The past two weeks have taken a toll, I’m an outgoing person, but I also love my quiet time. At this point I would give anything not to have so much quiet time. If you’ve been quarantining, you know exactly what I mean. Yes, I’ve done the rounds of watching Netflix and Hulu and dozens of videos and such. I’ve even taken to watching the parody videos, just to take my mind off things and simply laugh a bit.
I’m looking for things that take me away for a while, much like our grandparents escaping in movies and music, and art, and writing. Except, we can’t really go to a movie theater now. Like our ancestors we are volunteering (online this time) perhaps sewing masks for our community, finding ways to keep our hands busy, but more to keep our minds off of the news and reports and the chaos of our everyday life now. I’m focusing on the heroes, those who we often took for granted in the past, the sanitation workers, the grocery store clerks, and even the news reporters and anchors who are trying to hold back tears, but visibly show the wear and tear all of this is taking. I remember the greats, Walter Cronkite, Cokie Roberts, Tom Brokaw, Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, Dan Rather, and while many are still with us (thank goodness), some are not. I wonder what words of guidance they would offer. I’m watching teachers online, I’ve enrolled in a few university classes to try to bring some normalcy back. I’ve set a schedule that I try to adhere to, and try to work from my laptop. These days, I’m often joined by a purry little soul who wants to be part of my zoom calls, meowing in reply to meetings and such. I don’t mind it at all, and I’m grateful for the reassuring comfort of those purrs. I find that daytime is easier than trying to get through the night. Like most, I’m sure, I can’t quite calm my mind and have lost track of time, I’m having a difficult time sleeping because my mind is searching for answers. I worry, not for myself, but for others. There are souls out there, who struggle, who are alone, or who may feel that they are, who don’t know where their next meal is coming from, because most of us have lost income, and they don’t know the when of all of this. I’m a why person. I want to know what’s happening, I need clear, precise answers, and then I can go merrily on my way. This has all left us with a why. Right now, there are no answers.
How I shut off my brain off at the end of the day:
I try to turn my phone off an hour earlier than I normally do. That way, I’m not scrolling endlessly through something to keep my mind occupied. I’ve realized that that doesn’t really have a purpose. I now spend my evenings cooking up a meal I’ve never had before and baking up different types of bread. Yes, to keep my hands busy. Not only am I doing something productive, but my mind also has a chance to process something good instead of going into survival mode.
I’m expressing myself more. Much like writing here, I’m getting the words out. I’m creating poetry and pieces for other sites. It makes me feel good and I hope that my words can touch someone else. You can read a bit here: https://medium.com/chalkboard/in-a-time-of-distance-aab6b737be14?source=friends_link&sk=d02bbf23ffa84317315fa6c7cf786e10
I’m making masks for my local front liners. There are quite a few patterns out there and fabric can still be purchased online.
I’m trying to find the good stories out there. While not making light of the situation, our brains can only take so much. I’m looking at something to take away from this. Some kernel of hope.
I’ve turned more towards spirituality and I’m meditating, praying more. I won’t dwell on that, but simply decluttering, breathing, remembering happier times and knowing that we are all in this together, does make a difference.
Before bed, I’m reading a chapter, just a few pages of a favorite book, or listening to an audible to gently guide my mind to a lighter place.
I’m lighting candles and taking a few more bubble baths. Taking care of our mental health is just as important as our physical one. Those bubbles are my happy place.
I’m reaching out to those strong friends because I know like me, they try to keep the worry inside. It’s okay to not be okay right now. I’m virtually volunteering to be there, to help when and where I can to lift someone up. Friends and loved ones, even myself are ending messages with “Keep safe” knowing that those messages are a way of giving a warm hug through words. It isn’t easy, I have to remind myself too that “this too, shall pass”
I hope so, I want it to. Let this be something that will teach us to appreciate what we have a little more. To put aside differences and realize that all we have is today.
Let’s make it count.