It’s been 6 weeks and 4 days since schools closed and we have been practicing social distancing. I have forgotten what McDonald’s french fries taste like and my sleep schedule is fucked up to say the least and this morning I couldn’t find the will or desire to get dressed. To top it all off I feel like a jerk for being upset about these small things. People are sick, grocery store clerks are exhausted, our kids are learning how to learn for themselves and the healthcare workers I’m sure are at their wits end.
I love my job as a school secretary at my son’s high school. He probably doesn’t love it as much as I do but he has been a good sport about it. The schools closed the Friday of the March break so the first week didn’t really feel like anything other than a much needed break. I began to pay more attention to the news. My envy for those who were abroad on vacation gave way to growing concern that they would all make it home safely and healthy. Then the trip to the grocery store became a mission. Toilet paper became a precious commodity, so much so that people actually fought over it. All of this still didn’t really disrupt my life. I took long walks on the beach with my pup and my head in the clouds. I collected beach glass and thought to myself this isn’t sooo bad. I laid down in the sand with my face turned up to the sun while visions of my family and I spending some quality time together, learning to bake bread, playing board games, taking long walks and eating dinner together without feeling rushed danced in my head.
Then the days started to blend into one another. My husband and I had to explain to our son, Tristan, that he could no longer visit his girlfriend. If you remember what young love feels like then you might be able to understand how sucky this is! Instead of making prom and graduation party plans, Gr 12’s are now worried about summer jobs that they need to pay for post secondary education that may no longer exist and how they will be able to tolerate their parents without being able to escape to their friends house until this is over.
The week after the March break my beach walks came to an end when the gate to the beach was pad locked. Then came the school closure extension and all parks and playgrounds were sealed off. At this point I was still feeling pretty good. I went to an outdoor flower stand and bought flowers for my family and neighbors and made porch drop offs. Amazon became some sort of lifeline. Bread making cookbooks, colouring books, crayons, shirts and a hammock were delivered to my doorstep. The packages remained there until my husband grabbed them and put them in the basement for 48 hrs, where they were washed and finally opened. The joy from the packages lasted 24 hours…… with the exception of the hammock….I fucking love that thing!!! When I wasn’t cleaning packages I was folding laundry, planning meals, doing some work from home, reading, watering the plants that had been neglected in busier times and learning to make bread while rationing the yeast I had bought. Then our hot water tank broke and was fixed in 24hrs, thankfully!
Online learning is now in full swing and Easter wasn’t filled with enough family or chocolate. I’m now in this weird phase where I no longer wake up with enthusiasm. I wake up wondering if I should bother getting dressed. the answer is ALWAYS yes! I can’t stay in my PJ’s I need to separate the day from the night. I make my bed. This is a new necessity for me. Making my bed has become a ritual that prevents me from crawling back into it and forces me to get dressed, brush my teeth and comb my hair. At this point I have started to get anxiety about going to grocery stores and seeing people walking on the same sidewalk as myself. This whole thing is messed up. I’m the type of person that is ok being alone but I am NOT ok with having to stay in one place and if I have to for a prolonged period of time it needs to be in a place that changes. A place like the lake or the up North where one day there is a loon on the small lake then the next day a deer walking in the forest….. or sailing on Lake Erie where one minute everything is calm and the next the wind picks up and we are flying! This staying in a small Ontario town where the beach is locked up and where my walks are just a means to get my body moving are driving me crazy! The things that felt like a luxury such as lighting a great smelling candle, wrapping myself up in a cozy blanket to read a book, putting my creative juices to work my making a bracelet, colouring or taking photos no longer hold much interest. Now they are activities to pass time. Ugh, I really don’t want to start wishing days away. My husband takes me for drives and I always ask him to take me down to the marina. We get there and then I realize I can’t just unlock the gate and stand under the boat on the cradle to fantasize about wind and waves. The next realization hits, that we might not be able to launch the boat this summer is what makes the tears pour from my eyes down my cheeks and land on my shirt.
Facebook is something I have come to avoid. It seems to be a place where finger pointing takes place, where we criticize others for how they are handling this new way of functioning. I’m just not that interested in being a part of that. Not to say that we all couldn’t be doing better or haven’t made mistakes. Also I think I will end up saying something I shouldn’t…… I really just want to yell shut up! Stop telling me how to think or feel and what I need to buy in order to be happy. I am happy to say that I am learning to be happy with I have. I’m healthy, my family is healthy, we have food, water and a cute lil house to keep us warm. All of the amazon orders can’t beat any of that!
My issues/problems are very small potatoes but they are my potatoes and everyone has their own bag of potatoes that they are dealing with. Being able to adapt to changes is something we all need to work on and I had thought I was fairly good at adapting! I really hope that something comes out of having to go through this. Maybe people will start respecting our planet more, maybe our priorities will change, maybe the bottom line will have nothing to do with money.
I hope this blog finds you happy and healthy and if it doesn’t I hope for better days!