Covid Blues. Covid Blessings.

It's been seven long months since Covid invaded my life. 
It was supposed to be the beginning of Spring break 2020. We had fun surprise vacation plans for our family. We had purchased plane tickets to bring home our college daughter for a long weekend and I was sooo freaking excited to surprise the rest of the family! Instead it was a chaotic mess of school being canceled, canceling plane tickets, renting a van and finding emergency child care so we could drive across the country to pack up and bring our oldest daughter home from college, and worrying about our son who was on a band trip in Florida. That was just the first weekend. 
Then came the anxiety that took away my ability to sleep. Oh, and all the new mama duties. My anxiety was "pushed" to the side as I concentrated on helping my college student get set up to finish her semester from home, filtering the news my kids had access to, and constantly re-evaluating my family's mental health. All while my personal mental health spiked. Making masks. Oh my heck, we made a bunch of masks! And all the early morning trips to Walmart! It was the only time we could hope to find toilet paper, hand sanitizer, or Clorox wipes. I tried writing - hahahahaha. My brain definitely wasn't functioning on that level. TV shows didn't help. Exercise . . . well, I never was super fond of running. Oof. 
Rescue came in the form of home projects. 
Just prior to the Covid shut-downs, we had refinanced our home with the intention of hiring businesses to replace flooring, paint everything, and re-do the kitchen. At the time, there was a possible job transfer on the table and we wanted to get everything prepped in case we needed to sell quickly. The company put all moves on hold. That was a blessing. My hubby suggested that perhaps I'd like to focus on the home repairs. That ended up being my saving grace. 
Can I just tell you how satisfying it is to rip out hardwood floors? I was totally channeling my inner-Charlee from Love Under Construction. All the old, yucky water-stained hardwoods came out and new flooring went in. I got the kids involved and we remodeled the entire main floor from April through August. I even set up home MTC for my daughter in July and sent her off in August. Home repairs were good for working through all of that angst too. 
September was all about setting up the kids for school and running the Storymakers & Indie Author Hub Writers Conference. Everything is still all virtual - school, conferences, etc. And now it's October. And all I want to do is . . . 
Go to a store just to hang out and browse. Oh, and touch things. Lots of things to just feel the texture of the product. Smooth china. Soft, snuggly bedding. The various textures of home decor at Hobby Lobby. 
Go to see a movie at the AMC theatre, specifically in one of the dine-in theatres with the semi-comfortable recliners, a big bucket of extra extra butter popcorn and a giamongous vanilla coke. 
Eat out at a restaurant. Not grab take out and eat it in the car for a date night or take dinner home for the family. Like actually go into the restaurant and let them all serve me. Unlimited chips and salsa, yummy yummy food I didn't have to cook, and no clean up for the mama. Sigh. 
Travel. Oh man. I sooo miss traveling. Getting on an airplane. Hiking a mountain. Enjoying the sound of the ocean. Sight-seeing. Browsing museums. All the things.  
Hugs. I really, really, really miss hugging my friends. I mean, I super miss seeing my friends. Social media is the closest I get to them these days. But what I really miss is that happy moment you reconnect with a friend and you give him/her a big squishy hug. Ah. It's the happiest feeling. 
 The list could go on and on. 
So yes, I have the Covid Blues. And it's totally okay to have the blues. It's pretty darn normal actually. And I'm honest about it with my kids, because they need to know that it's okay to feel down about all the things they're missing too. But you know what else we talk about? The things we like about Covid.
We discovered my kids actually enjoy remote school classes. Don't get me wrong, they'd prefer to be at school because, hello, friends. But what they don't miss is all the drama and bullying that happens at school. They love to learn and have awesome remote teachers through our school district. So blessings for that. 
We've had a chance to remember that we actually enjoy being together as a family. I mean, we did know that, but middle school/high school/college/church missions have kept us so freaking busy, the opportunities for family time really just happened during vacations. And man, Covid created on super crazy long summer vacation. And we actually liked that part of it. We did lots of walking, setting family goals, reading the scriptures together, lots and lots of board game and video game marathons. LOL. And thank goodness for Amazon. We bought a ton of books since the libraries were closed. 
We got to be a part of Sister Ferguson's home MTC. That was so much fun! We loved hearing about the things she was learning, her district, and hearing her share her love for the Savior each day. What a blessing we will treasure forever. 
What I'm grateful for the most is that so far we've been safe. We've been masking, social distancing, and doing the best we can to stay healthy. That's not to say we won't get Covid. It's a virus and there's nothing you can do to completely stop such a teeny tiny menace. We just do what we can to stay as safe and healthy as possible. I've seen so many friends get sick. Some who have recovered, and some who have died, leaving giant gaping holes in their families' lives. 
So while there are so many things I miss and am super yearning to do, I'm praying for patience. I'm praying to focus on the blessings and not the challenges. I'm praying for safety, comfort, and peace for me, for my family, and for my community. 
I'm praying for all those things for you, too. 

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G. Parker said...

Oh heavens... this has definitely been a crazy year. We were trying to go to Japan to visit our daughter as well. What a mess!! We are crossing our fingers for next March, but I have a sinking feeling it's not going to happen - the world is just in too much chaos.
I have so enjoyed hearing and watching your remodel project and MTC experience. You are such an example of strength and determination. Keep rocking on! :)

Danyelle Ferguson said...

I'm so sorry you weren't able to go visit your daughter in Japan. Having her so far away and not being able to hug her has to be so hard. I hope you get to video call often. That has been such a blessing with MJ's mission! Hugs to you, Gaynell!