This is the first time that I have written for a long time. It’s as if I can’t get myself together. Day to day I am fine except for the usual that we all are going through with covid. And yet, here I am with weeks since I had the energy to write anything. Every time I thought about it it’s as if I shied away from it. I wanted so much to help others with my writing and have so many other ways I want to be of use but none of that has been possible. Sometimes is seems too much.
I am so blessed to be in a wonderful place but it doesn’t seem that way now. Austin remains at level 5 and ti seems that it will never drop. Patients are in the hospital who have been vaccinated but all but a very few only received two shots and did not go back for the booster. It is so frustrating.
That is my rant for the day. I am really ok but just impatient for something to change.
Today I am having thoughts about loneliness. We are creatures who need each other. We are hard wired to be in community. We need belonging. The emotional toll of being shut off from others is being felt, not only where we are, but in the world at large.
Finding myself in an Independent Retirement Community during covid has brought on questions that I didn’t expect.
Even though we have all (almost) been completely vaccinated we are still alone much of the time. Our need for companionship, which is one of the reasons to be here, has been intensified. We must all wear masks which limits our ability to see facial expressions. Encouraged to seek physical distance we cannot gather to be with others. This is no fault of where we are but since we are elderly our safety is primary.
Of course this hits harder on those who are truly alone and do not have a spouse or companion with them. We have to find a new way of belonging. Electronic connection doesn’t satisfy the need. We need physical presence. It is imperative that new ideas for belonging are tried and used with safety in mind.
Some of that is already happening by default. People are meeting with others who they feel take safety seriously . Small groups meeting can bring the closeness we need to alleviate the physical and emotional pain (and yes it is actual pain) brought on by our need to experience belonging.
We are suffering. All of us. The innate need to experience personal physical links with others is critical. Without it the increase of depression, loneliness and suffering will increase enormously.
Our love of life, desire to live fully and happily are threatened. We must find new ways to experience belonging or many of us will die lonely and sad.
I have been reading the most amazing book by Brene” Brown “Atlas of the Heart.”(Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience) I have read one other book of hers and will be getting her previous ones.
I have always been a person to share my thoughts and feelings. Sometimes I got hurt…sometimes it lead to a closer connection. In this book she explores deeply how word meanings and our interpretation of them can so alter what we hear and feel. She is honest about herself and her own failings and writes for real people. She talks about how constantly comparing ourselves with others gives us a dilemma. We are caught between two scenarios. She says: “Comparison is the crush of conformity from one side and competition from the other –it’s trying to simultaneously fit in and stand out.” I don’t think I have ever heard it put so well.
This book will be giving me things to think about for a long time. It is well worth the read.
I am better. So how and in what way? It is the strangest thing but it feels as if someone has turned a switch and my mood is more positive. I don’t know if it is getting the right meds or that linked with just the passing of time.
I realize now that I have been crying daily for almost 2+ years. A lot has happened and much change has had to be absorbed but it seems as if life is just moving on. I still cry when struck by memories and things that trigger them but it is more random.
I do feel as if the tears were necessary and cleansing and helped me share the pain in an outward way. I accept that. Now it is time to begin living in a new way. Now if covid will diminish it will be possible to get back to church (which I have missed terribly) and the other activities that I enjoy.
I have continued to struggle with depression. I know it is related to the covid numbers here. It seems as if nothing will ever change. I know that we may not end up the way we were before but as a senior citizen I end up so warry of exposing myself.
I know that I am blessed having the basic needs of life available to me. It is just a matter of turning my perspective around. The truth is I miss people. For years I was an extreme extrovert but in the later years I am about in the middle. I realize that I need to make opportunities to connect with people. Even talking on the phone helps.
The real answer lies with me and not from external factors although they are stressful.
Today as I was walking the dog it struck me that all of us wearing masks look like many apocalypse books I have read and films that I have seen in my life. It gave me a strange feeling. Growing up in the era when 1984, Brave New world, Animal Farm, That Hideous Strength, and the later film Soylent Green were most read and watched is strange today. I saw 1984 pass by, the fear of the millennial crisis (which never happened) and many other milestones come and go (and by the way, where is my personal flying car?).
And yet, this very morning I could see the dystopian future right in front of me. Will this virus subside or do we have many more variants coming? Will we always be the people wearing masks to protect us from each other? Will we never be able to establish physical connections with people other than those in our immediate circle? Have we so damaged the earth, our home, that there is no choice but isolation? These are frightening questions and I hope the answers do not define the future for coming generations.
Here in this country we are so divided that I question our ability to work together for the good of us all. The rest of the world is also plagued with problems from starvation, war, and fanatical religious differences, that it seems hard to imagine everyone joining together to save us all before it is too late.
Having said all of this I still have hope that somehow, someway, we will find a way to move forward and live in a world without masks, both the physical ones we don for safety and the mental/emotional ones we put on for the same reason. I pray that my grandchildren and great grandchildren will live in that world and not the one I see now.
Living where I am is beginning to feel more like home. Today I started on a project of unpacking 6 large plastic bins of yarn and sorting them into shoe box size containers according to yarn weight. When I have finished it will make finding yarn for projects so much easier. Just packed in huge bins made it impossible to have any idea what is there. That will be a big plus for me.
Austin and my Independent Living site are pretty much shut down. There is so much info that the new virus version is less troublesome but I don’t want it if I can manage to evade it. I suppose at some point all of us will have it but I’d rather not just now. My plate has been full enough for the last year and I am ready for some changes.
I hope that most of my word press friends have managed to either survive or not get covid. Hopefully in the near future the new Pfizer medicine will be available as a treatment.
My dog, Crash, is better from his bout with Kennel Cough. The only problem is getting so much medicine down him each day but that will end soon. My daughter still has Tillie and it is so much easier with one. They don’t seem to be distressed with being away from each other so I am thankful for that.
I hope this new year will bring positive changes for all of us and the whole world.
After a series of glitches last week with my health and my dog Crash I think we are both on the road to recovery. A new year is coming and I pray that with it not just a better year for me and mine but for everyone. The last two years have certainly been hard for us. It is certainly time for everyone to have a break. For some reason I was reminded of a very old TV program called HEE HAW and a song that they sang frequently. I think that in the last two years this has felt true.
I know my life has not provided pleasant reading for quite a while. Unfortunately it has not yet changed for the better. I was terribly sick Christmas Eve I think due to medicine changes but fine on Christmas. Have been basically fine since except for the pain from the fractured vertebrae.
Now one of my dogs is ill and I am worried. I am praying for a good prognosis. A new year is coming and I still hope for better things to come. With trust in God and faith there will be continued hope.
This has been a challenging week. On Monday I fell tripping over Crash. Flat on my back. I seemed to be ok but had muscle pain. On Friday afternoon I got extremely fast heart rate and ended up going to the emergency room. I was transferred to the heart hospital and spent the night.Diagnosis is either atrial fib or SVT. Basically there is a place where heart rate is controlled that is going awry. On Wednesday I will have a outpatient procedure that will hopefully fix the problem. Please keep me in your prayers and thoughts for a good outcome. May each of you have a blessed holiday and I will post again soon.