Last week ended up being tough on the anxiety front. I had to think about why that was because it wasn’t really a bad week — all my big projects were done at work, Johanna and I had time to go for drives*, I won a laptop on a radio contest**, I read a lot and Eric installed our new dishwasher***.
Then it occurred to me that it is mentally and emotionally exhausting to be on lockdown. It’s the word “lockdown,” specifically, because I’ve technically been on a self-lockdown for eight months. It’s knowing Abby is going to be exposed to COVID daily on her new clinical rotation in a hospital emergency department while hearing people complain that their Thanksgiving is ruined. It’s knowing that no matter what I do and what responsibility I take, my family’s health is in the hands of others and the decisions they make.
And also, let’s be honest, it’s exhausting reading / seeing accounts of our president refusing to concede and those in power actually supporting that. Biden has to self-fund his transition. Uh, what? If this was going on in another country, I can imagine how it would be covered and what people would be saying about it. A president not conceding and actively trying to overthrow an election? That’s some crazy shit right there. One thing Americans pride ourselves on is a peaceful transfer of power. And that ain’t happening.
So what’s the solution? (I hate when people write letters to the editor, complaining about issues and offering no solution, just vaguely insinuating that someone should do something.)
Here’s what I am going to actively attempt this week, anxiety be damned:
- Plan and create a dinner for Eric, Johanna and I to enjoy on Thanksgiving Day that includes our favorites.
- Enjoy the weird, socially distant Thanksgiving we will have with my parents the day after.
- Plan and get ready to drop off a care package to a young family who needs a lift (books for the kids, coffee for the mom; the dad doesn’t drink coffee?! I’m not sure what to do with that information).
- Decorate for Christmas. What the hell. ****
- Pace myself on the work front. Just because I work from home doesn’t mean I work from home 24/7.
- When all else fails: Listen to the Hamilton soundtrack while working on a word search puzzle. And drink more coffee.
Maybe I should write this down somewhere so I can see it and remember.
P.S. Here’s a story about my struggles with minimalism even though I’ve been doing this for like 8 years or something and I should have learned so many lessons by now:
I placed my online grocery order on Wednesday. At the height of the pandemic, I couldn’t get a pickup time for at least three or four days, but recently, it’s been same day or the next day. Well, maybe lockdown inspired more people to take advantage of the service, because the soonest I could pick anything up was Saturday morning. My cart was filled with Thanksgiving items, mostly things I knew Johanna would enjoy, and seeing that pickup date made my stomach drop.
What if all the things I wanted were out of stock?
So this, my friends, is a great example of the scarcity myth. Or maybe just seeing the glass as not only half-empty, but on the verge of being gone because someone is going to take what I need. Oh wait, that’s totally the scarcity myth, never mind.
The fact is, I have been stocking up on items. The fact is, we were not going to go hungry if my full cart order wasn’t filled. So what, really, if we have pork chops or chicken on Thanksgiving Day, or have to have biscuits instead of stuffing? Why was I making this into such a big deal?
So I took a breath, laughed at myself and gave it up. Whatever didn’t make it into my cart was Future Trisha’s problem and she is chill as hell! (Probably. I’ve never met her.) Ironically, the only thing I couldn’t get was eggs, so all my worry was for naught.
Future Trisha is trying to teach me a lesson, I think.
* Johanna requires decent weather and light, not being comfortable with driving in the rain or dark yet. Fall in Oregon = Take advantage of the good weather and light whenever you can. ** HA HA HA that was kind of awesome because odds, you know. I have no idea when it will arrive, but it will go to Johanna, since her laptop needs to be replaced. I am terribly pleased with myself. *** What is it with us and appliances? We have horrible luck. Handwashing dishes for three weeks or whatever it was gave me plenty of opportunities for Zen, I guess (isn’t handwashing dishes supposed to be a meditation?) but WOW am I glad to let that go. **** Johanna’s birthday is Dec. 13 and we generally wait until afterwards to decorate for Christmas to separate the two, but we all need a little more light in our lives so what the heck.