You don’t need me to tell you these are strange times we are living in. I find that I fluctuate greatly day to day, even hour to hour, how I feel. Sometimes I feel okay, settled in, and able to do the things I need and want to do. Other times I feel antsy or frustrated and I feel overwhelmed by all the things and experiences I am missing out on. Spring is my favorite season and it’s usually when all my favorite events happen.
Birthdays. Adventures. The end of the school year. So much sun! Spring feels like a celebration every year to me. And while I am still excited for birthdays and Patrick finishing his PhD, it doesn’t feel the same. I want to kayak and have a party and grocery shop like a normal person! I’m sure you feel the same.
Of course, you feel the same. I’m also having a hard time finding gratitude right now. And I’ve sat with that realization for a while. It isn’t that there aren’t things to be grateful for or that I have no good things to say at the moment, but rather it feels forced. Yes, there is plenty to have gratitude about, but also, this sucks! And it’s okay that it sucks, I don’t have to try to erase that with positivity.
That being said: it’s old news that this whole situation sucks. I’m sure we nearly all agree that a global pandemic is not exactly an ideal situation. So, while we are allowed to feel negatively about this whole shindig, we are also not going to dwell on it. And even though we aren’t dwelling on the negative, we’re not going to force positives either. Instead, we’re going to notice them as they naturally arrive and rejoice in them. Sound good? Good!
I’ll start, so you can see some examples of what I’m talking about!
Pre-Pandemic I was drinking an unnecessary amount of coffee a day. Like 3 cups in the AM when I woke up and then probably more in the afternoon. I knew I definitely didn’t need that much coffee, but I liked it. Well, I liked it until after the second cup, but I didn’t want to waste it so I forced myself to drink the third. It was sort of a waste of coffee and just tooooo much caffeine. Nowadays, I drink one cup of coffee in the AM and enjoy it far more. Then, I have an afternoon espresso (doppio). It normally takes the form on a very short iced latte, but recently I’ve been making affogatos (as pictured above) and it’s been awesome. Less caffeine and way more fun!
Need another example? I got you.
The muscles in my legs get uncomfortably tight if I sit for too long during the day, so I try to walk quite a bit every day. (I realize this is a massive privilege). Last night, Patrick and I were fitting our walk into the day in the evening and ended up still walking when the sun went down. I saw freakin’ fireflies!!! They’re here!!! I love those things. I want to just sit outside on someone’s patio and watch them flash around in the yard. They are a little joy.
This past winter I got weirdly into tea. I’ll never be a tea > coffee person, but I’ve learned to really enjoy it. I’ve been drinking it hot, but we’ve reached the point that it’s uncomfortable to do so. I also enjoy iced tea and I remembered someone on Instagram making sun tea many moons ago, so I Googled how to do it. Turns out it’s insanely easy. And now I’ve been enjoying iced decaf green tea! Plus it looks so pretty sitting out in the sun.
See what I mean? Nothing crazy. Nothing forced. Some of these things I’ve noticed in passing, some I didn’t realize until I was glancing at my camera roll. Y’all, this sucks. I know we’re all going to be good eventually, just probably not right now.
If you’re in that boat, I hope you find something to rejoice about. I hope you don’t sit down and force it. I hope you just pry open that part of your mind that notices the good things and see what comes wandering in again.
Anyway, I’ll have my mental crowbar at the ready since I know it’ll be a struggle to not let it close shut. If you find that you’re really struggling with your mental health, I would encourage you to seek out your local mental health authority. Many are offering hotline services for those in need of someone to talk to or who are in crisis.
I guess let my parting phrase be this: you’re not alone in this. Your feelings, wherever they may fluctuate in this experience, are valid. There are so many stressors in this time, many of which are out of our control and can feel insurmountable. Like we’re being asked to climb Everest without a map or an oxygen tank.
But you’ve been climbing mountains your whole life! I’ll see you at the top of this one.