I am someone who is used to staying home. I work from home. I drive my son to school everyday, drive his BFF and his mom in with us as well. But then I come home and work the hours until it’s time to get him again. My husbands schedule is usually off the wall and we’ve learned to adapt to every day being something different and me being ready to go solo at a moments notice. In a lot of ways I am prepared for this.
But I feel things deeply and the last couple of days have been a struggle. I’ve found myself feeling more anxious than usual. Which I expected given I have anxiety and the current global situation has been causing a lot of anxiety in people who don’t regularly deal with this. But I didn’t expect to feel profound sadness.
We’ve been in isolation for 11 days, tomorrow is 12. My husband has had to leave twice for work as Search and Rescue is essential services. He goes to work, comes home, strips off all his gear, clothes in the laundry immediately, phone and keys sanitized, hands washed immediately, then shower right away. On days when he’s on standby he’s there at work the whole day unless called out, eats lunch at the Mess hall. He usually sits with the rest of the crew on standby that day. They generally fill a big square table with 10-12 of them, he said. Today he came home and told me how they had to line up for food with paper plates, no self serve stations, everything was handed to you over the counter onto your disposable dinner wear. And when he went to go sit down they were only allowed 4 people per table, one at each corner......it broke me. The last couple of days while out for walks, the very obvious social distancing has been unnerving. People walking to the other side of the road in avoidance. It’s the responsible thing to do and logically I know this is what we NEED to do. But I am heartbroken. The avoidance makes me feel sad....like I’m poison. Like any of us could be. I don’t live near family but the idea of if I were to see family or friends.....I wouldn’t be able to just hug them. I wouldn’t be able to be near them......
How drastically and quickly things changed too is unsettling. Three weeks ago we were running errands as we normally would. No one seemed particularly bothered. Two weeks ago we were stocking up (reasonably) just in case we really did need to stay indoors for a couple weeks and you could tell there was uncertainty in the air. I could feel it. We made comments like “We’re laughing now about how absurd this is and we’ll be eating our words two weeks from now when we’re fighting off zombies!”. We’re not fighting off zombies but it feels like the majority of the world outside just disappeared......The day we went grocery shopping is the day the NBA announced they were shutting down. A massive organization that stood to lose a ton of money from doing so....just shutting down.....Thursday night we went to a parent/teacher conference and by the time we got home, all conferences for Friday were cancelled. By Sunday they were saying if you can stay home, do. The minister of education came out and said schools were going to be shutting for at least three weeks. We opted not to send our son to school the week it was still open and have been homeschooling since. The airplanes that we’re so used to hearing.....there’s a couple a day now. Traffic on our main road is still going but noticeably less. The walking trails here are also usually pretty populated with runners and generally crazy Canadians that have lost all sensitivity to the cold.....we see one or two people now. Gas prices are lower than they were when I was in high school. The toilet paper is gone and people are trying to charge astronomical amounts of money for hand sanitizer....and now our city is in a state of emergency, like most other cities, provinces, states and countries.
I AM mostly staying positive. Social media and the friends I have there has been an amazing distraction and network of support. Between the meme’s and the check-in’s and the general love and kindness that we all so desperately need right now....it gives me hope and a decent foundation to stand on to start each day. We’re eating well, trying to get daily exercise in, trying to get enough sleep - much easier without having to set alarms....trying to wear real clothes now and then, keeping general hygiene as a priority.......trying to keep mentally ahead of this thing. But I think I’ve needed to acknowledge the sadness. I was trying to keep it at bay because I wasn’t ready to deal with it. I worried that feeling sad would be the start of a downward spiral. But I think it’s important that we DO give ourselves permission to acknowledge it and let it happen. We’ve never been through this before. It’s new and scary. And it’s a lot easier to come to terms with something when you feel supported and connected. Unfortunately, not only are we very obviously missing that physical connectivity of even being NEAR other people.....we’re currently not ALLOWED for that to happen and it feels really lonely. So allowing ourselves to feel the sadness helps open the doors to be able to process all of this. I think we’ll all be processing for a long time and as much as it sucks, it’s something we definitely need to do.
There are still so many things to really and truly be grateful for in this mess, especially in our particular circumstances. My husband and I talk about it every day. Every single day, we know we’re so very lucky in this global pandemic. We DO NOT take our situation for granted. But I think a lot of us are feeling it, the reality is setting in. We’re still seeing numbers rise, governments are still figuring out stimulus packages, people are worried about jobs and bills and the economy, we’re worried about our most susceptible members of society, we feel devastated by all of the loss so far....we’re surrounded by the stress of so many unknowns and we have to deal with that in our isolation from the world. But we are also with our families. We’re connected by social media and video calls and phone calls. We’re getting creative in how we stay connected and how we get involved in our communities. I’ve seen so many TRULY good and amazing things. I don’t think this earth has seen so many heaping doses of love at one time maybe ever. The things that were broken before.....they might have a chance for change on the other side of this. So many things will just never be the same. Some of that might be bad but some, I’m hopeful, will also be really really good.
So I leave this saying, it’s ok to feel what you’re feeling. Acknowledge the emotions and give them respect and space to happen. It’s how we’re all processing right now. The whole world is in a situation that we’ve never experienced before. It’s ok not to do any of this perfectly. It’s ok to feel things that aren’t pleasant. This situation straight up sucks in a lot of ways. We’re learning about this thing daily. We’re trying to coach our kids through it while we, ourselves, are constantly muttering “W....T......F.....” under our breath. We can suck at this, we can feel unpleasant things about this, and it’s ok. We will make it through this. And as lonely as we feel, we truly are all in this together.
Wash your hands, be responsible, love each other, be kind, and stay safe. Sending you all so much love ❤️
It’s week 1.
