I went for a walk OUTSIDE yesterday. Big win with my agoraphobia from OCD in a pandemic. I wrote this reflection on my phone:
It makes me think of the beforetimes. The time when you could leave your home with a reasonable expectation that your life was not in danger, and you wouldn’t inadvertently kill someone else. The beforetimes when kids were in school and sports, busy and laughing. The time when parents went to work and had a social life. Long ago when you could walk around inhaling fresh air sans mask. The beforetime when we still had over 400k of our loved ones alive in the states. Before so many lost their jobs and struggle to eat. Those times when we could go to a restaurant or concert, when we watched movies with overpriced candy and popcorn. We use to have parties, in person. We use to hug our friends. I use to laugh out loud and voraciously not caring where the air from my lungs went, or what came in. Now I watch people on the beach walking with masks, trying to express normalcy through their eyes and listen to one another through cloth.
Dogs are extra excited pulling on leashes, they love the now more. They get more walks and attention with their parents at home. They are a beacon of sanity in rough times. Hey mom, you have to walk, we have to eat, I need to go outside to pee. Dog moms comply, they talk in their silly dog voices and praise pooping. They can compartmentalize for a moment as they pull out the poop bag. Such a regular mundane moment in extraordinary times. I grasp for any of those moments. Simple human things become an anchor to safety. Otherwise I start to lose my goddamn mind.
The beforetimes are gone. It will never be the same again. Some don’t get that yet, but it’s true. The world changed. Part of the angst and uncertainty is that we don’t know what is next. We don’t know what the new normal is. We are in the in between space, figuring it out. Scientists and leaders working hard to come up with answers with ever changing conditions. Nobody knows yet. Nobody knows. So for now, I sit in grief of the beforetimes. I sit in anxiety of the uncertain now. I aspire to hope for what is next.