It’s all so surreal. We call it the new normal and I wonder what that actually means. How long does this all last? We don’t have any definitive answers. Not really. We say the end of the month because it’s something to say. A date in the future. A light at the end of all of this. Some people say longer. Somewhere in the Summer months. I know my son’s school will now be home only for the rest of the year. Working from home feels inevitable that it will be the same. I look out my kitchen window and wonder when we will be able to return to our lives. Will we be returning to those lives, the ones we had before? Or will there be a new new normal? Something between then and now? What will we lose? What will we gain?
I watch the news – any incarnation of the news, even the ones peppered with humor – and the outcome is always the same. I have a night of fitful sleep. Waking every hour, wrestling with insomnia (insomnia always the winner). Finally getting up before dawn, throwing in the sleep towel, waving my surrender. Fear of getting sick. Fear of dying. Fear of people I love getting sick. Fear of people I love dying. Loss of more living, of more freedoms, of more of everything. Work seems to just amplify with every new-normal day. I feel exhausted by it, always running to catch-up. I see people posting about being bored, and I feel envious. Not that I want boredom, but some free time would be nice.
Busy. I’m always busy. It’s in my nature, in my comfort zone, in my DNA. I know it is fed by my anxiety and control issues. I know it is fueled by my resistance to calm, to quiet, to disconnecting. That said, I miss having those moments of alone time. A lunch hour spent watching TV only I like. Podcasts and playlists and audiobooks on my drive home. Walks around the area my office is in. In all of this, I’ve lost that. Now I’m always on. I’m always working, I’m always Mom, I’m always girlfriend. And I love all my roles. I cherish them. But, I miss having a little me-time.
Maybe I need to get up earlier again. I’ve turned my alarm forward since my daily commute is from one room to the other. But, maybe that’s a mistake. If I went back to waking up at my old time it would gift me some of that me-time, uninterrupted, just my own. An hour or so where I don’t have to be anything for anyone else. If I can manage to sleep tonight I will try out this adjustment/re-adjustment this week.
I miss so much. Bookstores and concerts and going to the movies. The sound of my daughter’s friends and her laughing. Being able to see my friends in-person. Road trips and day trips and running errands. And yes, I even miss parts of those long commutes. There are blessings here, and I’m grateful for a lot, but right now I’m feeling more than a bit melancholic from all of this new normal.
I think we all are.
“Wild Fire” by Laura Marling
from the album, Semper Femina (2017)
Song Of The Day
“She keeps a pen behind her ear,
in case she’s got something she really, really needs to say.
She puts it in a notepad.
She’s gonna write a book someday.
Of course, the only part that I want to read,
is about her time spent with me.
Wouldn’t you die to know how you’re seen?
Are you getting away with who you’re trying to be?
Trying, trying to be.”
This week I start back at school. This week I start meeting up with a writing workshop group. This week I need to reconnect with being a writer again. Maybe that getting up earlier will help give me more time to be that. Be the writer. Again.
If you could take a picture of this moment. If you could take a picture of the you inside of you. What would you see? What do you want to get back to being?