I have been flopping around like a fish out of water. When I was a kid I learned to fish on Lake Tippecanoe, Indiana with my grandfather. I wasn’t very big and the cane pole I learned with was at least twice my height, with the traditional bobber and hook on it. I remember learning to bait the hook, toss the line in the water and wait on that red and white bobber to dip below the surface. When it was obvious I had a fish on the line, I would give the cane pole a hefty 5 year old tug and lurch the fish onto shore. I would watch the fish flip and flop for a few minutes before finally giving up and going still. That’s when I could take the hook out of his mouth and set him free. Since Covid-19 and our quarantine isolation went into effect, I’ve felt like that fish out of water- flipping and fighting the reality of our situation.
As we are transferring to a ‘Safer at Home’ (very confusing name) stage of Covid-19 I think I’ve finally stopped fighting reality. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not happy about the current situation, but I’m also no longer fighting it. I’ve fought and been emotionally exhausted from this situation for weeks. I’ve struggled wrapping my brain around our reality and believing that this could be our actuality for some time. I still struggle, but I’m also conceding and waving the proverbial white flag. Yes, I know that I never had control in the first place, but as a reforming control freak being helpless is tough to swallow. In the midst of this struggle, I made the decision to not wait for my brain to comprehend our reality before I relent. I would like it noted though that I do NOT like it one little bit.
I’ve read that if we come out of this pandemic and have learned nothing, then we’ve missed it. I agree – there are lessons to be had and personal growth that was needed. No longer will I take relationships for granted or see us as more divided than we are similar. My view of big love and standing beside all people has only been reinforced. Before this pandemic I felt like we saw ourselves as a country divided, but today I see us as one. Yes, we will still disagree on politics and what we believe is best for our country. My hope though is that we start seeing each other as individuals again and not as ‘us vs. them’. My other hope is that we can agree to disagree and still be loving and kind to one another. I feel like this pandemic has brought out the best in most of us and brought us together.
I’m not sure how I will handle all of this forced isolation if it continues for a long time. I also know that even when we get the green light to move forward, I will remain cautious for quite some time. Will a vaccine take my fear away? Doubtful. This whole pandemic opened my eyes to a fear that I had never imagined. A fear that a virus could change our world and in some ways shut it down. My biggest issue today is not having an end in sight. I’m the girl that always has a vacation or trip around the corner to look forward to. I’m the mom that had Disney countdowns in our home on a whiteboard. There is no countdown to normalcy here and that is tough to swallow. I also know I have to just accept this reality and stop fighting it like the fish on the shore. Okay God/HP, take the hook out and please set us free.