Notes from Quarantine, Day 6: It’s OK to Not Be OK

I know a lot of you are just now starting your quarantines.  I’m not better at this than you are, I’ve just been at it longer.  All that hopey changey stuff is my way of trying to make the best out of a really awful situation.

But today, I wanted to address the other side of that coin.  This is a terrifying time. And it’s OK to not be OK.

You know what I mean, right?  I mean you’re going to fall to pieces sometimes.  You’re going to feel like nothing will ever be good again.  You may despair. You may become paralyzed with fear. You may binge your way through all your emergency supplies (don’t do that!).

The news is getting increasingly worse, as the news does in times like these.  If you’ve ever lived through a serious natural disaster on the local level, try to think through how that went.  It got real bad for a while, but ultimately, it was OK. In the end, it was OK.

Different doesn’t mean it’s not OK.

Maybe Not Today, Satan

We will have to face all the dirty reality that’s coming in at about 300 miles an hour right now.  We’ll all have to figure out how we’re going to move forward. But we don’t have to do it all at once.  We can do a bit here and a bit there, it’s a technique I’ve used in the past to write some seriously heavy content.  

It’s a way to keep from becoming so mentally heavy that you can’t move.  You touch it just a little bit, every day, until you manage to face it wholly.  It’s a bit like a mental vaccination, but obviously no needles are involved.

So, maybe today isn’t the day you build your zombie survival battle plan.  Maybe today is the day you just pick out some movies and veg on the couch like it was an extra Saturday.  Maybe today is the day you rearrange your office so you have a better view of the back lawn.

Things will get dark.  But today isn’t a dark day, necessarily.

Things will be hard.  But today we still have plenty.

Things will be terrifying.  But today we still have hope that our fellow humans will do what’s best for everyone.

That hope is a life raft.  That hope might be everything for someone.  

Check on your friends, your family, your neighbors.  Tell people you love them. Make memories that aren’t traumatic, even in these times.

I love you guys.  Hold on. It’s going to get better.