As I grow older, my introverted half is starting to take over. When this isolation started, I felt guilty about how good it felt to slow down. It’s something I’ve been trying, and failing, to do lately.
Week 1: The first week at home with the kids was, dare I say it, blissful (I hate that word).
Week 2: Things are a little different, I had some projects to complete and no time to myself. I discover that for 60 minutes a day, my toddler would sit in a dark room with her sister and watch a movie as long as she had a giant bowl of popcorn.
By the end of week two, I started to feel strange about how little I felt. I read stories about people who are scared and grieving. After an online yoga class and some vulnerable heart-chakra-opening poses, I finally shed a few tears. I missed the energy in a room full of stressed-out-yogies, doing their best to stay zen.
Week 3: I started thinking about all the small, but significant, daily conversations I had with my pilates instructor, parents at school-pick up, the brief but meaningful interactions that make me feel like I’m part of a community. Like I’m known and seen, even if I mostly want to hide in my art studio and listen to podcasts, working.
As much as hiding from people feels safe, not seeing anyone is odd. Especially the mental hurdle of no travel. Grounded. It was always difficult and expensive for me to see my family in the USA, but now it’s impossible.
Yet in these strange, uncertain times, humankind has never been more connected. This virus affects every single one of us and our planet. It’s like Mother Earth has called a time-out for us to think about our destruction and capitalism.
Week 4: Now into week four, with distance learning, working from home and monotony, we are all starting to lose our shit a little. The kids are emotional, my already thin patience- evaporated, but we are still doing the best we can. Friday night, I did some Yin online while Matt put the kids to bed. Then I sat in front of the fireplace, on my yoga mat with a glass of tequila, despair bubbling.
Week 5: Back into a groove, giving fewer shits about schoolwork helps. Unexpected tears and sobbing on Friday night. Felt cathartic in many ways. The valves have been dusty for a while now, I don’t think I’ve cried like that since before I went on antidepressants about four months ago.
Week 6: What even is this?
Week ??: I’ve stopped counting, and all the sudden schools are reopening. It feels like it’s all happening so fast! Many mixed feelings about this. Not sure I’m ready for re-entry.
Today: Dropped the girls off at school and occasional care respectively. I had strange feelings about the whole thing, but I grabbed a takeaway coffee and hit the studio. It’s (no surprise) quiet. Especially now that I’ve turned the podcasts off for a few minutes. So I guess this is the new normal?
Thank you for sharing, Dawn. I did discover that I am pretty much a homebody so staying home hasn’t been as stressful for me. Of course, I don’t have any kids at home and plenty of room to set up my office, so I know how lucky I have been in this situation. It does seem sudden that your kids are back at school! Hope everyone stays healthy and that you enjoy your quiet time. Your creativity and talent are gifts to share. 🙂
Thank you so much, Kate. It’s strange having life ‘ease’ back into a new normal but I guess we will see what happens. I’m proud of the way Australia has handled this and my heart aches for everyone in the USA. Stay well, <3