I keep writing and re-writing this Topic of the Day post, unable to settle on a specific topic because my brain keeps coming back to the main theme of the past 17 months, which is: this shit is really fucking hard! I feel burned out and drained. Not just in keeping up this site, but in everything. Maybe you feel this way, too? I’m not depressed. It’s not even malaise that I feel. I guess it’s exhaustion? Or, more accurately, it’s feeling that raising my kids and keeping my house clean and getting food on the table and maintaining my physical and mental health is… enough. And it’s kind of all I can really handle lately. I saw this meme the other day that kind of summed things up, but something feels just a little off about it at the same time…
What feels a little off is the way the pandemic is framed in the past tense (“You just went through…” as opposed to “You are going through…”). I’ve been seeing this a lot, like this one: During the Pandemic, Did You Want to Make Any Life Changes? We’re still in a pandemic! Maybe for people who are fully vaccinated (which I hope is every last one of you who is eligible to be vaccinated!!) and don’t have young kids and live in an area where there’s either really low transmission or people just act like there’s no pandemic, it feels like it’s all over, but for me, it’s still on my mind a whole lot. My kids won’t be eligible for a vaccine for months it sounds like. They haven’t been inside a school since last March. I am increasingly worried about their risk when they do go back in six weeks. I am worried about the threat of new variants emerging that our current vaccines will be less effective against. I’m concerned about the already waning vaccine efficacy in our older population who were vaccinated first. Sometimes I feel really alone in these concerns. Sometimes, when I see headlines that frame the pandemic in the past tense, I want to scream: Am I living in an alternate reality?!
The other day I ran into a neighborhood acquaintance I hadn’t seen in a couple years. She told me I looked really happy and had “great energy.” It sounded so funny to me that I almost laughed. Whatever it was that she saw is genuine; I actually am happy and I do feel good, but it’s taking all my strength to get there. I don’t have much left for anything that isn’t directly related to keeping my family and myself sane, happy, and healthy. But… it felt good to be recognized, I think.
I’m sorry that I am not posting as often here as I once did. There’s a lot I’m not doing as much or as regularly or as enthusiastically as I did pre-pandemic. I don’t know when or how much things will revert back to normal. But what I am doing, I think I’m doing pretty well. I am keeping my family and myself sane, happy, and healthy. For now, that’s enough. It has to be. I’ve got nothing in the tank for more.
How about you? How are you feeling these days? Are you having a hot vax summer? Are you traveling and catching up with loved ones? Are you feeling like the pandemic is done and over and in the past, or are you, like I am, still grappling with it in your daily life?