Week 5 and Counting…
Updated: Aug 6, 2020
So, here we are—Week Five (5) and counting of isolation due to Covid19…And here are some of the things I’ve noticed since we’ve started this whole thing, five short weeks ago:
1) To me, Covid19 has taken up personable traits. PS – She’s a person I wouldn’t normally befriend, if I had a choice. She tends to be introverted, ornery and has a bit of a lonely demeanor. But I’m kind of limited to my friend choices right now, with this whole isolation thing going on.
2) And Mother Nature, I’m not so sure I’m loving your demeanor, either. I get it, you’re angry, too. But give us a break, please…some sun beams wouldn’t be too much trouble, now would it.
3) My house is a lot dirtier than before. I found black shoe marks on my wall, chips in the drywall, and scratches on our new school desk—the kitchen table. I find myself having to clean the bathroom multiple times during the week due to little boys peeing on the floor. Little boys are gross…And I’m going through way more toilet paper than I ever thought we would. Perhaps the predictions were correct.
4) Our daily calendar rendition is the only way I know what day of the week it is—all of our days are now blending. Is it Sunday or Wednesday? Do I need makeup on today for my work Skype call, or can I just crawl out of my bed and try to put on a smile for my kids today? And does wearing makeup really matter at this point.
5) I have plenty of writing material coming in, however find myself wanting to edit my book more than I want to write about Covid19. She makes me angry, anyway.
6) Playschool scissors have found a whole new level of purpose. Boys haircuts, crafts, dog hair trims…. A girl has got to use, what a girl has around the house, just saying…
7) The kids are getting on each other’s nerves, but love having each other during this time. They are keeping track of the “bad words” I say on our daily checkboard, and I hate to admit it, but there are more “x’s” on the board than I’d like to admit to.
8) We’ve had to go through a funeral during this period, and it was sad. We were unable to say goodbye to someone in person, due to the boundaries in place. We will not get the opportunity to say goodbye in person back.
9) And I can’t help but compare the feelings I’m going through as the five beginning stages of grief and loss.
Up until about Week Four (4), I’d say I was doing pretty okay. I was editing my book, keeping up with a never-ending desk load of projects, and invoicing on the weekends—my job was busier than usual, with requests coming in because reps were grounded and in front of their computers. Both of our jobs (my husband and I) were classified as essential and we both were able to continue somewhat normally. Fifteen years ago, when I was trying to decide what to do with my life in university, I chose Agriculture for two reasons: The demand for food would always be needed, and two, I could live close to home—Saskatchewan is entrenched in the agriculture industry.
To say the least, my mind was occupied during the last few weeks.
I considered our family as one of the lucky ones, we were still relatively unscathed by the immediate unemployment numbers that rose in alarming numbers. I had my kids at home with me, and I was able to resource material for school through this beautiful thing called technology. I only had one child in grade school level, and I could still teach the level of math and English he was learning. What about the parents with three kids in school? How were they weathering this? Is there a prescribed wine for this?
I continued to count my blessings. I made affirmations of my “get-tos” instead of my “have-tos”. I started meditating, not to relax, but to survive. Looking back at the first four weeks, I’d say I was in a bit of the denial stage. Everything will be okay, just give it a few weeks.
But then shit got real.
Last Friday, my husband casually said something about the school year being done, for good. What in the fresh hell are you talking about? I can do this until June 1st, but that’s it. In mere seconds, my hope was diminished by the reality of what he said. He was right—there’s a good chance that our kids will be at home with us until September. That’s six months of them with me, while I try to work, with no village—no school, no daycare, no nothing.
And that’s when I entered the next phase—anger. I got really angry, perhaps a little depressed at the grim outlook of the next few months. This is real, this is not a joke. We are in a pandemic, and the government just doesn’t shut down school divisions, stores, and country borders for weeks. Sanctions like these are put in place for months, for our safety. I get it, I do. But it doesn’t make the reality of this any easier.
Now, fast forward to Monday. For all of my Golden Girl fans, “Picture it, Sicily, 19..”…I’m sitting back at my desk, trying to be thankful that I still have a desk to go back to, and I hear the words, “Yup, I’ve been there, Shari. I know what working with kids is like”. I’m sorry, excuse me? This is not just working with kids at home. It is so much more.
Now, at the risk of being controversial, (I hate to tip any type of boat—what if water gets in?), I stopped the conversation and said, “No. You have not experienced this before. You have not had to raise a four and six year-old during a pandemic, while trying to homeschool them at the same time. You have not been a small business owner during a pandemic, wondering how this will affect your bottom line, after the fall of the economy. You have not had to try stay afloat at your job, during a pandemic, while trying to raise and school children. You have not tried to conceal your worries, because you know some have it much worse. Some want to go to work right now, and can’t. So you try to stay quiet and not complain. You have not tried to power through all of the above, during a pandemic, while trying to stay sane, healthy and happy for the sake of your children”.
Now, I realize what was said to me was out of complete empathy, but what I said, was also out of truth. There are not a lot of good things during this pandemic, everyone has a different situation and is trying to deal with being unemployed, in-between, or struggling to keep afloat, mentally. We are all just trying to do our best with what’s available to us.
So, after my snap, I tried my best to “power” through this week. I tried my best to lift my spirits by doing what I love the most—working out, writing, editing, drawing with the kids, and walking the dogs. But I had a hard time staying positive this week, and I tell this to you, because I know I’m not the only one. I share this with you, to make it okay for you to feel the same, openly, if you need. I know we will all continue to “power” through this time—this pandemic— as best as we can, because that’s what the human spirit is capable of.
When I’m old and my grandkids ask what it was like to go through this pandemic, I might refer to some of my writing notes, maybe even this excerpt. Here’s what I hope to tell my grandbabies:
1) I hope that I will remember the extra cuddles I had with my kids—their parents.
2) I hope I will remember the Disney movie nights and of falling asleep on the couch, mentally exhausted from the day of trying to do it all, with my beautiful babies next to me in my arms.
3) I hope I will remember the endless Netflix streaming sessions and completion of nine seasons of The Office.
4) I hope I will remember teaching the boys how to cook, bake, spell their names and tie their shoes.
5) I hope to remember creating homemade crafts to send to grandparents to try to cheer them up and drawings lessons from Mo Willems.
6) I hope I will remember the good, more than I remember the bad that was involved to carry me through this time.
7) Above all, I hope my kids, as adults, are forgiving when they look back at this time with me. I hope they don’t remember mom swearing one too many times or losing her temper, and instead remember the above, too.
People, if you’re reading this, I hear ya. I’m with ya. I’m not always positive, but I’m choosing to stay above the positive line because that’s the best place to be. This will not last forever, but it will be here for a good while.
So sit tight, hold on, and enjoy the ride while we’re on it. We’ve got this. Reach out to each other. Make some fun gift deliveries to some front doors. Stay sane. Watch Netflix. Read a book. Or just veg. Do whatever you can do, to stay healthy, not for your kids, but for you.
Here’s to hoping I move into the next stage of grief and loss starting in Week Six (6)—acceptance 😊.
Until Next Time,