Life, interrupted

I think it’s rather ironic that the title of my last blog post was “Preparing for the Unexpected” because, wow, I don’t think any of us could have really prepared for something as unexpected as the pandemic we are currently experiencing.

I know there have been rumblings among public health professionals for years that we could be susceptible to a pandemic such as this. But I think we – the general public – preferred to keep our collective heads in the sand and ignore those warnings. After all, we made it through SARS and MERS relatively unscathed. I will admit that we weren’t exactly blind-sided by COVID-19. I recall reading news articles about a novel coronavirus popping up in China late last year, but thinking it wouldn’t – couldn’t – have the same impact here in the US…

It has been about two months since my last post. I have to admit that as the public health crisis grew closer to home, there was so much going through my mind and yet I could not find a way to express my thoughts. Part of me was too busy struggling with how to handle everything within my own family. My husband had transitioned to working from home months before we ever heard of the coronavirus. My daughter’s school district closed facilities after March 13th, but I was still going into the health centers where I work – and it was creating tension at home.

My husband would jump on me to wash my hands as soon as I walked in the door – and soon after he started “social distancing” from me, out of an abundance of caution. I couldn’t really blame him as I wrestled with guilt about possibly being exposed at work and bringing the virus home to my family. I was relieved when my employer finally made the decision about a week later to allow us to work from home. But that brought its own challenges with finding a quiet, private place to coach clients and learning how to set boundaries between work and home now that it was all under one roof.

Once I started feeling a bit more settled, my thoughts turned to this blog and my monthly newsletter. I typically use my newsletter to share my blog posts, mindfulness events (mine or others) and local Nia classes and events. As March was rolling into April, I realized that I had no new blog posts and all in- person events and classes were cancelled indefinitely due to pandemic-related restrictions. For the first time in three years, I had nothing to share.

I thought about blogging every now and then, but I felt like I didn’t have anything new or different to contribute. Many health and wellness professionals have seized the opportunity to promote ways to stay safe or to maintain health habits in the middle of a pandemic. I did not want to just add noise to the already crowded landscape. However, something has shifted in me recently. I realized that this blog has been an outlet for me in many ways, a vehicle for creative expression – an itch I’ve needed to scratch for some time.

So, what does this all mean? A couple things:

  • Prior to the pandemic, I tried to publish one or two posts per month. You may see me blogging more…or less. It all depends on what I feel driven to write about (and making the time to do so.)
  • When I started the blog, my intent was to publish credible health and wellness-related content. I have tried to stick to the facts and minimize injecting too much of my own opinion. That may change some as I now see this blog as a tool to help me process the experience of living through a pandemic. I don’t plan to go totally off the rails but honestly, these last couple of months have given me a new perspective on life. I’m sure many of you feel the same way.

As difficult as things are right now, I am trying to approach the situation with an open mind and a whole lot of patience. Not an easy thing to do when you feel like you are riding a roller coaster with no end in sight (especially when you don’t like roller coasters!) but I am going to do my best to survive the ride.