A NEW NORMAL

This is a time that is new to us. Very few of us remember the Depression or WWII. Living with a siege mentality, with nowhere to go, nothing to do. We are frightened, stressed, and for many of us, it results in symptoms: headaches, stress eating, mood swings. We go from acceptance to “how could this be real?” The thought of not being able to go anywhere except for a walk or to get essential goods for many more weeks creates even more anxiety.

I appreciate all of the things on social media that are helpful. News updates. Streaming concerts. I love seeing the inside of Ellen’s house, while Portia cooks her subscription box meals. I love watching William Brangham reporting on the PBS Newshour from his living room, with his two kitties asleep on the sofa behind him. We are all in this together. Zoom and FaceTime are burgeoning, and thank goodness we can at least see one another and have a group chat!

I wish I had a message that I could send to all of you that would make you feel better. I wish I had the right words. I don’t. Just like everyone else, I am having my own struggles with the pandemic:  too much news, too much Facebook, not enough self-sufficiency. My husband and I struggle with being supportive while simultaneously annoying one another. Being the only other person in your spouse’s life, day in and day out, puts a lot of strain on a relationship. We try to hang together but also give each other a wide berth. It’s not an easy thing.

Meals are important, and I find myself in an entirely new mindset. I don’t want to waste anything, just in case. I am recycling green beans–tonight, the vegetable. Tomorrow, the accent to a salad. This is a challenge that I should have risen to a long time ago. I threw away so much usable food. I am ashamed of that.

We are drinking more wine than previously. We watch shows that we would have never wanted to see before, although I am not sure we will be able to finish Tiger King. It is way too strange. But TV has become a real lifeline.

Here’s to all of you out there, wrestling with a new normal. What will we all be like when this is over? How will it change our lives? Will it ever be over, really? What kind of individuals will we be afterward? Better or worse–saner or crazier?

Take care, all of you. When the quarantines lift, let’s all get together for a pizza.

 

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