Isn’t is amazing how quickly things can change?
On Wednesday, we were adjusting to the ‘return to school’ routine – very different to the usual school time routines, and not only because times had changed, but also from the perspective of the current pandemic and all the checks and sanitising, before and during school hours. Then of course, repeating it all upon returning home.
On Thursday evening, our President announced that schools would close again on Friday, for a month. My daughter got three days of ‘normalcy’, and then was thrown back into ‘stay at home’. I found myself singing Billy Ocean’s song ‘Suddenly‘, but of course only the word ‘Suddenly’ really applied.
I noticed the change in her after the announcement – like a switch had been flipped.
She has been ‘fine’ throughout our situation here – despite not seeing anyone for more than 100 days (I believe our very strict lock down has been over 140 days now – crazy! That means it’s been that long since I have had any social time with my friends too! We’re not allowed to visit in each others homes – it’s against the law. BUT we can go to the casino together and expose ourselves there?!?!?!)
It’s been strange to have her coping so well, simply because she is the most social of the three of us. She is a teen girl who has always thrived being around others – definitely not an introvert by any means. It’s almost like she has always ‘fed off the energy of others’.
But two weeks ago, she had a melt down. She came to me, laughing about something, and I started laughing too – then all of a sudden, her face changed and she burst into tears.
I feared someone had said something to upset her – apparently not. Her words were, ”I don’t know what’s wrong. I think I am losing my mind. This lock down is making me crazy”. We spoke for a long while, and the upside for her was that in a week she would see people again, with the return to school. She was back to her bright, chatty, almost impossible ( 😛 ) self when I fetched her that first day! The announcement had a huge impact.
A couple of months ago, she started with a strange breathing problem. I have stayed on the alert since then, checking for other symptoms, but it’s definitely not the virus. She would be breathing, big gasps almost, saying that it felt like that last little bit just wasn’t filling her lungs. Now… I get the same when I am too anxious… and I wondered if it was possible that she was now anxious because of the current situation.
I had to take her to the doctor for her shoulder on Friday. She did something to it during one of her Zoom dancing classes. Apparently the trapezius muscle is in spasm and is strained – I told her ‘I knew you were too funny’, and then had to explain – trapeze = circus = clown. It’s a running joke in our house how she misses the humor – and yes, she laughs about it too!
SO… while we were at the doctor, I explained about her breathing. He checked her oxygen levels, which were 99%!!!! And listened to her chest – no issues there. Then he asked her a few questions, and yes, it’s anxiety. He gave her a few tips, and suggested a proven, herbal pill to help her cope.
I found myself humming ‘Suddenly’ on the way home… and actually disappeared to my room to listen to it when we got home. And I found something in there for her, and I, and the anxiety and pandemic, ha ha ha! It’s funny how our brains operate, and find things in the strangest of places – like finding inspiration and a sense of peace in a love song, to apply to something that has nothing to do with romantic love 😛
(And please don’t get me wrong, this does not come from a ‘place of perfection’. I have not achieved the ultimate 24 hour peace and happiness, as such. I still have moments where I am tearful, or angry. I still struggle sometimes to make sense of it all, and it affects the way I am feeling. Sometimes it only lasts an hour, sometimes it lasts a day. But then I retake the stock in my attitude and emotions, and make a come back 😉 Seeing the effects manifest in my beautiful teenage ‘baby girl’ hurt me deeply, and I was sad – and angry – about it on Friday, for a good few hours.)
I let her listen to the song – and after that she kind of rolled her eyes and said, ”MOM! That’s a love song!!!! How does that help me?”
The gist of what followed was this :
Suddenly, in this pandemic, life has new meaning – although some would say there is just no meaning at all. We look at what is happening in our country, and the rules and regulations that make absolutely no sense, and there is little meaning in it all.
We cannot control anything that is happening around us and to us as a result.
But we still have our own feelings, perspectives, attitudes – which we can control.
As bad and sad as we may feel, we need to remember that there is still beauty in this world, and in our lives. Our vision is blurred by the situation and circumstances, and so we need to make an effort to seek it out, and we’ll find it. It may be in something small, but it’s better than nothing at all. It’s in the things we forget to take notice of – the silly things sometimes too. There may be little about the pandemic to love, but there is still much about ourselves and our lives that we can love.
She was quiet for a few minutes, and then she started laughing. I gave her my raised eyebrow / questioning look, and she answered me 😉
”Well, I don’t have to see Jared and have awkward moments for another month (he’s her ‘ex boyfriend’); and I can shower and put on a new pair of pj’s when I don’t have dancing; and I can still video call with my friends and not have to stop myself from randomly hugging them.” Yesterday, she came through to my room laughing, because her and her two best friends had come up with four other advantages to the current situation.
Here’s hoping that we all find the parts of life that we can love, despite the circumstances. That we notice the beauty in our current stressful and unusual situations. And that when we find that we are lacking in reasons to laugh, that we find the courage to be honest, and reach out, and ask our friends and family to help us to.