Friday, August 28

Pandemic Blues by Jana Richards

Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash

At the start of this thing, I thought I was doing okay. Even though my part-time job was temporarily shut down and I’m now working less hours than I did before the pandemic, my husband’s retirement income means that we’re holding our own. I kept busy until the end of June. I was writing on my WIP everyday and I even participated in an online course on building Amazon ads. I did my best to connect with friends and relatives while we were all in lockdown. I also helped organize my daughter’s bridal shower (which happened June 27).

Then came July. Instead of fading away, Covid-19 is only getting worse. And scarier. My province is now in stage 4 of reopening, which mean more businesses are starting up again. But people are more nonchalant about the virus than they were in April, and the “rules” are sometimes confusing. I’m more anxious now than I was in April. Back then all I had to do was stay home.

When I finished my WIP in June and sent it off to my beta readers for their opinions. Like I said in my post on August 7 (Coping with Sophomore Syndrome), I’m anxious about this WIP, concerned that it isn’t up to snuff. I decided not to start a new WIP or work on edits for the rest of the summer. Aside from writing some blogs and participating in a few promotions, I’m taking a break, something I’ve rarely done between projects. There were things around the house I needed to do that I’d put off for too long, like organizing my office, completing some painting projects, and cleaning. This was the time to tackle those jobs. Besides, my daughter’s wedding is coming up in September and I likely couldn’t concentrate on a new WIP until it was over.

Oh, yes. The wedding. I've been obsessing over it for a while.

As of this writing, everything has changed. The hotel where the wedding was to take place had assured my daughter and her fiancé that Phase 4 of reopening would mean they could invite more people than are currently allowed. However, the government here got so much flack about loosening restrictions that they were forced to backtrack. My daughter and her fiancé still want to invite at least 100 people so they've decided to hold an outdoor wedding that will allow those numbers. That means we have to put together a wedding in approximately six weeks.

No wonder I’m anxious.

If it was up to me, we would have a small, intimate wedding for family and their closest friends. But that’s not what they want. They’ve always dreamed of the big celebration. So we’re going to do everything we can to make it happen.

But it’s not just the craziness of this wedding. I feel a low-grade uneasiness, and even though I’m getting out of the house more than I did in April, I feel lonelier now than I did back then. I think I’ve gotten so caught up in doing “stuff” that I haven’t been reaching out to people to really connect lately. Or maybe it’s because my back has been acting up and making me feel grumpy and uncomfortable. In any event, I feel like a real Debbie Downer right now.

In the vast scheme of things, a wedding doesn’t really matter. None of the things I’ve talked about here really matter when set against the devastation some families have faced. But this is my reality. And my anxiety.

So, gentle readers and fellow Word Wranglers, do you have any advice? I can use any words of wisdom you care to give right now!

10 comments:

  1. A great post, Jana. Here's wishing for a settling of feelings, of happiness for your daughter and her SO, and for a good girlfriends time for you--I think you need it!

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    1. Thanks Liz. I want things to go well for her, and I want the kids to have the wedding they always wanted. But it's meant anxiety for all of us. I can't wait to breathe a big sigh of relief when it's all successfully (I hope) concluded.

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  2. Wishing you the best. I know how you are feeling. I feel lonely and depressed a lot lately. I just want my old life back without the constant worry.

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    1. Yes, I long for the good old days of 2019 too! It's hard not to feel anxious right now. All I can tell you is to hang in there, and to reach out to people when you can. Like people Word Wrangler told me, "This too shall pass."

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  3. Breathe, Jana--and find the joy in the small everyday things. That's how I'm getting through. I confess there are things that used to be normal that are now scary for me, so I'm avoiding them. Otherwise...just breathe...

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    1. Thanks Nan. I think I was coping better early on because I was writing. And then when I finished my WIP in early July, I stopped and haven't written anything other than a blog post. Once the wedding is over I have to get back into my series. Maybe it will help me cope.

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  4. Wishing you good luck and good weather for your daughter's wedding. This pandemic is taking a huge emotional toll on all of us, even those whose livelihood and health haven't been damaged. I try to focus on what's going well in my life, but I still have days when worry and mourning suck me down.

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    1. Thanks Sadira. So true. Even those of us not directly impacted are feeling the strain. And thank you about your wishes for the weather. It's one more thing I'm obsessing about!

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  5. Sometimes things that are going along okay--suddenly become overwhelming. Add to that your concern that your daughter won't get the event she longs for and as her mother, of course you want to ensure! But you're really powerless to change anything, and... On a purely self-interest level, I just want to go shopping. And I don't even need to buy anything. I just want to look around, have lunch with friends, maybe take in a movie...yeah, I can't wait for things to get back to normal. Wishing you peace and tranquility.

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  6. Jana, I know it's been some time since you posted this blog, but wanted you to know how much I understand the immobilizing stress you're feeling, and it's affecting me the same way. It's caused the worst writing block, and has made me antsy, irritable, and annoyed when I go out to necessary places (grocery store, etc.), and people are totally - and almost arrogantly - disregarding the governor's mandate to wear a mask. It just makes me want to get back home and stare at my computer for that elusive next line of my WIP. Hopefully, the new year will bring some calm and peace. In the meantime, we lean on each other. oxox

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