Our new vocabulary: COVID-19, flatten the curve, coronavirus, Muhan, China. I can’t say I would have missed any of these words had I never heard them uttered. What they have caused worldwide is indescribable. They keep saying we’ll get through this, and I know that’s true, but I do believe there will be a new normal at the other end. And while we’re in the midst of it with so many unknowns and so many restrictions on living a life; seeing our plans fall by the wayside, being unable to to do so many things we used to take for granted; well, I realize some of us handle it better than others.
Social media can be such an eye-opener. People post such deep, philosophical thoughts – typically someone else’s – and then others ‘Like’ them or ‘Heart’ them or whatever. I read them trying to imagine myself posting similar things, and I find myself literally tearing up, unable to form a coherent thought or opinion about them or even caring to. Rather, I find myself at the precipice of the ‘rabbit hole’, a term a friend and I coined that describes that almost irresistible tunnel one can fall into with almost no will to stop. And at the bottom of that hole is darkness.
I know we’ve all been there. I was there for many years until my only feeling was the non-feeling of apathy. I haven’t been there in awhile. But I now catch myself at the edge, recognizing the danger and pulling myself back from it. I do all the things I would suggest to someone with my mindset. I keep busy, I ride my bike, I pray, I read and knit and do crossword puzzles. I occasionally allow myself to sit in my car at the beach with the windows open and let the negative ions try and balance what’s going on inside. A string of pelicans alongside me can bring a smile to my face. The ocean does seem bluer at times, and the vacant streets make it a pleasure to drive through our normally bustling vintage beach town. Driving home I play music and make a feeble attempt to sing along. Once there, tv news is avoided, though I will admit it’s time to ban it from my phone, as well. I cannot affect it, but it can certainly affect me.
A good movie in the evening helps. A good night’s sleep would help even more. I feel like an ungrateful child, telling my inner self to pull up my big-girl panties and knock it off. I have my mom here and David, both amazingly cheerful no matter what. And even though I feel as if I’m breaking some law, I do see my grandkids once in awhile and even some friends. I’m one of the very lucky ones, and I know it. I absolutely do know it.
But right now, like a million others, I’m just struggling.