I have run out of vodka. Not only that, I’ve run out of olives.
Now, there are many things about this pandemic we are in that are more important than my inability to make myself a martini at the end of the day, but I’m mourning the loss just the same. Just as you are most likely mourning the loss of something seemingly small, but none-the-less important, to your idea of “the good life.”
(If you’ve lost a person to this pandemic, I offer you my sincere condolences. Please know that I know death of a loved one far overshadows my inability to make myself a stupid cocktail. Ditto the loss of a job, a business, a graduation. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto.)
Part of my frustration (acknowledging that this is coming from a place of privilege) is knowing that right across the road from my apartment complex are both a grocery store and a liquor market…but I can’t go out! I haven’t left the confines of my two-bedroom apartment in over 30 days.
One month ago, hubby and I ventured forth to go the the tax preparer’s office to sign documents and write checks, and then on the way home we stopped by the local Ralph’s to stock up on groceries. That is the last day I took the stairs, carried a grocery bag , stepped on a sidewalk, talked in person to someone outside my immediate family, or crossed a street.
I’m beginning to wonder how agoraphobic and weak I’ll be when all this is over–and for me it won’t be over until there is a vaccine. Twelve to eighteen months from now, according to experts.
I can’t be on house arrest for twelve months without vodka, peeps!
Okay, yes I can.
I can rearrange my definition of the good life. Right now, I’m struggling against change. But perhaps accepting change, even guiding change, is the kind of practice we need right now because if this crisis in which we find ourselves has done nothing else positive, it has shown us the cracks in the systems by which we live. We see more clearly the inequality, the unsustainability, the sheer harried busy-ness of our lives that puts so much stress on our families, our children, our minds, our bodies. It shows us how unprepared our leaders are for crisis and how little we are able to care for ourselves, really, when the systems glitch.
I’m trying not to panic. I’m following my old routines of reading, writing, cooking, watching Netflix. In fact, if I’m honest, my daily routine hasn’t been impacted very much other than missing my daily walk, my evening cocktail, and, yes, socializing out in public. And yet…and yet….
I don’t feel the same satisfaction in my pursuits at this time, knowing the world out there is in lockdown, that we don’t know when things will get back to normal, that I’m not even sure I want things to go back exactly to normal anyway. I’m all stirred up inside.
I eat, but my appetite isn’t ever fully sated. I dread both going to bed at night and getting up in the morning. I miss people, but I am reluctant to reach out on the phone. I’m restless, but I find it difficult to exercise. My mind races, but I’m indifferent about meditation. I’m grateful, so grateful, for all that I have and for my continued good health, but I’m worried. About getting sick. About my loved ones far and near getting sick. About the economy. About what society will look like by this time next year.
Worrying is not the way to live a good life in crazy times. I know this, but I don’t know what to do about it.
I have no answers. Maybe there are no answers. I only have my experiences as you have yours. We are all feeling lots of emotions right now. All I can do is send out my love to you. Know that I am wishing you peace, a measure of contentment, joy where you can find it, safety, security, and health. We have to believe that this will pass and things will be better again.
Cheers, my friends.