As we are settling into sheltering-in-place, I find myself, like most of the people I know, riding a sort of rollercoaster of emotions, now and then. I wonder if you can relate.
I am SO thankful to have my husband, our children and our grandbaby with us during this time. I also want nothing more than to have my house to myself and do whatever I want BY MYSELF.
I love to cook yummy organic food, make kombucha, fresh juice, bake gluten free yummies and have a really clean kitchen and now I finally have the time to do that – and it feels like that is all I do, around the clock and I just want to go to a restaurant and be waited on and not clean up after my family, but walk away from the table, leaving a nice tip and a big “thank you” for the amazing wait staff.
I had this idea that we would have all of this extra time to deep clean our house and that happened for a minute and now it just feels messy ALL OF THE TIME and I can’t get away from it, mostly. If I’m stuck in here – especially since it’s been raining for days here in Austin – then I just need my space to be clean and orderly or my depression level goes through the roof and that’s not fun for anyone.
I enjoy grocery shopping and going to the local farmer’s market. I miss the luxury of running to my neighborhood Sprouts when I’ve forgotten a recipe item, seeing all of the other shoppers’ smiling faces and returning home in less than 15 minutes. Now, getting food means trying to order from curbside, only to find I can only get about 60-70 percent of what I ordered and that the quickest delivery is over a week away. Or, going myself, waiting in line for an hour and a half outside the store, separated by tape on the ground from the other shoppers who are wearing masks and gloves and looking at one another suspiciously. I’ve noticed in these most recent days, people are physically swaying away from passerby’s in the aisles. It’s like an end-of-the-world movie out there, except, it’s not a movie and it isn’t the end of the world, is it?
I did some research on Anne Frank’s life recently. As a girl, I was fascinated by her and every time I read her story or watched a production of it, I would ache for a different ending. While this is a different situation, with no human being trying to exterminate us (right?), I think there are some valuable life lessons Anne recorded for me.
There were 8 people who shared 450 square feet of living space for 2 years and 1 month! They did not have the option of going outside during this time. The group was made up of 2 families and a single man. They had to wait for very rationed food to be brought to them and risked horrific death every day.
While I am giving myself permission to mourn what has been lost, I am trying to keep things in perspective. I have enjoyed my garden since I planted it a week ago. It gives me life. My Honey and I have been taking our grandboy out for walks in his stroller every day that the weather allows and it has lifted our spirits immensely. Last week, Arlo and his Auntie Hannah painted on our back deck and then we filled his water table so that he could play and simultaneously wash the paint off of most of his entire body. It was such a great day!
In the past two weeks SO MANY blessings have reigned down on our family. Our landlord called me recently and asked how things were going. After I laughed, told him things could be better for everyone, I imagine, he then told me that we didn’t have to pay rent for the month of April because of the rona. How does that happen?! The people I nanny for have repeatedly told me that they won’t let anything happen to me or my family. They’ve offered to pay our rent or anything else we need. I’ve told them repeatedly how much their support means to me, but we are okay, they then gave me a generous raise and asked me to do more hours! They’ve been quarantined for over a month, so I don’t feel endangered. The added income is huge during this time of my Honey and son being on furlough. We filed our taxes last Monday and the money for our return was deposited on Friday, just four days later! I was at Costco and as I was leaving, I saw this and it reminded me that we are called to care for one another. Thank you, Costco!
We have food. We have a roof over our heads. We have the choice to go outside and exercise and breath in fresh air. (Also, have you noticed how many more bees there are out there? Is that because there are less car/truck/airplane emissions killing them?) I have friends and family checking in on me. I have my garden and my Kindle with a bajillion books I’ve been wanting to have the time to read. (I just finished THE WATER DANCER by TA-NEHISI COATES and it was SO AMAZING!!!!) I have a computer to write on and more journals than any one woman should claim.
These are scary times. As of yesterday there were 1,039,439 cases of the coronavirus worldwide, 347,003 of those are in the United States. There have been 72,638 deaths worldwide and 10,335 of those human beings were Americans.
When I think about the families who can’t be with one another once someone has the virus and too many of those people then die without the humans they most love by their sides, it is utterly heartbreaking. I pray that they feel the presence of the Holy Spirit and fall into the arms of Jesus.
It all feels surreal, I think, to many of us who haven’t lost someone in our immediate circle of friends or family. It’s easier to complain about our inconveniences when the threat doesn’t feel real, yet. My prayer for myself and everyone is that we come out of this kinder, more compassionate, less entitled and closer to Our Pappa God and His calling. I pray we slow down. My hope is that we come out of this season more loving human beings than human doings.