How are you doing?
If you ask me that question, I have two very different answers, both of which are true. The first one is that I am fine, and I have much to be thankful for: my health is good, and so is the health of my family; I have a safe home and plenty of food; I have a job and discretionary income to buy hiking poles when I decided that hiking is my new COVID-19 passion; and I am able to get outside for long runs and long walks.
The second one is, I’m not doing great. I miss my routine, and I am anxious and disoriented. I feel like I am not very useful right now, and that is extremely painful. I miss my students in particular, and my colleagues and friends as well–I miss being with them in person, and I’m sick of Zoom. I am grieving the loss of Holy Week services, especially Easter. And, I am missing being able to travel and see friends and family.
As I said, both of these things are true.
I share this with you because I wonder if you are having some of the same feelings, and if you are, I want to encourage you that it is OK. On the one hand, it is important to acknowledge and give thanks for your blessings; on the other hand, it is important to acknowledge your feelings of frustration and anxiety. It is important to both support and nourish others when we can, and also have a good cry and even a little tantrum when we need to—don’t go crazy however; presumably there are others in your house who might be startled by your screaming. We are in uncharted territory, all adjusting to a new normal that seems to continually take from us, and we need to give ourselves permission to take time to recalibrate.
But even in the midst of it all, we do not lose hope. Even if we can’t see it, because the end of the tunnel still seems so far away, there is light there waiting for us. We will get through this, and we will find ourselves on the other side. We will be together once more, and my hope is that we will treasure the daily rhythm of our lives—and the people we share it with—all the more for their absence.
In the meantime, care for yourselves as best you can, and care for others. Accept mediocrity in some things—now is not the time for perfection. Don’t lose heart. Persevere. Breathe. Love.
And when in doubt, love some more.