Thursday, July 16, 2020

Ain't It Over Yet?

There's something about the difficulty of change. At first you are all gung-ho to make this happen. Then after some time, that desire to make the change wains.  Look at the desire to lose weight. 
  • Day one on your new diet: Wow this is great! Such energy! 
  • Day six: This is working! 
  • Day 27: Dang I want ice cream.
  • Day 40: Get off my back 
Maybe that's just me.  

Anyway, that change is understandably difficult. We know we need to make changes but it's often just too hard. It's just so drastic!  When I quit smoking (2-3 pack-a-day, cold turkey), I was using an online Quit Smoking Diary. I noticed that at around the 3-4 month mark, many of the others on this site were going back to smoking. So I was prepared for something to happen about that time in my journey. Sure enough, I became really focused on smoking. I figured it was that it had been a long time and I was STILL wanting to smoke, STILL feeling cranky, STILL craving even though I knew my body no longer wanted the ciggie. And because of this awareness, I persevered.

Little changes are actually easy and we can follow through with much less rebellion. It is these humongous changes that smack us in our faces.

Along comes COVID-19. So many changes. Small changes and humongous changes. We are told to wear face masks to slow the contamination; they are mandated in many states. We are told to stay-in-place, stay home as much as possible; some states and counties opened up and are trying to close down again. We are reminded to wash our hands, clean up with sanitizer, watch our distance. Grocery stores and others who are essential (pot shops? I mean really, essential? LOL) have limited number of people allowed inside at a time. And signs on the floor telling us where we need to stand.  We are constantly hearing about the "new normal."

At first most people jumped into these practices gung-ho. My son was in quarantine for two weeks because he associated with someone who they thought had COVID-19; his company was being vigilant. I made masks and sent them out to family and friends. And we wore them proudly. We were doing our part! We tried to remember to wash our hands, not touch our faces, and use good social distance. Grocery stores had Old People Shopping Times so we ancient and elderly could feel safe getting what we need.

But then the three-four month time hit and people got restless. My husband and I enjoy one another and were happy to spend time together...we started getting a bit snarky with one another. Some of those who work from home felt they could never leave work. Children who were taking classes online, teachers who were trying to teach online, all were frustrated. Were they even learning?

Some people went into depression. Some people said it's all a hoax and stopped doing the "I care about others" aspects. Some people just couldn't take it all and said they didn't care. The weather got better--summer came along--and many feel it's all over--life can get "back to normal." And it is so easy to fool ourselves that we are doing okay. No one around us is sick. We're not sick. It must be over!

Meanwhile, the death toll in the United States just keeps rising.

Dr. Fauci is the leading expert on infectious diseases and has advised six presidents on what we need to do to stop crises. He predicts it will get more difficult before it gets better. The truth is, it ain't over yet. We will continue to experience, give up, change our normal to a truly new normal. When the time comes that this whole horrible thing is actually over (rather than the time we want it to be over), when the fat lady sings, we will have made major changes to our lives.

And it will get better. But not yet. I am sorry, not yet.

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