I need to rant. This might be all over the place but I just want it said. It’s okay to be upset, or angry or mad about what’s going on in the world. It’s also okay to not care, if you don’t want to.
I’ve seen this meme floating around the internet (as of late) that says ‘If you don’t use this time to teach yourself something new, you didn’t lack time you lacked discipline’. I cannot even begin to explain how frustrating I find this mentality.
This is a pandemic. This is not a holiday. This isn’t ‘free time’ so to speak. This is ‘stay the fuck home so that you save your’s and each other’s lives in the process’ time. This isn’t fun. And it’s not supposed to be.
You can drag me all you want. You can tell me that I’m looking at this from a negative perspective, but the truth is, I’m looking at this from a realistic perspective. This is a traumatic experience for a lot of people, if not for everyone.
To the lucky few who are able to work from home, you’re now navigating a whole new territory that involves learning how live/work in the same place. An environment without the help of your coworkers, or office technology, or any of the office luxuries you’ve grown accustomed to over the years. And, while you’re plugging away on that laptop, quite literally flying by the seat of your pants to try and maintain some form of functionality amid the chaos, there’s news stories saying work won’t resume until fall, there’s kids or partners or dogs in the background making a lot of noise and a world that just won’t seem to give you a break. And to the doctors and nurses, health care workers and hospital staff, care aids and everyone who is helping on the front line and working essential jobs (at grocery stores, etc..) there is no breaks. There’s no days off. There’s no reprieve from the painful struggle that is trying to keep the general public healthy.
To the unlucky rest, there’s no work. And there’s no way to find work. Postings for a cashier position in a grocery store in a small town in Northern BC are attracting 3,100 resumes/applications. I can’t even imagine how much higher the competition is to be a cashier in a metropolitan area. People want to work. They want to provide for themselves and their family members and they can’t. They’re at home worried about how their bills are going to be paid, how long the food in the cupboard will last and whether or not a guardian angel is going to drop dinner from the sky. And, while they’re worrying about money, mortgages and the basic necessities of survival, there’s news stories saying that they could be off work until the fall, or even early next year, and kids or partners or dogs in the background making a lot of noise and a world that just won’t seem to give a break.
To the really unlucky folk, work might have been the only time during the day that they had to escape their toxic home environment. It might have just been the only time they had away from their abusers. Now, not only are they being thrown into a stressful home environment that already existed for that much longer each day, but there’s the added financial and economic stresses of life adding to tensions in the household. And, while they’re worrying about how to make it through the day without having their body, mind or soul quite literally beat up on, there’s news stories saying that they could be stuck at home until the fall, or even later, trying their best to tip toe around the abuse and limit the things that might set off abusers.
And let’s not forget about the kids in this. The kids we’re trying to keep from being kids, because it’s their second-nature to hang out with their friends and ride their bikes or play basketball. These kids who’ve had their lives turned upside down who may, or may not, understand what’s going on right now.
EVERYONE has been impacted in this.
This is not the power hour. People don’t need to be made to feel guilty for staying in their pajamas, or sleeping in, or binge watching Netflix rather than cleaning their house. What we need to make each other feel less alone for the very real fear, frustration and panic we’re all facing. Every situation might be different but we need to show each other compassion and appreciation for the very basic struggle it takes to just be a functioning human at this point in time.
Do what you have to do to make yourself feel better. Do what you have to do to give yourself some grace. And encourage other’s to do that as well.
If you’re someone who wants to teach yourself something new, great. Teach yourself something new. Learn that stuff, whatever it is. Go hard! But also, recognize this is your means of coping. This is not how everyone copes and you do not have the right to make someone else feel bad if they’re not doing the same as you.
The more ‘Productive things you can do from home’ lists and videos I view, the more I think people really don’t understand the concept of productivity guilt. There’s a big difference between choosing to be productive yourself and choosing to make other’s feel bad for not doing what you do. Nobody needs to be made to feel guilty because of how they’re acting, or reacting, to the present state of the world.
Some people cope by sleeping in. Some people cope by not getting dressed. Some people copy by eating four pieces of cheesecake in one sitting and they do not need to be made to feel ashamed for any amount of weight that might be put on because they’re not going to the gym right now. Home workouts aren’t for everyone. The very long winded point that I am trying to make right now is that everyone copes differently.
However you’re handling this pandemic, this social isolation, this extremely unstable time in history, give yourself grace. Give others grace. Check in on people. See how they’re holding up.If you need to cry, cry. Cry with each other. Be vulnerable. Or don’t. Just remember that we might all be going through this together, but we all deserve the right to cope/handle this how we want.