I keep trying to figure out how all of this makes me feel so that I can remember it in future years. Most of us have never experienced anything like this, so I’m sure I’m not the only one struggling to put to words how I feel while the world we have known is essentially closed off to us.
I was doing well with being at home, doing my part to flatten the curve, until it became a “stay at home order” last week. Something about that suddenly made me feel trapped, perhaps because I’ve never liked being told what to do. 😉
When it felt like it was my choice to stay home it felt hopeful. Now that I’m being ordered to stay home, it feels a little more helpless.
I think it coincided with a decrease of adrenaline. My friend, Shannon, said it well when she pointed out that we all started this life of quarantine/stay at home with lots of adrenaline. We were preparing, shopping, thinking positively about how we could spend this time, and we had lots of adrenaline flowing, likely due to fear. Now, as we’re completing our third week of this, it’s no longer a novelty, it seems endless, and it’s increasingly challenging to be content.
Added to that, we found out a couple of days ago that Brennan won’t be going back to work until May 14th now. It was supposed to be April 13th. When that news came, I felt the same feeling I’m failing to describe.
We went for a long walk after we got that news and it felt so surreal to see Hershey so empty.
While I’m happy to see that people are staying at home, suddenly the “Sweetest Place on Earth” is calmer than I’ve ever seen it. Hersheypark is supposed to be opening this weekend for Springtime in the Park. Tourists are supposed to be coming in droves. Instead, there’s a great uncertainty surrounding everything, and we don’t know when it will return to normal.
My brain keeps wandering and several times a day I’ll think, “Since we’re all home, we should go see (insert family or friend name here)” or “go do…” and then I have to bring myself back to reality and remind myself that we CAN’T. Even though we all have an abundance of time right now, we can’t go see the people we love. We can’t go and have fun family outings.
It’s never been so important to stay home and stay apart.
With this added time off at home together, I keep thinking of projects we could tackle only to remember that most of them require money we shouldn’t spend on supplies we don’t have, or hired workers we can’t have in our house. Then I wonder what on earth we are going to do for the next forty-one days (or more).
It’s a discouraging time, for sure. However, as always, the Brackbill household chooses to make the most of what we’re given, even if we have to remind ourselves hour by hour (minute by minute) that this time is a gift. These weeks of being home with our precious boys – together – are likely never going to happen again.
We remind ourselves that we are grateful for our home, our yard, our neighborhood, all of which make this unexpected experience more enjoyable. We remember that God is providing for us through unemployment, and our savings if we have to use that. We consider that it could be worse – it could be winter and then we wouldn’t want to go outside for fresh air. Instead, it’s spring, the sunlight is increasing, and everything is coming to life despite the pandemic surrounding us that is seemingly unstoppable.
We remind ourselves that God is still here. Still in control. Still good.
Maybe someday, after normal life resumes, I will be able to look back and put words to how I am feeling right now. But if not, I’m okay with that because it’s such a strange, uncertain, unwanted time in our lives and maybe it’s better to not have the perfect words. It seems more fitting that way.