What an interesting six weeks it has been. If you’ve followed any of my journey, you know that I openly accepted the challenge of Coronacation. I’m a stay at home mom (for the most part) I’ve been training for this for 18+ years, right? And I’ve accepted that my role is to sit at home with all the comforts of a middle class life. And I had a bit of a meltdown at Aldi.
Here I am a few weeks later. Reemerged. Because I’m not going to dilute the truth. I got buried. I’ve always been a social media-ite. I like seeing what people are up to. But I have to tell you, it became a dangerous place for my mental wellbeing. I would read posts about how I should learn a new language during stay-home-stay-safe (SHSS). I should write a book. I shouldn’t do anything new, because just dealing with the stress of this all is enough.
I turned to the news for hope. I found none there.
Every article I read felt like a shovelful of sand tossed onto me with my eyes and mouth open. I should wear gloves and a mask. I shouldn’t wear gloves. I should consider everyone I see as infected. There isn’t enough testing. It’s up to the states to figure this out. The president has absolute authority. It’s back up to the states to figure this out. The economy needs to reopen. People with big guns defied the SHSS order and are standing at the capitol, pissed that their rights are being trampled upon. Wait, what? I thought we were all in this together? Are you going to shoot the coronavirus?
What in the world? What is going on? Not only is sand getting tossed at my face, but the world is spinning out of control.
While fighting the madness of everything around me, I found solace in organizing thousands of digital photos in preparation for my son’s “graduation.” Mixed into my personal photos are practice shots of food and landscapes from before I went pro. And then, from the fall of 2011, this:
I trained and completed my one and only half marathon. I was not a fast runner, but I did it. I didn’t know that I could. I got to thinking about how much I loved training. My kids were (obviously) 9 years younger. Running gave me a healthy reason to leave the house. I would get up early in the mornings and be gone for hours on Sundays for my long runs. Even when I ran with my training partner, who remains a bestie, it was unadulterated “me” time.
You know what I haven’t had in six weeks? Any “me” time. I’m used to being left alone for eight hours a day- just as my fam is used to being at work or school for 8 hours a day. We’ve all had to go through a major adjustment. Add to that dizzying amounts of information, opinion, suggestion, and politics from well intended friends, the kids’ schools, and the news. No wonder I was losing my grasp.
This morning I woke up early. Earlier than I had planned because something got knocked over at 4:50 am. I got dressed in the clothes I had laid out last night. And I got on the treadmill while it was still dark outside. It’s the first time in a long while that I took care of me before turning on the news. And you know what? I took it all in stride when I did finally turn it on. And then I turned it off and said aloud to no-one, “Nothing new.”
I am fortunate that I still remain at that second degree distance of knowing anyone ill from COVID-19 and my spouse remains employed. But there’s a whole ‘nother population of people that coronavirus can take down. Not just from the illness, but the impact of it: The overwhelming amount of information, misinformation, and outright lies being told. The endless stream of life tips and suggestions on how to survive the SHSS orders with flare and panache. Clean – organize – donate – protest – revamp – learn – sew – appreciate…
Every day is a new day. Begin with yourself, if you’re struggling. What do you need to optimize your chances of success? For many, we’ve been given the gift of time. Copious amounts of time that we cannot see ending. That alone is overwhelming. What do you need to grasp onto to pick yourself up with? Apparently, for me, it’s the rails of my treadmill.