Wednesdays are always tough. Even when the concept of “Wednesday” actually meant something because one particular day was different than another. They all kind of mush together in the realm of quarantine.
Growing up a midwesterner, I was imbued with two very strong, if oftentimes competing, values. One is honesty. We were taught to always tell the truth, and I always have. One reason is that I am, in fact, a terrible liar. The other reason is that I was told that lies make the baby Jesus cry, and baby cries really bug me.
The other very important midwest value is to always crush your feelings down as deep as you can at all times and keep on smiling and saying everything is great no matter what.
You can see where these values sometimes come into conflict.
So I’m going to take the unusual step of expressing an emotion and saying I was in a bit of a low mood yesterday. To be clear, this is not to elicit sympathy or pity. I write these on a one-day delay and I’m feeling lots better today. I know everyone is going through a lot right now, and I am always keenly aware of how much I have to be thankful for.
But I bring this up to acknowledge that we are living in truly extraordinary times, and we are all allowed to feel lousy about it sometimes. While I’ve found it helpful to stay positive and find the fun and funny parts about it and chronicle them here, I also think it’s important to recognize that all of us are going to have our moments of doubt, fear and despair.
Work-wise on Wednesday, I was overwhelmed by an endless stream of conference calls and improvisation in a changing professional world. And on another level, my typical efforts to block news of the outside world from my psyche broke down a little and I had a moment of absorbing the truly historic challenge of the moment we are living through. It can feel insurmountable at times.
It’s scary, and it’s OK to be anxious, stressed or blue. The trick is let those feelings come on through and then move on. I did that yesterday and was still able find the tranquility in a late afternoon walk with my family, and smile watching my kids play a game in the backyard where they kept filling up toy traffic cones with rocks and pretending they were ice cream cones.
There is lots of bad in the world right now, no doubt. There is also an awful lot of good. And protecting that good is why we are doing what we’re doing and staying at home.
So onward! Each day is its own journey and I promise I’ll be back the funny stuff tomorrow.