2020,  Musings

Musings: Uncertain Times

The world decided to send us all a chill pill…

Coronavirus. COVID-19. The “Chinese Virus” as our idiotic (being nice with this verb) President has termed it through his tweets. This pandemic has put us ALL in uncharted waters with less than ideal tools and resources to navigate through it.

But we are resilient. By we, I mean us, humans.

What I hope to see through all of this is a higher level of kindness, compassion, and understanding. It will take time to get there, but as we become more uncertain and stressed, we learn more about ourselves and how we can adapt to change and manage our feelings and emotions.

It’s definitely been an emotional roller coaster for myself. Despite all the media attention, I wasn’t giving in to the notion or the hype of it all. But as the stories progressed, the numbers increased, and the severity of it became all too real, I started to take it more serious. I think there was plenty of the same mentality. While I wasn’t hoarding and buying all the toilet paper, I was trying to avoid panic-mode. And if you weren’t, I understand that fear makes people do things that don’t quite make sense — we all process in different ways.

But, I will say. I’m not budging on the brand of toilet paper I buy, just because TP has become more valuable than gold. Cottonelle or nothing. HAHA!

Okay, I digress a bit. But in all honesty and NOT to downplay the lives we’ve already lost due to COVID-19, I feel like this is the world’s way (or God’s, depending on what you believe) to show that we all need a freakin’ chill pill. We ALL need to slow down, turn inward, and stop taking so many things for granted. So maybe it’s a hippy-dippy notion, but I feel like there has to be a greater good to come of all this uncertainty.

After the idea of self-quarantine was brought up, I immediately thought of what my therapist and I have talked about. Being a fairly extreme Extrovert, she likes to discuss me staying still, enjoying time by myself, and doing things that create happiness by myself. All of which I’ve been slowly doing, at my own pace. But now, this has been enforced 24/7 on me and I see it as being a lot.

I started this post last week and am finally posting it now. And in just one short week, my mindset has shifted. It was as if I need a week to feel the feels. I truly felt the feels. I emotionally ate. I napped more than I’ve ever done before. I skipped workouts. I did more retail therapy than I probably should have. And I bought more groceries than necessary because it gave me some type of emotional security in all this uncertainty.

Now I feel settled. Well, as settled as one can while participating in Shelter in Place. I am hunkered down, accepting I will have to spend money on delivery fees for food and groceries to be delivered. I’ve also had to accept that in & at-home workouts are something I have to get used too as well.

I am completely self-aware enough to realize I was emotionally eating because I was anxious. Did I stop? No. Did I give myself grace? Yes. I ate and I remind myself sometimes it’s okay to indulge, but there is a point where this behavior cannot continue. And luckily, I’m starting to find a balance.

Prior to my new role, I’d always wanted, craved really, working from home (WFH). And now, we ALL get that opportunity. But it feels weird. Mostly because it isn’t of our own free will. This definitely isn’t how I would have wanted access to WFH. I also realized my studio is not ideal for WFH. I don’t have space for a desk and the built-in kitchen ‘table’ is way too high to type for an entire day. My bed works for a while, but it is also not ergonomically set-up either and lends itself to wanting to take naps. I’m making it work because it is what is needed, but again, the idea was much better before it was the only option. I do like how it makes us all think outside of the box a bit, relying on resources we don’t use often or ever.

The worst thing I could have imagined happened. My gym was forced to close down. All gyms were forced to close down. I respect the choice to flatten the curve and understand the necessity. I went through the entire grief process by losing the ability to go to the gym. I was in denial leading up to the closure, angry and apprehensive, then accepting. I use ‘accepting’ loosely. Like everyone else, I’m making it work. I have too. Working out is my sanity saver.

I’ve always wanted an in-home gym, this just wasn’t the ‘home’ I imagined I’d start it in. Thanks to Innovative Strength & Conditioning, I have a few pieces of equipment. I also bought a few things at Target and on-line. Just the essentials to keep me moving and sweating. I do have to say, I’m grateful for everyone who has been posting workouts via Instagram. They are inspiring me two-fold; to actually get my ass up and workout most days and generating ideas for in-home workouts. Also, my gym and plenty of others are posting full workouts online too, which is so awesome and helpful. Even though this is all so different, so many people are trying to help everyone. It’s a refreshing novelty in this weird time!

Shelter in place also forced me into turning my studio into a home. I’ve been wanting to rearrange my furniture and add a chair. And I did just that. One night at 10 PM I just started moving furniture around and then hopped on my phone to order a chair that would fit in the new arrangement. I love it. I can now sit somewhere besides my bed. I can sit by the window, sip my coffee, eat breakfast, and watch TV. It’s amazing. The chair isn’t huge or perfect, but I like how it all came together. Now I need to add some decor to the walls, Pinterest here I come.

As each day passes, I ask myself to be more grateful. My studio isn’t a one-bedroom apartment nor a four-bedroom home with a backyard, BUT I have a home to self-isolate in. I have a job that allows me to WFH and continues to produce a steady paycheck in some very financially uncertain times. I have access to technology that allows me to see faces and hear the voice of friends and family in realtime, no matter where in the world we are. I have strong legs that allow me to run, walk, and explore the outdoors.

No one saw this coming, nor would I wish this on anyone, but there have been some good to come for this. An overwhelming appreciation for our world’s educators has been a big one. Parents having to home school their kids has been interesting to observe via social media. It also seems as if we’ve all gone back to appreciating the outdoors. Everyone seems to be out walking around town, having picnics, and just getting out of the house and into the sun for some sanity.

No matter how you are approaching this weird and uncertain time, I hope you are giving yourself some grace and not being too hard on yourself. There is no road map for what we are experiencing and we all are a little bit anxious, scared, and frustrated.

I hope, if anything, you take the time to do something you’ve been putting off, learn a new skill, enjoy the hobby you never have time for, read that book that’s collecting dust on your shelf, or just BE. Binge on Netflix, watch an entire series or don’t. Each household, person, and family is different and different things will work for people. I hope everyone remembers that.

Hit me up if you have the plug on some Lysol disinfecting spray!

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