It’s a pretty big deal. I have been waiting for this. I have been patient. I have prepared and daydreamed and planned. It’s go time!
Ok, so that sounds SUPER dramatic but big life changes ARE dramatic.... so it’s fitting. And I am EXCITED!!!
I am also terrified... I’ll tell you why...
My son went back to school this week. It’s the first time he’s been anywhere but home full time, really. And while it is sad and I definitely have the mom feels about it, I am also really looking forward to what the future has in store!
For 6 years I have been a stay at home mom. And I LOVED spending that time with my son. Honestly, he’s one of the most unique, creative, hilarious, loving little beings I know. In that 6 years, I helped shape him. I helped in teaching him so many things and, in turn, he taught me things as well.
The truth is, I never saw myself as a stay at home mom. I barely saw myself as a mom at all. I wasn’t one of those little girls who dreamed of being married or having babies. That just seemed like such a far away thing that it seemed almost absurd when it came time to consider the possibility of those things happening. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change any of it. I love my husband, I love my son, and I love being the wife and mom. But when it came time to step into the stay at home mom role, it was something I did because it’s what worked for our family at the time. I did it out of love for both my son and husband.... but it did not come naturally to me like it seemed to with some moms.
Being a military family and being bumped around the country means it’s rare to have family close by to help. My husband was on the trajectory to becoming a pilot with the Canadian Air Force which was an extremely long and difficult road so a lot of the parenting and household responsibilities fell on me. My husband is every bit as much a parent as me (my husband and son have a wonderful bond and relationship) but the reality of our situation was that while he was at school/work/training, I was holding it down at home. Which meant that I had less of myself to give to other areas and had to shelf a few things for a while.
One of those things was art. I didn’t entirely shelf it - anyone who is an artist will tell you that’s next to impossible as it’s essentially part of our DNA. But I did have to slow it way down and scale back on how much of myself I was able to lend to it. To say it was a personal struggle is quite an understatement. It was like pressing the brakes to the floor when you’re going full speed. And I think that’s something a lot of new moms experience but don’t publicly express because our society tends to shun anyone who doesn’t love every aspect of motherhood. I struggled with the shift from being my own person and having the time I needed to do the things I wanted to losing quite a bit of autonomy because every ounce of me was needed by this tiny human. It was startling and it took a minute to adjust. I loved the time I had with him and recognized it was an experience that I’d never be able to get back. But, simultaneously, I can’t hide my excitement at gaining this little piece of myself back.
This week is my first full week back at it. It is equal parts thrilling and terrifying! Getting back to my art full time is something I’ve dreamt of and I’ve made plans and laid the ground work to prepare myself for when the time came again. But it is ALL. ON. ME. And THAT is extremely daunting to think about! It’s exciting to have the freedom but I am the one who has to come up with the plans for that day, that week, that month, that year. I have to keep myself organized and motivated. I have to maintain a healthy balance between work and home life while working from the basement of my home. I am ultimately responsible for every success and every failure. Add to that that there is no limit or ceiling to how big this could become, that I’m essentially standing on a rock in the middle of an ocean of possibilities and opportunities and it’s all on me to steer the ship and keep it afloat while hoisting all of the possibilities and opportunities, within reach, aboard.... my anxiety doesn’t like this AT ALL! Lol! I have to continuously fight my own self doubts and fears. It’s scary. It feels a little lonely despite having SO much support. But I’m ready to dive head first into this choose-your-own-adventure. I’m ready to see what’s next and what kinds of things I can make happen. I’m excited for myself, I’m excited to show this to my son, and I’m excited to fill this new role for our family!
Last night, after I had completed my first day of this new adventure, I was talking to my husband and I felt tears start to prick my eyes. I was (and am) so scared of the unknown —This could ALL go horribly wrong, you know. Do I REALLY have what it takes to make this happen? What if I fail? — But there was also this immense sense of pride. I had been waiting so long for this opportunity. So I blazed into my first day and, if you will, kicked it’s ass! I woke up that morning, made the plans, and followed them through. I did that. Me. I am DOING this!
I am excited!
I am ready!
I am terrified!
But watch me go!!!
(Look mom, no hands!!)
Sometimes I have a lot to say.
And sometimes I have nothing to say at all.
The conundrum of an extroverted introvert I guess.
But when I do have things to say I shall put them here. And probably on Facebook....
A thing that might be good to know about me is that I have opinions. On a lot of things. And sometimes the pull is so strong to share them that fighting it feels wrong. I don’t share what I share because I’m ego centric, despite the belief of some (usually those who disagree). I share what I share because I feel like I HAVE to morally or like it’s some contract I signed for the agreement of the human experience. And sometimes I share things despite the fact that I know other people won’t like what I say.
My goal is not to be liked by everyone. That’s ridiculous.
Instead, my goal is to love, and help create a world I can proudly hand off to my son.... even if my small part is through sharing my voice - whether it be through my artwork or my thoughts and feelings. I do good when I can. I try to own and apologize for my mistakes. I’m always growing and changing, as we all should.
I’m an empath with some hardline boundaries, implemented through personal experience and growth. I love and protect fiercely.
I am a far cry from perfect. But I try. I wake up everyday and I make efforts. I do the work. And then I wake the next day and do the same. Sometimes in a larger capacity.... sometimes less.
And I’m here to share all of this with you. Because maybe what I’ve been through or am going through might help you with something you’ve been through or are going through. Maybe my perspective could help you change yours. Maybe you just need a laugh.... and maybe I can provide that for you - life is really funny if you’re paying attention.... or if you’re jaded just enough to be the proud owner of a dark and twisted sense of humour.
Maybe I’m just talking loudly into the void.... but maybe you’re out there. And if you are.... I see you ❤️