Mar 23, 2020

You're Not Alone

I almost didn't post today, because I didn't want to admit that I've been struggling with this quarantine thing. But I thought that if I'm struggling, maybe you are too, and it would help to know that you're not alone.

I know I'm one of the lucky ones. My husband is able to work at home, and his job seems secure. My kids are home and doing their best to follow the online learning hastily set up by LAUSD schools last week. We have plenty of food and toilet paper, too.

And yet - I had a meltdown yesterday because the Instacart shopper ignored my "do not substitute" instructions and substituted all kind of crazy things. Or maybe she wasn't substituting but just mindlessly picking up the wrong items, although I'm not sure how you mistake taco size flour tortillas for burrito size whole wheat tortillas and sun dried tomato wraps. It took me a while to understand that my emotional response was about the lack of control I have over the situation, just as I lack control over so much of what I used to enjoy and take pride in.

Objectively, I know I'm lucky to be able to order groceries online and have them delivered, and I'm grateful to the shopper who picked up and dropped off my order. But that doesn't change how unsettled I feel by not being able to select my own tortillas.

Even vacuuming was difficult because I had to plan around my family's schedule instead of doing it while they're at school and work like I normally would. I saw a Facebook post from a dad lamenting that he and his neat child are distraught by the messiness of his wife and other child and his inability to keep his wood floors clean, so I know I'm not the only one having issues.

Then there's the increased interactions with my children - whom I love dearly, but they're teenagers. Even though I know their attitudes are perfectly normal, I have a hard time maintaining a placid, accepting attitude of my own in the best of times. And these are not the best of times.

My parents are healthy for their ages, but they're still in the "high-risk" group - and they live thousands of miles away, and the quarantine situation means I don't know when I'll see them next. We stay in touch, but it's not the same as being able to get their groceries for them. I know they wouldn't want me to worry, but I'm an only child and I can't help it.

I know things will be okay. We are, relatively speaking, extremely fortunate. I keep reminding myself of this, even as I remind myself that it's also okay to feel what I'm feeling. Only after I accept my feelings can I move past them. Somehow.

You're Not Alone

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