I feel sad. I’ve worked very hard over the last five weeks to focus on the positivity of every day. But today I just feel sad. I feel sad that the 2019-2020 school year is ending like this. I feel sad because Friday normally gives me such an elation for the weekend ahead and now there’s really nothing to be excited about. I feel sad because my husband’s 40th birthday is two weeks away and we’re in quarantine. I feel sad because it’s snowing for the second time this week. I feel sad because I’m a furloughed employee for a job that normally provides me so much satisfaction. I feel sad because this is the first week that some of the covid deaths hit a little closer to home. I just feel sad.
I had a sneaking suspicion school would be cancelled. It didn’t come as a surprise to me. And luckily for my family, no one is graduating or reaching a school milestone this year but it’s still heart breaking. There are so many end of the school year festivities like field day, the talent show, innovation night and end of school bash that we look forward to as symbols leading to the culmination of a successful school year. What about our entire spring sports season that didn’t happen?! Can we still find the success of the school year when we’ve spent the last three months in quarantine? Will we still find the closure for 1st, 4th and 6th grades?
Friday has historically been met with a sense of accomplishment for a week well played. I have often joked with my Friday morning cycle class that I have felt that balloons and streamers should fall from the ceiling celebrating the conclusion of my crazy week. Our weeks have become way more relaxed with no activities to rush off to, no meals in the car on the way to games and no late night work events. But with that sense of accomplishment comes an excitement for the weekend – who are we hanging out with, where will we eat, something that identifies a weekend feeling that just isn’t happening from the confines of my house.
We’ve been celebrating a variety of friends’ 40th birthdays with parties, outings and giant festivities. And while my husband, Adam, wasn’t interested in celebrating like that, it’s much harder to feel that a milestone birthday is anything like a milestone when you can’t interact with any friends and family. How do you make an average quarantined day into a milestone birthday celebration?
Originally when I first started saying home, I relished the opportunity to hang out with the kids. I was reminiscent of my days as a stay at home mom and was/am in a groove. When my employer announced my position being furloughed, I felt my heart sink because it was hard to hear. However, the truth was that I was wrapped up in being with my kids and was relieved to not have the extra pressure of fitting in conference calls and work priorities. Now that time has passed, I miss the interactions and responsibilities I have at my job. I miss the feeling of finding professional success. I miss working hard at something that extends past this house and myself. I miss my outlet, my passion, I miss my job. And there’s absolutely no clarity as to when or if anything can or will change.
I’ve worked very hard to avoid the media and the 24/7 media circus that is reporting this illness. Not because I want to be unaware of necessary changes. Rather, because it’s easy to go on a downward spiral of worry and fear once you open yourself up to all of it. In the past week, people I know have family members and friends that have died from this illness. This illness started so broad – people across the world. It has quickly crept to be landing in our backyard. Where will it go from here? Will it land in our laps next?
I feel sad. It’s ok to be sad. There’s a lot to feel sad about. We are mourning the loss (although hopefully short term) of a life we are used to. With this loss has come a restart that I believe is necessary. With this loss has given us a golden opportunity with our children that we wouldn’t otherwise have. With this loss, we have the chance to re-prioritize our lives. I think all of this is good and I’ve been able to focus most of my thoughts on those things. Except right now, where I just feel sad and I’m allowing it for right now.