These are weird times, man. Weird times. Most of us staying home, hoping to flatten the curve and make things easier on our first responders. Essential workers are braving their jobs each day not knowing whether they have been exposed to Covid-19. Then you have people that don’t listen and are out putting people at risk. It’s scary, frustrating, and, well, it’s putting people on Edge.
Our family has been staying home, aside from an occasional walk around the beach or neighborhood. Sadly we had to cut back on our beach walks because the beaches began to get SWARMED by people, many of whom were clearly young friends who wanted to get together and hang out. Joggers would pass, winded and huffing all over people, and it just felt…not so safe any more. With the pause with our beach walks, we’ve turned to what we have already, and have been spending time clearing up our back yard and outdoor space. I am eager to make the space more cozy and comfortable so we can enjoy it as a family more than we have been the past couple of years. My husband decided to clear out a brush area that has made about a third of our yard unusable, and the change is incredible. There is still more to do as far as digging up some huge bushes but the space looks far bigger than before. Although he has never been fond of yardwork, I’m super excited to see him get excited about the job because he has already made huge strides. I’m planning on getting some lights up, grass seeded, and make the porch and patio more comfortable than it was. Hell, if it weren’t for my neighbor who moans all the time outside, I’d probably set up some workspace for nice days out there.
I’d like to tell you that the house is spotless, but frankly I’m so insanely busy at work that it’s the last thing on my mind. Well, I lie, not the last…that would be real pants. Pj’s and comfy clothes rule right now. Frankly, with work stress, plague stress, and normal stress, comfort and small things that bring me joy are top of the list right now. As someone who suffered from severe depression in my teens and 20’s, I am inherently aware of how easy it can be for people prone to depression to slide right on into it these days. Social media is full of drama and misery. Shows are sad. News is sad. People are sick and dying, and frankly, if there was ever a time to get depressed, well now would be it. I miss my dad who I haven’t seen in quite a while. I miss watching my daughter riding a horse. I miss dinners and drinks with friends and family. That being said, I’m really trying in my own way to hang in there and not slip into those feelings for too long. Like they say, it’s ok to feel it, but don’t stay there. Yesterday was a beast, because the weather was horrendous. It added another layer of misery to things, and I felt myself feeling down. Even my husband admitted to feeling pretty ick with the bad weather. When I start to feel the ick, I turn to little things that spark joy.
Finding things that spark joy sometimes feels an overwhelming task in and of itself. I’ve found if you find one little thing, the next becomes easier and easier. My favorite chocolate. Using my favorite rose scented lotion even though I swore I’d save it for special occasions (this is a hell of an occasion). Comfortable clothes, chatting with my besties on the phone, and eating Easter dinner on the patio because it was a nice day out. Getting extra hugs from the kids. Relishing in not having to rush from place to place after working all day. Even seeing our neighbors’ faces when we drive around our little neighborhood to ring the bells…it brings me joy. Yesterday my cousin and his girlfriend made a dance video that was so silly it had me howling with laughter. It turned my bad day into laughter and smiles. Little things, that might otherwise be taken for granted, now have greater significance because those little sparks of joy build up. I’ve always tried to look for the joy in simple things, but now I think it’s what will get me through this whole thing.
In a time of huge highs and lows, find your middle, and find a little joy. Even one little spark of something that at the very least, brings you a spot of comfort, and keep building on that. Take care of yourselves.