Chapter 44: A Day in the Life at the Border of Crazy
It’s been 248 days since we went into hiding due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I don’t know about you, but for me, each day bleeds into the next with an ever-growing list of chores. Rinse, then repeat.
The cancel culture has taken on a different meaning for me. Our joy has been canceled. No goals. No holiday traditions. No travel. No birthday celebrations, graduations, or weddings. No dancing, clubs, or bars. No hugging and kissing your family and friends. No Easter, no Christmas, no New Year’s Eve.
Elbow touch greetings, smiles hidden behind masks as tears well with the longing to reach out and touch the ones you love.
Suspicious glances exchanged with the terrible wonder at who is a breeding ground of asymptomatic COVID positive germs.
Melancholy sets in. A perpetual state of eating, drinking, laundry, toilet paper buying, washing dishes, and sitting in front of a computer for 10-12 hours a day trying to feel a sense of accomplishment.
All of the necessary inputs of joy are gone for the foreseeable future. The haze of each day traps me in a perpetual dark stormy cloud.
Following the excitement around my engagement to Mr. Pizza, a certain anti-climatic feeling has settled in. Planning for a wedding in St. John, we don’t know we can have without the wracking fear of catching a virus that could spread to someone we love, potentially causing them to get sick and, God-forbid, die.
For weeks, I’ve been stumped about what I should write about. I find myself at a complete loss for words. Every day is the same as the last and the next.
“Wake up, get out of bed, drag a comb across my head.” The opening lyrics of one of my favorite Beatles songs play in my mind as a stream of consciousness. As I think about how John Lennon would write the rest of that song while facing a pandemic, grief overtakes me.
Yet, there have been bright spots. I struggle to focus on the benefits of being home. I get to be with my love every day of the week. I gained back 3-4 hours a day from not commuting. I’m able to walk my daughter to school on the two days she attends in person. She often gives me a drive-by hug and kiss while I’m on conference calls to the delight of the people sitting on the other side of the screen. We have dinner together every night with Mr. Pizza. We play games, laugh, play with Bella, wash the dishes, paint, dream, write, study. Wake up the next day and do it all over again.
If we are lucky, we may see our friends for a COVID-friendly, socially distanced dinner party. We’ve started baking and trying out new virtual traditions. But seriously, sitting in front of a fucking computer for another meeting or familial get together is daunting.
It’s a time capsule of nothing new accompanied by a fervent sense of safety in our bubble.
Then I begin to wonder, what will our lives look like once the air clears (literally) and our society enters the real world again? What is the real-world post-pandemic? Will it and we be forever altered by our isolated experience?
My melancholy borders on depression as I effort to not let that swoon of darkness drag me down. Yet the clouds that fill my head, conceal the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. The tunnel is like a Never-Ending Story but there is no Falkor to swoop in and save me from the Nothing.
I reminisce about the days where I took my freedom for granted. When I could get on a plane with a moment’s notice or meet a friend for dinner without the fear of getting sick. I could go to a gym without underlying paralyzing fear. I could hug my mother without hesitation. I could breathe the air freely smelling the seasons as I inhale the world around me.
I’m genuinely struggling to find the motivation to wake up each day. There is no motivation to lose the quarantine 15 pounds I gained. I’m straining to love Mondays as much as Friday’s. I’m struggling with the drudgery of the imminent dark winter. I’m dreading the thought of canceling all our Christmas traditions with those I love the most. I fight the fear of walking out my front door do the things I love and miss like walking, biking, shopping, spa or ballroom dancing.
The debilitating blasé sits on my chest, threatening to suffocate my very essence.
I’m fighting to find hope. Hope for this to end, hope that we can go back to “normal” life. Hope that I will break from the cocoon of self-protection I’ve formed over the past nine months.
Today, I’ve decided to forgive myself for not doing my job as a blogger for The Daily Feels. I’m supposed to offer a positive view of our human struggles, but today, I just can’t do it. I don’t have the energy or the optimism to force into this blog. I can’t fake it.
I can barely pick my head up off the pillow most mornings to face another day of the same grind. Faith and hope are the thin threads I’m hanging onto for dear life, that this too shall pass. I’m giving myself the room to mourn my previous life and find the value in this new world order.
I promise I’ll be better next time. Truth be told, in order to write about my life, I need to be living it. And right now, I’m not living the life I signed up for, the life I worked so hard to realize.
COVID-19, this world-altering pandemic, has some tough lessons; the biggest lesson for me is that you don’t know what you got until it’s gone.
I’m calling an audible. I beseech The Daily Feels community to come to my rescue and provide some suggestions and ideas on how you are getting yourself through our quarantine life and keeping joy alive.
In the meantime, I’ll be sitting here, in front of my fucking computer, eager and willing to heed your sage advice.
Eternally grateful even while melancholy. Quarantine kisses and virtual hugs,
Cherry Maggiore is the proud single mom of her 10-year-old super-sassy daughter (aka Miss Sassy Pants or MSP); in addition to being an award-winning senior marketing executive at a major media company.
Beside her side hustle as the Freak of Nurture, she also started a home design company after being inspired by renovating and designing her 1880’s home in NJ.
This insanely curious and passionate “multi-potentialite” can be found dancing the Argentinan tango, swing, and Hustle every Saturday, cooking her family an Italian Sunday dinner, singing and air drumming at concerts, or searching for her next adventure