We have been socially distancing for 30 days today.
As the first week came and went I spent days in a panic, worried I was forgetting something. Maybe it was an activity, appointment, school assignment, etc. It has made me realize that there is just so much on my plate that I am dependent on a schedule. I have too much going on and I feel flustered so much of the time. Just this school year I have had school activities at 3 different schools conflict at one point. There’s PTO, girl scouts, dance classes, nutcracker practices, hockey practices, play dates, birthday parties, doctors appointments, dentist appointments, therapy appointments, school projects, orchestra performances, writing clubs, confirmation, student council, etc… On top of all of that is maintaining a household…grocery shopping, finances, cleaning, so on and so forth.
A new panic set in.
I enjoyed the freedom I had gained and the excuse not to socialize. This came with a lot of varied emotions. First it was all surreal, it felt like the whole world was closing down. I feel like I have spent the last 12 years of my life rushing to school, to work, to deal with kid activities, etc. If I made my life easier in some way, then I filled the gap instead of just letting the pressure fall off. Now that I had to slow down, I loved it and now I am terrified to lose it. For the last two weeks I have been wracking my brain to figure out a compromise, some way to keep a semblance of this life. I also felt guilt for enjoying this, for secretly wishing to stay at home just a little longer. I inwardly rejoiced when the dates kept extending.
I know that this has been completely devastating for many. Some have lost jobs or loved ones. There are people, even people I know, who are struggling to carry on in a new way instead of letting this bankrupt them. Here I sit with stability, enjoying my freedom, thankful we found our way back to Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University a little over a year ago. We aren’t done yet, but we were more prepared for this. I feel bad about the struggles I see others going through and I also know that life can change for us so quickly. COVID-19 could devastate my father, my ex-husband, and myself. So of course there is a level of fear there. We started socially distancing as soon as we started reading about flattening the curve.
Also our experience has not been without its own small difficulties. At one point the restrictions at HEB curbside became so restrictive that I was having to order groceries 2-3 times per week. They limited the number of items you could get in an order as well as individual items like milk, frozen vegetables, cheese, lunch meat. For the average family I doubt this mattered much, but we have 10 people in our home. All of whom are home and eating 3 meals at home everyday. For a week or two I lived in fear that we would not be able to acquire the food to eat without going into the store. Thankfully these seem to be relaxing a bit.
As some know, Mr. Henry and I also got sick. I spent about a week and a half worrying about what to do. I seemed to have a cold/flu that clearly turned into strep for me, but at this point the doctors hadn’t implemented phone visits. We were distancing as much as we could and I was worried to go in. In an effort to avoid a visit I took antibiotics I had at home, but I didn’t have a full course. At first I started to feel better, even for a good or five days all I had left was lost hearing in one ear. Finally the hearing caused me to seek out nurse call. She pushed for a doctor visit and after 2 or 3 days I relented and scheduled a video call with my doctor 4 days later. She agreed that it was a virus turned bacterial infection and has prescribed me antibiotics and steroids. Finally after 3.5 days into the antibiotics and day 1 of steroids, I am feeling better.
Even with feeling awful, I was so happy to be at home. The kids and I have been watching the transformation of larvae into butterflies, movie nights, and board games. We have started planning and working on a home garden. We have de-cluttered part of the kitchen and created a homeschooling area. We had a drive by parade of our girl scout friends. We finished reading little women. They have had movie nights. They have created their own little world in the woods.
Finally when my therapist started making phone visits I told her of my predicament. I am still trying to find a way to make it all work. Individually I love all of the commitments in my life. I love being a part of each and every one of them. Yet, together they make me a crazy ball of stress. I used to come home some days and just sit in my room alone so that I could wind down. Socializing will always be taxing to me in an emotional way to me, but one that I do enjoy experiencing sometimes.
I still don’t know what the answer is, but I do believe that after this…my life will be different and I am different because of this experience.
Currently listening to: “Best of You” -Foo Fighters
Currently reading: Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding