Pictures for Sad Children: Snow Day | John Campbell
Stuff got weird this year, huh? Plagues, I guess?
I wish I had something I could say to comfort you. I wish I had something I could say to comfort myself. I don't. I think this situation is, maybe, a little bit necessarily uncomfortable. We all have to bear some of the discomfort if we're going to get through it.
We need to stay home. For...well, ever? Maybe? And as Beans says when we ask her to do something she'd rather not, "that doesn't make any sense!"
And yet. Here we are. I'm back to working entirely from home, though for the time being I do still have work. Sometimes I wish I didn't, if I'm being honest, because I want to curl up under the covers and hide for a while, and also to free my brain up for writing, but I also have a toddler which makes those options unlikely, regardless. She's mostly used to being at home and is, like her parents, something of a homebody, so we're not as stir-crazy as some, but parenting is inherently relentless.
Instead, we've made bread. We've made playdough. We've made cookies and pizza. We've made paintings and banners and several feet of easel roll filled with colourful polka dots. We've comfort shopped, just a little: a milk steamer, an extra rotation of stay-at-home comfort clothes (all ordered before things got quire so bad). So comfort isn't impossible, exactly, only superficial. The unease bubbles underneath, always.
It's the uncertainty, isn't it? The not knowing, because nobody knows. My climate anxiety was similar, but the timeline wasn't quite as acute. This is unavoidably now, and we literally can't predict what's going to happen tomorrow. We have so little information, and it's taking so long to come to terms with what we do have.
But we're doing this. This hard, scary thing. We're doing it often with less support than we're used to, less than we want, less than we need. We're doing it with and without kids, with and without understanding employers, with and without family members in reach. We're doing it with Zoom and Skype and Cosmic Yoga and the fiftieth rewatch of Frozen 2. We're doing it separately but all at once, and we're doing it for each other. Thank you.
Remember: you're doing your best.
Remember: aside from verifiable sources (your friend's brother's wife is not a verifiable source), nobody has a much better idea of what's going on than you do. Even the people who might have a clearer idea of what's going on in their very specific context (an ER nurse at your local hospital, or a staff member at your bank) don't have the whole picture of what's happening now, let alone what's happening next week. It's ok if, once you've gotten your information from a primary source, you just want to turn that stuff off.
Remember: the animal brain inside you doesn't know the difference between being scared of the same thing thirty times and being scared of thirty unique threats. Try not to repeatedly terrify your inner child with the same shadows. Your inner child needs a hug. Maybe some mac and cheese. Maybe a very comforting movie.
A newsletter on life, current events, media & culture, and living in wonder amidst it all.