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Does Anyone Else Feel Extremely Not OK?


I haven’t been able to write a post for this blog in more than a month. I could blame being busy–I have taken on a temporarily bigger volunteer role with my church (ask me about video editing or live streaming!)–but that’s not it, or at least not entirely. Writing is normally my oxygen. 

For blogging, I typically turn to my life and my daughters’ lives, but there’s much less to mine from life right now. Because of the pandemic, my family and I are living a much smaller life. We have no travel plans on the horizon. Our families live just far enough away that a trip to see them or for them to see us still feels out of the question. I’m anxious and second-guess every decision I make for the girls–whether saying YES to something that entails risk is correct and whether saying NO to something else is wrong and making them miss out on something that would be worth the risk.

But let it be said: despite not blogging regularly, I am still writing. I have been able to complete writing deadlines for the print magazine as the community and education sections editor. Give me a deadline, and I’ll get it to you on time! Also, in June, I completed Jami Attenberg’s 1000 Words of Summer, writing 1,000 words every day for 14 days, but I didn’t write a single blog post or really many words worth publishing. The discipline of daily writing was helpful of course. Although as the pandemic wears on, and my COVID anxiety continues to deplete my reserves, my coping mechanisms, including writing, seem harder and harder to grasp.

Another of my coping mechanisms is shopping, which has of course been curtailed while feeling safer at home (Target, how I miss you!). Online shopping definitely scratches the itch, and the task of shopping for masks for the family has been somewhat enjoyable, as we find what works for us. My sister made our girls masks in favorite fabrics that have been great for the few times they have ventured into public. The ties help the masks stay on their heads (thank goodness for ponytails!), although I know they won’t be practical for any type of school situation where they’d need to be able to independently put them on and take them off, so I’ve also shopped for elastic-style masks on Etsy, Zulily and Old Navy, like the basic mom I am.

I mask up for my church work, grocery shopping and any socially distant socializing we do–so far only in friends’ back yards and very rarely. I don’t find the mask-wearing itself makes me anxious, especially knowing that it’s a sign of love and respect for other people in our community. But the disorientation from the upside-downness of our current situation keeps me off-kilter almost constantly, whether I’m masked up or not. Basically, I feel extremely not OK.

How are you feeling? Can we be honest about how we’re doing? Are you having a hard time too? I don’t have the answers, but solidarity, friends. Let me know how you are, and if you have any coping suggestions, drop them in the comments.

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30 Jun 2020


By Mari Walker

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