A Year of Pandemic

Wed 3/31/2021

Earlier this month we celebrated my daughter Wendy's third birthday. The small gathering for her second birthday was the last time we gathered with family and friends, including Wendy's godmother Liz, who was visiting from Maine. Shortly thereafter the pandemic really hit the USA and everything went into lockdown. We've been hunkered down at home ever since.

I remember shortly after lockdown began, hearing about a kid who had their birthday and didn't get to have a party, and thinking how sad that was. I guess now, we have all had a birthday during the pandemic. Or, I guess, all of us who are still alive...

2020 was incredibly stressful in so many different ways. Now, heading into the second year of this process I feel so completely burnt out. Coping mechanisms that worked great early on are less effective now, and I find it harder and harder to do my day job, to find fulfillment in my creative work, and to enjoy time with my family. Anything that adds a little bit of stress to my life feels like a much bigger deal than it actually is. And I keep hoping I'll wake up the next day feeling refreshed and ready to start a new day/week/month, but instead I just feel exhausted.

In my experience as a parent, you go through periods where everything is relatively stable -- there is a routine, and you've developed methods for dealing with the current state of things -- and then everything changes. We are going through one of those big transitions now, where Suzanne is having a lot of trouble getting to sleep at night (she's up until sometime between 10pm and 11pm) and Wendy has begun potty training and is... being three. Again, these things aren't unmanageable, and in "before times" Claire and I would just deal with it, but right now it's an extra layer of stress that is draining what little reserves of patience and energy I have.

I'm just venting, with the hope that expressing some of these feelings will make others who feel the same way feel less alone. Everyone has their own unique challenges during these stressful times. Shoutout to all the parents struggling through this, and extra points for anyone with a three year old who is screaming/crying about anything/everything all day long.

It's depressing watching so many people jump the gun and starting to relax restrictions, start traveling, etc. before most people are vaccinated. I wish people could hang in there a little bit longer, so that we don't have to prolong this horrible situation any longer than necessary. It's disappointing, but not surprising. We're trying so hard to combat this with science and guidelines and laws and restrictions, but at some point human nature seems to overpower everything else.

Anyway, I'm glad winter is over and it's starting to feel like spring here in Santa Fe. I'm trying to just take it one day at a time at this point, and have not lost hope that over the summer things will start to look better. Hang in there, everyone!

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