141 // Of the Past Year

The forecast promised warm weather today but so far all we’ve gotten are clouds and cool breezes. I’m hearing murmurs of severe storms and even hail later and hoping the rumors are true. The sun has been nice, but in the late afternoon the heat can become oppressive if the afternoon storms don’t roll in and restrain the rising temperatures.

The clouds are comforting though, matching my mood as my mind replays the tragedies of the past year. I haven’t told all (not all stories are mine to tell) nor gone into great detail (an emotional burden I couldn’t ask you to bear) but these last 12+ months have been some of the hardest I have ever lived though.

Illness, losses, trauma, sacrifice, failures, the blows followed back to back with hardly any time to process before the next crisis began and as a result I’m suffering the effects in unpredictable and heart-wrenching waves.

At random moments throughout my day the realization that life is so different, has been so affected, and feels so fucking hard now and the knowledge there is nothing I can do to change where we are or to soften any of the hurt felt so far, hits me, and I break out into tears, into rage, into an overwhelming need for comfort so big I fear it can never be satisfied.

I’m trying my best to keep one foot in front of the other, in front of the other, in front of the other and to be at least realistic whenever I can’t be positive. Life goes on and I go on, one way or another. I’d like some control. I’d like to make choices. I’d like the future to be different from the past. I’d like to never have another year like the last again but if I do, I hope to find myself with lessons learned and feeling a lot more resilient than I do now.

But! It’s Friday, the sun is beginning to peek from behind the clouds and I’m ready to turn this low mood around. I have coffee in hand and my friends are waiting with promises of laughter and distraction. Life may be hard in general, but today will be a good day despite it all. The secret is in how you look at it. It’s in what you choose to focus on and what you choose to hold to and what you choose to let hold you up. It’s in how you choose to let it shape you.

Control.

Choices.

Lessons.

Resilience.

Perhaps they are already here.

141//366

Mid-week means something again. It’s my second day back at work and I’m already looking forward to the upcoming long weekend. Not because today was a bad day. Quite the opposite, actually.

Early in the day two of my coworkers and I took a short break for a small grocery run at Walmart. We ended up finding exactly three bottles of hand sanitizer. Later our boss told us she’d just come from Target where Clorox wipes had just been put on the shelves. She gave us all permission to leave then and there to get some. I haven’t been able to buy either product in months. Today felt not just good, but lucky.

Work was easy enough. I’m largely being left alone to do the projects I’ve tasked myself with. No one is worried or bothered by me. I’m still feeling a little off from my infusion yesterday but on the whole I’m much, much better. It’s just that being out and being around people is still a lot. Even at the infusion center yesterday, I felt withdrawn and irritable by the people around me. I wanted to be left alone.

I wonder if the anti-social change will be permanent. I suspect not, but I don’t see the scar healing over completely. This experience will change us all, and social interaction might not ever be the same.

I’ve noticed I get angry at people who are not following guidelines for masks or social distancing in public. I glared at a man in the home improvement store yesterday who didn’t wear a mask and I felt almost disgusted seeing coworkers hugging. I don’t mean to be so harsh and I am actively weighing and adjusting my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs toward others as needed.

I don’t know what is the right level of anger or what kind of social consequences there should be. I know that I can understand why people do the things they do and I also know that this is new for everyone and quite hard to get used too. I’m trying to be patient and forgiving of the defiance and the disregard, but it is not easy.