Y’all, I need to tell you…staying at home sucks. I need to name that aloud today. No rainbows, no kittens, no unicorns, no spin…it sucks.
Maybe you need to name it, too. And if you need permission to do so, consider this post that permission.
It absolutely, completely and totally, is awful. And yes, I know there could be far worse things happening. I know that Anne Frank lived months in a much smaller space than I am. And then of course was killed.
I know that there is blessing to be found in “extra” family time. I know that we are not being asked to ship out to war but to simply batten down the hatches where we are. I know Andy says we have to. I know. I know. I KNOW! (please say that last one to yourself Monica Gellar style).
But I also know it sucks. And we are collectively grieving the loss of so much during this time, and if we don’t name the awfulness, if we don’t just admit it and sit with it, we’ll never find a decent way through it.
There is, right now, a tender and conscious place in my heart for single parents staying at home–the ones who don’t have another adult to, in real life, process the day with over wine or Netflix or ice cream after the kiddos have finally and blessedly gone to bed. For single parents with a significant other in another house, and for split families, where kiddos go back and forth, this whole mess has a entirely different set of complications.
I’m mindful too, of those who are captive to their domestic abuser in these days. Of those whose marriage was already on the rocks and now there is no escape to process or get real, in person, help. Of those who live alone, and perhaps even normally enjoy doing so, but for whom right now it must often feel like burden. I’m mindful of those who are isolated from loved ones, who are medically fragile and so afraid that something will go wrong and there won’t be sufficient medical care. Of those who actually, truly, are out of toilet paper and pasta and milk.
I’m mindful of all high school seniors–but especially Sarah, and Jake and Ella, three seniors who hold their own special place in my heart and who I know are so sad at what they’ve had sacrifice in order to help flatten the damn curve.
I’m mindful of funerals postponed and weddings rescheduled and vacations cancelled and big events rain checked.
And I’m mindful of the sick and the dying. And of those who are risking their own lives to care for them.
Staying at home, living in this virus world, sucks.
Y’all, people are making masks for those who need them. And bourbon distilleries are manufacturing hand sanitizer. This is not a far cry from women rolling bandages during the Civil War. Or factories converting their production to needed equipment during both World Wars. What we’re living is, for us, unprecedented, and we have to name that. We have to absorb how different life is, and stare straight into the face of everything we’re losing.
And we have to mourn that. And feel the pain of it. Because this is–and I truly believe this–the only way we will find it in ourselves to rise up–to freaking RISE UP–and deal with this as only the human spirit as its very finest can–with grace, and strength, and resilience, and commitment to the well-being of all of us.
All. Of. Us.
There is goodness to be found in these hard days, but we can only see the goodness if we are willing to walk right in the pain of it, look around for what we need to learn in the midst of the awfulness, and then figure out how to move forward, knowing that we will never be the same.
No one knows for sure when this will end. What we do know, is that it will end faster if we can all do that rising up, that committing our lives to each other, that looking out for each other.
And maybe that is where we can begin to practice some gratitude. Maybe that’s where we look for what hope might be available as we weather this mighty storm–right in that sweet and sacred spot where we remember once again that we belong to each other.
We belong to each other, y’all. And taking that into our hearts, making it the very fabric of our lives, is how we face COVID-19, and so, are able to walk full into the sunshine again, holding the hands of those we love most, and never taking for granted again what it means to live life together.
I don’t want to live my life at least 6 feet away from you all. Not ever again. So as much as it sucks–and even if you have to hide in the bathroom and cry about it as I have–please, for the sake of all of us, do what must be done.
Because we belong to each other.