All of our lives have changed. In less then two weeks we went from “life as we know it” to restrictions and a whole lots of “nos” with uncertainty to the question of “for how long?”
What these “nos” have meant for each of us is different. How it has impacted our lives is uniquely personal. For me this has meant:
1-no social outlets -Playdates, MOPs, visits from or with grandparents are all wiped off the calendar. It’s hard to not feel like a teenager who just got ditched on a field trip in unfamiliar territory. I know everyone is busy trying to put together the pieces of their lives. Still there is a loneliness and isolation right now that runs deeper than physical.
2-no events -I had to scratch out weddings, birthday parties, conferences, spring break and Easter plans. I am waiting to see if I will need to do the same baby showers and even my son’s birthday party in May. We all need something to look forward to. It’s hard to work for the weekend when the weekend looks quite similar to the weekdays.
3-no breaks-the social outlets and events provide needed breaks from the everyday. I now have even fewer moments to myself. I love my son and my husband. But just like anyone else, I need to talk to someone else or just no one for awhile. I can’t use errands as an excuse to walk away from the house. Of course with everyone home it’s taking more effort to keep the house organized/clean. Last week I was home from Tuesday to Tuesday. I don’t know if I have ever been home that many days in a row before.
I’m sure I’m not alone.
Doesn’t matter what age you are, hearing “no” and dealing with unexpected change is hard-really hard for all of us. It’s ok to admit that we are not ok with it.
I am willing to admit each time new and harder restrictions were put down, even though they made sense, I have been sad and angry. We are being asked to let go of so much freedom to do what is best for our family and community.
We are all experiencing grief.
Until recently I thought grief was a process only reserved for those mourning a death. And sadly although that is part of the grief that the world is experiencing, it is not all. Grief is really any loss/change that we have to adjust to. This can be loss of a job, a friendship, canceled celebrations, lost sense of control, security sense, or routine.
This starting to sound familiar?
So how have I dealt with this grief?
I’ve tried to find room for my feelings. To process the changes and the “nos”. Journaling, meditating, praying, reading scripture has helped a lot. I’m staying up later to read, color, listen to music to get the extra “me” time I’m get during the day.
Just taking a moment to pause and ask myself: how I am feeling today/right now? And whether it is “rational/logical” or not I am allowing myself to own it and express it.
Sometimes it’s hard to know when and how to express these feelings. Grief is not always linear or predictable my “tolerance” meter (patience and anger management) fluctuates daily sometimes hourly right now. L has learned to ask about it and help me out if he can. Out of the blue I can feel the desire to cry-discouraged and saddened by current circumstances. This past week that looked like a quiet sob session in the laundry room holding a towel I was going to fold while Z and L played in the other room.
I don’t know how these “no”s have impacted or changed your life in the past few weeks; what you are feeling or how you are responding to it all. All I can do is encourage you with this: you are not alone-we are all grieving.
Please take the time to process the changes you have been forced to make. Find the way that works for you to express how you feel about it all. Choose daily a few ways you know that work to help you let off steam in a healthy way. We all need to take this one day at a time.