We’re now just a couple weeks shy of a full year since the pandemic lockdown started. In the beginning, it seemed like we would be down a few weeks, but here we are a year later still having to be cautious about outings and socializing, and wearing masks everywhere we go.
Time seems to be standing still, yet moving so quickly all at once. It is a strange feeling. I’m experiencing time blindness in ways that I never have before. Even being fully aware of it, I can’t seem to get it under control. I sometimes lose hours without even realizing it – most often in the night/early morning hours. The effect this has had on my sleep schedule is not good. I’m not sleeping well and some nights only make it to bed for 3-4 hours because I don’t realize how late it is.
There’s a numbing feeling that I can’t quite put my finger on. It is a mix of sadness, helplessness, loss, failure, exhaustion, fear, anger, disappointment, and so many other things all wrapped up together. I’m not the only one feeling it. I see it all around me – in my co-workers, my kids, my husband, my friends and family. We are all just done. We’re tired. We’re so ready to get back to a “normal” state, whatever that is.
We throw ourselves into things that we think will make us feel better, searching for that amazing dopamine surge, but after a while even the things that usually bring joy feel a little less exciting. For me, my way out of the doldrums is to create. I’ve been crocheting and knitting almost obsessively since last March. A day rarely goes by that I’m not knitting or crocheting something. The repetitive motion is calming, so much so that I often get lost in it and completely lose any sense of time (see time blindness issues above). I also recently invested in a Cricut machine that is giving me all kinds of ideas of new thing I want to create. There’s something about a completed project that gives me such a sense of satisfaction. It is one of the few things that actually give me a sense of accomplishment right now.
We’re all yearning for change, for the sun to peek through the clouds and shine down on us, for the gray to turn back to green, yellow, and orange. We seek a point of recovery, of normal life, but will we ever truly recover from this? Will our hearts and our minds ever be the same as they once were? Will our relationships with others ever be the same? Will we ever feel truly safe again?
There will be scars for sure, some in places that we can’t see, to be discovered when we least expect it. Others may be more visible and fade over time, but never truly go away. All of the good and the bad of this time, etched into our skin, our hearts, and our minds, shaping who we are for a lifetime.