The best way out is always through.– Robert Frost
My job is considered essential. I work for a group of ophthalmologists and have been required to go into the clinic ever since my self-quarantine ended. And because of having to leave the house for work, I do know what day it is. Though I understand how those having to work from home or remain at home for other reasons could come to wonder “What day is it?”.
Sometimes I do wish I could work from home and remain out of public areas right now. To hide until all of this COVID-19 mess is over and done with. Unfortunately I don’t think that will be for a long while. SO while some are able to stay home and get lost in the What day is it? mentality (one, I’m sure they’d gladly give up in a heartbeat to get back to life as “usual”), I feel myself wondering What time is it? or What week or month is it? Because in reality, we’re all feeling a timelessness, a suspension, a pause in Life as we know it while we wait for … whatever it is we’re waiting for.
If I’m honest, I don’t consider my job essential. I’m not in the ER savings lives. I’m not in the hospital taking care of critically ill patients. I’m just a manager of an eye surgery scheduling team. And during this time while elective surgeries have been put on hold, we haven’t been that busy – only a handful of urgent cases.
We have several clinic locations – each one having remained open, including my favorite that sits by the St. Johns River. One day I needed some air, so I took a walk during lunch down the avenue and next to the water’s edge. One of my favorite things to do when at this one office. As I was walking, a couple passed me going the opposite direction on the sidewalk. They kept their distance, looked at me and smiled. Then the man said, “Thank you.” I waved and smiled beneath my mask… hoping he could tell from my eyes that I was grateful. However it took me by surprise. And to be honest I felt a bit unworthy. Again, I don’t consider myself essential. Sometimes I feel like I’m taking up space where I shouldn’t and spreading germs that don’t need to be spread right now. But it is my job to be there and I need my job. And even though it may have been only the scrubs the man was thanking (not knowing who I was or what I do), I was appreciative. In his mind, I was essential. And in that moment, it felt good to be acknowledged and appreciated.
But I digress. Getting back to telling time…
It’s currently Sunday. This I know.
But what I don’t know is when all this will end. No one knows. I suppose we’re waiting on a vaccine but that could take months. And that’s the scary thing. That’s the unnerving thing. That’s what keeps me up at night and robs me of any bit of sleep I otherwise would’ve had.
How much more of this “social distancing, mask-wearing, staying at home” will we have to endure??
I find myself getting angry. Real angry. Angry at the world – at those who trade animals and buy wild meat in wet markets – at those who seem to show no concern for others as they traipse through grocery shops with no masks and an entire family in tow – at our world, our country that can’t seem to recognize surplus/over-abundance that’s everywhere and so not necessary.. we buy, we hoard, we pack, and then we waste – IN LARGE AMOUNTS. There is SO much waste in this country.
I think this is why I haven’t written in a while. This anger. This disdain. Every time I go to sit down and write, all that really wants to come out is, “What the hell, guys?!” But I know that’s helpful so I refrain. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, and I know you all are probably doing everything you can to do your part to avoid further infections. I try to find something better to do with my time than to yell at the world through this blog.
So I bake. Last weekend, I baked green olive breadsticks and we made our first ever homemade pizza dough. This weekend, I made peanut butter cookies from scratch (at the request of my husband), homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream and vanilla ice cream (requests by the kiddos), AND more homemade pizza dough for some delicious fresh out of the oven pizzas for dinner.
I also garden. (I LOVE to garden!) I listen to music. I search for inspirational people, words, and videos to help me through this time. I read (currently reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle – highly recommended!). I bathe (not just daily showers but baths that soak away all your troubles). I watch movies. I sing. I look for ways to help, mostly in donations when and whatever amounts I can, since we can’t gather or travel.
We’ll be okay. We’ll all be alright. We can do hard things and we can get through tough times.
Sending love and strength.