After One Year

I have found that as we passed the one year mark of pandemic togetherness that more than anything I crave my alone time. It’s a yearning so strong that it makes me ache. As Facebook memories show up reminding me of those early days of lockdown, they seem so distant. And really familiar. A year ago I wasn’t able to wrap my head around the possibility of what was happening. It was frightening. And stressful. One of the few comforts was knowing that it wasn’t only me. Everyone was struggling to find their footing in time when had found their life turned on its side.

I thought I did a fairly decent job of adapting to a new normal that included less contact with the outside world (which I embraced) and more contact within my safe bubble (which was good too until it began to get old). As time passed it became easier to see where people fell and anti-maskers and guideline breakers revealed themselves. It was disheartening to see who did not practice safety measures but were the first to complain often and loudly how things had to get back to normal. It still makes me angry. The numbers in our area (and probably many other areas as well) would have dropped drastically if people had just done what they were being asked. Instead the very people causing things to drag on were making life miserable for everyone else as well as themselves.

As the country and the world are attempting to open up, every location in a slightly different stage, I’m not looking forward to it. I’m finding that I’m more calm when I’m at home. And I can only re-charge when I have plenty of solitary time. After a year here with my bubble people, I find it difficult to block out the sound of them in the house. Usually this would be the opposite for me and I would be subconsciously redirecting their presence to background noise when needed. Now it feels as if I hear everything. I’ve come to realize that my bubble has become the outside world that I would come home to block out. There’s been a shift and while I struggle to deal with it, I find myself searching for patience that has been used up for far too long now. We are all in this together and I keep that thought in the forefront of my mind as I work through this latest realization.

I’m cautiously hopeful as I watch my Facebook feed fill with posts about first and second vaccinations. I’m happy for those who are vaccinated, especially because they seem to have a sort of lightheartedness and hopefulness that I have yet to feel. I am relieved and blessed that everyone in my family has either been fully vaccinated or have had their first dose with the second on the horizon. I’m the last person in my family standing – still unvaccinated for now. Being in the last group…the biggest group…. the everyone else in the world group, I know that my turn is coming and it’s coming sooner than originally projected.

We still have a ways to go before things will get back to a normal that feels anything like the old normal. And in our house, we won’t be rushing out to eat in restaurants or gather in large groups any time in the near future. We will be playing it safe for the time being. But we are hopeful for that time to come when we feel comfortable and until then, if you can’t find me, I’m probably hiding in some room with the door locked trying to find some down time.

Fandango’s One Word Challenge- Solitary

Stream of Consciousness Saturday- starts with “cal” CALM

Stay safe

-Kat

Happy National Lego Day!

Did you know that today is National Lego Day? I did not. I guess there’s a day for almost everything, right?

Having two sons, Legos were a staple in our household for years. Between the two boys we accrued thousands of them. Both boys were avid Lego builders and when the next generation of Lego lovers arrived, they couldn’t wait to share their passion with the little guys.

I have no memory of the legos multiplying and transporting themselves all over the house back when my kids were younger. Maybe I blocked it. Or maybe it has something to do with a certain six year old who loves Legos as much as his daddy did (and I suspect still does). But suffice it to say, I find them EVERYWHERE! On the bathroom sink, nestled on top of books in the bookcase, on my desk, and even my coat pocket! For months I had a metal lunchbox filled with an assortment in my bedroom and every time I tried to return it, I was told that I could keep it. It seemed rude to insist it return to Lego storage.

I’m not a Lego builder myself. I did not play with them as a child. When my kids were growing up, they asked their dad if they needed help. That’s just the way it was. Then Beej came along, insisting I build with him. He would take me by the hand and bring me to the Legos with a request for something impossible that he was sure I could build! I quickly learned that if I sat down, dumped out a bin of Legos and began sorting them by size, he would happily deconstruct the towers I was building to create something of his own.

Recently Beej informed his dad that while they are good at building things with Legos, I am good at sorting them into categories. It’s the little things, right?

“LEGO has announced that they are shutting down their U.S. factory and moving it to Canada. LEGO employees say it’s their fault because they made the factory too easy to take apart and rebuild somewhere else.” –Conan O’Brien

Fandango’s One Word Challenge- Category

Stay safe!

-Kat

Goodbye, May!

mask

This really is the time that introverts have been training for all of their lives!

I blinked and it was gone. The month. Which is pretty hilarious considering time has slowed down so much it’s ridiculous. I’m fairly certain that each day has doubled in hours, if not more. I clearly remember the last day life felt normal. March 13th. Yes, Friday the 13th. I guess I should have taken that as a sign! And I know where the month of May went. It was consumed by that all too familiar thief of the times- The Virus. I can just picture it in my head…. like a secret agent complete with dark glasses, trench coat, dark hat pulled low over his forehead sneaking in the steal away with the month of May tucked under his arm.

