look up. Take the focus off of you and check in on people. Call someone. Write a note. Drop off some groceries. Run an errand. FaceTime. Skype. Make some cookies for front line workers. Send a gift to a child who is missing school or to an exhausted parent. Thank a teacher, your postal worker, a grocery clerk, a sanitation employee. Send a card to someone in a nursing home. Be creative and give of yourself.
Pray. Pray. And pray some more.