…But there must be something.
Just as the first shelter-in-place directives were shouting their way around the world, I found my moods wildly ping-ponging between those YOU-DONT-WANT-TO-GO-THERE places of panic, sadness, insecurity and despair.
By this time in our so-called midlife, only a select and lucky few are unfamiliar with these emotions. By now, most (all?) of us have suffered personal and professional losses; likewise, we’ve experienced illness, stood by helplessly watching a loved one suffer, and are old enough to understand that life doesn’t always go our way.
- We’ve learned what makes us happy, and what makes people who matter to us happy.
- We’ve learned what upsets us, and what upsets people that we care about most.
- We’ve learned that things don’t always go our way, and how to be flexible when they don’t.
- We’ve learned our limitations, and how to test them.
- We’ve learned to accept reality, yet that it is oftentimes within our power to change it.
But despite all the valuable lessons I’ve managed to learn – and despite being able to pride myself on being older and wiser – somehow I’m having trouble drawing from these lessons in this very strange, dystopian universe we’re stuck in.
So, I had a very serious and honest conversation with myself last night, after my mini-weekly-meltdown. I used to have maxi-daily-meltdowns, so I suppose either a). I am, after all, drawing from my life experiences to manage better; or b). I’m adjusting to this new normal.
Option b is a lot more likely, because how could any of us possibly be equipped to deal with something of this magnitude and severity?????
Experts say to look for the learning opportunities in every adverse situation. So, let’s look…there are some here, there are some here, there are some here.
Here’s a glimpse into my conversation:
ME: My roots are gray. My nails are splitting. My brows…well, never mind those.
MY WISE(R) VOICE: If that’s the worst of your problems, you are one lucky woman. Use the time to nurture them. Do deep hair conditioning treatments, file down the ragged split nails and start from scratch; while you’re sitting around bingeing on Netflix or network of choice, brush on some nourishing oils.
Grab your tweezers and take a brow lesson.
ME: I’m so sick of cooking!
Use the time to find new recipes you never had time to cook before. You might just discover some keepers! I never go wrong with any of Ina Garten’s recipes, which always taste restaurant-quality.
ME: I’m so sad about my loss of freedom.
Remember, it is temporary. And it’s a good thing you’re a homebody, anyway, so use the time to enjoy what you’ve always enjoyed – being home. One way to make your home even more cozy is with a deliciously-scented room diffuser.
ME: I miss my gym.
You’ve always loved to walk; get out there and spend time taking even longer walks. (Don’t forget about your Hoka’s). Let the fresh air gently slap your face and remind you that you’re alive. Take time to notice the buds all around and let them be a signal that life will get back on track. Listen to one of your favorite podcasts, or some soothing music, or call someone you care about.
Psst…If your wise(r) voice fails to prevail, here are some other helpful voices worth listening to: