What a year this week has been. It’s certainly felt like a year, hasn’t it? These are strange times we’re living in, friends. Every day feels surreal.
This week started out mostly normal. I went to work on Monday like usual, but even then, everything felt so….. tentative, like no one knew exactly what was going to happen next. The last few days at work were filled with proofreading press releases and mass emails and the like. School closures came and some things started to shut down, but like I said, I went to work on Monday like any other day. When I left at 4:30 pm, I could feel how tentative things were, and made sure I brought home anything from my desk that I thought I might need.
And then everything turned sideways.
On Monday night, once both Ryan and I were home from work, we got the official word: no work for the rest of the week. (We both work at libraries in the area.) All at once, everything shifted. Tuesday morning, my alarm didn’t go off at 7 a.m. I didn’t leave the apartment most of the day. It was like starting a weekend after a weekend had just finished. Everything felt weird, and knowing that I had the next few days off just made things more strange.
Later in the week, I got an update: off work until at least April 1st. With almost one week down, this means I have at least another week and a half to burn through before I’m back at work, back into my daily routines. Trying to maintain some sense of normalcy amidst all of this has been the ultimate struggle, but something I need to work on in the coming days.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I completely wasted the last few days. I caught up on a lot of sleep, but somehow also didn’t get *enough* sleep or enough “restful” sleep. I got a lot of laundry done, cleaned my kitchen and worked on a deep-clean of the bedroom. I’ve watched a few movies on Netflix & TV, because why not. I created an art piece & submitted it to a local quarantine-inspired gallery project, and wrote a few sports pieces.
And yet, here I am, on Sunday night, with a week and a half (at least) ahead of me. Part of my brain says, hey, you don’t have to be productive 24/7 every day of this. Life is hard, times are tough, anxiety is understandable and rest is important! At the same time, I want to take this extra time as some kind of blessing, an opportunity to do all the things I haven’t had a chance to, or have been pushing back on my to-do list for some time, like reading this one book, working on some more sportswriting and some graphics/video-related things.
Ultimately, my goals for the next week and a half are to stay inside as much as possible, without going insane. I’m hoping the weather warms up a bit so Ryan and I can go for walks again (we went around the block once, and then to Canalside another day). If not, we’ll go for a drive, just to get out of the apartment & reconnect with the fact that the world does, indeed, exist.
Video chats with family, online games with friends, and hopefully some yoga/stretching are on the docket, too. It’d be too easy to sit on the couch, or at the computer, all day, absorbed in this or that, and I don’t want to fall into bad habits. It’s going to be hard enough to get back to my regular routine once things go back to normal, whenever that is. I don’t want to make it harder; and just because we’re being responsible and social distancing *physically* doesn’t mean we have to socially isolate*.
* Unless, of course, you are in isolation due to exposure to the virus.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my anxiety, which I’m trying my best to keep under control. I mean, I have anxiety on a regular day, so being bombarded with everything that’s going on certainly doesn’t help. Seeing everything in the news doesn’t help, but it’s important to stay informed – so finding that balance is key. I’ve literally found myself taking my temperature a few times over the last week just to make sure I don’t have a fever, because I got warm in the middle of the night (with the heat on & under 2 blankets) or because I had a chill (after I had just eaten a bowl of ice cream a bit before…)
So yeah, taming the anxiety is a critical part of all of this for me. Keeping things in check, controlling what I can control. I’m trying to limit, or at least lessen, my social media consumption, so as not to get overwhelmed. I’m staying inside as much as possible, and physically staying away from others (aside from my husband) as much as possible. I’ve been to the grocery stores a few times over the past week to grab a few things, and I know we’re stocked well on everything we may need in the near future.
Most of all, I’m trying to remind myself to be grateful for my health, my love, the safety and warmth of my apartment, and the security of my job – all things that are easily taken for granted on normal days, much less in the times we’re living in.
On a plus side, I said one of my goals for 2020 was to spend more quality time with Ryan. Well, we’re sure getting plenty of quality time together now, aren’t we?
To close this, I want to share a quote from my Timehop today; I posted it on Twitter four years ago, but boy, is it applicable in the times of coronavirus and all the ways this has interrupted our lives:
“You must endure the trying times and believe the best times are coming.”
Keep enduring, friends.