So, today’s day 10 since the company I work for closed the store. Given that our Governor closed down the state for at least 2 weeks, I’ve got another 11 days minimum to go. Add to that the federal government is saying to keep at social distancing through April, and it’s more like 30 day.
This is what normal now looks like, people.
Video chats to be able to stay connected with friends. Walking the neighborhood just to get out of the house. Trying not to get obsessed over stats for my blog. Playing D&D online instead of in person. Limiting the runs to the store to once a week to keep exposure risk at a minimum.
I have friends who are living in their pajamas. They haven’t worn shoes (or bras) for a week. Me, I need to keep to a routine of sorts.
I get up, I get dressed, I make the bed. Start the water for my coffee, get the laundry going, take care of random chores while the coffee steeps in the press. Spend a little time on social media, write a Murder Hobos story, get it posted.
It’s the time after that where I’ve struggled. I have 4 books I need to reimagine, and 3 I’ve either started to write or need/want to. I should be writing! I have the time!
What I was doing instead was grieving, adjusting, coming to terms with what is now normal. Because we’re not going to be instantly flipping a switch in the dead of night and waking up to everything back where it was. By the time we can gather together again, hug friends, visit grandparents, or even go to work, life will have fundamentally changed.
We’ve been given the chance to hit a reset button on our lives, rediscover what’s important to us. Is it a fancy new car every year or laughing over drinks with an old friend? Is it teaching our children compassion or ignoring the homeless person on the street?
Is it living a life filled with love and friendship or one of material things and fear?
I’m an extrovert. While I can, and have, spent hours at a time in isolation while on a writing binge, I still need that human connection. It energizes me. And I’ve spent the better part of the last ten days wallowing in self pity, adjusting, grieving for the life I can’t have right now.
But I would not trade a single moment of isolation for the life of another.
When this is over – and it will end – don’t go back to your life and vow to forget about this. Compassion, hope, and giving a damn about others is being found again. We can’t afford to lose it.