Clawing Our Way Back to Comfort
Despite the hilarity of the picture above, there is actually a massive amount of serious thought happening in my mind today. I've been wanting to blog it, but it doesn't fit a category of any kind so I've been hesitant. It's all just thoughts jumbled in my head. I also thought about posting about them individually, but I'm the *least* politically charged person I know and some people are so opinionated right now. I always work to fact-find, get educated, be diplomatic and see things from all angles. Today I'm not mentally prepared to respond to people who might have different information than me, or who might interpret information differently than me, and therefore may react poorly to me posting thoughts that are simply me thinking "out loud" and are not necessarily what I believe. To be frank, I'm not actually sure what to believe anymore.
That being said, I decided these things can't live in my mind any longer or I might lose what little of it I have left after being away from other people for so long. So, here is what I've been thinking about. . . And if you feel the need to reply, please be kind. I'm just a simple human who is just as tired and confused and frustrated with everything as much as everyone else is. Know me, know my heart, and as you read, work to listen to what I am trying to say, even if I screw it up - as I most likely will.
1. On reopening everything - I was of the "What are we doing! It's too soon!" mindset until I realized that distancing (which is not social isolation, mind you, as most people took it) was never intended to stop the virus or eradicate it. Distancing was put in place to buy time. . . Read that again. Distancing was only put in place to buy time. Time to learn about the virus. Time to work on a vaccine. Time to stockpile supplies. Time for doctors and nurses to prepare for mass infection and mass causality. Reopening doesn't mean it's safe to leave your home and get back to "normal". In my mind, stay at home orders being lifted also doesn't mean distancing should cease. It really just means that our healthcare system is (should be) better equipped to handle the number of cases that come in after we re-emerge. This isn't a statement about our healthcare system or what did or didn't happen governmentally. This is simply a statement to remind myself that even forever wouldn't be long enough to make it all just go away and I personally have to make a choice about how I'm going to play this game from here on out. People all over will get corona as things open and they will spread it. Some people will live, many will die, and it's up to me to adjust my lifestyle accordingly as it is for each of us. Some days I'm nostalgic for "what was," but I'm really thinking maybe we should be using this time to get excited for the opportunity to create what can be in spite of.
2. To that point, besides not wanting people I love and care about to get sick, I also have massive FOMO. I personally am not ready to reenter the world yet and get back to normal because I was a germophobe before all this happened and now it's just worse. Also - With everyone grounded, I don't have to make the choice AND I'm not missing out on events. However, as talk of meetings and tradeshows being put back on the calendar is happening, me being to much of a ninny to go out yet kind of sucks. I'm really enjoying not missing out on things because there isn't anything to miss! Don't get it twisted though. I absolutely miss missing things. It was just a lot of pressure, all self imposed of course, to want to be everywhere with everyone and just not having enough time in the day to do all of it.
3. On a separate, but related note: We are terrible at should-ing all over ourselves. Things should be this way or that. Events should happen, look, or be a certain way. But why? Has anyone ever asked why graduation ceremonies are the way they are and if they should continue being this way? Weddings, gender reveals, everything - Things can't be how we think they "should be" and it's forcing people to get creative. People celebrating milestones are going to have some of the most epic memories EVER! "When we couldn't have birthday parties and the entire neighborhood drove through honking their horns and waving signs." or "When we couldn't have a traditional graduation ceremony so they set it up like the drive in movies" or "My dad built a podium in my driveway for me to walk across while live streaming it to our whole family."
We are so stuck on how things should be that we aren't seeing the awesomeness and creativity and ridiculous level of rad that is or could be happening! As a society we're so busy projecting our memories on our kids and wanting the same thing for them that we had that we aren't noticing how absolutely freaking cool what is happening is. If we're really honest with ourselves - traditional graduation ceremonies are really boring. In Arizona it means melting in bleachers while 800 names are called and cheering for two seconds when your grad walks by, when instead this past Saturday, seniors got in their cars, made signs, and drove around my neighborhood while thousands of people lined the streets, cheered and shouted as they all passed by. I don't know about you, but as a regular graduate, I feel totally jipped. Thinking about demanding a redo! And birthday parties. . . A bunch of people showing up, handing over a card with $20 or a boring giftcard, no thought put into it, mindlessly playing games, singing happy birthday, eating cake and going home?! You guys - WE ARE SO LAME!! Now, this is not a bash on anyone who really wanted a normal event. I get it. I absolutely do. As humans we are obsessed with being normal. My heart just breaks watching how much we're projecting grief about unrealized expectations and what we are (or are not actually) teaching our children about overcoming and adapting. Just because things aren't the same as we had them, doesn't mean they can't still be just as if not even more epic. I mean, what would happen if we let someone plan a graduation that had never been to one before? How would what they planned be different than what we expect or what we think they should be? Maybe we should try it and find out. Talk about creating FOMO!
So why is all this in my head and how does one relate to two and three? As a society, when something is out of order, we immediately start fighting to create a normalcy and routine that is most akin to our previous level of comfort. There is that cliche quote that says, "Get comfortable being uncomfortable." That won't leave my head. We have a massive opportunity to be ok with being uncomfortable but instead we are trying to claw our way back to comfort - even if getting back to normal might be at the expense of another human's life.
As these next few weeks unfold, I'm working hard to ask myself, "What do I want my new normal to look like, how does it it differ from what it was before, and in this incredibly small window of my life before everything starts back up, what do I need to do now to ensure that the rest of my life is the best of my life?"
If I were to give you one big piece of advice, it would be for you to consider asking yourself the same questions and then taking the actions to make the changes and make it happen. ♡