**From my main blog https://questionsmorethananswers.blogspot.com/ **
I have had it in my head to write this for over a month. Fear. Fear stops me every time. It’s my biggest hurdle in writing anything, except inside my head. But today the general mood in the world, in the news, in the ether, seemed exceptionally bleak. All I ever want to do with these blogs is reach someone, anyone. And now that we are all where we are, maybe I can help share how I deal with my everyday that isn’t so far apart from your new everyday.
The chance that I could spend a month inside my apartment and not go outside, even without a deadly virus changing the landscape of life as we know it, is something I plan for on the regular. It affects how I plan events and how I shop. I could get up off the couch too quickly and dislocate. Turn to put something on the stove while making a meal and dislocate. Rollover in bed and dislocate. It is all that easily done. Then bam, I am down for two weeks, maybe four. So, I always shop like “What if?” Kinda my Mr. Monk mentality: backups for my backups. So when COVID-19 started to even hint at being serious, I was prepared. NOT TOILET PAPER HOARDING PREPARED, just prepared enough for me. Like a rational “adult.”
Most of the world does not live like I do. People shop for two weeks, or one. Some even for the meal they are making that night. Some of you don’t even cook. Being stuck in your homes without going to your jobs, or out to dinner or movies is so foreign you feel displaced and maybe a bit imprisoned. Maybe at first, it was a novelty. A good time to catch up on that series. Read that book. Maybe it felt like a bit of a vacation. I don’t know how many times I have had people say to me “Oh, you are sooooo lucky. You get to stay home and read and watch T.V. all day long.” Uhuh. I have seen countless memes lately of “Finished Netflix” and the like. It isn’t as fun or as cool as you imagined. I have a friend in mental health and they say they have never been so busy. The stress of being at home with bills, no money, and then the omnipresence of the virus is too much. People are breaking.
The lack of structure from the unavailability of socialization and jobs is forcing people to question their place and purpose. The burden of continued anxiety and money trouble is not helping, at all. I had another friend comment on how she truly didn’t understand how much she gained from going to work, not just the money, the going. It is the routine. Now there are posts telling everyone the day of the week because days are running into each other. These are not new concepts for people like me. The “Insiders.”
When I was a teenager, my Aunt once told me that humans were all in a race to live. They ran so fast that much of their life ended up a blur. I never forgot that. This is a time to slow down. Thing is, not many were prepared to step off the track.
Some things I have learned during my many years Inside: focus on the small joys, don’t compare yourself to others, talk to yourself like you would a best friend and brush your teeth every day. I also watch ASMR videos at night to help me when the pain is too much and I can’t turn off my brain. Check-in with your family and friends. A lot. Use Marco-Polo or Face Time. See their faces. I try to find at least three things by the end of the day that made me smile AND /OR I completed. This includes making a meal, any of my music Instagram posts, calling a friend or writing this blog. Hell, making your bed counts.
Things are flipped upside down and inside out. They might be for a good long while. If you need more tips, I’ll be here. Inside.