Have you noticed how positive social media has been about the whole self-quarantine, shelter-in-place, social-distancing thing? Everyone’s all:
- “I’m so grateful I get to spend every day at home with my five children under the age of seven, doing craft projects and restricting screen time, and I never, ever yell at them!”
- “I’m so grateful I can get in shape at home! I’ve lost 60 pounds with this workout I put together using my stairs, a couch cushion, a beach ball, a fly swatter and three cans of soup!”
- “I’m so thankful for this time to make healthy foods! All you need is a guava, some olive oil and half a teaspoon of cumin to make a delicious three-course meal! Follow my blog!”
- “I’m grateful we’re all together and all we do is play games and watch movies and we don’t fight!”
- “I so appreciate the beauty of the outdoors. I ran a hundred and four miles today, and tomorrow I’m going to bike up Mount Everest! Join me on my fitness journey!”
I get it. These positive people want to make the most of this uncertain and totally bizarre time. They don’t want to sink into depression and fear. They don’t want to embrace the depths of those scary, dark places.
But sometimes, don’t you just want to hear the realness of what everyone is going through? Other people’s struggles can be encouraging, because it makes us feel we’re not alone. I’ll start:
- I’m anxious about everything, so I can’t focus, so I have a hard time getting my work done, so I get more anxious… Vicious circle. I’m even having a hard time reading! (I mean, WTF?)
- It sucks that the ski mountains are closed, because that’s the best one-on-one time I get with my teenage son. I connect more with him in a single day snowboarding than I do in a week of sheltering in place. I miss our talks and our laughter while on the slopes.
- My lovely girl is home from college which is a gift – she is safe with us. But she’s sad thinking how her life has been derailed just when the world was opening up for her, and I don’t have any great words of wisdom because, well, her life has been derailed. And it’s not fair. It just isn’t, you guys.
- I miss my life! I miss going to Starbucks to work and listening to the chatter around me. I miss lunch with friends. I even miss running errands.
- I miss my silks and lyra classes! I miss friends in my classes who remind me that I’m not a weirdo just for wanting to hang upside down from the ceiling like a bat.
- The last couple of nights I’ve run a low-grade fever and I’ve spent most of the last two days assessing if I’m out of breath, if my throat hurts. I miss taking my health for granted.
- I love that I hung my hoop in the basement just weeks before the pandemic so I have a way to get upside down and still live an aerial life – but without classes, I can’t learn much. There’s YouTube, but without an instructor or a spotter, the risk of falling on my head is too great (especially for graceful ol’ me). I asked Lizzie to spot me on a couple of new tricks, and though she seemed confident in her abilities, I wasn’t. I sent her away and went upstairs to eat cookies.
- And don’t even get me started on paddle boarding. If the lake stays closed come summer and I can’t get out on the water on my board… oh, my God.
I’m trying to be grown-up and calm. And I really do think things will be okay in a couple of months. But I hate not knowing what tomorrow will bring.
And I AM grateful for so much: the health of my family and the fact that sometimes it’s even fun being quarantined together. I’m grateful our business is web-based and so far hasn’t been too affected by the world situation. I’m grateful for Zoom workout classes (though they’re kinda boring compared to being in the air) and Zoom gatherings with friends. And I’m grateful that most people are pulling together to fight the scary stuff, and I think when all is said and done, society will be okay, though we’ll be grieving for those we’ve lost.
Still, I think it’s okay to complain sometimes. I think it’s okay to say what’s real and not be afraid to tell the truth. And the truth, for me, is that this really sucks. I want my life back. I bet most of you do, too. Sometimes it’s strangely encouraging to hear when others are struggling, because eventually we overcome those struggles, and that’s encouraging too – so I invite you to share your challenges as well as your successes.
Anyway, I’ll see you in May. Or June. Or whenever. In the meantime, find some fun, hang in there, and let me know how you’re doing.