When I woke up last Sunday with my chest completely tight after a night where my joints were on fire and I tossed and turned in absolute discomfort which was after having dinner with my husband and feeling like I had been on a Florida shore with no sunblock all day, the first thing on my mind was getting a COVID test.
There was only one other time I thought about getting a COVID test. It was summer of 2020 and we were packing up the house in Bellingham to move the kids, cats, furniture and new husband to Saint Louis. I remember feeling really nervous about getting a test and screwing up our logistics. I had a few days to see about myself, never broke a fever, ended up feeling fine and we kept our plans.
Now, here in the fall of 2021, I was fully vaccinated and definitely sick. One pink and blue stripe later, we were masking in the house, I was isolated to the master bedroom and bathroom and the psychology of being sick with mild symptoms, fine but not fine, and overall figuring out how to handle being excluded when “baby, but you’re in isolation – you have to be excluded” (to use David’s words) was playing out.
I wasn’t sick enough to be nursed, cooked for and cleaned for. I wasn’t well enough to cook and clean without feeling absolutely frustrated (both of those things are really less fun in a mask). I had enough energy to start walking the dogs, but would get out of breath and want to lay down. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I didn’t know what to expect others to do for me. But I knew the answer to both of those conundrums was somewhere between “nothing” and “whatever”.
By Friday, I had convinced myself to treat isolation as a little sacred time. I had used the week to finish my book, Words that Rhyme and Lullabies, and get a file out to the printer for art samples, editor for editing, designer for tweaks. Having that pdf off and running gave me a mental break “holy smokes my book is done” moment and I realized I had the rest of my time alone to dwell.
I started working through some organization.. gathering the material for book #2 – a devotional guide to emotions. I pulled fall and winter clothes up and washed and worked out my wardrobe for fall / winter. I lit candles and ate ice cream sandwiches and let my energy pool back into my body until Saturday night rolled around and I felt up for a glass of wine outside with David.
I spent Sunday pulling and potting my favorite plants to give them a shot indoors. I cleaned out my front bed and harvested my lavender into bundles that are now drying above the piano. My favorite moments from isolation were when David was off of work and we sat out in our backyard with the dogs and a fire and took our masks off. We had coffee on FaceTime and watched a movie synchronously but it was that outside time that really filled my tank.
And now it is Monday, day 9 of my 10 day quarantine. I will gather feedback on my book this week and start forging into the business side of getting the word out there and gathering orders for the first edition paperback of my first ever book. WOW. I will also start the real work of “writing writing” which requires a daily reading practice, a daily writing warm up, and some mining of spiritual thoughts and content. So today – my last day of quarantine, is like a little morph into new work, a new week.
Anyway. I hope you are staying safe out there. If you are feeling sorry for yourself today – trust me – from my little red hen complex to yours, it really helps to remember everything you have in front of you is a gift of some sort.
Even the hard stuff. That’s where the growth is. Name the belief you have that is causing the shit to feel real and see if that belief is worthy of keeping around.
I’m thankful for my breakthrough COVID infection for reminding me just how in control of my own mental health I am by tracing my emotional vomit back to my beliefs and what I am or am not allowing myself … :) I am thankful I was not needing medical care as I waited this out. I am mindful of those who are super sick and alone.
I am glad I allowed myself the space to surround myself with notebooks and hot tea and candles and use my quarantine to reboot and transition.
Yeah. Somehow we made it work. OK….
Until next time… erin