I’m having a little, mini pandemic self-pity party for myself.
This lockdown has been long. And let me first say that my situation is so much better than so many people’s. I know that, and I’m incredibly grateful and we’re doing our best to help out those who need it. So even though I’m feeling a little sorry for myself right now, I am keeping it all in perspective and would NEVER try and tell the story that I have a bad situation.
But our Covid-19 spring has been a long one. And it’s finally, really wearing on me.
I believe the right and cautious thing to do is to stay mostly shut-in – I do. I think there’s still too much unknown to be out and about like ‘before’ and put people at risk until we understand Covid-19 better. Why do seemingly healthy people get so sick? Why do some people not even know they have it? There’s so much we don’t know and my fatalistic tendencies lead me to err on the side of caution.
I’m just sad about the stuff that we’re all missing.
Happy hours with my mom friends as we celebrate our kids graduating from their sweet elementary school: NOPE.
My 6th grader’s graduation: VIRTUAL.
Fun outings and perks of being a ‘senior’ at the school she’s been at since 4K: NEGATIVE.
A two-night field trip as a last hurrah: UH-UH.
The May Crowning where we walk with our 6th graders and celebrate a sweet, last school Mass with them: NEGATORY.
Middle school graduation: PSYCH.
Confirmation: NOT RIGHT NOW.
Family here to celebrate our little graduations: NAH.
My 50th birthday blowout celebration: FALSE.
The girls’ three-week sleep-away camp: CANCELLED.
Trip to Ireland to celebrate our big birthdays while the girls were at camp: NOT.
And I know in the scheme of life, these aren’t terribly important. They’re fun for sure, but I don’t think they’re worth the risk right now, so I think it’s the right call in just about every instance.
But I still feel sad and disappointed and I miss these celebrations and milestones. Celebratory gatherings of family and friends are some of my all-time favorite things and we haven’t been able to do that in such a long time.
And it’s hard on the girls and that makes me so sad for them, and me, because I can’t help them. I cannot mandate an IRL graduation ceremony. I cannot call the Bishop and tell him just to confirm my girl because she worked hard for two years to get ready for it. I cannot just drop them in the middle of the woods for three weeks and tell them to have fun. (Wait… can I?)
So for right now, I’m indulging my self-pity. I’m letting myself feel all my feelings. The only way through things is through them, so rather than try and talk myself out of how I feel and just shoving it down, I’m feeling it all in an effort to cycle through it. Letting my kids know that I share their sorrow, too, and their disappointments.
I do remind them about actual priorities, but their disappointment is valid and real, and it’s dragging on and on the more things that get canceled.
It’s hard, this pandemic. Lives have been upended on so many levels and we don’t have answers. Uncertainty is stressful. Especially when we’re the mom and we set the family’s mood. Trying not to freak the kids out when we’re a little freaked out ourselves is a challenge. So, if you struggle with optimism and feel very tired, you’re not alone. It’s OK to ride the roller coaster with all the ups and downs.