Today marks six weeks since the earnest kids’ school announced a two week closure. Three days later our entire state was in total lock down and under stay at home orders. Three days later earnest dad was informed his home inspection business was non-essential and since we have gone without any income. Six weeks ago, the world as I knew it changed; as it did for many. Since then I have not known what to write, what to say, or even what to feel.
Yesterday for the first time in a few weeks I went to the grocery store. Gloves, mask, hand sanitizer, paper list and trying to get out of the store as fast as possible. There were taped off line markers on the floors, safety “MUST WEAR A MASK” signs, one way aisles, one way only entrance and exit, Plexiglas separators, empty shelves and an unfriendly silence. It took me a few moments to process grocery shopping once I was done. I sat in my car, removing my mask, sanitizing my hands and feeling the relief of going home then, I cried. I cried because I felt this new “normal” to be so foreign, to be overwhelming uncomfortable.
I am one who enjoys smiling, saying hi and complementing the people I see at the grocery store, I would try to be a light in their day. Instead we are all just rushing to get out, to take of our masks and feel safe at home. I tried to be kind and thank every grocery worker that I passed for working, but I found myself trying to yell through my mask just so they could hear me.
I do not know about you, but there are days where I feel like things are okay and that we can handle corona-schooling our earnest littles, our favorite places (parks, church, libraries, zoos and museums) being closed, staying home as much as possible, and being limited to shopping for essentials. Then there is a sudden moment, a realization that we are in a stay home order, there is a constant threat of an invisible virus and I am overwhelmed.
When I hop on video calls with my mom groups and church groups or friends and they ask how I am, there are times where the honest answer is ‘I do not know.’ I am all things at once sometimes. I am happy to be safe, sad to feel stuck, frustrated for being overwhelmed and tired from keeping my house up, children fed, children schooled and children entertained. Sometimes I simply do not how to feel, and I have come to recognize that feeling unsure in these strange and unfamiliar times is an okay feeling to have.
I am writing this for all of us out there, when we feel those moments of laughing, crying and screaming all at the same time. It is okay to be there, and it is okay to not be there. I have found so much freedom from these confusing emotions by telling someone how I am feeling. Oftentimes they respond to me that they feel the same way. It is not an understatement to say “we are in this together, separate but together.” Whether we are working from home or showing up on the front lines everyday; together we are all going through this. Moms and dads, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts and uncles; to your family and friends you are totally life-essential. You are not alone even when you feel alone, reach out, call out and even cry out if you need. Just as much as we are in this together, be encouraged – we will get through this together.
Sincerely yours from quarantine,