As I write this, we’re about eleven weeks into lockdown–nearly three months. At this point, I think we’ve all slipped into new routines. I don’t know about you, but the days and weeks seem to be moving faster now. Mentally, I’m prepared for this to last “a while”.
I’m not going to bemoan my specific situation. Some have it better; others have it worse. We’re all dealing with change. My heart goes out to those who deal daily with the possibility of exposure and infection, and even more so to the families who have lost a loved one—or many.
The other day I told my daughters that years from now, their grandchildren would ask them about the pandemic, and they’d reflect on what’s going on right now. We all tried journaling at first, but it didn’t take. I think we got eclipsed with just surviving each day – making sure we’re all fed, mostly clean, engaged in activities both physical and mental, getting enough rest, and supporting each other. My wife and I are fortunate to continue working from home, and I don’t take that for granted. Juggling that while also tutoring our children has been difficult, but do-able. I think of families half a world away, fleeing for their lives from a lot worse than this, and remind myself how lucky we are, all things considered. That doesn’t make things easy, but does help put them in perspective.
I’ve found it difficult to write during all this—partly because I’m editing at this point, and that’s a different part of my brain. Partly, I’m still trying to adjust and take this all in. And partly, I’ve struggled to have the basic energy to face each day. Most days, when I reach the evening (my writing time), I’ve been too exhausted to focus. Or that’s what I tell myself as I escape into another video game.
I’m trying to make the most of this situation. I’m trying to do the best with what I have. I’m trying to be kind to myself, to my family, and to others. I’m trying to find and keep my patience. I’m trying to make a buddy laugh, knowing they’re where I’m at. I’m trying to find a spark of inspiration, to create something new during all this, but mostly I’m just trying to get by. I’m trying to appreciate what’s important, and let go of what’s not.
My daughters remain my focus and my priority. They understand what’s going on, but we don’t talk about the pandemic mostly. Instead we focus on the work that’s to be done, but more so on what next thing will engage their imaginations. They’re creating, drawing, playing, storytelling, and gaming. I join them when I can, and many dinners we talk about strategies in one game or another. While sometimes we indulge these ad nausea, I know it’s how they’re coping with the changes, so I keep engaged for their sake. Every ounce of my patience goes to them first.
As such, many of my 2020 goals (like everyone’s) have flown off the rails, and we’ll either salvage what we can, or scrap them and start anew. None of us planned for this. We’re all adapting, and struggling, and some of us are fighting just to make it through one more day.
The best we can do is be there for one another and nurture that spark where we can.
Be well. Be good.