After that day, while restrictions piled up on a daily, if not even more often, basis, normal everyday life just slipped away. In those early days I battled with anxiety in a way I had never experienced in my life. Luckily I got that under control and these days although it creeps up on my from time to time, I’m usually able to get a lid on it.

The thing is, I understood the need for the restrictions. They were for our own good. To keep us safe. To save lives. Maybe I wouldn’t die if I had it, but the at risk members of my family quite easily could. So logically I got it. Unfortunately in those early days, my anxiety did not.

In the months that have followed, I’ve discovered so many things. Here are just a few-

  • I learned that e-learning is the pits and I’m so glad I didn’t have to deal it with my own kids when they were in the 5-10 year age group!
  • It’s really easy to lose track of time. Although my month of May was stolen, I’m never sure what day of the week it is and I spend a lot of time checking the calendar, as if it’s going to shout out a message, “Welcome, Kat- today is Sunday!”
  • Living by Zoom meeting is a totally different experience than life before zooming.
  • It’s easy to get caught up in shopping online and spend, spend, spend.
  • If I didn’t want unexpected visitors before, I REALLY don’t want any visitors now.
  • I’ve never been so suspect of people that I thought I trusted. Face coverings and social distancing…. this one took me by surprise. In 2-1/2 months we have only had one person inside our house who is outside our 5 person circle. And the only house I’ve been in besides my own is my dad’s. Keeping him safe and inside (meaning not out in public) has been a challenge. (He touches everything and then his face.)
  • I found out what was truly essential.
  • My worry for the 2/3 of my kids who continued to work throughout grew in epic proportions. Both were essential workers- a first responder and store cashier.
  • Although my state has moved into the next Phase, I’m not ready. What little I’ve seen in the past two days causes me major concern. Face coverings and social distancing are being thrown by the wayside. For more reasons than I could list, people are desperately trying to grab onto their former lives and freedoms. I am not.

And last and most important of all-

  • While the world was shut down, life kept moving. There were birthdays, births, graduations, health issues, pet health issues…. some passed by with little fanfare and others will be celebrated like crazy when it truly is safe to do so.

And so, I’m saying goodbye to May and holding on to hope that June is filled with better things!

Please stay safe!

-Kat

Fandango’s One Word Challenge- thief

Ragtag Daily Prompt- For our good

Photo a day challenge- Goodbye May

 

 

 

 

A Post Without a Title

I listen intently to her story about the plushie that she desperately wanted. It was a unicorn- fresh, new, soft, sparkly and purple. I hear her describe how she felt when she saw it. Her face shows the joy and delight she felt when she relives the moment her grandmother surprised her with it. She reveals that she also received a plushie that had been her mother’s. This plushie shows signs of wear and tear and years of love. It is an puppy, with brown faded paws and flat worn fur.  Before it became hers, it was kept in a box of her mother’s things. But now the old and new plushies are precious to her. They comfort her when she’s feeling lonely. With a tinge of sadness creeping around the corners of her eyes and the edges of her words, she shares that her mother died a long time ago.

Although I had suspected this, I struggle to swallow the lump in my throat that has grown from the size of a plum to that of a grapefruit in mere seconds. My heart misses a beat and I give her a tender smile.

She is only seven years old.

butterfly candle holder

 

“I’ll silently stand in the corner and cry, on this fateful day.

I refuse to say goodbye because I don’t want to see you go away.”

-Author Unknown

 

FOWC- Refuse

Ragtag Daily Prompt- Goodbye

 

Peace and love-

-Kat

Book Love

“Reading one book is like eating one potato chip.”

— Diane Duane, So You Want to Be a Wizard

“Insights don’t usually arrive at my desk, but go into notebooks when I’m on the move. Or half-asleep.” -Hilary Mantel

At some point over the last few years I lost my desire to read. I blame vision issues. But I suspect that spending the majority of my time in hospitals or at home caring for others impacted my ability to hold on to any interest in a book I might try to read. I had to find contentment in reading to five year old Beej. And read, I did. 

Then a book by my favorite author was released. And I noticed a biography of an actress whose movies I loved. Without warning, I found myself back in the game. Instead of spending time jumping from one social media account to another or shopping on Amazon, I look forward to participating in a reading challenge and READING!

My hope is that with reading, my writing will come out of hibernation. Then I will have to start poring through my notebooks and decipher the notes of ideas, dialogue, character and more that I’ve been jotting down!

FOWC- Paper