The Year the World Changed

When will things get back to normal? It’s a frustrating question, isn’t it? I’ve worried about it, asked others, searched for the answer, and have even had to remind myself to STOP asking that question!!

For me, the COVID19 situation has played out this way:

A) The virus is such a shame, but it’s “over there.”
B) The pandemic is here, but we’ll be ok, because here is not like “over there.”
C) Wait.
D) We may have to cancel this big fundraising event we’ve been working on for the last year!
E) Oh my gosh, we have a trip planned to Mexico at the end of March. It will be ok, it will be over by then.
F) Robin sadly cancels her trip and yet knows it’s a “first world problem.”
G) The closing of church and the temporary loss of my small business seems slightly like a snow day.
H) Now it’s the blizzard of ‘78.
I) Now I start to order ingredients to make my own bread and hummus.
J) Now I’m scared. I call my adult children and give annoying hand washing instructions.
K) I order 288 yards of elastic and begin making masks for Worcester Stitchers for Health.
L) My elastic is on backorder as is toilet paper. I still make masks, non-stop, with all the elastic and other materials I can scrounge. I’m making masks for strangers and dropping them off in their mailboxes. I have gloves on!
M) Making masks, sharing info on social media, giving to Worcester Mutual Aid Fund and IHN Shelter and the church makes me feel better. I am warmed by the care and kindness of others.
N) I am calling my friends and family more often. I am checking on people I haven’t checked on for a while and am finally getting the hang of doing 10 Zoom conferences in a week.
O) I’m in awe of the front line workers in health care and retail.
P) I am thankful for my situation. So much gratitude, so much.
Q) I’m lifted by the children of UUCW as they sit on a ZOOM screen and say the most beautiful things. They are thankful for their families, books, art, their pets, that they have food, that they are not in a shelter.
R) I stop my incessant planning.
S) I’m not doing all the projects that I told myself I’d do if I ever “got some time.” I’m very confused by this. It’s almost like I’m frozen.
T) I am trying to stay away from the news, but there are very fine lines and slippery slopes between staying informed, wanting to blame, watching a trainwreck, and information overload that results in anxiety and fear.
U) I’m tired for no reason- oh no, is that a sign of the virus? No! I’m ok, I’m ok. Did I just hear my husband cough?
V) I start watching funny videos. I try and fail to make fun of the situation in my head.
W) I try to help everyone else feel better about the situation, even if it kills me.
X) I rearrange everything that I’ve planned, sort of, because I don’t know where to arrange them to.
Y) I try to read all those books stacked on my bedside table but just can’t focus very long.
Z) Finally, I realize something profound. How could I have missed this? This is the year the world will change forever.

We will come out of this. We will be different and wiser. We will appreciate human contact, humility, baking bread, planting gardens, caring for our earth, thinking outside the box, taking each day as it comes, and slowing down. Our problem solving skills will be strengthened as will our patience. We will be more tech savvy and industrious. We will remember how good it felt to help others when on our last dime. We will learn how to ask others for help.

Will we? I wish it could be true. I now know the answer to my pesky question: When will things be back to normal? Things will never be the same. I think I’ve almost accepted that. What about you?

With Peace, Love, and Wishes for Good Health and Calm,

Robin