This post has a slightly different format–FAUX journal. I’m paraphrasing my mood, week to week. I don’t think I’m much different than anyone else, and hope it will resonate.
March was hard. Like really, really hard. A total rollercoaster, I think we have all felt every inch of emotion in the past few weeks.
The best way for me to talk about my April mindset is to share March, so here goes:
Although I keep hearing about this virus coming, we are still business as usual around here. I worry about my parents being compromised, but I think it’s not that big a deal. I’ve definitely been washing my hands more and wiping down things like my purse. I will be glad to have Conman home for spring break if this gets worse, though. His dorm must be a breeding ground.
Lots of meetings and dinners, in spite of the fact that Pitt is extending spring break by a week. Something about “social distancing” (whatever that is–keep 3 feet of space? Like that works for me) and waiting to see how the virus grows.
Glad to have Thing one home an additional week. We can go to movies. I’m carrying clorox wipes now so I’ll just sneak them into the theater.
Friday the 13th
All hell broke loose today. Tbone’s SAT test was cancelled and they’ve cancelled the public school for two whole weeks. WTH?!?! Himself is a bit of a doomsday prepper, and we have so much canned food now! If this is as serious as I think, I’m glad to have him here. Kids home and both without classes next week.
Why are people hoarding toilet paper? This is only like a couple weeks, but whatever.
Why are people letting their kids go on spring break? THE WORST!!! Pitt closed down for the rest of the YEAR and kids are having a rave in south Florida.
I am struggling so much with this social distancing. I’m not good at being alone with my thoughts! And 6 FEET! This hugger is struggling.
New term learned this week: flatten the curve. I get it. If we limit exposure we can end this faster. Please. Let’s do this.
Thank GOD for Tiger King. And Take out. The two major themes of this week. SOOO many memes this week and Joe Exotic in most of them. The weather has been shitty and I literally only left the house to take my mom to the doctor and get gas. Also the people at the gas station thought I was crazy–I was desperately trying to start up conversation from my pump.
We ordered a ton of takeout this week. I am amazed at American ingenuity and dedication to small business. I will weigh 800lbs at the end of this, but my favorite places will stay in business.
I *may* also have had like 10 zoom happy hours this week. Great to see friends from afar, but I don’t do this normally. That said, we are ALL feeling so isolated and overwhelmed. I am grateful for the technology to see people at least.
It’s getting much harder for me and so many others. I have to dig into my reserves for strength. The kids want to go out. We want to see people. But if we can stay strong, hopefully this will pass around Easter. Back to watching more Tik Toks.
My state goes to May 1, many to June 10. I. Am. Dying. Inside.
Grief hit me really hard this week. I feel manic, anxious, angry, and so so sad. I am wading through molasses to do ANYTHING.
I resent everything and can’t tolerate anyone outside of my family right now. I don’t want some guru (Freaking Gwyneth Paltrow you tone-deaf bitch) telling me I should be doing ALL OF THE THINGS. I expected to read my whole stack of books, take up hobbies, and exercise too. But what is actually happening is that I’ve sat under blanket bingeing TV and not showering. I adore having my three men at home, but we can’t DO anything.
My heart is breaking over missed birthdays (my dad turned 83 amongst virtual strangers in his memory care this week), I know people losing family members who cannot mourn them because of distancing. Loved ones are losing jobs, losing money, and living with great fear.
I know that sitting on my couch shouldn’t feel like a sacrifice BUT IT DOES. My business has HAD to change because talking fashion seems vapid right now. I don’t want to preach. Yet I also hate to admit that I’m scared too. I try to be positive and I just don’t have it in me right now.
Remember as a kid how quick sand was the scariest and most common thing in media? And do you recall how to get out? Surrender. It is only in relaxing, and not fighting, that you can save yourself. Sometimes you need to simply FEEL your emotions DEEPLY to save yourself.
I felt everything so profoundly this week and let myself sit in those thoughts HARD. I challenged myself to truly grieve, which is so challenging for me. My brain runs a million miles and hour, but always on the next cool thing that’s coming. I had to sink into the abyss. It was truly terrifying, yet when I got there, I felt able to reach out to lifelines.
My younger son and I thought about our time in the ICU when his aunt died in 2018–about the community of people surrounding us. We thought about what it must feel like to be alone there now. We talked about the incredible staff who made us feel so cared for, and they are the only family those patients have right now. Additionally, the families on the outside are scared and counting on the staff for guidance and support. He rallied his volleyball teammates to create that community. We delivered meals to the staff–with thank you’s for their efforts. The boys wrote letters to patients as well as to their families to share that we all support them and pray for them. To let them know that their loved ones are well cared for.
I am hosting or joining zoom meetups constantly–for my sorority sisters, a mastermind group, small groups who need a little more, and I will be announcing a virtual book study group very soon. This is creating the community I, and others, are craving. There are small ways we can each still serve others.
One lifeline, a very wise friend, told me to focus on doing what brings joy. Maybe it is very small (my favorite tea under my favorite blanket), or maybe it is a little bigger, like photographing some beautiful objects in and around my home. Marie Kondo my life, as it were. If it isn’t sparking joy, put it to the side for now. And if it is a HAVE TO DO, add something that will make it more joyful.
Fortunately, starting April 2nd, the sun shone. I chose to get up, showered, and fully dressed for the first time in weeks. Fashion, though I told myself it was trivial during a pandemic, sparks joy for me. It is a creative platform for me. The epiphany is that I don’t need necessarily productivity (though it would be ideal), but this time of PAUSE demand CREATION, whatever that looks like. The creation of beautiful things is the epitome of joy for me, from fashion, to words, music and art. Creating community is also in my life’s blood.
I have a “servant” heart. I am ridiculously social, but nothing I do is deemed “essential” right now. Perhaps that’s the struggle for many of us? We don’t feel as needed?
How can I feel NEEDED and SERVE???
The biggest takeaway for each of us is that self care is care of SELF. My quarantine will not look like yours, or hers, or his. It is mine. I went deep to discover that I still need to serve others in my communities, and I need to create beautiful things. Somedays it may simply be the makeup I put on. Others it may be photos, scrapbooking, cooking. And still others, it may be appreciating someone else’s creativity in a good Netflix binge.
What I want to do for us, the Moxie Squad, is build an evolving list of pandemic pasttimes–the things we watch, do, enjoy–during this time. I will have a fluid list on a separate blog post that I will update as YOU send me your favorite links and ideas. If you save the post, you will get those new ideas. None are better than the other, just simply ideas you may want to check out.
So please, don’t be shy! Send me your best, no matter what it is. This list is for you, and I hope it is a lifeline to help you rise from the quicksand.