Truth. We've been self-isolating at home since Saturday. Today is Day 6. Here's what's really happening.
In the first few days of our #stayhome quarantine, I had an overwhelming impulse to clean everything in sight. I saw dirt in corners that I have willfully ignored for years. Digging that out felt good. It felt as if I could scrub my way out of the pandemic. As if I could control the cleanable surfaces at home. But I didn't get to everything. And after a few days, I stopped caring.
In the next few days, I had a deep need to feed my people. I stocked yeast, bread flour and beans. I began cooking and freezing. I still haven't torn into the yeast, because yeast is a little intimidating, and all the fight has gone out of me. Becoming a master baker has ceased to be a personal goal.
Yesterday? The yelling started (and there might have been one object thrown). Schooling at home is hard. This isn't home school. This is a crisis, and our kids are at home trying to do school. In the midst of juggling the cleaning, cooking and teaching and while I watched my healing practice evaporate, I recognized an old feeling welling up. That feeling from when I was 8 years old and my mother drove away one afternoon and didn't come back, until she eventually did. (My mother who will read this. My mother whom I love dearly and am working to forgive. Completely.)
That feeling is so familiar. I was just 8, but I decided I needed to take care of everyone. My dad. My two little brothers who were 5 and 2. My little daily diary had lists in it of the food we were eating at each meal. That helped me feel in control in a situation where I was completely lost.
Yesterday a wave washed over me. I realized I have had a mental list of people whom I need to reach out to. To make sure they are okay. I realized I have had a mental list of more cleaning to do, more cooking to do. Oh, and more writing to do. Of course, now is the perfect time to start again that book I have had churning in my guts for years.
And I cracked. Because no one has called me to see how I am doing. They aren't in the habit of thinking I need it, the people who know and love me. Because I have built it that way.
And I yelled. And I threw something. And I laid down in the dark of my room and listened while the men at home quietly folded laundry and did the dishes downstairs. Taking care of me in their way.
And so today, I will not clean. I will not cook. I will not sit once again at my keyboard and draft chapters of the book. I will not crisis manage school from home.
I will rest. I will let those at home with me rest too. And I will cry if I need to. And I will accept hugs. Calls. And messages.
Because I am doing the hard work of forgiving and healing. If not now, when?
Permission granted to you too. With love, Pam