40 Days and 40 Nights of COVID Quarantine

Day 42. I feel surprisingly good. I have a thing about limbo. I love the game (I’m under 5 feet tall, I always win) but I can’t stand the feeling. Can’t stand the in-between. It was a huge struggle for me when we moved across the country. I wasn’t sure if we were moving, where we would move to, when our first house would sell. It was similarly difficult when we had sold our second house and were waiting to move into the home we’re in now. I’m adaptable. I can handle what is thrown at me. But waiting for the pitch, I get impatient.

For some reason, I don’t feel that limbo pressure today. Monday, I pressed my ear to my husband’s chest, my arms wrapped around him. I said, “I miss my old life. I miss my friends. I miss my gym.” Continue reading

COVID-19 Quarantine, Day 36: Signs of Spring and Messages of Hope

There’s a lot of imagery that defines this strange, restless, panicked time. Major monuments, tourist destinations and airports without crowds. People queuing outside with gloved hands on their shopping carts, face masks covering their nose and mouth, waiting their turn to shop in Trader Joe’s. Masks on face after face. That look of fear as someone is walking on the same side of the road in the opposite direction as another and they don’t know how they’ll keep six feet as they near.

Coronavirus covid facemask on mannequin

Local boutique in Fairfield with mannequin modeling a paper face mask

Those are the images of social distancing. I realize that the imagery is far more grim in the hospitals, but those experiences are not mine to share.

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As I near the end of week five of social distancing, I have more hope than I did throughout the first month, like when I posted on day 10, day 14, and day 25.

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It’s not because things are looking better. Our corrupt federal government is awarding 80% of coronavirus stimulus money to millionaires, rather than struggling Americans. The Trump administration is handing out $55 million allocated for PPE to a bankrupt business with no employees or equipment to make such items. Trump is taking advantage of this time to share more intimate conversations with Putin. He’s discouraging democracy by spreading mistruth about voting by mail and taking a page out of a dictator handbook while forgetting about the American Constitution while claiming to have ‘total authority.’
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The home front has its challenges as well. We’ve been baking bread and eating non-perishables for weeks as we make our groceries stretch as far as they can. With this stretching, though, last week we found ourselves stressing. My husband and I were bickering about what our tween was eating almost every day. Catching him sneaking snacks became a really big deal. We were forgetting that being extra safe was a choice, not a sentence.

On top of that, a tween doing what a tween does: complain. A toddler doing what toddlers do: tantrum.hopeful messages in fairfield county during coronavirus quarantine
If you’re thinking, ‘where’s the hope in that?!’ I get it. I think it’s primarily that we’re settling into routine, and that we had a lot of sunshine this past week. It’s a few hours my husband’s blocked off from meetings during my toddler’s nap time so I’ve gotten alone time walking around my town–time to BREATHE that I hadn’t had quite enough of before. It’s back to being a collaborative couple, looking for ways to take care of one another. More time playing catch & frisbee outside, more hands in the dirt gardening, more sword fights with sticks against the little guy. It’s getting a brand new book in the mail after suffering through a couple of low-quality thrifted ones I never got around to reading before (I see now why). Those little moments I decided I would seek out in my last post about the quarantine.
Sometimes those little moments of light are ignited by messages of hope I’ve seen on my walks, or people have shared on our county’s rainbow hunt Facebook page. Little reminders of the beauty after the storm. Sometimes it’s seeing a fully bloomed tree, a splash of color that reminds me that nothing lasts forever.

These are the images I want to focus on. Individual people and families taking time out to uplift a stranger in a time of crisis and despair. A reminder that even if our government is failing us, the American people are still good hearted and deserving. That we’re surrounded by heroes, big, small, willing and many who didn’t sign up for this, but are fighting anyway.

Times are hard, but the best I can do right now is to share a bit of the beauty, gratitude and kindness that I’ve come across during these times.

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COVID-19 Quarantine: Day 25

Spent week three of social distancing trying not to succumb to despair. Hope feels like a distant memory, but I have to remember that any moment in time is just as fleeting as spring-it comes, it blooms, it withers, and new things are on the horizon.

Daffodils in my backyard

I don’t have a lot of hope for what’s happening, what will happen next or after that. Dark times are here and more are following. But in dark times there are still bright moments. You find something someone else planted, years before you, in your own backyard. For brief moments, your home feels just like home, not the fortress from fear of what surrounds us. There is still sunshine, flowers, food in the pantry, and love even in a world full of sickness, death, greed and corruption.

Positive thinking and self care won’t cure the hurt I feel for the outside world, but as I go through this fourth week of #quarantine, I’ll try to shift my focus to the moments right in front of me.

Continue reading

On Anxiety

It’s been three months since my last post. I’ve traveled to the other side of the world, knocked several things off of my bucket list, and have done countless DIY projects. However, those were all fleeting moments. Before I start spitting out informational posts about things to do and make, I want to talk a little about something I carry with me on all of my trips. This is something I hold onto despite my endeavors, and the same thing that stops me from sharing online: crippling anxiety.

I thought, for a time, that my anxiety began when I moved to Connecticut. And, if that was the case, it would pass once I made some new friends. I didn’t know where I fit in, so maybe if I found my place, these feelings would subside. I’ve realized that isn’t so and if I don’t take action, I’m going to be stuck in this rut.

A lot of times I don’t understand what’s going on in my head until I write it. I utilize my daily morning pages (per The Artist’s Way, recommended to all!) to sort out most of these things in a free-form way. This anxiety I’ve been feeling, however, has been a bigger problem. Maybe, in my sorting out and sharing, I can work on it and maybe you can relate. Who knows. After all, I did decide I wanted to be more raw in this blog.

What it looks like

From my perspective, it’s a feeling of shame that spirals out of control. It can start with something simple: Continue reading

Mother’s Gifts

The greatest gift my mother gave me didn’t come on Christmas day. It wasn’t the latest game console, or the the shoes I wore on prom night. It wasn’t intricately wrapped with a ribbon tied around it. There was no bow on top.

My mother gave me life twice. The first time was on the maternity floor. Breathing heavily, she pushed me, unaware, into this world. I was born hungry, wailing loudly. I can’t say much has changed.

There wasn’t a specific time marked by any inky footprint when she gave me life again. No. It occurred day-by-day over the course of two years at a different hospital, nearby. Children aren’t born there. A nurse would take blood or an oncologist would insert a hollowed needle into my spine. But it was always her, eyes wide, looking deeply into equally bugging eyes. Deeply, into one another’s pupils. It was always her, grasping my hand with all her might, as if letting go would allow her to lose me. Continue reading