It’s crazy to think that we began sheltering in place 52 days ago. It seems like it has simultaneously been much longer and much shorter than that. And it seems like we may be done sheltering in place come June. We may start slowly reintegrating into normal life again, getting back into the rhythm of things. But I have a confession…
I’m not ready.
I know that seems crazy. Because all I should want is to be done with this craziness. My three teenagers are losing it, my wife is working so hard to manage the household and her job, I’m exhausted from the energy this sheltering in place takes. And yet… I feel my chest getting tight when I think about returning. Of course, I’m looking forward to sharing a meal with people I miss, hugging people I love, and doing some of the normal day-to-day things I’ve been longing for. But, for reasons I can’t quite understand, the idea of this time coming to an end is giving me anxiety rather than lifting my spirits.
It’s not from fear of the virus. I fear for senior adults in my life who I love, but I’m not terribly concerned about my immediate family. And I feel confident that Governor Newsom will use appropriate caution in California. Perhaps it’s that I’m nervous that things won’t be the same as they were before. Or maybe I’m just lazy and the idea of having to ramp up into a full work week again seems daunting. Or it could be that I am overwhelmed by the adjustments I’ll have to make in our post-shelter-in-place world. Maybe I’m worried about all of it… or none of it.
And let’s be clear—sheltering in place has been rough. It’s been full of blow-ups and insecurities and being overwhelmed. It’s been full of not knowing how I’m supposed to handle this time. Why in the world am I not jumping up and down with excitement that this time is coming to an end?
Maybe it’s because we still don’t know when this is all actually coming to an end. Who knows?
Nothing in life is certain, but the last several weeks have been particularly uncertain. I think it’s possible that the uncertainty of shelter-in-place is easier than dealing with the uncertainty of what comes next. I think that things are going to look different on the other side of this, but I don’t know how they’ll be different. I don’t know what it’s going to look like to ease back into things and I don’t know when things will happen or on what timeline. And that’s difficult. So, for now, I’ll sit in that discomfort. I will take it one day at a time. And by the time we’re on the other side of this, I’ll be ready. I’m just not there yet.
Wherever you are today, that’s ok too. It’s a weird time.